Poker players in Delaware and Nevada will soon be able to play each other from thousands of miles away under a first-of-its-kind agreement signed between the two states on Tuesday.
The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement [pdf], signed by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), establishes a framework by which the two states will hammer out regulatory standards for online poker games. The agreement lets both states control the number of entities that offer online gaming.
“Gov. Sandoval and I both share the goal of ensuring that our states’ gaming industries are as competitive as they can be, while ensuring that games are conducted fairly, honestly, and securely,” Markell said in a statement. Sandoval, who signed an Internet gaming bill into law last year, said the agreement “today provides the tools and the structure necessary for us to pioneer this expanding industry together, as states and as partners.”
Companies seeking licenses to operate online poker games must prove they have the capital to cover any bets on their site, that they have the ability to verify that users are actually located within the borders of member states, and that users are of legal age to play poker.
Other states are free to join the multi-state agreement, provided current member states agree to allow them access. Each state would be eligible to receive a share of the revenue generated by players inside their own borders.
Delaware law currently allows 12 types of gambling, ranging from poker to baccarat to blackjack and Pai Gow. Nevada law only allows online poker.
Both states will have to set up oversight boards to finalize rules and issue licenses before the first cards are dealt.
As more states seek to legalize online gaming in various forms, the casino industry is fighting an internecine war over whether to support or oppose those efforts. The American Gaming Association, an industry trade group based in Washington, supports online gaming, while a group of casinos led by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, run by Sheldon Adelson, opposes Internet gambling.