The Department of Justice (DOJ) surprised online poker operators who were offering services via the shared liquidity agreements between states that had legalized online gambling operators.
The DOJ came out with a new opinion of the Wire Act earlier this year which stated that sports betting cannot operate in a shared liquidity environment and the same is applicable to online poker.
The DOJ issued a 90 day compliance period for shared liquidity operators to withdraw their services and gave them a deadline which expired on April 15.
The decision did not sit well with state gaming regulators as well as iGaming operators who opposed the ruling. The DOJ has now come out and said that it has decided to extend the deadline by another 60 days, which makes the deadline June 14.
What Is Shared Liquidity All About?
Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are the only states that have a legalized online gambling market up and running. Pennsylvania has also legalized online gambling but so far iGaming operators have not launched any of their online poker or online casino websites as there are still issues that need to be worked out in the Keystone state.
Gaming regulators in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey soon found out that their respective online gambling markets were too small for online gambling to flourish and iGaming operators were also reporting weak revenues. To make things better, gaming regulators decided to collaborate and open up their markets via shared liquidity.
Shared liquidity between online poker operators was made possible as Nevada and Delaware initially decided to join their online gambling markets and New Jersey later signed-up as well. The shared liquidity compact between the three states allows iGaming operators to offer their services to an extended player pool as players from all three states can compete against each other.
This allows iGaming operators to target a bigger player base, makes online poker tournaments more competitive and allows the guaranteed prize pools to be a lot bigger. It is a win-win for all three states but that could all be taken away with the new DOJ opinion.
WSOP Online Bracelet Events Could Be Impacted
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by offering 9 WSOP online bracelet events. If the DOJ opinion is upheld, then online poker players can only play this event if they are physically present in Nevada.
If DOJ opinion is further pushed back or changed, then online poker pros will be able to play these events from Delaware and New Jersey as well.