"FIRST GAMBLING COMPACT:"

  • Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed the country’s first multi-state Internet gambling pact.
  • The compact will allow people in both states to play online poker against each other. 
  • The Governors from both states have expressed hope that other states will soon join in their efforts. 
  • Although the technology is not yet ready, the Governors noted that the gambling agreement establishes a legal framework that will allow both states’ residents to play against one another. 

VISION:

  • Before signing the agreement, Governor Sandoval said, “I consider this a landmark intersection in the road of gaming history.”
  • Both Governors indicated that the agreement could have the effect of making online gambling more attractive for players, while increasing potential revenues for the states involved.  
  • Although the agreement is limited to only online poker, the language offers the possibility of additional games and states as members of the multi-state Internet gaming association in the future.

RESPONSE TO "NEIGHBORLY" COMPETITION:

  • Governor Markell characterized the agreement as a “natural next step” to protect Delaware’s gambling industry.
  • Reports suggest that competition in Maryland has negatively impacted Delaware’s brick-and-mortar casinos, which have generated a significant amount of its annual tax revenue in the past.

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK:

  • Under the agreement, players from each state must play within their respective state’s boundaries.
  • The agreement also includes a set of minimum regulatory standards that states would have to follow in order to participate.
  • An association formed as a Delaware limited liability company will oversee the agreement. 
  • The association will have a governing board of one representative from each state. 

TAKE AWAY:

  • This first of its kind, multi-state Internet gambling agreement is a step towards nationalizing online poker.
  • Right now, Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey are the only states to have legalized online gambling, but several other states are presently considering draft legislation.