Citizens of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware will soon get the chance to play online poker against each other as a brand new interstate expansion of player pools is set to kick off May 1st. Per a press conference issued on Monday, leading online poker sites will be allowed to go live with a three-state pooling system at the announced date.
The two sites expected to take advantages of these changes immediately include 888poker and WorldSeriesofPoker.com. While it will be especially easy for New Jersey to transition into this exciting new system, Delaware and Nevada internet players will have to go through a bit more work, but the reward will be well worth it.
“The pact will require Delaware and Nevada customers of the two companies to download new software and create a new account to be able to participate. Existing Delaware and Nevada poker software from the companies will cease to operate after this process takes effect. New Jersey players with an existing account will not be affected.”
Bill Rini, WSOP.com head of online poker, was excited for the movement towards larger player pools and the landmark opportunity to expand online gambling that could open the floodgates for even more significant internet casino developments:
“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. 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.”
Director of the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck, who’s been a busy man with major sports betting developments also taking place in the state, expressed his excitement for the bigger profits the pooling will enable:
“This will raise jackpots and provide even greater opportunities for play. It also paves the way for additional states to join and grow the regulated, legal online poker market.”
Attorney Sarah Koch of the Ifrah law firm in Washington wrote on her firm’s website about the appeal of expanding the potential player pool and its impact on online gambling as a whole. Koch’s firm has handled issues regarding internet gaming in the past while working with the Delaware Lottery:
“No matter how sophisticated the platform or how well-designed the user experience, the game will only be successful if there is a critical mass of players online at any given time. And poker rooms need a range of skill levels and buy-in levels. The best way to ensure 24/7 liquidity is to offer the game to a large number of players across time zones.”
While New Jersey will enjoy an easy transition, one minor disappointment for Garden State players will be the inability for them to use a heads-up display (HUD). The state of Nevada doesn’t allow these features, and therefore they would give New Jersey players a perceived strategic disadvantage.
The new development puts an onus on poker operators to build out and expand into other states. Only such providers will be allowed to participate in the interstate pooling. 888Poker maintains WSOP New Jersey and 888Poker in New Jersey, WSOP NV in Nevada and Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway.
The timing will come just a few weeks away from the start of the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. This is significant because the influx of poker tourism and aficionados to Nevada during the event will skyrocket online poker interest and activity.