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Pact allows New Jersey players on Nevada online poker sites

Updated Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 | 2:37 p.m.

Online poker players in Nevada can now play against people in New Jersey after Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announced today that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement with Nevada and Delaware. Nevadans can already face online poker players in Delaware.

“New innovations and technological advancements are connecting more people and increasing the capabilities of Nevada’s gaming industry. Gaming is one of our oldest industries, and it’s imperative that we continue to look for new opportunities to explore its full potential in a changing frontier,” Sandoval said.

A.G. Burnett, chairman of Nevada’s Gaming Control Board, praised the deal.

“This means that after we integrate the platforms together, players in Nevada will be able to play online poker with players in New Jersey, and I am proud to have been part of the effort,” he said. “This is another exciting day for online poker.”

Nevada legalized online poker in 2013 and helped create the structure for the current deal in 2014. That’s when Sandoval and then-Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a multistate agreement establishing the legal framework allowing people in the two states to play against each other.

The deal permitted other states to join the framework, but only if the other states agreed.

The addition of New Jersey could help Nevada’s online poker industry, which has struggled since it was legalized.

In a recent interview, Bill Rini, the head of WSOP.com, one of only two companies offering online poker in Nevada, acknowledged the industry has had a tough time, and expanding the pool of potential players would help.

“We would really like to see more states open up,” Rini said. “And when those states do open up, hopefully we can implement some interstate compacts allowing the liquidity to flow among those states and allowing the customers to play each other.”