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Nevada, Delaware Close To Sharing Player Pools For Online Poker, Silver State Governor Says

A Year After Deal Was Signed, Implementation 'Imminent'

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U.S. online poker is in need of a boost of some kind, and Nevada and Delaware are close to bringing some energy to the industry thanks to a historic deal to share player pools for their respective online poker sites.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval reportedly said Monday that shared liquidity should kick off in four to six weeks, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He added that “technical glitches” were the reason why the partnership didn’t become active sooner, as he signed the agreement a year ago. Liquidity sharing is “imminent”, according to Sandoval.

Nevada has two online poker sites in operation, while Delaware has three. 888 Holdings has the software behind all but one of the poker sites (three in Delaware and one in Nevada).

Under the deal, both states will keep revenue generated by players within their respective borders. Nevada’s population is around 2.7 million; Delaware has about 920,000.

“The more people there are on a poker site at any given time, the more likely they will be able to find a table that fits their game style at a time that fits their schedule,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said in February 2014 at a press conference with Sandoval.

Delaware’s three sites had just $27,695 in online poker revenue in January 2015. Nevada won’t even release online poker revenue figures because there are only two sites and officials have said that doing so would be unfair to the privacy of the businesses. Ultimate Poker was once operating in Nevada, but closed last year due to lackluster traffic.

Real Gaming, one of Nevada’s sites, has almost non-existent traffic, according to PokerScout. The other Nevada poker platform, a WSOP-branded product from Caesars, averages north of 150 cash game players. Online poker sites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Delaware Poker Network averages just eight players, not even enough for a full-ring game, according to PokerScout data, considered among the most reliable in the industry.

The Nevada-Delaware deal could become irrelevant, however, if Sheldon Adelson’s plan to get online poker banned nationwide comes to fruition on Capitol Hill.