The excitement of Nevada and Delaware compacting to form the first interstate online poker scheme in U.S. history just a few days ago has worn off a bit with the revelation that the time frame estimate of having the system up and running is the end of this year.
Governors Jack Markell of Delaware and Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed the agreement on Tuesday that will allow the player pools of both states to be combined. Delaware Finance Secretary Thomas Cook told wboc.com that it will take some time to get the interstate system in place and has pegged the end of 2014 as doable.
While a state’s population is often looked at with regard to the potential of an online poker player pool, perhaps a more important statistic is those within the state who are of legal age to gamble online. In Delaware, that’s roughly 600,000, while Nevada has about 2 million adults who call the Silver State home.
Both Nevada and Delaware have extended a welcome to other states to join them in their newly-formed interstate online poker agreement. At present, the only state that could accept such an invitation is New Jersey.
“It would be very helpful if New Jersey got into our compact – not only for us, but for them,” said Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor. “They need more players, as well.”
New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak has long envisioned New Jersey as being the hub of online gambling and expressed some frustration to PokerNews.com upon hearing that Nevada and Delaware had already joined forces. While New Jersey and Nevada have had some preliminary discussions regarding an online poker partnership, their long-standing rivalry in attracting gamblers to their land-based gaming operations may prevent the formation of an alliance via the Internet.
“I think we want to be separate from Nevada because we have more to offer with full casino gambling, which brings in additional revenue,” Lesniak said. “We’ll have to pick up the ball and hook up with other states.”
Nearly a dozen states are said to be considering Internet gambling legislation this year, so some options for partnerships may open up for New Jersey in the not-too-distant future. Even though Lesniak does not seem enthusiastic about joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement with Nevada and Delaware at the moment, there is still a chance that it could happen some day.