Nevada Governor Ready for Interstate Online Poker Compact
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is all in on the idea of establishing an interstate online poker compact with the State of New Jersey. It’s an idea that’s incredibly popular with igaming operators, but it’s not quite as popular with the political powers that make things happen in New Jersey.
Governor Sandoval expressed his enthusiasm for the idea in a recent speech Nevada Gaming Policy Committee Meeting. “I’m ready to go,” he said , “It’s a win-win for both states.”
Creating a shared liquidity pool would be a major boost for online poker in both states and would have implications at the national level, too. After all, more money will draw more players and that’s definitely a win for the slowly growing US online poker industry.
As recently as 2014, New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement boss Dave Redbeck said that his state was not only open to the idea, but that discussions had already started, according to a report on OnlinePokerReport. Despite that statement, no real progress has been made in actually developing that agreement.
So what’s the hold up? It turns out that old fashioned backroom politics is the likely culprit.
Current New Jersey Governer, and failed GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie is a close allied of casino baron, and online gambling foe, Sheldon Adelson. Their close ties have led many, including New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak (D), to suggest Christie is slowing down the online poker industry on Adelson’s behalf.
For now, however, any speculation about Christie doing Adelson’s bidding is just that, speculation.
Another possible reason that New Jersey doesn’t want to get involved with Nevada is that they may not want to work with their biggest rival.
New Jersey politicians, including Christie, haven’t hidden their ambition to be America’s online Las Vegas. Perhaps they think that sharing liquidity with the actual Las Vegas would undermine that goal.