New Jersey's International Poker Sharing AmbitionsDecember 29, 2017 11:11 am
Before vacating his position as NJ state senator, Ray Lesniak said that he would like to turn New Jersey into an international online gambling hub. However, a number of potential challenges will have to first be overcome before such a lofty ambition stands a chance of becoming reality.
One of the biggest obstacles is the different ways in which individual markets and countries treat their own online poker industries. This could involve either regulating their market nationally, supra-nationally, or where there is no regulation in place referring applicants to an offshore licensing jurisdiction, such as the Isle of Man. Needless to say, New Jersey would have to deal with each of these situations separately, with each requiring their own different approaches by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
Ray Lesniak’s Senate Bill S3536, however, stipulates that no shared liquidity can be established with any country that does not have its own national or state laws governing the industry, which will ultimately rule out NJ state residents playing against players in international dot-com player pools.
This would then leave just a small number of players in countries with segregated player pools to compete against, such as Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal. However, this requires obtaining an individual license from each jurisdiction, such is the case with PokerStars which so far is the only online poker brand to operate across all of these countries.
Then there is the problem with the different tax rates associated with individual countries. If, for instance, PokerStars allowed its UK players to compete against those in France the company would then be liable to pay taxes in both countries, therefore making any liquidity sharing agreement a non-starter. Of course, New Jersey could organize it so that players from each individual countries collect taxes on their own citizens, but then the questions is how does New Jersey get to benefit from such an arrangement.
Quite simply, the influx of new players would enable New Jersey’s poker sites to start offering more attractive tournaments and prize pools, which in turn would ultimately result in a much healthier online poker market in which the game to grow.