States Likely to Forge Cross-Border Partnerships
Some states may not be considering operating Internet poker and gambling sites, but may allow their residents to legally play at sites set up in other states.
Lawmakers and other officials in a number of states have been carefully watching the goings-on in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware and can readily see that going through the process to legalize and regulate online poker and gambling is both time-consuming and frustrating. Those states reluctant to get involved in such an endeavor do have an option, however, to add revenue to their state coffers via Internet gaming.
Forging a partnership with one or more of the states that will be launching online poker and gambling sites that permits their citizens to cross borders via cyberspace and play poker in the same pool as players from, say, New Jersey or Nevada. This would be a highly workable solution known not as compact agreements, but rather state-to-state cross-border partnerships.
The legislation involved in crafting such a law would be nowhere near as arduous as that required for running online poker and gambling websites within state borders. The state sending players to established gaming sites in other states would need merely to legalize such a practice for its citizens and enter into a revenue sharing agreement with its cross-border ally.
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After all, if online poker and gambling in the U.S. is eventually operating on an interstate partnership platform as many envision, how many sites will actually be needed? If each state wanting to get involved launched online poker and/or gambling sites of their own, the market may become diluted with too many websites.
It makes much more sense for some of the smaller states to forgo the time and effort involved in drafting legislating, scrutinizing the gaming license applicants, and carefully regulating the industry within their borders. Instead, merely permit their residents to play elsewhere and share in the anticipated revenue.
As things stand now, it appears that legalized online poker will take a long time to become a reality for a majority of Americans. Nevada residents are playing now at Ultimate Poker and New Jersey and Delaware players will also likely be seated at the virtual felt before year’s end. But what about the rest of the U.S.? If we wait for individual states to each set up and regulate online poker rooms of their own, the process may take years as is evidenced by the delays experienced by the trio of states currently going down that path.
Cross-border partnerships would allow legalized online poker in America to spread relatively quickly as long as the legislatures of individual states make a serious effort at passing such a law. Let’s hope that some states that are considering legalizing Internet gaming take a long look at cross-border partnerships instead of full-blown online poker and gambling legislation that includes the operation of their own websites.