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    Caesars to Launch First Cross-Border US Poker Sites

    April 16th, 2018 | by Jason Reynolds

    Caesars Interactive Entertainment is planning to launch its new cross-border poker platforms in the US on May 1.

    888poker.

    888poker to light up three US states when its new software goes live on May 1. (Image: 888poker)

    Reported by New Jersey gaming correspondent Wayne Parry on April 16, the news is the first confirmed action since player pool sharing was given the green light back in October 2017.

    As part of the new system, players in Nevada and Delaware will have to download new versions of 888poker.com and WSOP.com.

    Crossing Border Will Attract New Players

    After creating new accounts, players in the aforementioned states will be able to take part in shared poker games with grinders in New Jersey who will continue to use their existing set-ups. Assuming software for all sites is accepted by regulators in all three states, the games will go live at the start of May and, all being well, the number of active players should increase.

    “This will raise jackpots and provide even greater opportunities for play. It also paves the way for additional states to join and grow the regulated, legal online poker market,” director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck told the Associated Press on April 16.

    In the Garden State, Caesars’ poker assets currently have a 24-hour peak of just 205 players. Although higher than PokerStars NJ et al, the figures are well short of what Governor Chris Christie predicted when his state first enacted its online gaming laws back in 2013.

    Operators Learning from European Counterparts

    In spite of Christie’s belief that online gaming would hit $1 billion in its first year, the annual turnover in 2017 was $245 million. As well as being short of these early estimates, poker has continued to lose ground on its casino counterpart within New Jersey.

    In March 2018 alone, the year-on-year statistics showed a 12.7 percent drop in online poker revenue. At the start of 2018, the Delaware Lottery reported a $2.4 million drop in online gaming revenue between 2016 and 2017, while Nevada has had similar struggles in recent months.

    By sharing players between states, both regulators and operators believe it will improve profitability. This is a similar feeling that industry insiders across parts of Europe have adopted in recent months.

    Following sustained declines in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, a liquidity sharing pact was agreed in 2017. Since that time, PokerStars has subsequently launched a new cross-border platform in France and Spain.

    To mark the Franco-Spanish launch, PokerStars created a new tournament series called FRESH (France Espania Hold’em). The innovation was an example of how sharing players can result in bigger prizepools and events, something Caesars will be hoping to imitate in the coming weeks.

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