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The governors of Delaware and Nevada signed a first-of-its kind Internet gambling agreement on Tuesday that establishes a legal framework allowing residents of the two states to play online poker against one another.
"I consider this a landmark intersection in the road of gaming history," Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said before signing the agreement.
Sandoval and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said the agreement could make online gambling more attractive for players while boosting gambling revenues for the states.
"It's truly imperative for us to be able to partner together," Sandoval said.
Markell said the agreement is a "natural next step" to ensure that Delaware's gambling industry, which is struggling because of competition in neighboring states, remains "at the cutting edge." Delaware's three state-licensed casinos have steadily lost business in recent years to casinos in neighboring states despite the addition of table games, sports betting and online gambling.
"We should do everything we can to make our gaming industry as competitive as it can possibly be," Markell said.
While initially limited to online poker, the agreement offers the possibility of additional games and additional states as members of a multistate Internet gaming association.
"We know that more games and more states means more revenue," said Markell, a Democrat.
Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey are the only states to have legalized online gambling to date, but at least 10 other states are considering doing so.Sandoval, a Republican, said New Jersey officials have expressed some interest in the multistate agreement but are waiting to see how it works out for Delaware and Nevada.
Officials gave no estimate for how much additional revenue the agreement might generate, or a date for when a technology platform allowing Delaware and Nevada players to play against one another will be in place.
-- The Associated Press