Online Poker on the rise – Some 5 years back after long legal talks and going backwards and forward on the subject of Poker, the first regulated Poker was introduced in Nevada.
The federal Wire Act, which bans betting across telecommunications lines is what seemed to hold up most time as Poker specialists for want of a better word argued the game was not seen as a gambling game as they viewed poker more as a game of skill. That skill they argued was in the fact that you needed to determine if the player sitting across from you may be holding a winning hand or is bluffing — an assessment that is lost in the online version of the game.
There were also a great may fears among the critics regarding the fact that regulators wouldn’t be able to prevent people under the age of 21 or residents of other states from playing the online version of the game, which was exploding in popularity and regularly filling poker outlets across Las Vegas and card rooms in California.
Thanks to technology and geolocation there is far more control with who is and who is not eligible to play. Through registration and comprehensive vetting, it has also made it far easier for Online Gaming venues to determine wheather the player is of the correct age or just taking a chance by giving false information. There weren’t enough online poker players in Nevada to make the enterprise economically viable.
Ultimate Gaming, an offshoot of Station Casinos, was the first out of the gate, introducing online poker play in Nevada on April 30, 2013. But the company’s Ultimate Poker network shut down after 19 months of operation. Caesars Entertainment Corp. entered the market in September 2013 with an incentive Ultimate Poker couldn’t match: the means to win a seat in the World Series of Poker, which drew more than 120,000 players this year – Caesars wsop.com is the only online poker company operating in Nevada.
There was a glimmer of hope for greater player participation when Delaware legalized online poker play in October 2013 and New Jersey followed a month later. But players in those states still couldn’t participate in Nevada.
The answer seemed to be a new compact with a more populous state. Enter New Jersey, the nation’s 11th largest state by population. True, New Jersey’s Atlantic City market has struggled over time, but online wagering is an area in which the state excels.
The eyes and ears of the gaming industry have been focused on New Jersey since December because of its bid to legalize sports wagering. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide that issue any day.
There are five online poker sites now operating in New Jersey, and one of them is Caesars’ wsop.com. The first games involving Nevada and New Jersey players occurred last week, and the company is planning a tournament later this month with a guaranteed $1 million prize pool.
While local players should enjoy the benefits of larger prize pools, players in other states have the incentive that will benefit Southern Nevada’s economy: that ticket to participate in the World Series of Poker here.
Pennsylvania, rapidly becoming a gaming market force, might be the next to strike a compact with Nevada, and there are hints that New York and California may be on the horizon.