[toc]The player pool of online poker players in Nevada could get bigger if new efforts from New Jersey pan out.
Nevada currently shares a player pool with Delaware. However, New Jersey officials are open to discussing an agreement where they join in the shared liquidity too.
New Jersey and Nevada discussing a compact again
Previously, New Jersey was not that interested in a compact with Nevada. After all, the bulk of its customers are online casino players. In Nevada, there is only online poker and no online casinos.
However, now New Jersey is changing its tune. June was a historically awful month for online poker in the Garden State. While the online casino industry continues to grow and expand, poker is not just stagnant, it is getting smaller.
In a recent interview with Global Gaming Business Magazine, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Chairman David Rebuck acknowledged he changed his tune on Nevada liquidity:
“I have re-opened dialogue with AG Burnett (chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board) to determine if we can get an agreement to share liquidity for online poker. But since 90 percent of our revenue comes from online casino games other than poker, it really doesn’t matter too much until Nevada allows all casino games online.”
Rebuck is correct that, with the small pool of Nevada players, it would not be too much of a boost to the industry as a whole. For poker though, it could be a big boon for Nevada especially.
The Silver State can only sustain one site, WSOP.com. There are only a couple hundred active players at a time. Many of the low stakes online cash games are the same dozen or so players all sitting at multiple tables. If New Jersey players joined the fray, it could make a major difference.
Server location the key to online poker liquidity
Recently, Rebuck and New Jersey’s deal to share liquidity with British sites fell through. The problem with the deal is that current New Jersey gaming law stipulates all servers must be based in Atlantic City.
British sites were not about to upend operations and move servers across the Atlantic. If Nevada and Deleware want a compact with New Jersey though, they would have to relocate servers as well.
Given WSOP.com’s existence in both New Jersey and Nevada, however, the server issue might be easier to address than the British sites. The Nevada Gambling Control Board would need to be okay with any such adjustment.
Lesniak’s proposed bill offering new hope for liquidity
While individual states with online poker struggle to pay the bills, liquidity seems like the best hope to grow their respective industries.
A new proposal from New Jersey state Senator Ray Lesniak could solve the server problem. Lesniak told the Associated Press he intends to draft legislation to revise the server mandate, opening up New Jersey to national and international liquidity partners.