Tuesday was another historic day in the United States' individual states move to bring regulated, real-money poker to residents by combining player pools. Nevada and Delaware now have an agreement in place that will see the two states join together for an interstate player pool.
A poker-only interstate compact was signed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell at a meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. This agreement is the first of its kind to be initiated, agreed upon, and signed in the U.S. Both Nevada and Delaware have faced the struggles of meeting financial goals due to the small population of each state since the industry's launch.
Delaware's online gambling platform managed to pull in $396,000 the first three months which puts the figures far behind what was expected for revenue during the first year — projected revenue $5 million! Nevada's data hasn't been released and won't be until more operators are up and running in the state. The conjecture out on Nevada's data is that its income from online poker is below the amount expected.
Nevada has had two online poker websites operating real-money games until last week when RealGaming.com announced its launch. Ultimate Poker, owned by Station Casinos, opened the doors in April of last year. WSOP.com, owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, put cards in the air to Nevada residents in September, 2013.
Delaware's online gambling platform is provided by 888 Holdings under the jurisdiction of the Delaware state lottery. A trio of Delaware casinos offer poker games, those casinos are: Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway. The three casinos share online poker liquidity with each other. According to PokerScout.com, the state is averaging only 16 real-money players over the past seven days..
Gov. Markell has provided the following information: Nevada and Delaware players will log into local online poker sites and be able to play in a player pool that is shared between both states. Players in Nevada will remain subject to Nevada law and Delaware players will be subject to Delaware law even though the online poker tables share the player pool.
"Because of this agreement Nevada online gaming patrons will have access to a broader selection of poker games and tournaments and will be able to participate in a fair and reasonably-regulated gaming market," Gov. Sandoval said on Tuesday.
Gov. Markell added, "By combining player pools we will be able to make our online poker offerings more diverse, more competitive and more enjoyable."
The first step in starting the shared liquidity pools is to work with technology partners according Markell — that would ensure the integrity and structure of the player pool. "It is in everybody's interest to push this as quickly as we can," he said. There is no date set at this time for the sharing of player pools between the two states.
PokerNews.com reached out to Caesars Interactive Entertainment on Tuesday and received the following statement from CEO Mitch Garber: "We are very pleased with agreement between Delaware and Nevada. It's another case of forward thinking and an endorsement of the importance of pooled liquidity especially for lesser populated States. As Nevada set the blueprint for regulation, they now are setting the blueprint for inter-state collaboration."
The first state to sign in legalized, real-money online poker was Nevada, followed by Delaware. New Jersey became the third state to legalize online poker in 2013. The Garden State generated $8.4 million in the first six weeks of Internet gaming, which fell below estimations but there is no word out on New Jersey forming a partnership with Delaware and Nevada.
"I've had conversations with New Jersey," Sandoval responded concerning a potential partnership. "We'd love to have New Jersey as a partner as well."
Watch Tuesday's signing in Wilmington, in the following video, courtesy of Delaware Online :