After being awarded a license from Nevada gaming officials, Siena Casino announces its plans to launch HD Poker in early-2014
The Reno based Siena casino has announced its plans to launch a new online poker platform in Nevada early next year. Entitled HD Poker, the play-money version of the client is currently slated for release in early-2014, with a full real-money poker suite to follow by Q2. The announcement comes less than a week after Siena was bestowed a license to conduct online gaming operations by Nevada’s state officials.
Siena has commissioned tech startup Z4 Poker to create the in-house product. In early October, Z4 along with Boyd Interactive Gaming, Golden Nugget and MGM Resorts Online pleaded their cases before the Nevada Gaming Control panel to receive additional time before launching their respective platforms. Z4 Poker asked for a six-month extension, which was awarded by the Board.
But the question remains: Is there really room for a relatively unknown quantity in Nevada’s iGaming market. Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com are currently the only two platforms operating in the state. Neither site has fared particularly well, although WSOP.com is presently benefiting from its Online Championship series, which kicked off on October 25 and will run through November 2 – just in time for the November Nine to take their seats at the WSOP Main Event final table.
However, both sites are relying on interstate compacts with New Jersey to increase their player base. Ultimate Gaming is currently aligned with Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal and WSOP.com will likely run through Harrah’s. Z4 may have to set up shop in New Jersey if it hopes to stand a chance in the ultra-competitive iGaming market.
When asked if there was room for another online poker provider in Nevada, representatives of Z4 expressed confidence in their poker platform, indicating that it will include several innovative features decidedly absent from current online poker offerings.
CTO of Z4 Eric Colvin stated,
The technology in the online poker industry has hardly moved in over a decade. We plan on launching something that hopefully will be greeted with a sigh of relief by the community – something that will be disruptive to the existing technology. Z4 hopes to achieve this by uniting traditional real-money Internet gaming with the social gaming experience.
The company has yet to confirm a launch date, although all signs point to the free-money client being ready sometime before Q2 2014. Before Siena can house Z4’s poker product, it must first be approved by Nevada’s gaming committee.