It’s kind of sad that this is something to get excited about, but in just over a week, we might see a three-state interstate online poker network in the United States. WSOP.com and 888 Poker recently announced that they will unite New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware on a single network, pending the approval of their new software by each state’s regulatory commissions. The target date for the shared player liquidity is May 1st.
Nevada and Delaware merged their player pools in 2015. It was a necessary step, as both rank among the smallest states in terms of population, so anything they could do to increase their potential player pools was a good idea. New Jersey, the only other state was a legal, regulated online poker industry (Pennsylvania has legalized online gambling, but no sites have launched yet), was coveted by Nevada and Delaware because of the player base it could add. New Jersey has gone it alone so far – and has done pretty well for itself – but it has finally gotten on the same page with the other two states and will see its players soon share tables with the others.
“This has been a huge collaborative effort from all involved and it is important to thank the elected leadership and regulatory authorities in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey for their dedication and diligence to help move online poker forward,” said WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini in a press release.”Everyone has had the end user in mind throughout this process, and as a result, we believe the United States for the first time in a regulated environment, will have a large-scale multi-state offering that will propel the industry forward as soon as next month.”
WSOP.com and 888 Poker (whose is the software platform provider for WSOP.com) were the only ones who could pull this off, as they are the only ones with a presence in all three states. WSOP.com is the sole online poker room in Nevada. Delaware’s three online poker rooms are operated by the state’s three casino and racetracks, all using 888’s software and regulated by the Delaware Lottery. WSOP.com and 888 also work together in Delaware, competing with the likes of PokerStars and partypoker.
From Nevada and Delaware’s perspectives, the big benefit here is that their small poker rooms will see a noticeable influx of players from New Jersey. It’s still small potatoes in the grand scheme of the worldwide online poker industry, but for Nevada and Delaware, it should be a sizeable leap.
The upside for New Jersey poker players (in addition to a smaller increase of traffic at their poker tables) is that they will be able to compete in the World Series of Poker online bracelet events. While WSOP.com has a New Jersey site and offers all sorts of WSOP promotions, the online bracelet events of the last few years were restricted to players located in Nevada. For the first time, poker players outside of Nevada (albeit only those located in New Jersey) will be able to take a shot at winning a real World Series of Poker bracelet without leaving home.
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