WASHINGTON, DC – This year saw a significant change in the gambling industry of the United States with several states legalizing online gambling, which – which opens doors and creates opportunities, but at the same time raises questions and concerns. The World Regulatory Briefing (WrB), a two-day event in Philadelphia, offered a great platform to take a closer look at those issues. Over the course of two days a number of sessions and presentations took place that evolved around a handful of topics:iGaming regulations in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, the negative impact on land-based gambling and lotteries, involvement of the federal government, and compacting and liquidity.
Liquidity and compacting seemed to be the most discussed topicson day one, with one session focusing on the study of online poker ecology, liquidity and player pool compacting across the U.S. states, which wasmoderated by Jeff Ifrah, Founding Partner at Ifrah PLLC.The panel’s participants included:John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance, David Gzesh ofGzesh, Luisa Woods of Tropicana Entertainment in Atlantic City and ItsikAkiva of Everest.According to Pappas, not even California can sustain a healthy poker ecosystem due to a lack of time zone variance to satisfy.David Gzesh on the other handbelieves the “magic number” for sustaining an online poker ecosystem includes a population of 9 million, with 2000 players online at a time. After much debate on the liquidity and compacting issue, one thing that everyone agreed on was that a poker network formed between US states would be the ideal solution. ItsikAkiva added that in this scenario each state could keep their brands, yet pool their liquidity at the same time. “It’s the way to go”, he said.
The speakers were not the only experts on the panel, the moderator himself, Jeff Ifrah, has extensive experience in the field of online gambling:Following the opening up of three US states for online poker over the past year, the IGC (Interactive Gaming Council), a not-for-profit organization which provides a forum for interested parties to address issues and advance common interests in the global interactive gaming industry, published an assessment of “The Importance of Liquidity for the US States Offering i-Poker” by Jeff Ifrah and Griffin Finan, an associate of Ifrah Law, on their website, which examinedthe benefits of online poker liquidity and how it might be achieved in the US.
Jeff Ifrah is the founding member of Ifrah PLLC, a law firm specializing in iGaming, headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in MD, VA and Atlantic City. Jeff is widely regarded as a leading expert on matters related to iGaming and currently represents a wide range of clients in the iGaming industry including online gaming companies, fantasy sports companies, payment processors and identity verification companies. Jeff was named to the Gaming Intelligence Magazine Hot 50 List last year, serves on the editorial board of the World Online Gambling Report and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law.Jeff and his team represent many of the largest igaming companies and industry associations in the world. Clients include the online poker sites Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars and the Interactive Gaming Council.