On March 24th, the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association broke the news that Delaware and Nevada plan to form a gambling pact this summer. The pact would apply specifically to poker, allowing both states to share poker tables and thereby grow the total player pool in both states.
This is excellent news for online poker in the United States for a couple of reasons. When this pact goes live, players in Nevada and Delaware will no longer be restricted to playing only with players in the same state. You’ll be able to sit at tables with players from both states.
If you’re not up to date on gambling law in the United States, let me provide a quick background brief. Online gambling is still not allowed at the federal level. However, individual states now have the option to offer games to players within state borders.
So far, three states have actually passed and fully implemented legal online gambling and poker. These states include New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. The challenge for poker in these states is that each state acts as an island all on its own. Players in New Jersey can only play with other players in New Jersey. The same also goes for each other state.
With each state acting on its own, poker sites don’t have the numbers they need to keep many tables running. The states cannot tap into the national market due to online gambling and poker still being restricted at the federal level.
The good news is that states have the option to form agreements like the one that spurred this news story. If Nevada and Delaware do indeed partner up, they’ll be able to share tables and grow the overall market for both states. Players will now have more reasons to join, play and stick around.
It also sets a precedence for other states that are in the works of passing similar legislation. As other states come online, they’ll see the success of the Nevada-Delaware model. They will be more likely to join forces with other states.
If you were around during the glory days of online poker in the US, you may remember how sites like Party Poker, Full Tilt and PokerStars grew to mammoth proportions. They were able to attract hundreds of thousands of players from all over the United States. The games were excellent back then because there were so many players online all the time.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend. If two states are willing to cooperate and it ends up being a success, we’ll see more of this in the future. It’s just a start, but it’s a great start.