US Interstate Poker
Interstate Poker For US Players : Big News & Developments
In early 2014 two of the three states offering regulated poker signed a deal - known as an Interstate Compact - to share players and grow the liquidity for US online poker. Those states were Delaware and Nevada. The agreement is also known as the Multi State Internet Gaming Agreement.
You may notice that the third state - New Jersey - were not involved. Possibly because they have their own long term plans to become the 'global' hub for US online regulated poker in the future.
Until recently all went quiet, until September 2014 arrived and 888Poker stepped up to the plate with the announcement of two website launches - DelawarePoker.net and NevadaPoker.net. Together the two new sites form the All America Poker Network, or AAPN.
AAPN is a shared poker network which will combine the three casinos already operating in Delaware with Nevada's World series Of Poker site. Together they'll offer one platform for poker games across the two states, although the casino games fans in Delaware will be segregated, meaning Nevada will still remain limited to poker only.
What Does This Interstate Poker Agreement Mean Exactly?
Well it's clear that more players means more competition means bigger prize pools....and that may attract more players. It's a win-win situation for the poker operators and players alike. 888's involvement means poker fans can anticipate a great poker playing experience in a trusted and secure environment.
And it's easy for the big operator to make it work technically too. All of the current poker games across Delaware already run on the 888 platform software, and the WSOP site in Nevada could eventually be joined by the other regulated poker offerings there such as RealGaming.
Throw in 888's plans to build and run their own brand 888Poker too and it's easy to see that they look to have made a clever early move to become a big player in the US interstate poker landscape.
Under the terms of the agreement, each of the states involved will get a percentage of the fees from every poker hand played by through a networked website. Local state laws are seen as overriding, hence why the casino gaming rule we mentioned where Nevada players won't be able to get a fix of (legal) casino gambling.
Which Poker Rooms Might Be The Big Interstate Players
And 888 are not just the only operator looking for a piece of the pie. One of the big names in global poker gaming - Pokerstars - have been through an arduous battle to get accepted into the US gaming landscape. Initially they failed, but since their well-publicized takeover by Amaya Gaming their name seems to be getting a more favorable reception from the authorities. As a result, Pokerstars are looking at a real possibility of kicking off an operation in New Jersey.
Such a move would put New Jersey at the centre of the US poker industry , and position the garden state as a potential interstate poker hub in the US. Pokerstars look to have some big plans that would cement this position, particularly the possibility of running the World Cup Of Poker from Atlantic City instead of in the Caribbean.
But don't be fooled into thinking that Pokerstars - or even 888 or the other existing operators - will necessarily end up sitting at the top of the interstate poker tree. The way is clear for any other poker room to take a leading position. Maybe even one that isn't yet in the game if they could find an innovative business model to work to. Perhaps someone will develop a new software platform that will tear the poker market wide open. Effectively delivered 3D poker might be the answer, and virtual reality breakthroughs will surely have an impact further down the line.
Sure Pokerstars have the ammunition to lead the pack, but they'll face increasing competition from the likes of Full Tilt Poker.
Full Tilt did manage to go head to head with Pokerstars when the poker industry was in its ascendance prior to Black Friday, though of course it's well documented that they came down to earth with a big bump. Money is still reportedly owed to previous players three years after it all went wrong. They were then bought out by Pokerstars, which of course means that both operators are now housed in the Amaya Gaming stable.
So Amaya own them both, and will surely be looking to how they can deliver poker at an interstate level to make the most of their investment. They could run them both as separate rooms with different land based partners in different states and try to corner the interstate poker market that way, though this would seem an unlikely scenario. More likely is that Full Tilt would be sold off and form a new alliance with a land based casino also looking for a piece of the pie.
PartyPoker are another potential player. Together with Pokerstars, Full Tilt, and 888Poker, they made up the big four names in the industry for a number of years. They're already operating at a state level in New Jersey, and have a history of appealing to the more casual poker players - a market that would see them appealing to a massive potential US player base if those players were able to play interstate games.
Is It All Great News For Interstate Poker Growth? Where Is It All Heading?
All in all this potential competition is great news for the US online poker industry, whether you look at in from the perspective of an interstate or a state level. Liquidity has been a problem since regulated online poker made it's return to US shores.
It's clear we haven't seen the last of interstate poker agreements, and equally clear that the first looks set to be a success. And remember it's not just going to be the three states who already have a regulated framework in place. Recent California poker regulation moves have stalled somewhat, though there is still a possibility that games could be available by the end of 2015.
New York and Illinois are the other two states who appear to be close to passing online gambling legislation at state level. Both these could be offering legal online poker by 2016.
Looking further ahead, Pennsylvania looks as could be the next state to offer legal poker after those already mentioned. Rumours are that a legislative bill will be introduced in 2016, with real poker gaming available at least to state residents the following year.
Overall there is a firm possibility that there will be seven states which allow online poker for residents at least by the end
of 2017. More could join the list between now and then, resulting in a combination that's worth an estimated $1 billion plus across the US. If interstate poker agreements explode in the way we could anticipate, this figure could be much higher. By 2020 we could be looking at $5 billion.
What Else Can Fuel Poker Popularity At An Interstate Level?
It's not just the regulation of poker at a state level in the US that's fuelling growth. Depositing cash to play with has often been a problem over the years, and payment processing still is far from perfect in the 'legal poker' states. One deposit method that's come to the fore in recent months is that offered by Bitcoins, the virtual currency that's been in the headlines for various reasons.
Because Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, there are no banks involved in transactions and essentially no banking fees for deposits or withdrawals. That's great for punters, whether they're interested in poker, casino games, or sportsbetting. The main draw for using Bitcoin to fund a poker account though is because of the anonymity factor. No one knows who you are, no one can track the money. It's safe, fast, and accurate.
With growing interest, it's unlikely to be long before the major poker operators embrace this deposit method. When they do, it may well add another plus to the prospects for more interstate gambling options. Not just for poker, but for all those other betting options too. For now though, the recent introduction of a fully fledged poker interface from Bitcoin betting operator Nitrogen Sports is a good place for anyone holding a few Bitcoins to play.
For latest updates and developments you can check back here regularly on winmoney101.com, although you'll find that the social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are a great source of late breaking news.
The video below will be a useful one for anyone waiting for their state to join the rush to full regulation. It shows those rooms who currently sit outside of any interstate poker agreements, but who will accept US poker players.
The solution? Interstate poker agreements! Think about the possibility of a player within any legalised state being able to play poker with players from any of the other states, and you have the essence of interstate poker. Working agreements of this type across US states could be the catalyst that pushes player numbers higher and starts a snowball effect. Increasing player numbers means more money, more money means more interest and further attempts at state level legalisation.
If you're living in the US you'll possibly be well aware of the situation regarding legal online gambling, and the situation regarding playing online poker specifically. There are currently three US states where state-level laws have been introduced which all offer legal play from within those state borders. There are plenty more showing interest in going down the same route in future.
It's easy to see the limitations in that model where you can only register with a poker room from within the state. The players know it, the poker operators know it. Liquidity is the issue. Not enough players actually at the tables to ensure that more will be attracted to join in any big volumes.