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Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have been going through an online poker and gambling legislative and licensing process that other states may want to avoid.

The time and effort required in holding a multitude of legislative hearings to get a law passed, investigating gaming companies who apply for a license, and overseeing rigorous software testing that will probably still go to launch with an untold amount of bugs may be more than many states are willing or able to undertake.

There is a solution, however, that would benefit the states who would rather not delve into such unchartered territory, as well as the ones like the trio of states that already have. This is to permit cross-border agreements between states that elect not to operate online poker and gambling sites of their own and the states that have already committed to doing do.

“Not every state is going to try to navigate a complex regulatory and licensing structure,” former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Mark Lipparelli recently told Cardplayer. Instead, what is likely to happen is that some states will make “a change in the law that says something to the effect of that if it’s a licensed entity from another jurisdiction that such play can take place within that border.”

In other words, some states will pass somewhat simple legislation that will permit their citizens to cross borders via cyberspace and participate in online poker and gambling in states that have established and legalized sites. These would not be compact agreements, but rather cross-border partnership agreements highly beneficial to all states concerned.

Player liquidity would be enhanced and revenue-sharing between the participating states would assure that profits are spread around to state coffers. That could include a cut going to casinos, Indian tribes and racetracks who already have a say in the gambling interests of those states. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.

Also, states that are considering online poker and gambling legislation but are reluctant to go the full nine yards at this time can try it out first with the existing regimes in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware. Simply work out an agreement to allow their residents to play online at one of those states for a specified time. In the meantime, while evaluating and analyzing how things are going, the states can work toward setting up a scheme of their own while their state citizens are happily playing at sites of one of the established states.

It’s apparent that the larger states such as California and Illinois will most likely one day permit and set up online poker and/or gambling sites of their own. But why not first use the sites located in New Jersey and Nevada as sort of a litmus test? It’s a way to take a test drive with online poker and gambling without buying the car.

Let’s face it, Internet poker and gambling under the state-by-state approach in the U.S. is moving very slowly. It looks as though it will still be a long time before the majority of the nation will be playing poker at fully regulated sites located on American soil. Cross-border agreements could put an end to that and have many U.S. players playing right along with their fellow countrymen in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada in almost no time.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.