Baby steps. That's politics in America. It takes one tiny step at a time to change laws in the land of apple pie, baseball, and political red tape. In October 2017, three states with legal online poker -- New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware -- announced that they were entering a shared player liquidity agreement. Now, that time has finally come. On May 1st, the three-state pool will go into effect on WSOP.com, which is the only online site that has licensed operations in all three states. Caesars Interactive Entertainment is in an advantageous situation with the entire marketplace all to themselves. Their main brands, WSOP.com and 888Poker.com, will be the only sites to offer a 3-state pool. Perfect timing too with the actual World Series of Poker around the corner.
Three-state poker! Hey, it's nothing to sneeze at, but it's baby steps. The three states involved -- Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware -- represent 13 million people. The online rounders in Delaware are especially pumped. One of the smallest states in the union, with 1 million citizens, will gladly join the player pool of their neighbor. While the nine million or so folks in New Jersey might not see that much of an increase, but it's the bigger thought that counts, right?
Delaware and Nevada were already involved in a shared pool. That effort was fledgling at best. With a combined population of only 4 million people, only a fraction were avid online poker players. The addition of New Jersey to the existing shared pool is a major step forward in the bigger scheme of things.
It might take a couple of decades to catch a whiff of the old-school gravy days of the mid-00s, but more states will inevitably join the shared liquidity pact. One-by-one, the pool will grow and flourish. Pennsylvania finally legalized online gaming and they will inevitably join the shared pool sometime down the line.
Legal online poker might never happen in California in my lifetime, but New York is in play as well as a considerable amount of mid-sized states. We've been in a digital age for at least a full generation now. Everyone is finally coming to their senses with online gaming. Alas, legalizing it is a slow process.
Bill Rini, head of online poker at the WSOP.com, told the AP, "This has been a huge collaborative effort from all involved and it is important to thank the elected leadership and regulatory authorities in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey for their dedication and diligence to help move online poker forward. Everyone has had the end user in mind throughout this process, and as a result, we believe the United States, for the first time in a regulated environment, will have a large-scale multi-state offering that will propel the industry forward as soon as next month."
It's a baby step, but a momentous one.