In February Delaware and Nevada signed a historic agreement that will allow the two states to pool their online poker player bases in a first of its kind interstate compact.
In addition to agreeing to work with one another the two states also formed the Multi State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) which was setup in a way to allow other states to effortlessly join MSIGA in the future, as revenue sharing is based solely on the state of origin of the player.
The agreement is expected to go into effect sometime this summer, and both states are in desperate need of the boost (however small) it is expected to bring to their online traffic numbers.
Why Delaware needs MSIGA
On top of their nearly nonexistent online poker traffic (which can be measured using one’s fingers and toes) Delaware has also started to experience its first period of stagnation/regression.
After consistent month-over-month growth since the state lottery released their first revenue report in November of 2013 Delaware has seen their online gambling revenue dip for the first time in May, as overall revenue dropped 27%, including a 22% drop on online poker revenue.
Why Nevada needs MSIGA
Nevada is currently experiencing a period of plenty, as the World Series of Poker has seen its online poker traffic get a shot in the arm during the six-week long tournament series. But the traffic increase is little more than a house of cards that will soon come crashing down when the poker world packs their bags and leaves Las Vegas following their Main Event bustouts.
When the visitors pack up and head home Nevada will once again be left with a less than adequate player pool to draw from, and despite the above average participation rate in the state, Nevada’s 2.8 million residents simply cannot support a viable, thriving online poker industry.
Don’t expect immediate dividends
The agreement between Nevada and Delaware isn’t expected to be a game-changer, but like everything else in the nascent US market it will demonstrate the viability of such agreements, which could lead to more states joining the MSIGA down the road; most notably New Jersey which has already put out the feelers for an interstate compact/agreement, as consultant Mario Galea told CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggerio towards the tail end of the following interview.
Nevada and Delaware will also have to hash out which networks and poker sites will be sharing players, and whether or not liquidity sharing will happen cross-company or if the operator will need to have an online poker room utilizing the same software in both states.
When it comes to interstate online poker there are still several questions to be answered; hopefully Nevada and Delaware will provide the answers in the very near future.
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