NJ and Pa. Compact A Win-Win For iPoker Market

While New Jersey’s online casino market has made huge strides since being regulated in 2013, unfortunately the same cannot be said for its online poker industry which has shrunk from representing 39% of revenues to its current level of just 12%. That is why the Garden State is following efforts to legalize online gambling in neighboring Pennsylvania with great interest, as the opportunity for the two states to subsequently share player pools could prove a major boon for both markets.
At the heart of New Jersey’s disappointing results is the fact online poker needs a high level of liquidity in order to be viable. New Jersey’s population of almost 9 million alone does not have the required mass to make that possible, but the prospects of fielding a functioning market increases exponentially when Pennsylvania’s population of around 13 million is added to the mix. As Borgata Senior Vice President Joe Lupo commented recently:
“Any compact will definitely help. The key is liquidity.. A compact would be great for Pennsylvania and great for New Jersey.”
Furthermore, any iPoker deal between the USA’s second and third largest gambling markets could also have positive knock-on effect nationwide, especially if they then allow other states to join their iPoker compact. John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, has also been hailing the positive impact legalized online gambling and poker in Pennsylvania could have across the US, and commenting on the issue stated:
“Pennsylvania is important because it would be another domino to fall. But it’s not just about them; it’s about whether then New York or Connecticut is next to go. Pennsylvania isn’t a savior, but it’s a good building block.”
While Pennsylvania has to overcome a few challenges before iGaming legislation is adopted, some analysts have expressed optimism that it is still a likely outcome, especially considering Pennsylvania is deperately seeking to plug a huge $2 billion hole in its state budget. In fact, some experts believe Pennsylvania could legalize online gambling as early as this fall.

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