In February, Nevada and Delaware reached an agreement to share Internet poker player pools via an interstate compact.
Both states are on the small side when comparing population totals to those of other states. In that regard, the effect of the alliance will likely be minimal on the two states involved who hope to make their historic launch later this year.
But the effect of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) formed by the pair five months ago could one day prove to be a game-changer for the rest of the country. The success of the endeavor in which player liquidity will be shared across state borders could possibly prompt states currently undecided with regard to Internet poker regulation to join the party.
Players throughout the U.S. would like nothing more than to compete in a regulated online poker environment against their fellow Americans in other states, whether those players are located in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida or New Jersey. And that is undoubtedly the plan as envisioned by officials among the trio of states that were first to take the plunge into ipoker legalization.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval admitted as much when he personally extended an invite to his counterparts in other states to climb aboard. Sandoval informed the masses that the MSIGA has vacancies available and those who care to sign on will find the open arms of both Delaware and Nevada.
New Jersey is the top candidate to join at this time as the only other state currently regulated. Preliminary discussions with Nevada have already taken place and there is a good chance that such talks will become more serious in time. Especially considering the recent lackluster online poker revenue totals posted by each of the three states.
New Jersey ranks 11th on the list of most populous states and the Garden State’s inclusion in the MSIGA would be a big deal. Also huge would be sixth-ranked Pennsylvania and its more than 12 million residents. The Keystone State made considerable strides in advancing online poker legislation this year and many insiders expect ipoker regulation to find approval among Pennsylvania lawmakers at some time in the future.
California has also progressed toward regulation in 2014 after several attempts in past years have fallen far short. Unfortunately, California seems destined to restrict its eventual online poker scheme to an intrastate model among its 38 million residents. The ipoker bills currently pending in the legislature of the nation’s most populous state do not include the rest of the country.
However, destinies are sometimes rewritten and a successful MSIGA that includes many states in the future may prompt state officials in California to abandon their leanings toward exclusivity. If greater revenue can be realized by joining a consortium of states, the powers that be in California will no doubt follow the money.