THE WAIT IS OVER

September 19, 2013 - 09:19:19 AM EST  | 

THE WAIT IS OVER
LAS VEGAS (September 16, 2013) – Beginning Thursday, September 19, Nevadans and the nearly 40 million annual visitors to the state enter a new era of poker as the world’s most-trusted, oldest and most prestigious poker brand – the World Series of Poker (WSOP) – offers real-money online poker in the United States in the State of Nevada for the first time – exclusively at WSOP.com.

From Elko to Reno, Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe, Henderson to Mesquite, Boulder City to Carson City, Summerlin to Spring Valley, and Paradise to Pahrump – whether a resident or just visiting, anyone of legal age in the Silver State with an internet connection and a mobile phone can now play real money online poker with the game’s most trusted brand, at WSOP.com. Participants must be 21 years old or older, age-verified and vetted through our responsible gaming screening. 

WSOP.com will be the exclusive destination for online players in Nevada to win seats into the land-based World Series of Poker, which has given away more than $1.8 billion to players during its history, including more than $197 million in 2013 alone.  WSOP.com will offer satellite and ladder tournaments that could qualify a player for a seat at the $10,000 WSOP Main Event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the price of a movie ticket.  WSOP.com kicks off its unique offering with an opportunity for players of all skill levels to win their way to the WSOP Europe (WSOPE) in Paris, France, with a €10,000 WSOPE Main Event seat and $3,000 in spending money up for grabs for the live land-based event October 19 in Paris.

“This is a historic moment for our company,” said Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) CEO Mitch Garber.  “A state-of-the-art poker offering from one of the most established and regulated operators in the United States, is finally here.  We have taken the 43-year-old World Series of Poker brand and combined it with the Caesars Entertainment portfolio of assets to provide consumers with what we believe will be an unrivaled poker offering to satisfy today’s technologically savvy consumer. We will bridge land-based and online gaming in ways that have never been seen before.”

When WSOP.com launches, the offering will be in the Field Trial stage of development, a period in which CIE and the Nevada regulatory authorities will closely monitor all facets of the operation.  Nevada regulators will have final authority to approve the technology and move WSOP.com out of Field Trial.  There is no set timetable for the Field Trial phase and WSOP.com expects its offering to be consistent during and after this phase.  The public can play on the site during the Field Trial stage.

“This opens up a whole new category for the WSOP brand, enabling us to connect with consumers year-round and reach them where they are most today – on digital devices,” said WSOP.com’s General Manager of Online Poker Geoffrey Stewart.  “We have high standards, we know our players do as well, and we believe everyone will be impressed with WSOP.com once they get the chance to play and experience its exceptional benefits and rewards.”

At launch, the WSOP.com real-money poker offering will be available to both PC and Mac Users and will offer:

  • Cash games, Sit & Go’s, Satellites and Multi-table Tournaments
  • Buy-ins for cash games that start as low as 1¢-2¢ and tournaments that start at $1.10
  • Daily $100 and $25 freerolls for players of all levels
  • Limit and No-Limit Hold’em with full table and short-handed games, plus the popular Omaha variant will be offered, including Omaha Hi-Lo, as well as Seven Card Stud
  • Deposit methods including ACH (e-Checks), Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards and withdrawal methods including ACH and paper checks.

WSOP.com will also roll out a comprehensive marketing blitz to support the Nevada launch.  The approach will be multi-faceted including online, offline and cross-marketing tactics.  From television spots in major sports programming, to shows like Breaking Bad and Jimmy Kimmel Live, to branded room keys and poker rooms in our Nevada-owned properties, CIE will utilize a broad array of tactics to enlighten consumers and property guests of WSOP.com’s new product offering.  As a proud member of the local Las Vegas community, WSOP.com will also support our local sports teams with sponsorships of the Las Vegas Wranglers & Las Vegas 51s and ad-support in the UNLV Rebels basketball telecasts.

WSOP.com will leverage Caesars Entertainment’s industry-leading loyalty program – Total Rewards – to direct mail and database market to more than 44 million members of the program. Following the lead of Total Rewards, WSOP.com will launch with its own loyalty program, called the Action Club, and will recognize and reward online poker players with loyalty points (WSOP Points) for each hand or tournament they play. The Action Club Rewards currency can be redeemed for cash to buy into online ring games or tournaments or they can be converted into Total Rewards credits to use for discounted room nights, dining credit, show tickets, merchandise or even WSOP tournament buy-ins across all Caesars-owned properties. Additionally, given the close ties with Total Rewards, Action Club members will have the ability to earn casino status in the Total Rewards program based on their online play.

