In late May, the state of Delaware moved forward with legislation that would hopefully legalize online gambling and poker play in that state. Currently Nevada is the only state to ratify legalized online poker since the US Department of Justice reversed their ruling last December. The current proposed legislation for Delaware is just the most recent filing made by states like Illinois, New Jersey, California and Iowa who are racing to join Nevada in cashing in on what is undisputedly going to be a multibillion dollar market here in the US.
With a population of only about 1 million people, the state has a relatively small pool of prospective online gamblers. However, smart Delaware legislators have been using their heads for something other than a hat rack, and have been proposing partnerships with other small states like West Virginia and Rhode Island, both of whom have been seriously considering adopting legislation for legalized online poker there.
Brian Selander holds the impressive sounding title of Chief Strategy Officer to Delaware Governor Jack Markel, and he believes the bill has a very good chance of getting passed. How important is this Delaware legislation for such a small state in the grand scheme of things as it relates to other US states seeking proposed online poker legislation? The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee recently heard reports from their Gaming Control Board announcing Delaware’s recent filing, and the possibility of their partnering up with West Virginia or Rhode Island.
If those three smaller states then effectively form some type of partnership, that would make the online poker entity equally as large as the entire state of Nevada, with approximately 3 million residents. And though Nevada has already successfully legalized online poker play in that state, licenses still need to be sold, poker rooms need to be created virtually, and an infrastructure needs to be worked out. Another state could easily pass legislation, and overtake Nevada in actually delivering the first legalized online poker play in the United States.
Delaware is far from the first state to consider partnering up to provide a larger player pool for potential profits once passage of online gambling and poker legislation is approved. There have been rumors that California and Nevada have been courting each other regarding the same idea, and pro-poker parties in Massachusetts recently revealed they were working on an agreement with New Jersey regarding an online poker play partnership.
Online poker is not illegal for United States players, and the only illegalities come in when a poker room tries to operate inside United States borders. The DOJ reversal last December now gives each individual state the right to decide their own online gambling future, and partnerships of two or more states would deliver much-needed income and jobs to the interested parties. American poker players would benefit from a safe, enjoyable and patriotic online poker experience, knowing that their money is staying right here in the United States.