WSOP Debuts New Online Registration Process

Updated: April 30th, 2016 by Dev Ops

With May at the doorstep, attention is turning once again to Las Vegas, where preparations continue for the 47th annual World Series of Poker.  The WSOP and parent company Caesars Entertainment have been busy through the winter and spring making the usual rounds of improvements and adjustments to the world’s largest poker series, and one of the most important enhancements for poker players has just been announced: An overhauled online registration process.

wsop-logoPrior to this year, the WSOP’s long-ranging plans to offer a full suite of online-registration process have been hampered by many of the same US-centered banking and legal restrictions that have hamstrung all sorts of online payment processes in the past, particularly any payment forms associated with gambling activity.  US-based banks and payment processors had shied away from the niche for years, but 2016 marks the year when the WSOP has really linked up its land-based poker extravaganza to the online banking world.

Just yesterday, the WSOP announced that it has partnered with Genesis Gaming Solutions, Inc., the same company known for the Bravo band tournament clocks well known at live poker venues.  The WSOP and Genesis are teaming up to provide a new online registration process that directly ties into the WSOP’s own  registration software. According to a WSOP statement, “This process allows any participant that registers online in advance for their selected event(s), to avoid visiting the registration cage once on-site at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.”

Genesis will be hosting the online-registration capabilities independent of the WSOP.com site, at http://www.bravopokerlive.com/venues/wsop/.  Independent, one-time registration will be required, along with prior registration into Caesars’ long running “Total Rewards” program, which just about anyone who has played in a WSOP event is already part of anyway.

Basically, the online process will allow its users to skip the horrendous registration lines that have plagued the WSOP for years.  As big as the WSOP is, the host Rio Convention Center is a finite space, and registering players and processing payout have been the twin bogeymen processes of the WSOP for years.  Quoting from the WSOP’s statement, this sounds just a bit easier:

Once the participant completes the online process (including sending in payment) for one or more events, they then only have to show up in the Rio Convention Center “Rotunda Area” Fast Pass Total Rewards Desk one hour prior to their event’s start, to show proof of identification and have their identity verified. If the method of payment is credit card, the participant must also present the credit card used for the online registration. Once verified, the participant will receive seat assignments and receipts for any and all event(s) this participant has registered for and can proceed to their starting room, table and seat at the participant’s leisure.

As noted, one of the nicest enhancements to arrive this year is that players will be able to register for some of the smaller events ($1,500 and less) with a credit card.  That’s a WSOP first in itself, though other payment forms such as cash, verified checks, and wire transfers will still be needed for the higher-priced events.  The $1,500 cap on credit-card buy-ins shows that the there’s still hesitancy within both the gaming and banking industries to allow indiscriminate use of credit cards.  That’s probably a good thing and shows restraint and responsibility.

Anyhow, here’s the complete list of payment options that attendees can use in 2016:

  • Wire-transfer (requires registration at least 14 days prior to event’s start date)
  • Cashier’s Check (requires registration at least 14 days prior to event’s start date)
  • Credit Card – for buy-ins $1500 and under (requires registration at least 72 hours prior for first time use) — Visa MasterCard, Discover and Diners Club Only

The WSOP also notes, “Once a credit card has been verified for WSOP 2016, this same card can be used for online registration until the end of late registration for any event without any waiting period required.
Once a participant has gone through the complete online registration and in-person verification process, they will then be able to continue to register and pay for events online if they properly fund those transactions and can then utilize the ‘WSOP Fast Track Kiosks’ to print seat cards and receipts.”  The WSOP also hastened to add that credit-card registration can be used -only- online.  Plastic’s still not accepted at the regular registration booths.

These new “Fast Track Kiosks” promise to be the other neat addition to the scene.  These will be the automated outlets where players can print their waiting, pre-paid seat cards, thus avoiding the traditional registration lines.  The WSOP has not specified how many kiosks will be in use throughout the Rio.

The 47th WSOP, with 69 bracelet events leading a stuffed seven-week schedule, runs from May 31st through July 18th, 2016.

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