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US – WSOP aiming to introduce interstate online poker in May

By - 17 April 2018

WSOP.com and 888 Poker have submitted for testing their new poker software to the regulatory bodies in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, with the goal of pooling players from all three US states upon the anticipated approval by all jurisdictions – a major step for gaming operators in the US.

The linking of all three states is hopeful to go live on Tuesday, May 1 and would allow customers in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey to play poker against each other, if final approval is granted from all jurisdictions. This shared-liquidity* gives way for larger prize pools, better game selection, wider time zone coverage and expanded tournament offerings.

The process has demonstrated that different regulations administered by multiple regulatory bodies can work proactively together to provide entertainment in a safe and secure environment for consumers. The protection of players and game integrity drove this collaboration which serves to benefit the players, states and operators.

“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,” said WSOP.com’s Head of Online Poker Bill Rini. “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.”
During this process of pooling players from different states, WSOP.com and 888Poker have made a number of upgrades to the software that will enhance the user experience and keep players engaged.

“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 Robert Moncrief Jr., Deputy Chief of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcements Technical Services Bureau. “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.”

“The Delaware Lottery is very pleased to be able to offer Delaware’s online poker players this exciting opportunity to enhance their gaming experience,” said Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery. “The Multistate Internet Gaming Agreement has proven to be a great vehicle for allowing its member states to take advantage of such cooperative efforts.”

“The NGCB is pleased to be part of this collaborative effort between regulators, operators, and the platform manufacturer to achieve the common goal of providing a sound gaming experience for patrons across multiple jurisdictions while still meeting our individual jurisdictional requirements,” added Nevada Gaming Control Board chairwoman Becky Harris.

“Pooling poker players from three states will be a significant regulatory step in the US and is very exciting for our players and partners,” said Yaniv Sherman, 888 Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Development. “The guidance and coordination provided by the regulators in the three states has been instrumental to the potential success of shared liquidity. If approved, we anticipate that this will open up further opportunities in other states.”

The timing works well for WSOP.com as it would come ahead of the 49th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, set to begin on May 29.

This transition will require Delaware and Nevada consumers to download the new poker client and create a new account to be able to participate. This also means the existing Delaware and Nevada poker software will cease to operate after this process takes effect. New Jersey players with an existing account will be able to play without delay.

Once the process is complete, New Jersey WSOP.com players will be able to compete for official WSOP gold bracelets from their home state for the very first time. The first opportunity to do so should be the Sunday, June 3 $365 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em official gold bracelet event (Event #10) being held in Las Vegas as part of the 49th WSOP.

888’s proprietary technology powers 888Poker and WSOP.com and operates in all three states. 888Poker operates exclusively in Delaware for the Delaware Lottery; 888Poker and WSOP.com offer poker to the New Jersey public; and in Nevada, WSOP.com is the exclusive operator using 888’s platform.

For the past three years, the Delaware Lottery’s poker platform has shared liquidity with WSOP.com in Nevada. Customers in Delaware will be major beneficiaries when added to the New Jersey pool, as they will see even larger game selection and number of players.

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