There are several similarities between online poker in Nevada and in New Jersey. Licensed online poker rooms in New Jersey will be open only to those located within the state although they need not be residents. Player to player transfer of funds across the software will also not be permitted.
Online poker rooms are expected to go live in New Jersey at 9:00 a.m. on November 26. The state legalized several forms of online gambling, including poker, earlier this year and created a set of regulations for operators and players slightly later.
PokerStars, the biggest online poker room in the world, recently urged the state’s gambling regulators to reconsider the subject of permitting transfer of funds between players, but the state doesn’t appear to be interested.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement recently released a regulations document, which states: “Rational Group [PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker] suggest[ed] an amendment to the rules to permit the transfer of funds between patrons, provided that the Division is assured that the operator implements limits and carries out checks to ensure those limits are followed.” The state also dismissed the idea of player to player fund transfers, stating: “To prevent fraud, collusion, and money laundering, patron to patron transfer of funds will not be permitted.”
The former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board said two years ago that he is against the idea of online gambling sites to become “shadow banks.” He was speaking at a discussion held about framing regulations for the Silver State’s newly legalized online poker industry.
If player to player fund transfers are permitted, there is a danger of players using online poker rooms to circumvent banks and other financial institutions. At the same time, it cannot be denied that player to player transfers are one of the key contributors to a poker room’s success. Players aspiring to become professionals as well as pros use player to player transfers.
Since the US online poker industry is still young, regulators might relax regulations regarding player to player transfers in the future, once the industry has begun to prosper and there is no longer a need to worry about “fraud, collusion, and money laundering.”
Currently, licensed online poker rooms exist only in Nevada. The first licensed online poker room, the Station Casinos owned Ultimate Poker, was launched earlier this year while the Caesars owned WSOP.com was launched a few weeks back.