Before it became reality, one of the more romanticized aspects of regulated US online poker was future interstate pacts between states. Such a proposal would create bigger player pools and tournaments, thus leading to benefits for everybody involved.
Thanks to Delaware and Nevada, interstate online poker is now upon us less than a year after Nevada became the first US state to offer internet poker games. Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval met Tuesday to finalize a deal whereby both states will combine player pools.
“This multi-state Internet agreement is the first ever of its kind,” Sandoval said of the deal. “I consider this a landmark intersection in the road of gaming history… (Nevada is) proud to have the first state as our first partner.”
Now, in terms of pure numbers, this isn’t exactly the world’s biggest deal. Delaware online poker is only pulling in about $150k per month while Nevada’s poker market is estimated to be earning between $200 and $500k. Put this together and you’re looking at somewhere between $250k and $650k a month, if things were to remain the same (numbers will probably increase a little).
However, the real news of this pact is that interstate poker has kicked off. And we can only expect the player pool to grow as more and more states legalize the game. Sandoval indicated this by saying, “We hope additional states do participate. We all benefit if more states participate.”
The only other state that currently offers online poker is New Jersey. But all reports indicate that the Garden State isn’t really interested in joining Delaware or Nevada right now. They’re pulling in almost $10 million a month, so New Jersey officials don’t feel the need to link up with two much-smaller operations.
Perhaps when other states like California start entering the fray, New Jersey will get interested. And subsequently, US online poker will grow much larger at this point. But for now, it’s just nice that the first interstate pact has been made.