Ultimate Poker’s initial year in the US online gaming market didn’t exactly finish out in dream fashion. In Nevada, where they’ve been offering online poker since last April, Ultimate’s player base fell from 180-220 hourly-cash-game players last summer to its current low of 55 players. As for New Jersey, UP’s online poker revenue dropped from $100k in March to $50k in April. So yeah, there’s a little bit of a reason to worry.
So has Ultimate’s CEO, Tom Breitling, hit the panic button yet? Not yet, and he actually seems pretty optimistic about where the US online gaming market’s future is going. Through a video called “Year One: Lessons Learned – Market Size,” Breitling talks about how several factors are currently holding internet gaming back.
The key hurdle that Breitling discusses in the video is “friction.” What’s causing this friction is all of the extra steps that players have to take to play online poker. In the past, the biggest headache that players had involved the depositing process, which usually wasn’t that bad. Now they have to provide a lot more, as Breitling explained with this statement:
People who’d played online poker in the past never had to go through this new, detailed process filled with extra clicks. No company ever before had asked for a Social Security Number or for geolocation information. It was like asking people to take their shoes off and step through a metal detector at the airport after years of walking straight to the gate.
The red tape isn’t the only thing holding Ultimate Poker and other legal US sites back. Breitling covers some other good points in the video, including how very few other states are running legal poker operations. Check out Breitling’s speech below: