The problem with online gambling in the United States is that the online casinos offered in the few states that allow them are limited to the customer markets of only those states. The interstate gambling agreement between Nevada and Delaware currently only covers poker. For a New Jersey online gambling operator, they are legally only allowed to serve those who physically live in the state of NJ. That’s why most online gambling website brands choose to locate themselves outside of US federal jurisdiction. From internationally respected online gambling jurisdictions, they can access the customer markets all over the world and they don’t lose the US either. There are no laws that would criminalize the bettor in the United States so that market remains open for the most part (except in Washington state).
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) recognizes that they have just had the worst June in their brief history of online gambling. The director of DGE, David Rebuck, has begun talks about liquidity sharing in the industry related to online poker with Nevada, who already has some online gambling, and Pennsylvania, who is likely about to start off in the industry themselves. When speaking to Global Gaming Business, Rebuck didn’t seem too optimistic despite the recent attempts, “If those states will not allow their gaming servers for online gaming to be here, we really are kind of stuck, unless there is a legislative change… We’re not in a very strong position to effectuate liquidity with those restrictions.”
The law stipulates in the state of New Jersey, that operators who wish to offer New Jersey residents online gambling must have their servers physically located in Atlantic City. This is part of the reason that sharing online gambling communities with international locations like the UK was off the table, according to Rebuck. This is something that Rebuck has tried in the past, securing an “agreement in principle” with the UK Gambling Commission that would result in a shared customer pool back in June of last year. He continued to remark on the UK deal about how they just couldn’t get it done. The deal wouldn’t have offered the UK players much, anyway. In fact, they would have had to face more restrictions to join a small and apparently fleeting online gambling community at the expense of the vast international online gambling scene.
Despite poker reaching an all-time low in June, Rebuck was increasingly optimistic about the online casinos in the state. The online gambling business in the state outside of online poker is thriving. Director Rebuck will undoubtedly be continuing his quest for online poker liquidity sharing throughout the United States, but in the meantime, he has the Supreme Court’s revamped opinion on online sports betting to look forward to.