There is no vertical online gaming sector more affected by market size than online poker. Having access to twice as many potential players usually means that an online casino or sportsbook will do twice as much business, but the effect for poker is far greater. Without enough players at the tables, the games dry up, making it difficult for operators in smaller markets to offer a wide variety of formats and betting levels. Tournament guarantees are also all the more important the larger the market.
All this means is that more traffic is in itself a selling point for the poker rooms. This is a problem for the burgeoning online poker market in the United States, where gambling laws are enforced state by state. For small states in particular, this can make online poker impossible; even if they legalize it, they may not have the population to make launching a site worthwhile.
One solution is to share the traffic between states, but that’s easier said than done. It requires that the states in question agree on the modalities of operation and that they do so in accordance with federal law.
Nevertheless, the concept is slowly catching on in the United States. At present, three states have entered into such a mutual agreement, although only one operator – WSOP – was able to take advantage of it. The hope is that in the near future more states and more operators will start this interstate network.
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Nevada and Delaware join forces for online poker
Delaware was the first the state of legalizing online poker in 2012, and Nevada followed soon after. The two markets started independently of each other.
In March 2015, however, the state governors signed a OK share online poker liquidity. State returned was to be selected based on site, but everyone would play in the same swimming pool. The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement was the first of its kind in the United States.
Although he did not really affect the revenues of either state, he established the framework for further interstate expansion.
Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement
During the legislative process, Delaware positioned itself as a hub for interstate games. Partnership with other states was always going to be a need for a state of less than a million inhabitants.
As part of the agreement with Nevada, the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association was formed in Delaware.
The MSIGA Created a uniform set of rules and the governance system of them. It has an open composition, and each state that joins is assigned a seat in the group. plank.
At the time of its creation, the Association had of them members.
New Jersey online poker joins interstate deal
New Jersey also legalized online gambling in 2013, becoming the third state to do so.
It was also the largest, about three times the size of Nevada. As such, he had sufficient cash flow to (mainly) support an industry with a handle licensees. Online poker has not growing up quickly as the honeymoon phase wore off, however.
In October 2017, Governor Chris Christie added his signature to the MSIGA, creating a three-state pact.
In April 2018, the WSOP announced their intention to launch their multi-state platforms on May 1. The pool was put into operation a day earlier, the April 30. The timing allowed New Jersey players to participate in four online bracelet events from their homes this year. Matt Mendez won one of the New Jersey bracelets in 2018.
It is too early to say what the exact benefits will be for all three markets, but total liquidity is expected to increase significantly.
Pennsylvania is dragging its heels
At the end of 2017, Pennsylvania pulled off the Surprise of the Year in the gaming industry and finally pulled off a big online game package. Keystone State became the Fourth legalize online poker.
PokerStars was the first to create a poker room in the state. Since then, BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker and WSOP have joined us. question everyone is thinking about whether Pennsylvania will join the MSIGA. The state has a Top 10 of the population, and the addition of these players would make the US iPoker market much more healthier.
Regulators have not taken a public position on the matter, but Pennsylvania is expected to will join the interstate agreement thereafter. Officials have already worked closely with New Jersey, and the director of games said early on that they were going “hit hardWith Pennsylvania. However, more than two years after the market began to operate, there is still no official word on if and when this will happen.
The language of the law allows for interstate pooling as long as the waiters are located in Pennsylvania. New Jersey has similar language in its own regulations.
Michigan appears to become the fourth
In 2019, West Virginia and Michigan became states number five and six to legalize online poker. West Virginia did so in late March and Michigan beat the buzzer in December, just before the year was out.
Michigan launched online poker in January 2021 with PokerStars. PariMGM Poker launched as the second online poker site in Great Lake State in March 2021. For now, the state stands alone, although a law passed in December 2020 allowed Michigan to join the MSIGA. Wolverine State was due to join multi-state online poker in 2021.
In May 2021, Henri williams – executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), Recount Online poker report there were a few issues that delayed the launch of multi-state online poker. He said MGCB officials were meeting with counterparts from other states as they had to agree to allow Michigan to enter into multi-state agreements. In addition, operators must offer the product, which only one currently does.
No online poker room has yet been brought online in West Virginia. The Mountain State already has some online sports betting and active casinos. However, with less than 2 million residents, it is definitely a state that needs shared cash to support a poker room. This should make him eager to join the MSIGA, but the West Virginia Lottery, which acts as the state regulator, has remained silent on the subject.
Connecticut is another mystery
In the first half of 2021, Connecticut Became the seventh state legalize online poker, as well as online casinos and sports betting. Whether he joins MSIGA or has online poker is a mystery.
It’s a very limited market that will only allow two brands of iGaming in total: FanDuel and DraftKings. Neither has a poker product yet. However, DraftKings is reportedly working on one, and FanDuel is owned by Beat, who also owns PokerStars, he could therefore potentially launch a poker product using this technology.
Connecticut’s iGaming rules link online poker to live dealer casino games. However, the provisions of the out-of-state simulcasting rules for such games only allow it for a limited time until March 2022. If the state plans to join an interstate pact, it will have to first update its own rules. Meanwhile, with a population of around 3.5 million, it’s bigger than West Virginia, but not as big as any other state currently offering poker without interstate traffic.
New Jersey eyeing national and international markets
In November 2017, Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced a bill that would pave the way for expanded agreements across borders.
Lesniak aimed to repeal the New Jersey part game code which requires the servers to be located in Atlantic City. By removing this roadblock, the State would be able to join forces with out of state and international the operators. Essentially, it could open up the world to New Jersey online poker players.
Sadly, Lesniak retired at the end of the 2017 legislative session without the bill making a difference.
Is the Department of Justice getting ready to intervene?
In March 2021, it appeared that the First Circuit Court of Appeal‘ruling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) memo would stay. The court disagreed with a Trump-era memo that interstate gambling, including poker, fell under the jurisdiction of the Son Act 1961. Prior to this note, the law only applied to sports betting.
It is possible, but unlikely, that the case could be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
With this note, the DOJ Office of the Legal Counsel overturned his permanent interpretation of Son Act 1961, reverting to an older position that more broadly covers online gambling. If the revised interpretation is applied to the fullest extent possible, the sharing of interstate liquidity, as currently exists between New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, would be prohibited. This would seriously affect the viability of online poker in less populous states like Delaware and West Virginia.
The good news is that before the compliance deadline last summer, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC) filed a complaint against the DOJ. His fear was that the new opinion would make lotteries with interstate jackpots illegal. The outcome of the case was that the United States District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro sided with the lottery and the opinion was quashed.
The DOJ seized the case Court of Appeal of the First Circuit. He fought Judge Barbadoro’s decision on two fronts. She questioned the correctness of the opinion, but also whether the matter should have gone to court in the first place. The DOJ claimed it never asked the NHLC to cease interstate iLottery’s activities; and so, the court ruled on a non-existent threat.
This case reached a final wrinkle at the end of 2020, when one of the three presiding judges died. Fortunately, the other two agreed and were thus able to reach a verdict without him. They ruled against the DOJ, upholding Judge Barbadoro’s ruling.
In principle, the DOJ could have appealed the case again and brought it to the Supreme Court. However, President Biden had indicated that he would discourage this course of action, and indeed, the DOJ allowed the time window for a call to expire without action. 26 state attorneys general asked the DOJ to go further and officially withdraw its advice, but it did not.
Even so, it looks like the Wire Act threat is over, making it all the more likely that states like Pennsylvania and Michigan will join the MSIGA in the near future.