Combined Del., Nev. Online Poker System Could be Ready - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Combined Del., Nev. Online Poker System Could be Ready by the End of 2014

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware and Nevada's combined online poker system could be up and running by the end of the year.

Finance Sec. Tom Cook says the states will take their time to get the system right. He thinks before the start of 2015 is a good estimate for when that might happen.

The agreement signed Tuesday between Nevada and Delaware is the first of its kind, because legal Internet gaming is so new in America. It has been up an running in Delaware for a few months. Nevada got it in the spring but only for poker.

Both states require players to be within the states' borders. But when the combined system is ready, people in Delaware will also be able to play people in Nevada.

Allowing people in Delaware to play poker against people in Nevada is really important for the success of the enterprise in both states, according to Ed Sutor, CEO of Dover Downs.

"What that means, quite simply, is we'll have a lot more players who can come into the poker room. It will be a good thing for Internet gaming in the state of Delaware," he said.

It's all about building a critical mass of players. Delaware only has about 600,000 people who are over 21 and legal to play - forgetting that a portion of those wouldn't even play in the first place. For Nevada the number is about two million. Combined they have about 2.6 million potential, legal players.

"In the game of poker," said Cook. "The game is more lucrative and attractive to players if there are more people participating at one time. This increases the availability of players to participate against each other."   

"There will be more games available at different denominations. And that should help both states," Sutor said.

Sutor would like to see other states get involved eventually. For now, that specifically means New Jersey, which is the only other state in the country that allows online gaming within its borders.

"It would be very helpful if New Jersey got into our compact - not only for us, but for them. They need more players, as well," said Sutor.

Since Nevada only allows poker, that's the only game  impacted for the moment. But cook says it could expand to other games, if, for example, states that have more than poker get involved.

As Delaware and Nevada look toward the future, the First State continues working through issues with the system in the present. Sutor says there have been problems with certain kinds of credit cards and specific types of computers.

Revenue from the first three months of online gaming in Delaware was underwhelming. The three casinos combined brought in $111,000 in November, $140,000 in December and $145,000 in January. Delaware Park, in Wilmington, accounts for 60 percent of the revenue. Dover Downs makes up 30 percent. And the remaining 10 percent is from people playing through the website for Harrington.

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