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The 6 States Most Likely to Launch Online Poker

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The 6 States Most Likely to Launch Online Poker

For the past decade, real-money American online poker has been fully legal, regulated, and lives in three states: Nevada (launched in 2011), Delaware (launched in 2013), and New Jersey (launched in 2013). ).

Over the next ten years, progress was excruciatingly slow. In 2014, Delaware combined its liquidity with Nevada, resulting in the first multi-state online poker network. New Jersey signed this pact, called the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA)in 2017.

But players had to wait until 2019 for more states to open up. Pennsylvania entered service in 2019 and Michigan followed suit in 2021. Only the latter of the two signed MSIGA but has not yet allowed online poker operators to connect their operations with those of other states.

So where will online poker be offered next?

Looking back on the past ten years, it would be foolish to be optimistic about the continued proliferation of safe and regulated online poker in the United States. Major developments – laws changed, regulations drafted, operators licensed, shared liquidity approved – have consistently fallen short of even modest forecasts.

That said, there are still crucial developments to watch. Two states have passed online poker legislation and could finally see the launch of its first operator. More and more states are seriously considering regulating online casinos and poker in the coming year. Here, fuse poker looked the six states most likely to launch online poker soon.

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1. West Virginia

Online poker, alongside online casinos and sportsbooks, has been legal in West Virginia since 2019. Yet despite five online casinos in WV and nearly a dozen sportsbooks, there are no of online poker applications.

This is likely because of the state’s small population – around 1.8 million. The state would become much more attractive to poker operators if it joined the MSIGA – a multi-state gaming compact that includes Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey. A prominent gaming law attorney said he thinks West Virginia could join the deal before Pennsylvania.

The West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC), which regulates gambling in the state, has also expressed interest in joining a multi-state pact like MSIGA.

If that were the case, licensed online casinos with an online poker presence in other markets would likely be looking to tackle online poker. BetMGM Poker US, already operational in Michigan and New Jersey, is very likely to launch in WV; Caesars (under the WSOP US brand) will also be interested. FanDuel’s parent company, Flutter, is also expected to look for a way to launch PokerStars.

2.Connecticut

Like West Virginia, Connecticut is a state where online poker is legal (since 2021), yet none of the operators deployed in the state offer it. But that’s where the similarities end.

Connecticut’s gambling regime does not currently allow shared liquidity. So if the state is interested in joining a multi-state pact like MSIGA, lawmakers must first amend the state’s gaming laws. State law appears to bundle online poker with online casino gaming – a typical arrangement in many states.

The state has issued master betting licenses to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe, which own and operate Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun respectively. The licenses allow each tribal casino to have “a sports betting skin and an online casino,” according to Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection spokeswoman Kaitlyn Krasselt (CDCP).

Foxwoods entered into a partnership with DraftKings, while Mohegan Sun entered into an agreement with FanDuel. Since neither operator operates an online poker platform, there is no online poker in Connecticut.

Despite repeated requests for clarification from the regulator, it is still unclear how the CDCP defines “skin” and “operator”. In April, Krasselt said “the law does not allow multiple operators to be associated with a license.”

This would seem to preclude the idea of ​​PokerStars, or perhaps another Flutter brand with a poker platform, running the online casino and poker at Mohegan Sun and keeping FanDuel as the online bookmaker.

3.Kentucky

Kentucky lawmakers have been trying to pass legislation allowing online poker and sports betting for three years.

Although online poker supporters failed in 2020, 2021 and 2022, they promised to try again in 2023.

Passing any gambling legislation will be a complex lift in socially conservative Kentucky. Last session, lawmakers couldn’t even agree on how to spend a $300 million settlement from PokerStars to settle an 11-year dispute with the state over online gambling. in Kentucky between 2006 and 2011.

But Kentucky could also allow short-term online gambling lest it leave millions in tax revenue on the table for other states. By early 2023, Kentucky will be almost entirely surrounded by other states with some form of online gambling (with one exception: Missouri).

4.Indiana

Another conservative state in the online poker mix is ​​Indiana, which has offered online sports betting since 2019. Legislation that would expand gambling beyond sports betting has since been introduced, but every effort has failed.

The latest attempt included two bills, House Bill 1356 and House Bill 1337, which were introduced in January. Representatives Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville) and Ethan Manning (R-Logansport) presented the former, while Representative Alan Morrison (R-Brazil) drafted the latter.

Both bills were later referred to the House Committee on Public Policy, but did not pass a first reading by the committee.

The senses. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), Chris Garten (R-Charlestown) and Ronald Grooms (R-Jeffersonville) have introduced similar legislation to allow online poker in 2021. Senate Bill 417 has been referred to Committee Senate of Rules and Legislation. Procedure but did not go further.

Supporters have vowed to try again in 2023.

5.Illinois

Like neighboring Indiana, Illinois has offered legal online sports betting since 2019. An effort to expand online gaming to include casino games and poker failed in 2021.

House Bill 3142, aka the Internet Gaming Act, would have allowed land-based casinos and racetracks in the state to have up to three skins for online casino games. The bill also provided for a tax rate of 12%.

Representatives Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) and Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) introduced HB 3142 in February 2021. After its first reading in the state House of Representatives, the bill was referred to the committee of the rules of procedure. It was assigned to the House Executive Committee and referred to the Rules Committee in March 2021, but made no further progress.

HB 3142 would also have allowed the state to join a multi-state pact like MSIGA for poker. The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) “may enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to facilitate, administer and regulate approved multi-jurisdictional Internet gaming, including, but not limited to, poker.”

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6.Iowa

Sports betting also arrived in Iowa in 2019. Unfortunately, no legislative action has been taken since then to expand the games to online casino games or poker.

But both verticals are clearly on the minds of operators in the state and its regulator, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

According to an October 6 report from the Iowa Legislative Services Agency (LSA), the IRGC at its September 29 meeting, approved a request from Diamond Jo Casino to Dubuque to modify and restate its online market access agreement with FanDuel.

“One item included in the amendment was a provision that allows [FanDuel] have priority in operating an online casino or online poker game in the event that such future legislation were to pass that allows online gambling,” LSA says the report.

FanDuel operates retail and online sports betting at Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque. He also runs a retail sports betting site at the Diamond Jo Worth Casino in Northwood.