So, can New Jersey online poker players play against players from other states or outside the United States?
The quick answer is “no.”
At the time of this writing, you are only allowed to player poker on any of the New Jersey online poker rooms with other players that are also located in the state of New Jersey.
Why is there a need for interstate online poker in New Jersey?
This was most likely due to its superb reputation among poker players before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) forced offshore poker sites to shut down to United States clientele.
PokerStars NJ was an overnight success. For a time the site caused a surge in New Jersey online poker which lead to increased liquidity, better game selection, and promotional efforts that were unmatched in the industry up until that point.
But as the frenzy slowed down and the novelty wore off, players went back to other sites.
Today the industry isn’t that much better than it was 12 months ago. With so many different New Jersey online gambling sites all vying for a piece of the pie, the player base in New Jersey is far too thin.
In order to reinvigorate online poker in the state, some sort of interstate compact to allow for players in the state of New Jersey to play with players from other states or countries will have to be instituted.
The last we checked (September 2016), the 7-day average for players across all New Jersey online poker rooms was just shy of 300 simultaneous players.
What are the busiest NJ online poker rooms?
The most active of these poker rooms, and the sites we suggest you play if you are lucky enough to be within the state, are WSOP NJ and PokerStars NJ.
Combined, these two sites have more than 75 percent of all online New Jersey players. WSOP NJ and Pokerstars NJ are your best bet to find the games and tournaments you are looking for.
Will New Jersey poker players ever be able to play against players from other states or countries?
Most experts agree that some US states will at some point combine their player pools for online poker. At the time of writing, online poker is only legal in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.
It is widely agreed upon that this merger would function much the same way that several states have combined lottery player pools to create bigger and better prizes for everyone involved (Powerball).
But agreements such as these are very complex and there are several factors that slow down the development of such compacts. As of September 2016, there is no set timeline for when these shared player pools could occur in the future.
That being said, New Jersey wants to serve as a regulatory hub for other US States that are attempting to regulate online gambling.
New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement Director David Rebuck promoted these aspirations at the East Coast Gaming Congress back in May of 2015 and has engaged in several conversations with regulators from the UK over the issue of sharing player pools:
“If you partner with New Jersey, I can guarantee you, you can be up and operating in anywhere from 90 to 120 days, and you can set whatever tax rate you want.”
With this promise and active efforts by the state of New Jersey to increase its online gambling market share, many other states are sure to jump on board. As legalized online gambling spreads throughout the United States, poker player pools will become larger and larger.
It is only a matter of time before New Jersey poker players will be allowed to play poker online with gamblers from other states and possibly even other countries, though when that time will arrive is not yet known.
Image credit: Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock.com