Delaware Considers Compact with Nevada and Europe
The state of Delaware is considering forming compacts with both Nevada and several European nations. Talks have in fact begun as the fact is that Delaware simply couldn't make online poker a viable proposition on its own. It all comes down to numbers. Delaware may have legalized online poker but it simply does not have the population to create the liquidity for cash games, or the player pools for any sort of decent sized tournament. With a population of under 1 million they would need serious help in creating the amount of players required and that's where the proposed compacts come in. To a certain extent the same applies to Nevada. With a population of 2.7 million, it too would struggle alone. There is a new bill being considered in Nevada at the moment regarding interstate poker and we'll have to wait on that one. However, combined, the two states would stand a chance, and when you throw in an international mix too they should have their bases covered. As yet, Delaware and Nevada are the only two states that have legalized online poker so seem to make a perfect match. New Jersey is of course on the verge of this but it seems unlikely that any compact will be made there. The two states are not really seeing eye to eye at the moment as they battle things out over customer for their land based casinos. It's no secret that the Garden State has been leaking casino customers to neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Delaware and this has created a little bad blood.
The Race for First Place
As to who will be up and running hosting real money poker games first, it appears that Nevada is in pole position. It looks like a two horse race between Nevada and Delaware with Nevada holding a fair lead, however with amendments to the New Jersey bill being voted on this week they are indeed closing in. Nevada could be ready by Spring and it looks like Delaware will be joining them by late September, with all being well, New Jersey entering the foray around the same time. The race for first place may seem trivial to some but it has a fair few implications on the future of online poker in the US. First place is important as it's likely that this state will be setting the terms and conditions for any future compacts, which is a huge deal.