There are a number of reasons why no new states have launched online poker and gambling regimes since 2013 and many center around New Jersey.
Of the three states that have pushed across igaming regulations, New Jersey is the one being watched and monitored closely. Nevada‘s regime is poker-only and Delaware is tiny with a population less than one million, making New Jersey the state analyzed with regard to online gambling progress and success.
The challenges in NJ have been many in the 15 months of igaming operation. Credit card companies not accepting all deposits, geolocation issues where players within the state have been identified as outside its borders, criticism regarding marketing efforts of casinos, and whether or not to license PokerStars have been but a few of those challenges.
While improvement has been made with regard to to some of those issues, the PokerStars matter remains and has lately been said to be the fault of Governor Chris Christie. Some folks, such as NJ Senator Ray Lesniak, are claiming that Christie is holding up PokerStars’ igaming license approval due to his buddy-buddy relationship with Sheldon Adelson.
The belief being that Christie is eyeing a presidential run in 2016 and could benefit greatly by the deep pockets of Adelson, who has tossed millions of dollars to Republican candidates in past elections. Whether or not Christie is putting his own political aspirations above what’s best for New Jersey continues to be a contentious issue and matter of debate.
Other state legislatures that are on the fence about online poker and gambling look at the problems that New Jersey has struggled with and see an igaming scheme that still has plenty of work to do before it’s running smoothly, so to speak. When you get right down to it, is it any wonder why other states have been so hesitant in moving forward?
It certainly would be much easier to wait for New Jersey to sort out the problems that launching igaming brings. States looking for the path of least possible resistance can simply hold out until New Jersey successfully tackles the challenges faced and partners with Nevada and Delaware and really gets the igaming ball rolling.
After 2014 passed without any movement by other states with regard to online poker and gambling legislation, all signs point to 2015 going by in the same fashion. We certainly cannot blame lawmakers in such states as Pennsylvania for taking their time. Letting New Jersey iron out the details before jumping aboard seems quite prudent in avoiding headaches and problems.