The state of New Jersey has announced that its governor has inked a deal with Nevada and Delaware that will “allow Internet gaming patrons in New Jersey to play poker online against players in those two states.” The two latter states already had an agreement to share their respective player pools. The Garden State online casino market has been bullish since its inception, yielding $196.7 million last year (Atlantic City’s first year-over-year increase in gaming revenue in almost a year) and is expected to increase to $240 million this year, but online poker has had a bearish outlook, so it’s no surprise that Gov. Chris Christie sought for strength in numbers from his Nevada and Delaware counterparts, Gov. Brian Sandoval and Delaware Gov. John Carney, respectively.
“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,” a statement from the Governor of the State of New Jersey reads. “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.” The tri-state treaty will increase jackpots and opportunities for play, and at the same time provide an incentive for operators, who will be able to allow their users to participate in poker, tournaments, and progressive slot games with players in other states where they are licensed, to expand poker online offerings upon locating their gaming servers in the State of New Jersey.
New Jersey has 23 licensed Internet gaming websites, and “stands prepared to approve a game offering for all three states as soon as an operator submits such a product for testing,” Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck said. WSOP, the only operator currently serving both Nevada and New Jersey, enthusiastically welcome the initiative. “We applaud the government leadership and the regulators in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware for reaching this meaningful 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,” their own statement said.
Meanwhile, players in Nevada and Delaware should see increased cash game player and much larger tournament prize pools than they have had access to so far. Liquidity across these two states has been hindered by the relatively low number of players in each, but with the addition of New Jersey players, it will be, as the saying goes, the more the merrier. The aforementioned WSOP should have little trouble adding Delaware to the fold, but said it will not do so until regulators have approved the sharing of poker online pools, which should take a few months at the most, if not just weeks, or even days.