The Rise of Interstate Poker Compacts in America

This week’s gambling news focuses on the expansion of interstate poker compacts in the United States, as more jurisdictions look to regulate web based poker and consider compacts to make them more profitable! Also, there was a major legal victory for Fantasy Sports in New York state recently!

 

Hello friends, and welcome to This Week in Gambling, where we always try to cover every aspect of the gaming industry! And with that in mind we’re looking at stories from online poker to interstate poker compacts to fantasy sports! Starting with this week’s big story! The pandemic pushed the growth of mobile sports betting in this country, then mobile sports betting pushed the growth of online casino games. Now online casino games are pushing the growth of online poker in America. But the problem with online poker in this country has always been… state borders?

You see, online sports betting and online casino games are played against the house. Therefore, they don’t require a large number of players in order to function properly. But online poker is all together different. It needs players! Lots and lots of players! And as big as some states are, most are not big enough (and don’t have enough players in them) to financially justify regulating online poker. But that’s where interstate poker compacts come in!

When states form a compact and pool their players together across state lines, well suddenly regulating online poker becomes perfectly viable. However, there’s only one interstate poker compact in America right now, between the states of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware! But, that may be about to change! Michigan launched regulated online poker about a year ago, and now the state Gaming Control Board has published some guidelines to their website. Guidelines which would seem to suggest that operators there should be preparing for the move to interstate poker compacts! And it’s not just Michigan that’s interested in joining these poker compacts.

Regulators in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia have already made it very clear that they would like to join a poker compact. Plus, the World Series of Poker just launched real money games in Michigan. You know where else they have real money games? Pennsylvania! New Jersey! Nevada! So, could we soon see an explosion of regulated online poker all across America? And could interstate poker compacts do for online poker what the pandemic did for mobile sports betting? The answer to both questions is: Yes! Absolutely! And this time we won’t even have to wear a mask or social distance!

This week we have two new game reviews to share with you, and we start with the Wild Wild Quest online slot from our friends at GameArt. It’s a five reel game with 243 paylines that features wilds, scatters, a bonus round, a gamble feature, and multiple jackpots. Next up we have Kodiak Kingdom, a six real game with over 4.000 paylines from Microgaming. Players spin through Cougar, Ragles, and Caribou trying to land the Stacked Bears and Multiplier Wilds! Both reviews are available right now on our YouTube channel.

And finally this week, while we wait for the expansion of interstate poker compacts, an appeals court in the state of New York has ruled that fantasy sports are skill games and not gambling! Could that decision actually help the expansion of the fantasy industry? While each state is free to decide for themselves whether or not fantasy sports are gambling, they might want to make that decision sooner rather than later, as a new study seems to indicate that the fantasy sports industry will be worth about $6 billion a year by 2026! And hey, that’s a lot of money that they could be taxing!

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By Eugene Moore
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