David Rebuck Says No Interstate Poker Compact Imminent between New Jersey and Nevada
David Rebuck, the Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said his state’s players should not expect to have competition from other states in the near-future. While Nevada and Delaware have an interstate poker compact, New Jersey has no plans to join that compact anytime soon.
No Deal Imminent
Rebuck said that New Jersey’s goal was to increase traffic to its online gaming sites, but no deals are immiment to integrate with other states’ poker communities. While it is legal to engage in interstate gaming if two states have a compact providing for it, New Jersey has more to lose than gain from such an arrangement at present.
Under the interstate poker compact, New Jersey could sign up players from Nevada and Delaware, while those states could do the same from the New Jersey pool of players. New Jersey has 3 times the population of those two states combined, so it would only increase potential traffic about 30%, while giving gaming interests each of those states access to several times the size player population they have now. In effect, it would open New Jersey to raiding from high-dollar Las Vegas gaming companies, who might have the money to market directly to Jersey players.
Talks Under Way
While Rebuck says no deals are “imminent”, New Jersey has had talks with Nevada about integrating their player communities. The way the compact between Nevada and Delaware was constructed, other states willing to abide by the stipulations in the compact can simply choose to sign onto the agreement. It’s possible that New Jersey has clarifications or qualification to make, so the discussion addressed those issues. Despite the talks, no deal is in the works at present.
New Jersey also has had discussions with the United Kingdom on a gaming compact. Such a deal would offer a much larger players community, though international deals are a great deal more complicated. While the Commerce Clauses of the U.S. Constitution allow for states to come to fair arrangements between themselves, international commerce tends to be reserved for the national government.
How to Increase Traffic
One way New Jersey officials can increase traffic to the online portals for Atlantic City casinos is to continue to inform banks and financial institutions the gaming is legal. One of the major problems with last year’s rollout is the high number of Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions which declined.
The block on gaming payments happened because individual banking institutions still view withdrawals and deposits to U.S. facing gambling websites might incur legal jeopardy. In such instances, it’s best to be safe for institutions that have a lot to lose. Therefore, it’s important for the DGE and the online gambling industry to raise awareness in the business community that such gambling is perfectly legal and safe.
Why Poker Needs Players
David Rebuck discussed the need for more players at the New Jersey poker sites, saying, “Regardless of how it is ultimately done, increasing the player pool is a must for the long-term health of the New Jersey online poker market. A lack of players can cripple an online poker site or network, as it makes it more difficult to attract new blood if there aren’t games or tournaments running that interest them.”
Online casinos don’t need multiple players to entertain. Slot machines, blackjack, and other casino table games can be fun with one single player. Poker requires nine players at each table. Poker rooms also need to offer different size betting limits to attract low rollers, middle rollers, and high rollers. Also, poker is more than only Texas Hold’em. Some players prefer Omaha Holdem, seven-card stud, or draw poker. The community also needs to be able to support sit-n-go events, major tournaments, and ring games. Finally, this needs to be done all hours of the day and night.
To accommodate all these needs, an online card room needs thousands of registrants in its playing community. The bigger the potential player population, the better. So New Jersey needs to find ways to increase the potential gambling community on its sites, or the poker rooms will continue to lag behind the online casinos.