NV expands online gaming market to Delaware
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Nevada and Delaware are bringing together their online gaming markets so players from both states can sit at the same virtual table. On Tuesday, the two governors signed what they're calling the first ever interstate agreement for online gaming.
The deal is limited to online poker for now, which is the only legalized form of online gambling in Nevada. Players must be in one of the two states to participate. Companies running the sites will be able to pool the money wagered into a common pot and a portion will go to each state.
Governor Brian Sandoval says the agreement provides a regulatory structure that allows other states to join.
"The agreement we will sign provides the tools and the structure necessary for us to pioneer this new digital space together as states and as partners."
Only one other state, New Jersey, has legalized online gambling, but at least 10 are considering it. Some project online gaming will be a new and lucrative step for Nevada's gaming industry. David Schwartz, who's with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says this agreement may not yield a lot of revenue now, but that will change when larger states like California join.
"In the early 2000s when there was an upswing in online poker, you had a huge boom in Nevada poker in brick and mortar casinos and the total revenues more than tripled. So I think it says to some extent you're not going to be taking people away from Nevada casinos if you have this [online gaming]. "
Schwartz says states will probably continue taking the lead with online gaming regulations. New federal regulation has stalled.
While many casino operators are supportive of the new online market, a coalition led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson is pouring money into fighting online gambling through ads like this.
"If they get their way gambling will be available in every home, every bedroom, every dorm room on every phone, table and computer -- everywhere -- targeting family, kids, the elderly; this isn't a game. The FBI warns online casinos are vulnerable to a wide variety of criminal schemes."
Senator Dean Heller has recently said he'll introduce a bill banning online gambling, except for poker.