Saturday January 18, 2014 : INTERSTATE PLAYER SHARING COMPACTS NOT AN EASY PROPOSITION
Experts from different US states consider the hurdles.
The coverage of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States winter conference provided by respected blogger Marco Valerio continues to provide interesting insights into the problems associated with individual states developing player-sharing agreements.
In his current reportage, Valerio quotes Richard Schuetz, the head of the California Gambling Control Commission, who impressed upon delegates the importance of player liquidity, and noted that if online poker was legalised in his state, it would hold all the cards as the most populous with around 40 million people.
Such potential would almost certainly be an attraction for other states seeking to develop playing-sharing agreements, Shuetz said, but it unlikely that the Californians would feel there was any need to share.
The Californian commissioner also explained the complexities of interstate player liquidity agreements in terms of compatible regulatory regimes, political requirements and legal considerations
Nevada State Senator Greg Brower told delegates that due to his state's significantly smaller population, player liquidity agreements were critical.
“In Nevada, this is a big, big deal,” he said. “We don’t have the liquidity to make this a success.”
Senator Brower reprised the now old news that Nevada was exploring sharing compacts with New Jersey and Delaware, and would obviously be interested in California in the event of legalization being achieved in that state.
He expected that compact negotiations with Delaware and/or New Jersey might bear fruit over the next year, but acknowledged that it was not an easy process and that regulatory harmonisation would be an important part of it.
John Maddox, who is vice president for Government Relations at land and online gambling giant Caesars Entertainment, gave the very pragmatic advice that states with compacts in mind need to design legalization that is compatible with that of states with which they plan to seek an agreement.
The role that the US federal government should or could play in interstate compacts was also discussed, with differing views on whether such agreements need the imprimatur of the federal government.
Senator Brower opined that: "I think, frankly, that [keeping Congress out] is probably the only practical way to make this work.”
The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States is already hard at work on a draft of interstate i-gaming policy recommendations as an aid for state legislators, and has been studying input from a variety of sources