Gaming regulators in Nevada have tentatively approved a plan that would allow poker sites within the state to share player pools.
The request was made by 888 Holdings, who will soon launch a poker site in the Silver State and are also allied with the Treasure Island Casino. Under the plan as outlined to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) on Wednesday, liquidity will be shared among those two as yet unlaunched sites as well as with Caesars Interactive’s WSOP.com, the state’s most heavily-trafficked site.
The GCB recommended that the plan be allowed to proceed, but the final say will come from the Nevada Gaming Commission at a meeting set for July 24, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The commission typically follows recommendations made by the GCB and there appears no reason why they wouldn’t also do so in this matter.
Poker sites that happen to launch at later dates would also be permitted to join the intrastate network. Regulators likely had such a network in mind prior to the state’s historic online poker launch in April of 2013 when Ultimate Poker became the nation’s first legal Internet poker room.
While the intrastate liquidity plan will likely be rubber-stamped later this month, Nevada and Delaware are also working behind the scenes to make their interstate agreement come to fruition. The two states created the Multi State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) about five months ago in order to share player pools beyond their respective state borders.
The pair of regulated states, both toward the bottom of the list of states in terms of population, will eventually make history by being the first to combine player pools. The goal is to do so before year’s end. Another goal is to include other states in the mix, as the welcome mat has already been put out for New Jersey.
Nevada’s online poker regime has struggled to meet revenue expectations since launching more than 14 months ago. Culling players only from within state borders is one of the reasons why. The failure of credit card companies to honor deposits of players as well as issues with determining the location of those attempting to log on are other factors that have contributed to a less than robust marketplace.
Shared liquidity, both intrastate and interstate, is viewed by many as the golden ticket that would allow Nevada and other states to reach their potential in terms of revenue. Also not ruled out are international agreements that may one day allow players from within the U.S. to compete against those located in foreign lands.
New Jersey already allows intrastate poker networks to operate within its online gambling sceme. Party Poker and Borgata have been sharing liquidity since launching in November.