Nevada and Delaware Sign an Agreement to Share iPoker Player Pools

The governors of Nevada and Delaware signed an agreement on Tuesday which allows the states to share their iPoker player pools. The agreement between Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware and Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada is seen as the first step in an integrated U.S. online poker community.

The plan had been in discussion for months. Nevada and Delaware have laws which allow their land-based gaming interests to create online poker sites (and casinos), which then have the right to sign-up players from inside their respective states. While most online casino games, such as slot machines, work fine as single-player games, online poker requires the participation of a larger player pool to succeed.

Reports about Delaware’s online poker rooms have indicated disappointing numbers. While Nevada might have a few hundred players online at any given time, Delaware’s virtual community might consist of a few dozen people at a time. When the standard number of players at a table is 9 and people in the playing community often gamble at much different betting limits (and on different games), a player pool of a few dozen gamblers is next to unworkable.

Multi-State iPoker Gambling

Because Nevada and Delaware are only the 35th and 45th most populous states, each could have continuing issues signing up enough gamblers to make for healthy online poker communities. Adding a second state to their potential player pool should make Delaware’s investment in online gambling worthwhile. The deal might appear to be a small gain for Nevada, considering the numbers, but Brian Sandoval and his advisors are likely looking at the framework this creates for future inclusions.

Combining their player pools helps each state lure more players in the short term, but it also lays the groundwork for multi-state iPoker for dozens of states. With this agreement, Nevada could be empire building.

When lottery gambling became legal in many states in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s, it was purely a single-state proposition for decades. As more U.S. states legalized state lottos, it became logical to combine player pools into a multi-state gaming network. Over decades of combining, the Powerball and Mega-Millions multistate lotteries came to include 45 different states in their weekly lotteries. Many see the compact between Nevada and Delaware as the beginnings potential poker equivalent.

Poker Rake Shared Equally

Under the terms of the agreement, player pools will be shared equally. When a player from one state plays at a casino in another state, their share of the rake will be shared equally between the two states.

Nevada poker players will be subject to Nevada poker laws, regardless of where they play. Conversely, gamblers from Delaware will be subject to the laws of Delaware, regardless of which iPoker site they choose to use.

Multi-State Framework for iPoker

The framework of the agreement makes it easy for other states to sign up with Tuesday’s agreement. This is an important inclusion in the deal, because it might avoid the risk of two or more competing multi-state combines. As more jurisdictions legalize Internet gaming, they can simply join the agreement to realize its many advantages.

At present, only Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have legalized real money online gambling for poker and casino games. Up to ten states are considering new laws in 2014 or 2015, so the next few months could see several states join in the recent trend towards US-friendly state-licensed online gambling.

Nevada and Delaware Lead the Way

It’s no surprise that Nevada and Delaware would lead on this issue. Any American knows Nevada is the gambling capital of the United States, with its world-famous gambling destination of Las Vegas. Fewer Americans know that Delaware is the center of corporate law in the USA.

Due to their superior court system, 50% of the publicly-traded companies in America are incorporated in Delaware, while 60% of the Fortune 500 companies are incorporated there. The Delaware court system handles much of corporate law in the United States (and beyond), especially in the area of mergers and acquisitions. This makes the state’s leaders quite comfortable in forging new legal precedents, while making it a natural leader in forming a multistate cooperation.

About Cliff Spiller

Steve came to his interest in poker later in life than some; a freelance writer who primarily covers the financial industry, Steve was drawn to online poker by the striking similarities shared between the markets and the games played at poker sites. Steve heads up content areas related to banking, security and currency as they relate to playing poker online.

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