As the Press of Atlantic City points out, New Jersey’s new Internet gambling bill “would put New Jersey ahead of other states that are moving to grab the online gaming market.”

But would that be such a great thing for poker affiliates in New Jersey, or the rest of the U.S.?

“Some in the poker community fear that this will be the start of states beginning their own online poker networks that limit the player pools to within their borders,” PokerNews.com notes.

That segmentation is almost inevitable under the current trend of each state making its own online gambling rules. And it follows, then, that other laws open state borders to national online casinos, then all casino affiliate marketing in the U.S. might become local.

“The intrastate poker system would allow for easy deposits and withdrawals in New Jersey, encouraging casual players to take part. But it would also wall off the state so New Jersey residents could only play poker with other people in the state,” the PokerNews article also notes.

“It is possible that international poker websites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker respond to the law by pulling out of New Jersey the way they have Washington.”

So, goodbye, potentially, to all the big, name-brand online casinos most affiliates market. 

But wait — that situation doesn’t seem likely in the long term, either. Indeed, companies like PartyGaming and Harrah’s (whoops, that’s Caesars Entertainment) seem to be pretty set on marketing ther online gambling sites within U.S. borders, and it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll accept a state-by-state network as the final word.

Instead, the most likely outcome — if states continue to make their own online gambling laws, and facing a lack of a federal, unifying U.S. online gambling regulatory structure — is that one state will emerge to offer federal rules, becoming a sort of power center for the online casino industry to operate out of.

If that happens, look to that first state to be the most powerful. That’s what New Jersey and a lot of its homegrown companies are hoping for.


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