Real Money Poker in Nevada Approaching Brick Wall
When the US government opened the virtual flood gates that gave each state the right to decide whether online gambling should be permitted, and to what degree, the state of Nevada was the first to jump on the multi-billion dollar band wagon. As licensing and software development is well underway towards an impending future of real money poker online, the process of introducing internet gaming sites to Nevadans is quickly approaching a proverbial brick wall.
Two of Nevada’s largest slot development companies – Bally’s Technologies and International Gaming Technology (IGT) – have already applied for, and received, their interactive gaming licenses last month. With more than thirty more companies having already applied for interactive gaming licenses, state regulators have the capacity to approve as many as three more programming developer’s licenses with each passing month.
At this rate, by the time 2013 arrives, Nevada could launch as many as 20, legal, safe, secure, state regulated real money poker sites. So far so good, right? Maybe not.
There is one huge problem standing in the way of Nevada and its illustrious plans for bestowing internet-based real money poker games upon its adult residents. There simply aren’t enough of them!
Sure, Las Vegas is packed with local poker pros who hit the tangible felt on a very regular basis and would be more than happy to join the online poker community the moment it was presented, but what does the rest of the state have? More than anything, it has a whole lot of nothing; a vast expanse of dessert with a very sparse population.
Intrastate gaming laws would not allow for Nevada to supply its online poker games to residents of any other state. Without a large enough player base to support these real money poker ventures, the cost of development and licensing would take casino companies into the red in a heartbeat.
The only feasible resolution for The Silver State is to seek out partnerships in an interstate gaming environment. The obvious candidates would be California, New Jersey and New York, perhaps even Delaware.
It sounds simple enough. Let these states combine their population across each one’s state-regulated real money gaming sites. But it’s not that nearly as straight-forward as all that. Each state would have to allow the same type of internet gaming – poker, casino games, bingo, etc. Each state would have to pay their own portion of the licensing fees incurred by the operator. Each state would have to divvy up the appropriate amount of taxation according to what their own resident players deposit, win and withdrawal.
In the case of California, for example, why should they join Nevada and have their own population feeding money into another state, when they could set up their own online gambling sites and keep all of the revenue within their borders? California certainly has a large enough population to support a real money online poker community.
It all comes down to numbers. The number of people, the number of dollars, the number of states that may or may not be willing to work together and, in the end, the number of days we must wait before an encompassing resolution is reached.