New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware Enter Multi-State Player Pool Pact
In what could be a boost to the existing regulated online poker market in the United States, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, the three states where online poker has been legalized and regulated, have agreed to a multi-state pact to begin player pools.
The office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced the deal with both Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor John Carney that will open digital borders, allowing for New Jersey poker players to play against online patrons in those two states. The addition of New Jersey to the already established pact between Nevada and Delaware will no doubt increase the amount of competition, with prize pools to follow.
“New Jersey has been a pioneer in the development of authorized, regulated online gaming, which has been a budding success since its launch in late 2013,” Governor Christie said. “Pooling players with Nevada and Delaware will enhance annual revenue growth, attract new consumers, and create opportunities for players and Internet gaming operators. This agreement marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for online gaming, and we look forward to working with our partners in Nevada and Delaware in this endeavor.”
In order to have those player pools shared though, each operator will need to be approved and regulated in each of the three states, giving a bit of a head start to 888poker, the only operator currently established in each state.
This agreement marks the latest step in the already established process of player sharing. In January 2015 888poker and WSOP.com, which uses the 888poker engine as its software backbone, began sharing players in limited cash games and tournaments in New Jersey. Then in March of that year, Nevada and Delaware’s pact to share liquidity took hold.
New Jersey, it seems, is eager to get involved and bring more players into the fold. They stand ready to authorize operators for player pool sharing.
“New Jersey stands prepared to approve a game offering for all three states as soon as an operator submits such a product for testing,” said David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
While perhaps not impressive on the worldwide stage, the numbers could be a big lift to the efforts of revitalizing the US online poker community. According to the data from online poker traffic purveyors PokerScout.com, Nevada’s WSOP.com (along with customers from Delaware) saw an average of 130 cash game players online at a time over the most recent 7-day period. The WSOP.com brand in New Jersey (along with their pooled players from 888poker) saw 75 players in games during the same time frame. Combined, the theoretical 205 player pool average would be a jump of over 57%.
“We applaud the government leadership and the regulators in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware for reaching this meaningful agreement.” Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the parent company of WSOP.com, stated in a statement in response to the intrastate agreement. “We will immediately begin efforts to take our existing Delaware-Nevada compact and add New Jersey to the mix by following the requirements established by the regulators so WSOP.com can share liquidity with all three states.”
The participation of New Jersey in multi-state player sharing comes nearly four years after online gaming was originally approved in November 2013.