Nevada and Delaware online poker just received a much-needed boost by way of interstate player pools, a compact that shares tables across the states that should have a tremendous impact on the game’s longevity.
It’s been 13 months since Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed off on the agreement, and following a series of delays and setbacks due to technical glitches, online poker players from both states can now access the same rooms.
The soft launch period includes pooling between Nevada’s WSOP.com and the 888-powered Delaware sites.
Traffic peaked for the first overnight session at 319 players on Tuesday, which is consistent with weekday averages in the Silver State, but far and away higher than the struggling iPoker environment in Delaware that has attracted just seven cash game players on its weekly average.
While interstate poker will provide a better experience for the those in Delaware that have previously taken up the game online, when or if Nevada might improve its industry remains to be seen. However, should the market mature in the country’s second smallest state by way of increased participation numbers, the pact should be a win-win for both parties.
With the World Series of Poker just two months away, many residents on the east coast were hoping the tournament would announce their inclusion into satellites for poker’s biggest event. According to the WSOP, that won’t be the case.
“Almost everything will be linked together: cash games, tournaments, and sit and gos. But promotions specifically for the WSOP.com player will remain exclusive to WSOP.com,” Seth Palansky, Caesars Interactive Entertainment vice president of corporate communications said.
That means residents in Delaware will need to get off their couch to find their way to a World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. They also won’t be permitted to enter event #64, the first and only online contested WSOP bracelet.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The impact of the Nevada and Delaware agreement could be substantial if more people begin playing on the east side of the country. The compact can essentially go in two directions: numbers can remain stagnant and mimic averages Nevada has been experiencing, or player statistics for both states can rapidly increase if Delaware gets in on the fun.
In isolated Internet poker markets, the player-to-population ratio is about 45 players per one million residents for daily counts.
New Jersey: 43 players per one million residents
Italy: 44 players per one million residents
France: 51 players per one million residents
Nevada adheres to the numerical mean with 54 players per one million residents. The underperforming secluded market that doesn’t fall in line with this trend is that of Delaware where just 7.5 players per one million participate.
With a population of only 935,000, the previously secluded iGaming atmosphere would struggle to support a thriving poker room even if its numbers did follow that of New Jersey and Nevada. Now that there are more than 300 competitors readily available at any given time, it should be the kicker in enticing new players from Delaware to take their poker online.