If Nevada’s leap into the the abyss during the summer of 2011 as the first state to legalize online poker was the first domino to fall, New Jersey’s apparent decision to do the same thing yesterday should set off a tumbling progression of activity in states to follow which will eventually make American online poker a reality.
While measures to legalize online poker at the federal level remain firewalled due to continuing pockets of resistance and appalling legislative incompetency, some states are moving ahead independently without hesitation, preparing to implement their own ideas about how to deal with online poker issues. The most progressive of these states now includes Nevada , Delaware, and New Jersey — with Iowa expected soon to follow [Footnote 1].
But the biggest prize and the ultimate lynch pin for what would be another poker explosion is undoubtedly California.
That said, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Footnote 1: I’m intentionally omitting the District of Columbia which also legalized online poker, but remains stuck in a legal quagmire as to its future.
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So, what do the latest developments in New Jersey mean, not just to poker within that state, but the rest of the nation?
It likely means that legal online poker (and much broader gambling options) are coming to New Jersey, and its nine million residents. While Nevada was indeed the very first state to legalize online poker 18 months ago, no one is expecting web companies operating within the “Silver State” to initially to turn much of a profit. With less than three million residents and intense competition statewide from land-based casinos, there simply aren’t enough poker players within Nevada’s borders to sustain profits, without the potential for wider expansion in the form of pacts with similar states.Read More