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Pool of online poker players to expand, include New Jersey

New Jersey online poker players will be able to play against their counterparts in Nevada and Delaware after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a multistate internet gaming pact on Thursday.

The three states on Friday announced the deal, which should benefit Nevada-based operators because it will increase player volume and pots at virtual tables.

Of licensed online poker sites, Caesars Entertainment’s WSOP.com is the only one established in all three states.

Play will start among players in the three states after each state reviews and licenses operators of technological platforms and software being used.

“Our technology team started to work with their colleagues in New Jersey and Delaware yesterday,” state Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett said Friday. “It’s been a really great, collegial working environment with them.”

He said Nevada and New Jersey regulators first started talking about developing the agreement several months ago.

The Nevada Legislature approved interactive online gaming in 2013, and the legislation enables the governor to sign agreements with other states that comply with Nevada’s standards. Delaware and Nevada signed the first Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement in 2015, but the addition of New Jersey takes the potential to a new level with thousands of potential players in the state.

Under Nevada regulations, a player must register with a Nevada company to participate. A player doesn’t have to be a Nevada resident, but must be within the state’s borders when playing.

Under the new agreement, a player could register in the other states and play from within their borders.

“New innovations and technological advancements are connecting more people and increasing the capabilities of Nevada’s gaming industry,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement released Friday announcing Christie’s signing on to the agreement.

“Gaming is one of our oldest industries, and it’s imperative that we continue to look for new opportunities to explore its full potential in a changing frontier,” he said.

In Nevada, interactive gaming is taxed at the same rate as land-based casinos.

Under the new agreement, revenue will be accrued and taxed based on the state where the patron is playing. Gaming regulators are able to access and regulate the mutually shared servers housing the platforms.

New Jersey also launched internet gambling in 2013.

Figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showed Atlantic City’s seven casinos and online gambling outlets won $235.8 million in September, an increase of 4.1 percent compared with September 2016. That included $20.4 million last month from online gambling, up 25 percent over last year.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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