Thursday February 27,2014 : 888 PLEASED WITH NEVADA-DELAWARE PLAYER-SHARING COMPACT
Online gambling group hopes other US states will legalise and sign player-sharing deals.
In a statement issued on the heels of the news that Nevada and Delaware are to share their player pools , online gambling group 888 Holdings issued a statement lauding the deal and expressing the hope that other US states would legalise online gambling and join the player-sharing party.
Describing the Nevada-Delaware compact as an "…important strategic development in regulating the US online gaming market [that] will lead to an enhanced gaming experience for poker players,” the company drew attention to its US involvement, noting:
"Through the group's All American Poker Network joint venture with Avenue Capital, the World Series of Poker brand was launched in Nevada in September 2013 using 888's gaming platform and technology.
"iGaming was launched in Delaware in November 2013 with poker, casino game tables and casino slots under the group's contract with the Delaware Lottery to be the primary vendor team, along with Scientific Games Corporation, using 888Poker gaming platform and technology."
888 chief executive Brian Mattingley, said:
"This pooling compact will help 888 and its partners deliver a world-class gaming experience to poker players in Delaware and Nevada given we are the only operator live in both, vindicating our approach to launch in all regulating states.
“We are grateful to both states for their continued steadfast commitment to regulating our industry. We look forward to additional states entering into such interstate agreements."
The player sharing compact is being hailed by industry observers as a major boost for 888, which dominates the Delware online poker market with its partnerships in the state's three racinos, and has Nevada licensing of its own, as well as through Nevada partnerships with Treasure Island and Golden Gaming, to boot.
Delaware's Finance Secretary, Tom Cook, told local broadcaster WBOC Wednesday that the two states will take their time to get the system right.
But Cook said he thinks the shared player pool system could be implemented before the start of 2015.
Allowing people in Delaware to play poker against people in Nevada is really important for the success of the enterprise in both states, Ed Sutor, CEO of Dover Downs told the broadcaster.
"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.
Cook noted that 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 added, commenting that it would also be helpful if New Jersey joined the compact, with its larger population.
Revenue from the first three months of online gaming in Delaware has not so far been impressive. The three racinos 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.