New Jersey online poker players will be able to compete against others in Nevada and Delaware when the first interstate games launch May 1.
WSOP and other online poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware using 888 Poker software announced this week they will soon receive final regulatory approval and should be the first to launch interstate play in all three states.
That means players on WSOP.com or 888 Poker NJ, WSOP.com in Nevada, and the 888 and Delaware Lottery network of Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway sites will start competing against one another starting next month.
Shared player pools across three states
The Nevada and Delaware sites already share player pools under an agreement in place since 2015.
New Jersey signed on to the interstate compact known as the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) this past October. Immediately after, state regulators invited sites to apply for regulatory approval to share player pools. WSOP.com and 888 Poker were the first to do so.
The sites have submitted the games and software to the various regulatory bodies in all three states for testing. They are anticipating approval and are hopeful interstate play can go live on Tuesday, May 1.
‘A huge collaborative effort’
WSOP.com’s Head of Online Poker Bill Rini praised the work of regulators and everyone involved in moving this process ahead:
“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.”
Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery, said he’s happy to be able to offer interstate online poker in Delaware:
“The Delaware Lottery is very pleased to be able to offer Delaware’s online poker players this exciting opportunity to enhance their experience. The Multistate Internet Gaming Agreement has proven to be a great vehicle for allowing its member states to take advantage of such cooperative efforts.”
Becky Harris, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, praised the teamwork involved in getting interstate play approved by gaming regulators in all three states:
“The NGCB is pleased to be part of this collaborative effort between regulators, operators, and the platform manufacturer to achieve the common goal of providing a sound gaming experience for patrons across multiple jurisdictions while still meeting our individual jurisdictional requirements.”
More online poker players
According to a press release, the interstate play will mean more tournaments with larger prize pools, better cash game selection, and wider time zone coverage.
It also means, for the first time, players located in New Jersey and Delaware will be able to play in online World Series of Poker bracelet events from their home states. Until now, entry into online bracelet events was restricted to those in Nevada only. The WSOP is planning to host four online WSOP bracelet events this year.
The 2018 WSOP online bracelet events include:
- June 3: $365 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em
- June 22: $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
- June 29: $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em Championship
- June 30: $3,200 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
Players in New Jersey don’t need to do a thing. However, players in Nevada and Delaware must download a new online poker client to take part.
Additionally, Nevada and Delaware players must create new accounts on the updated software. These players can now withdraw any remaining funds from their existing account, but only until July 31. Once interstate play begins, existing Delaware and Nevada poker software will cease to operate.
Big improvements coming to NJ online poker
WSOP.com says a number of additions are in the works for its network-wide online poker offering, including at its NJ gambling sites:
- $100,000 Sunday Tournaments
- BLAST Poker allowing players to compete for up to 10,000-times the buy-in
- A new and improved player loyalty program
- Bigger guarantees than ever before
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved online poker legislation this past October. The licensing and regulatory process is ongoing. The first online poker sites will likely launch in Pennsylvania by the end of the year.
The next step in growing online poker will be to get Pennsylvania to sign on to the interstate compact. Adding a fourth and even bigger state to interstate play should have a significant impact on the game.