Would New Jersey Benefit from Pennsylvania?

by Jim Hall

Pennsylvania Online GamblingPennsylvania seems to be the next in line to pass online gambling legislation. Will New Jersey benefit from having a close neighbor to share player pools?

In the United States, only three individual states offer some form of online gambling. In Nevada, only poker is provided online. In New Jersey and Delaware, both casino gaming and poker are provided. New Jersey has proven to be a strong provider of such gaming, easily outpacing the other two states. It has been a few years since a state in the US decided to legalize online gaming with several in mix to be the next to do so such as Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is the Favorite

The state of Pennsylvania is the odds on favorite to be the next to pass legislation to offer online casino and poker gaming. Legislation has been discussed and the state officials recently passed a budget that reads $100 million in anticipated in online gambling revenues for the state in regards to poker and casino gaming online during the first year of operations.

A bill has already passed within the House of Representatives that must now pass the Senate in the fall to see online gambling legalized in the state. If legalized, the state would become the 4th in the US to offer such iGaming options. With the legalization of online gambling comes the discussion of shared player pools.

Delaware and Nevada already share player pools when it comes to online poker game play. Nevada only provides poker gaming so they only allow their residents and visitors to access poker play from Delaware. New Jersey was asked to join in but the state has seemingly shown no interest. However, if Pennsylvania is brought into the mix, it seems the state may be willing to work with them.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Sharing Player Pools

Regulators located in New Jersey as well as industry lobbyists have stated that the possibility of the two states working together to share player pools is a strong one. The Garden State has seen less than stellar numbers when it comes to online poker game play so partnering with Pennsylvania could boost their traffic. Online casino gaming is at an all-time high for the state so adding in more players would only be even more lucrative.

If New Jersey were to begin working with Pennsylvania, then it could potentially open the door for others states to feel comfortable with online gambling legislation and working with other states. Of course geolocation technology would be heavily used to ensure players are located where they say they are so that regulations are adhered to. Players are not supposed to technically compete from another state but with restrictions put in place for specific areas, it can happen.

Several states have been looking to enter the online gambling industry, be with casino, poker or a mix of both. If Pennsylvania is finally able to pass legislation, we could see a ripple effect and several states creating legislation and beginning to invest in the gaming industry. According to the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, the state of Pennsylvania seems to have jumped to the fore front when it comes to being the next state to pass legislation.

California and Michigan are in the mix but neither state has progressed as much as Pennsylvania has been able to over the past few months. According to Pappas, there is still work to be done but revenue is booked (the budget) and the case for legalization as being an issue of consumer protection has been made.

New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement Executive Director, David Rebuck stated that a dialogue is ongoing with regulators located in Pennsylvania as well as in Trenton in regards to sharing online poker players.