These networks will implement the new model formulated from a liquidity sharing agreement between the states May 1, according to a press release.
Bill Rini, WSOP.com’s head of online poker, said that elected leadership and regulatory authority brought about this huge collaborative effort.
“Everyone has had the end user in mind throughout this process, and as a result, we believe the United States, for the first time in a regulated environment, will have a large-scale multi-state offering that will propel the industry forward as soon as next month.”
In October, New Jersey finally caved and joined Nevada and Delaware in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA), reported Online Poker Report.
This makes it official. The six-month impressive turnaround took half the time of the initial agreement between Nevada and Delaware. That one was signed in February 2014, then enacted in March 2015.
888, WSOP expanding
888Poker is the only online poker operator in all three states, with a monopoly in Delaware (powers the only three online sites in the state) and the power of WSOP.com online in Nevada and New Jersey. The site also keeps its own branded site in New Jersey.
In the short term, 888 will combine traffic across the sites and nearly double traffic in Nevada and Delaware. Current cash game numbers indicate that it will more than double its traffic New Jersey.
As a whole, pre-established cash game traffic and the combined player pools will average out to at least 250 players and more than 500 players at peak traffic.
The intent was to launch prior to the World Series of Poker in late May, but even so, the players in New Jersey can now participate in online bracelet events for the 2018 WSOP. These were previously restricted to players in Nevada, but the additional allowance will keep traffic strong during Nevada’s seasonal peak.
888 and Caesars looking for new player numbers
By combining player pools, 888 and Caesars plan to bring in more players from the other NJ poker sites, bring back players jaded by poor player numbers, and entice new players with bigger tournaments and more cash games.
The various time zones also increase the peak hours in all locales, which could also contribute to cash game traffic.
What does a shared pool look like for players?
For WSOP.com, regulations in New Jersey made determinations of servers within states easy. Because NJ regulations require gaming equipment to be physically located within the state where the gameplay occurs, WSOP and 888 will migrate the gameplay to NJ by May 1.
So, when players log in to their accounts, they will actually log in on servers based in New Jersey. While New Jersey is basically business as usual (software update), players in Nevada will need to create a new account on the combined system.
Delaware players will also similarly create an account and take a software update. Players outside these state or the U.S. will need to redo the identity verification process, as those are solely stored in Nevada.
These players will need to create new accounts and re-upload those documents, according to the FAQ from Online Poker Report.
In effect, this closes the current account and migrates funds, tournament tickets, loyalty points, and responsible gaming limits, sans hand histories and player notes.
Most players can retain their screen names. However, players in Nevada and Delaware need to confirm that these aren’t taken by New Jersey counterparts. Otherwise, a shared screen name will go to the more established player (based on longevity, activity, and reward status).
Managing the technicalities of change
Players can get a head start with the WSOP.com client by pre-transferring. The potential start date of that is April 23. Players will have their account prepped and loaded for launch day. The transfer takes 72 hours.
Those who plan ahead also automatically enter into a drawing for a $10,000 Main Event seat. Players also get a sign-up bonus, 100 percent match up to $1,000 plus a handful of tournament tickets. NJ isn’t left out with a reload bonus.
Logins may look the same; players still log in to clients in their current market.
One visible change will be the lack of heads-up displays (HUD), a tool used by poker players to provide on-screen information to generate poker player profiles.
Because Nevada prohibits them and New Jersey has no stance, they won’t be permitted on WSOP.com or 888 moving forward. Additionally, hand history storage and mass downloading won’t be available to prevent tracking software. Players can view the last 30 days within the system through the in-client replayer.
Players can still play WSOP online bracelet events in NJ or NV.
No other sites in New Jersey (e.g., Borgata and Pala Poker) currently have entries into the Nevada market.