Is A New Jersey/Nevada Poker Compact Now On The Cards?September 11, 2014 6:42 pm
This week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called a gaming summit to explore ways in which to stabilize Atlantic City’s declining gambling industry, with one particular comment he made sparking speculation the Garden State may soon throw in its iPoker lot with the country’s other two regulated markets. As reported by Howard Stutz from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“When asked about a NJ-Nev Internet gaming pact, @GovChristie says he’s “spoken ” to @GovSandoval about the idea #lvrj .”
Although no details have yet emerged to indicate how seriously New Jersey is considering an interstate poker compact with Nevada, any collaboration would not be the first of its kind as the two states already have an agreement in place allowing them to share some of their progressive slots jackpots, a concept comparable to merging online poker liquidity.
Arranging the structures necessary for such a move would not be too difficult, either, as Nevada and Delaware already intend to enact an interstate poker compact of their own in the near future, with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval even offering to help other US states organize internet poker industries of their own, stating:
“If there are states that don’t have as sophisticated a regulatory structure as we have, that’s something we can offer. If your state doesn’t have the infrastructure, use our capabilities.”
Interestingly, in the past New Jersey expressed no desire to share its online poker market with any other state, but in light of NJ’s deteriorating gambling industry, Governor Chris Christie now seems more amenable towards the suggestion. Furthermore, according to an article published by pokerupdate, a state requires a population close to 40 million people in order to operate a viable iPoker industry, making the need for smaller states to form compacts and networks all the more pressing.
This finding is also likely to have a major influence on how other US states approach the subject of online poker regulation, as it would appear just California with a population of 38 million would have any success in operating on its own, while the next biggest states are likely to struggle, including Texas (26m), New York (19.5m), Florida (19.3m), and Illinois (12.87m).