Online poker players in Delaware and Nevada will soon have a larger pool of players as reports indicate that the two states will sign an interstate agreement.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell are scheduled to meet today to sign the historic interstate deal, Delaware Online reported. The online poker schemes of both states could use the boost that the new partnership would provide.
The Delaware State Lottery released revenue numbers for January and despite new online gambling signups for the month of slightly over 1,000, revenue from poker totaled $88,390.48. That was a 17% decrease from the $106,922.76 in December, 2013.
The player pool in Nevada is usually averaging less than 200 cash players among the two sites of Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com. And South Point Casino just launched the state’s third online poker site last week, which would likely result in less liquidity were it not for the interstate agreement that is reportedly in the works.
Delaware’s online gambling regime offers casino games, while Nevada’s scheme is restricted to poker-only. Counting online poker and casino action, Delaware’s three sites operated by Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park did show a revenue increase of a modest $5,000 from December to January from $140,009.22 to $145,276.23.
The bulk of the online player action in Delaware is at the poker tables, with more than 60% of overall revenue attributed to the skill game. Nevada has kept its options open for the possible addition of online casino gaming to its poker format, But Nevada Senators Dean Heller and Harry Reid are reportedly working on federal legislation that would allow online poker throughout the country while excluding casino games of chance.
Heller (R-NV) is of the mind that legalization of online casino gaming would put the hurt on the Nevada casino industry. Reid (D-NV) co-authored the Reid-Kyl federal bill in late 2012 that was also poker-only, but the proposal landed in the muck without ever being formally introduced.
Should the signing of the interstate agreement go down as expected, Nevada and Delaware would also hope to include New Jersey in the mix at a future date. The Garden State is the largest of the three and its online poker player pool is almost three times the size of Nevada. Preliminary discussions with New Jersey had reportedly been addressed some time ago, but nothing firm has yet been established.
Legislatures in other states that may be considering online poker and gambling legislation may be prompted to act quicker once interstate agreements begin taking hold. Online poker players throughout the U.S. are hoping that an eventual domino effect will find the majority of the country legally playing poker online.