Could UK Online Poker Sites Benefit from Pennsylvania Regulation?

Positive developments in the US could help the UK’s online poker industry if longstanding ideas of a liquidity sharing pact can be put into practice.

US UK online gaming pact.

Recent regulatory moves in the US could have a ripple effect that helps the UK’s gambling industry. (Image:

As part of the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) drive to improve its services and make its market the best in the world, sharing resources with other countries has long been discussed. In light of this, the regulation of online poker, casino gaming and daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania could bring talks of a possible deal back to the fore.

UK Online Betting Industry Increase

Between 2015 and 2016, the gross gaming yield (GGY) for the UK’s remote betting sector was £4.5 billion. That figure is not only an increase on the previous year, but it accounts for 32 percent of the country’s overall gaming GGY.

By all measures, online betting in the UK is likely to continue its current rate of growth, which could bring new innovations into the mix. Indeed, with Spain, Italy, France and Portugal signing a liquidity sharing pacts back in July, the UK could follow suit by renewing its relationship with the US market.

Talks between the UKGC and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) started back in 2015. By July 2016, the two regulators had an “agreement in principle” to share resources, technology and, ultimately, players between regulated sites.

Despite the best intentions, the deal never came to fruition with DGE Director David Rebuck saying in July 2017 that they just “couldn’t pull it off.” However, with New Jersey recently agreeing a pact with Nevada and Delaware, it seems a model is now in place for new deals to happen.

Potential for a Pennsylvania Pact

At this stage, Pennsylvania needs to bring its own sites online before it starts to explore playerpool sharing initiatives. When it does, however, the UK could once again be brought into the frame along with the New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada coalition.

The UKGC’s regulations have often been described as the gold standard for iGaming regulation. In fact, the initial discussions with officials from the DGE were based on how it could help its US counterpart.

With this being the case, the UKGC could once again be called upon to advise Pennsylvania’s regulators, which, in turn, could set the groundwork for a future working relationship.

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