If and when Pennsylvania regulates online poker and gambling, it could have a major effect on the fate of iPoker in neighboring New Jersey.
PA + NJ = ?
Officials in the two Eastern states have already had preliminary discussions about the possibility of pooling online poker players. That’s according to a report at NorthJersey.com, which took an in-depth look at a possible relationship between NJ and PA online poker.
More from NorthJersey.com:
David Rebuck, executive director of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, said there is an ongoing dialogue among regulators in Trenton and Pennsylvania about a sharing arrangement for online poker players. Division officials, he said, have told officials in Pennsylvania that a poker compact would help their online poker revenues grow much more quickly than if the state goes it alone.
“We just need a few more states to fall by the wayside [and legalize online gambling] for the ball to really get rolling,” Rebuck said. “Pennsylvania probably is the next state to go, and that will be an interesting time for us.”
Of course, New Jersey hasn’t signed an interstate compact with either of the two states that already have legal online poker: Delaware and Nevada.
But this new report makes the idea of New Jersey online poker liquidity sharing seem like a real possibility.
Good for the bottom line of both states
The result, obviously, would be a a far larger player pool than either state could generate on its own. And the increased opportunities — including more cash games and bigger tournament prize pools — could attract more players to the virtual felt than might play online poker otherwise.
Money coming in from NJ online poker has not met lofty expectations, while NJ online gambling has surpassed the hopes of the state in terms of revenue. PA would like to avoid the former problem, and NJ is looking for ways to give its online poker offerings a boost.
With just three states featuring legal online poker to date, Pennsylvania passing an online gambling law could be a tipping point for interstate compacts, and in creating momentum for iPoker legalization elsewhere.
The latest on PA online poker and gambling
Things have been quiet over the summer as the legislature has been on recess.
But last month, Pennsylvania passed a budget plan counting on $100 million in revenue from a gambling expansion. The plan is for online poker and gambling provisions to be passed in the fall. Lawmakers have called the legalization of online gambling in the state a “no brainer.”
The issue of the legalization of video gaming terminals in private taverns and clubs still threatens to come up when the statehouse considers the massive gambling package.
While things could change in PA when the gambling issues are considered once again, online poker and casino games still appear to be a favorite to pass this year.
And that would be good news for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.