The first steps to sharing player liquidity is currently in soft launch for the states of Delaware and Nevada in the two state’s respective online poker markets on March 24th, 2015.
888 Holdings, which runs 888 Poker in NJ and also powers WSOP.com in both NJ and NV cited the “Successful deployment of shared poker network across states of Delaware and Nevada in March 2015 creating significant competitive edge for 888 and its operating partners.”
What this means for Delaware & Nevada players
The interstate online poker agreement was signed back in February 2014 by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell. The combination of the player pools could be the pathway that opens up multi-state player liquidity if other states should come on board and offer regulated online poker.
While Delaware’s traffic numbers are just a drop in the bucket when compared to both Nevada and New Jersey, that doesn’t mean the impact of player pooling will necessarily be so. Seth Palansky, who is the the Vice President of Communications for Caesars Interactive/WSOP.com, goes on to say “DE players won’t be playing in WSOP satellites even when compact goes live. You still will play on DE sites.”
With this soft launch, the pooling will be between WSOP in Nevada and the 888-powered sites in Delaware. Delaware currently has three different online poker rooms, but all share a single player pool.
888 expected to launch another Nevada site
888 is expected to launch another poker room in Nevada with land based partner Treasure Island. There’s no date set in stone for the launch of 888 Nevada, but with the current events of the shared pools in NV and DE, the process may be a priority and launch sooner then late.
There is more behind the scenes work that is expected in order to make sharing player pools to work. Both the Nevada Gaming Control Board/Nevada Gaming Commission and the Delaware Lottery would need to work out any differences in regulations that exist between the two states. Both gaming bodies would need to test the products to check whether the measures protect every state and it’s players.
What this means for New Jersey
David Rebuck, Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey, expressed interest in starting talks with Nevada to possibly share player pools in the future. If that should take place and an agreement can be reached, this would be huge for online poker in the U.S.
The results would probably see WSOP NJ and NV share player pools along with 888 NJ/DE/NV and could provide bigger guaranteed prize pools and more competition for their daily tournaments and Sunday major tournaments. Let’s cross our fingers and hope this goal can be reached by all three states that offer regulated poker.