World Series of Poker (WSOP) recently made official announcements regarding the poker operator’s plan to merge its Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada players as from May 1. The latter two have been operating their own online poker networks independently for about five years now but thanks to Multi-State Internet Gaming Association’s (MSIGA) framework, they will finally be able to indulge in cross-border online poker liquidity sharing. There are currently three member states of the MSIGA with Delaware being the third arm of this network.
With Pennsylvania’s drive to realize a sustainable, legalized and regulated online poker industry by the end of the year, the issue of interstate poker is quite relevant to the Keystone state as well. Online poker was legalized in the state as part of its multi-faceted gambling expansion package and already the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has already begun accepting applications from operators. Also, it is highly anticipated that Pennsylvania will eventually be part of the multistate poker agreement.
While the exact time for the Pennsylvanian online poker industry’s debut is yet to be announced, the regulators have three months – or 90 days – to make decisions pertaining to the first round of applications. As such, it is certainly not too early to start contemplating the future of the expanded multistate online poker network.
Being a Keystone in a Multistate Agreement
Suppose Pennsylvania decides to go with the idea of being part of a multistate online poker network, it will be a breeze simply because the state’s online gaming laws already has provisions for online poker liquidity sharing in place. Case in point, one of the clauses in Pennsylvania’s iGaming law gives the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board the authority to be part of “interactive gaming reciprocal agreements” with other states – doesn’t this sound like the MSIGA?
There are several other sections that make the idea of Pennsylvania being part of a multistate online poker liquidity sharing pool not only possible but also very likely. In retrospective, Pennsylvania is more than capable of supporting and sustaining its own online poker network. However, as part of the interstate online poker agreement, Pennsylvania’s iGaming industry will function better while at the same time acting as a keystone to the agreement.
At the moment, Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have a total of 13 million residents which is about the same as Pennsylvania’s total. Thus, adding Pennsylvania to the MSIGA network will double its reach and this is a great thing for all the states that will be involved – the combined traffic will exceed the sum of the individual state markets in short order. Also, with more players in the network, there will be more incentive to play which will, in turn, culminate in longer play times and larger prize pools. This alone will go a long way in encouraging states like New York and Connecticut, where regulated online poker could soon be a reality, to be part of this burgeoning and lucrative agreement.