Nevada Officials Ready to Team Up with New Jersey in iPoker Gaming

The state of Nevada partnered with Delaware back in 2014 as part of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. The two states would share online poker liquidity and any other states who offered online poker gaming were welcome to get in the action. It took until early 2015, before the two would actually see players from each state taking part in online poker gaming. The shared liquidity has been a success and since the agreement was first made, many have been wondering when the state of New Jersey would get in on the action.

New Jersey never seemed interested, even from the very beginning. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey were and continue to be the only states in the US that offer online poker gaming. Officials of New Jersey did state that they had discussed the option with Nevada regulators but never made any moves to begin offering shared gaming.

Fast forward to last Friday and we see the Governor of the state, Brian Sandoval, commenting on how he is ready to begin working with New Jersey immediately. The Governor was taking part in a meeting with the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee where gaming was being discussed on several levels. The governor commented that he is ready to go and that it would be a win-win for both states if the two started working together.

A.G. Burnett, the Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman, immediately got behind the Governor’s comments, stating that he is ready, willing and able to sign an interstate agreement with New Jersey Officials. On the Nevada side, it is hard to understand just why New Jersey would not be interested in teaming up.

During the meeting, the committee told Sandoval that the state of New Jersey had stated constitutional concerns over the location of game servers for online poker gaming. Burnett replied that this issues is a ‘red herring’ that could be solved easily. The committee could explore the issue before the next meeting in the fall but it seems that politics are getting in the way of New Jersey working with Nevada.

Taking a look at politics could be the reasoning behind why the state has not gotten involved. Sheldon Adelson is a strong proponent of the online poker gaming industry and has taken his campaign across the United States, including into New Jersey. Senator Ray Lesniak has linked Adelson to Governor Chris Christie and even blamed Christie for the delay in PokerStars being licensed within the state. It was also believed that Christie’s failed presidential bids received financial support from Adelson as well.

According to Online Poker Report, an interview on Bloombert TV with Adelson showed that the Las Vegas Sands CEO had spoken with Christie about the bill which provided New Jersey with online gambling regulations. Christie also acknowledged that he had talked with Adelson and had taken trips on the private jet owned by the casino mogul. Christie did deny that he had anything to do with PokerStars licensing process being delayed.

For now, it seems that New Jersey is going to remain on their own and not work with other states such as Nevada and offer shared player liquidity. Other states are showing interest in online gaming and seem to be open to shared player pools with other states. If New Jersey does not enter in to such agreements they may miss out on additional revenues as other states will step in and work with Nevada and Delaware as they regulate and license online poker gaming after legislation is passed in favor of the activity. Such states as Pennsylvania and California are among a handful interested in offering such gaming.