The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) has issued a recommendation to permit online poker sites operating within the state to combine player pools.
Approval was granted at the behest of 888 Holdings, who plans to soon launch a poker room and will also be involved in the roll out of another site in conjunction with a partnership agreement previously brokered with Treasure Island. Representatives from 888 told the GCB that those two sites plan to also share liquidity with WSOP.com, the offering from Caesars Interactive that currently enjoys the bulk of the Internet poker market in the Silver State.
GCB honchos OK’d the plan, but official approval must first be granted by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Regulators from that agency will likely rubber-stamp the recommendation made by the GCB at the commission’s next scheduled meeting on July 24.
Shared liquidity will not be restricted among only the sites mentioned, as other poker rooms that eventually launch in Nevada may also be included in the intrastate network. Thus far, Nevada’s online poker regime consists of Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com, and Real Gaming. The latter continues operating under a soft launch testing phase.
While commission approval for intrastate partnerships is expected in two weeks, Nevada is also preparing to roll out its interstate launch with its online partner on the east coast – Delaware. The two regulated states forged a Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in February that will permit shared liquidity, the first such alliance in the nation.
The player pools in both Nevada and Delaware are restricted by rather low populations in comparison to some of the larger states. The MSIGA makes perfect sense for both. The launch of that scheme does not have a firm date, but sometime in 2014 has been mentioned as a possibility.
Delaware and Nevada hope that other states eventually sign on to the MSIGA. A welcome has already been extended to New Jersey, but the Garden State has yet to accept. However, preliminary discussions to that effect have taken place.
Revenue from Nevada’s Internet poker regime has been lackluster at best, failing to meet expectations since the launch of UP in April, 2013 followed by WSOP.com some four months later. Sharing liquidity via interstate and intrastate agreements may go a long way toward reaching revenue goals. Combining player pools internationally may also one day enter the picture.