Ultimate Gaming closes Ultimate Poker

Ultimate Gaming, the first company to offer online poker in the U.S., announced Friday that it was closing its Nevada operation, Ultimate Poker.

In a statement released by the company, Ultimate Gaming chairman Tom Breitling said online poker revenues in Nevada had fallen far short of original projections, forcing an immediate shut down.

"Moreover, the state-by-state approach to online gaming has created an extremely cost-prohibitive and challenging operating environment," Breitling said in a statement. "These factors have combined to make the path to profitability very difficult and uncertain. Consequently, we have decided to cease operations."

Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are the only three states that offer regulated online gaming.

Ultimate Poker opened in April 2013 and was joined by Caesars Entertainment's WSOP.com and South Point casino's Real Gaming in September 2013. Those three sites combined to win $11.07 million over a 12-month span ending in September, according to revenue numbers from Nevada Gaming Control. But numbers were on the decline.

NGC revenue numbers showed the three sites won only $693,000 in September, their worst month to date.

"We are grateful to the Nevada Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board for allowing us to be the first company to operate online poker in Nevada and greatly appreciate their leadership and support as the first state license and regulate online poker," Breitling said in the statement. "We are working with the Gaming Control Board to ensure a smooth transition for our customers as we cease Nevada operations."

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday that Ultimate Gaming employees were informed of the closing this morning.