The governors of Nevada and Delaware signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (PDF) last year to allow poker sites in their respective states to share player pools. It was a very positive development at the time, and now that legislation has turned into real world results. reported earlier today that poker sites in both states have begun combining player pools.

What this means is that you’ll now find players from both states sharing the same tables. Previously, Nevadans could only play with Nevadans and Delawareans could only play with Delawareans. The Nevada-Delaware agreement now allows the free exchange of players between both states.

Although players may play at the same tables, they still won’t be able to join poker sites based in the other state. Players from Delaware cannot join, and players from Nevada cannot join Dover Downs Poker. You will still be required to stick with licensed sites in your state of residence.

Why is this such good news?

Three reasons:

  1. It is better for the players
  2. It is better for the poker economy
  3. It sets a precedent

The first point is fairly obvious. With a player sharing agreement in effect, you have more people to play with, more tables to choose from and bigger tournaments to play. This will be especially important for players in Delaware. Cash games and tournaments there have seen absolutely pitiful numbers since Delaware went live.

Players in Delaware now get much-needed access to a significantly larger player pool. Players in Nevada will also benefit from the influx of players. Players in both states will benefit as the Delaware market is sure to grow in light of these developments.

Player sharing will also benefit the poker economy as a whole in both states. With more players online, the concept becomes more attractive to potential players. Delaware is going to see a nice influx of players now that there will actually be a decent number of active tables. As internet poker grows in one state, it becomes more attractive in both.

There’s going to be an upper limit to the benefits of course, but it sets a precedent for other states as legislation is debated, mulled-over and implemented. You can be sure legislators and businesspeople in other states are closely watching the happenings in Nevada and Delaware. They’re going to see the benefits and that’s good for us. This is very important, because some of proposed bills from other states that we’ve seen in the past actually prohibited future player sharing agreements.

One thought that’s always kept us a little worried is the prospect of each state attempting to keep a stranglehold on online poker and prevent player sharing. This would be a disaster for online poker and kill any hopes of having a PokerStars-type operator to play at once again. Player sharing agreements between states play a key role in a healthy poker economy until (if) we get regulation at the federal level.

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