The site will offer a series of outstanding launch promotions including $700 in Welcome Week Freerolls for new registrants, $1,000 and $2,500 nightly guaranteed tournaments, and a special Sunday tournament each week beginning September 29 and guaranteeing $15,000 in payouts. 

The site’s tent pole launch promotion will be the WSOP.com Online Championships, a series of nine tournaments with $500,000 in added money.  The WSOP.com Online Championships will heat up in October and will see nine different winners get the opportunity to participate in the first-ever “Online Nine” to coincide with WSOP’s land-based Main Event finale, the November Nine, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 4-5, 2013.  This type of promotion perfectly encapsulates the synergy between offline and online that we believe will be achieved by the WSOP and WSOP.com.

“As a long-standing World Series of Poker employee it is gratifying to see this day upon us,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.  “Our players have played an important part in the success of the World Series of Poker the past decade, and we will work very hard to cultivate a strong poker community and positively represent the game of poker in the online world as we have in the land-based environment.”

In 2009, Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) created an interactive company – Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) – and brought in Garber, a 20-year gaming industry veteran and former CEO of PartyGaming plc, to lead the company. CIE is now one of the world’s leading interactive social and mobile casino-themed game providers and is making its debut in the real-money online gaming space in the United States by launching in the State of Nevada on September 19.  It was nearly 76 years ago that William F. Harrah opened a small bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada – and now – the first online offering from the company will also be in Nevada.

Caesars (then Harrah’s) acquired the WSOP brand in 2004 and has hosted the land-based tournaments at its Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino property ever since, helping increase the event’s participation and prize pools tenfold during its almost decade of ownership. It has also expanded the brand domestically and globally, including running the 22-stop WSOP Circuit Tour across land-based venues in the United States and Canada, creating the World Series of Poker Europe in 2007 and World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in 2013.  In addition, the WSOP brand has long been available digitally with free-to-play poker offerings, including console games, (including, most recently, in partnership with Microsoft’s Xbox platform), mobile games, social games and a downloadable PC-based offering.  Of course, most know the WSOP from its decade-long relationship with ESPN, the exclusive telecast partner of the WSOP tournament series.

The WSOP opened up its first real-money online poker website in the regulated United Kingdom market in 2009 in partnership with 888 Holdings, whose software continues to power the UK offering and will also power WSOP.com’s Nevada poker client.

In order to begin playing on WSOP.com, players should go to www.WSOP.com and follow the instructions to register and download the poker client.

WSOP.com officially launches at 9:19 am PT on September 19.


FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release includes “forward-looking statements.”  You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements contain words such as “may,” “will,” “project,” “might,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “estimate,” “continue,” “pursue,” or the negative or other variations thereof or comparable terminology. In particular, they include statements relating to, among other things, the date when WSOP.com online poker real money will launch and any synergies between offline and online that will be achieved by the WSOP and WSOP.com. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events.
You are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified, and, consequently, the actual performance of CIE and the synergy between offline and online that we believe will be achieved by the WSOP and WSOP.com may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.   Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. CIE disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date stated or, if no date is stated, as of the date of this press release.

ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker's longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970.  In 2013, the event attracted 79,471 entrants from 107 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $197 million in prize money.  In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe.  In 2013, the WSOP successfully added WSOP Asia-Pacific in Melbourne, Australia, and launches real-money online poker in Nevada via WSOP.com. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.WSOP.com.

ABOUT CIE
Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (CIE) was formed in 2009 and is one of the world’s leading interactive social and mobile casino-themed game providers.  CIE also owns the World Series of Poker, the largest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world, with mobile and Facebook game offshoots, and the recently-launched World Series of Poker: Full House Pro on the Microsoft Xbox platform.  In addition, CIE owns Playtika and Buffalo Studios, two social games developers with popular titles that include Slotomania, Slotomania Adventures, Caesars Casino, Bingo Blitz and Bingo Rush. CIE also licenses its brands in legal real money gaming jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. CIE is actively pursuing further expansion and acquisitions to build upon its capabilities and product portfolio, and plans to launch real-money online gaming in Nevada and New Jersey. CIE is majority owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the world's most diversified provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. As of June 30, 2013, Caesars owns, operates or manages through various subsidiaries 52 casinos in six countries, primarily under the Harrah's, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names. For addition information regarding please visit: www.caesarsinteractive.com.  


 
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Seth Palansky – WSOP.com Editor-In-Chief


About the author: The World Series of Poker's official website, WSOP.com has been under its parent company's editorial control since October, 2009, when Seth Palansky became the website's first Editor-In-Chief.

Palansky, who had been with the WSOP's parent company, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (CIE) since its inception in May, 2009, took over the reins of the website from previous editorial provider, Bluff Magazine, who managed the site from 2006-2009.
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