New Jersey online poker officials are once again looking at a liquidity sharing deal with Nevada as European countries get set to breakdown their virtual borders.
According to a recent interview with Global Gaming Business (GGB) Magazine, the director of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJ DGE) David Rebuck wants to revisit the idea of playerpool sharing.
Ever since New Jersey regulated online poker back in 2013, talk of sharing resources and players with other regulated US states has been on the table.
Discrepancies Make Sharing Difficult
Although the DGE has always taken a positive stance on the issue, complications and stalled discussions have meant a deal hasn’t come to fruition. This could change, however, but only if Nevada adjusts its iGaming laws Rebuck recently explained.
“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 said in GGB Magazine’s August edition.
As it stands, the two states have contrasting stances when it comes to iGaming. While New Jersey law allows for online casino gaming and poker, Nevada only regulates online poker sites.
Although Nevada’s Gaming Policy Committee discussed the idea of allowing casino gaming back in 2016, the poker-only dynamic remains in place.
Given that New Jersey draws almost 90 percent of its overall revenue from casino games, a deal between the two states wouldn’t be mutually beneficial at this point.
Looking specifically at the Garden State’s June 2017 revenue report, casino games generated $18,497,765 while online poker raked $1,735,634.
Nevada doesn’t currently distinguish between online and offline gaming revenue at present, but total number of players active in the state is markedly lower than New Jersey’s collection of sites.
If any deal is going to be agreed, Nevada would either have to assume a minor role in the deal or the two markets would have to achieve some sort of parity.
Lessons From Europe
This may be tricky, but regulators could be encouraged by recent moves across the pond. After struggling individually for the last three years, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal recently announced a plan to combine playerpools.
In a new document released on July 28 by Spain’s Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), poker sites in the region will have to comply with a number of rules in order to participate in the proposed shared network.
As well as protecting against multi-accounting and money laundering, any Spanish site wanting to share liquidity will have to meet the technical standards as set out by France, Italy and Portugal.
Even at this early stage, there appears to be a number of logistical hurdles for operators to negotiate before playerpool sharing in Europe becomes possible. However, if the four countries can achieve a relatively smooth transition from isolation to communion, it may be enough to push New Jersey and Nevada into action.