Nevada’s online poker industry has experienced quite the week on the legislative front.
First with Senator Dean Heller implying that a federal ban on online gambling (with a carve out for online poker) could be introduced soon, and then the far more real situation that took place on Tuesday when Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a historic agreement that will see the two states form an interstate online gambling compact.
In this week’s Nevada Online Poker Review we’ll get you up to speed on both of these stories and a whole lot more
Nevada partners with Delaware in online gambling
This is a huge story, not because it will change the online gambling landscape in the United States (chances are there will be little change when Nevada and Delaware pool their players) but because the agreement signed by Delaware and Nevada on Tuesday opens up a whole new realm of possibilities in the US.
You see, not only did Delaware and Nevada form an interstate online gambling partnership, but they also left the door wide open for other states to follow.
While joining the interstate group that currently contains Nevada and Delaware may not attract the New Jersey’s and California’s of the world, smaller states now have a greater incentive to pass online gambling bill as the fear of ample player liquidity can be taken off the table.
Here is an excellent breakdown of the agreement from Chris Grove at OnlinePokerReport.com.
Dean Heller’s online gambling ban; will it happen?
Last week Nevada Senator Dean Heller announced that there could be a renewed effort to pass a federal ban on certain forms of online gambling, with the obvious exception of online poker which is legal in Heller’s home state.
If you missed this story you can find the details here, but in this section I’m going to explain the main reason this bill is destined to go nowhere, and what will likely happen to the bill in the halls of the US Senate.
It puts most republicans between a rock and a hard place
Two of the Republican Party’s core principles are state’s rights and social conservatism, and these two issues are on opposing sides of the proposed legislation.
For Republican voters [read as: Primary Voters] voting for this bill will be seen as voting for a massive expansion of online gambling—thanks to the bills carve out for poker and potentially other forms of gambling—while at the same time trampling on state’s rights.
Voting against this bill allows representatives and senators to appease the state’s rights crowd, but it can also be seen as rubber stamping an even larger expansion of online gambling.
Basically, Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t with this bill, and asking senators and members of the House of Representatives to deal with the fallout of pissed off social conservatives and/or state’s rights advocates over this fairly innocuous issue is a tough sell.
What will likely happen?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the bill does get introduced and as per senate rules, sent off to committee. However, I would be surprised, but not completely shocked if some form of this bill passed through a committee. I would be picking my jaw up off the floor if this bill was ever voted on in the senate.
Remember, the committee chair decides what they take up, and the democrats are in control of the committees, so it’s not out of the question that this bill just sits in purgatory for the entire session.
Furthermore, if the bill does get to the floor it will need to get through the numerous amendments different senators would want to attach to it (which could send it straight back to committee) and it would need to achieve cloture before a vote on the bill could even be held.
Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada
After remarking on two major stories above we’re going to make this section short and sweet this week.
WSOP.com Sunday $15K Guaranteed
The $15k Guaranteed at WSOP.com had 82 entrants this past week, creating a prize-pool of $16,400. It looks like Tom McEvoy (unconfirmed) and Christina Lindley (confirmed) made the final table finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Here is a look at how the final table participants fared:
- boomerfancy $4,674.00
- Juantoo3fore $2,706.00
- redmike99 $1,640.00
- mnbass1 $1,312.00
- Mcevoy $1,131.60
- lindleyloo $967.60
- newhippy $803.60
- Forthekids $557.60
- butters $442.80
The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker
Ultimate Poker’s $100 buy-in ($91+$9) $10k Sunday Guaranteed pulled in 115 players this past week, once again, just enough to reach the guarantee, this time with $465 to spare.
- AC Slater $2,658.78
- Ted Sticle $1,862.08
- SinCityLover $1,270.05
- CROOK $946.70
- telemere $732.69
- LoungeMode $568.68
- unlvrebel74 $464.01
- BigHarryLV $359.34
- Slowbedon $252.67
Traffic trends in Nevada
It was another fairly static week for Nevada’s online poker traffic according to www.pokerscout.com. WSOP.com once again maintained average traffic numbers of 110-120 cash-game players; Ultimate Poker ticked down ever so slightly from 75 to 70 average cash game players; and the recently launched Real Gaming is still operating a graveyard.
The word on the street
Pro-Online Gambling advocates getting more vocal
While Sheldon Adelson and company continue to setup their soapbox wherever they are allowed, and scream about the evils of online gambling, the other side seems to have gone to the garage and dusted off their soapbox as well, considering a number of pro-online gambling editorials have been popping up lately, like this one from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.