New Jersey to Merge Player Pools with Nevada, Delaware on WSOP/888 Network
The state of online poker in the United States is, to be quite frank with you all, pathetic. For a country that likes to boast of its “freedoms,” we sure as shit like to pick and choose which of those freedoms we allow people to have. While it is certainly possible to play online poker from just about anywhere in the U.S., there are only three states right now with legal, regulated online poker – New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware (Pennsylvania soon to come) – for people who don’t want to deal with the potential hassle that could come with unregulated, offshore sites. Of course, if you aren’t located in one of those states – and statistically, you are not – then tough. Fortunately, a baby step forward looks like it is about to happen as New Jersey, with the help of WSOP.com and 888 Poker, will soon see its player pools merge with Nevada’s and Delaware’s.
In a press release issued Monday, it was announced that the WSOP.com and 888 Poker (WSOP uses 888’s platform) have handed over a new version of their online poker software to the regulatory agencies in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware for testing. This new software would apparently allow for players from all three states to play on the WSOP.com tables. Nevada and Delaware have had shared liquidity since 2015; WSOP.com is the only regulated online poker site in Nevada and Delaware has three sites, all associated with each of the state’s three casinos and racetracks. Delaware’s sites also use 888’s software and though they are separate, they are all basically the same, save some promotions.
If you are seeing a pattern, you are right. The common thread here is 888 and, in turn, WSOP.com. The WSOP.com/888 partnership is also active in New Jersey and thus the companies have an opportunity to be the only ones who can link the three states. Other gaming companies like PokerStars and partypoker also have online poker rooms in New Jersey, but since they don’t have sites in Nevada or Delaware, they won’t be able to jump onto this train.
WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini said of the development:
This has been a huge collaborative effort from all involved and it is important to thank the elected leadership and regulatory authorities in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey for their dedication and diligence to help move online poker forward. Everyone has had the end user in mind throughout this process, and as a result, we believe the United States for the first time in a regulated environment, will have a large-scale multi-state offering that will propel the industry forward as soon as next month.
The target date for the launch of the online poker triumvirate is May 1st. When the expanded WSOP/888 interstate online poker network launches, whenever that date may be, players in Nevada and Delaware will be required to download the new software and create new accounts. Those in New Jersey will be able to keep playing as usual. Fortunately for Nevadans and Delawareans, their poker funds, tournament tickets, loyalty points, and the like, will all transfer over so there will be nothing lost. And as a nice extra, it appears that these players will also be considered new customers since they have to create new accounts, which means they will be able to take advantage of new player promos and bonuses.
Methinks that players in Nevada and Delaware won’t mind a little bit of hassle, as the addition of WSOP.com/888 New Jersey will give their tables a boost of traffic. WSOP NJ has a seven day average of 75 cash players, according to PokerScout.com. That’s not much at all, but WSOP Nevada, which includes Delaware’s players, has just 22 players on average. There should be a noticeable jump in activity.
For New Jerseyites, the big advantage to the merger aside from a smaller uptick in traffic is that for the first time, they will be able to compete in the World Series of Poker’s online bracelet events (assuming all goes well with the regulatory approval and launch). The first online bracelet event this summer is the $365 buy-in tournament on June 3rd, Event #10.
It’s been a long time coming for New Jersey, as it has been operating alone since the get-go. Delaware and Nevada, with their small populations, most definitely wanted New Jersey in the mix with them. Hopefully, this will spur Pennsylvania to join up as well, once online poker launches in the Keystone State.
“The DGE has been happy to be part of this process, and to see it implemented so expeditiously after the signing of the agreement is a testament to all of the parties involved,” said Deputy Chief of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcements Technical Services Bureau Robert Moncrief Jr., “We are pleased to see this long-sought multi-state poker agreement come to fruition. This will raise jackpots and provide even greater opportunities for play. It also paves the way for additional states to join and grow the regulated, legal online poker market.”