Nevada governor signs bill to legalize online gambling

Feb 25, 2013 by Michael Muskal

Already home to a major gambling industry, Nevada is preparing to take its expertise online after officials approved a law making it the first state to authorize what could become one of the most lucrative gambling markets still to be tapped.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the bill Thursday in the same Capitol room where legalized about 80 years ago. By quickly moving the bill through the Legislature, Nevada gets ahead of rival New Jersey in the online poker business.

"This is an historic day for the great ," said Sandoval, a Republican and former state gaming chairman, during the ceremony in Carson City. "This bill is critical to our state's economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation."

While the law goes into effect immediately, it will probably be months before the first online bet is placed in Nevada and even longer before the games are opened to players outside the state. Numerous obstacles remain, said.

But the law eliminates some key barriers that had prevented Nevada from moving toward online gambling, A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Gaming Control Board, said in a telephone interview Friday. The changes are designed to accommodate a shift in , which had held that all forms of Internet gambling were illegal.

Congress has yet to act on Internet gambling, but at the end of 2011, the announced that it was revising its opinion of the Wire Act of 1961, which it had argued banned all forms of Internet gambling. In its announcement, the department said the Wire Act ban was limited to sports betting, thus making online poker potentially legal - as far as the federal government was concerned.

The new law is designed to allow Nevada to take advantage of the changes by creating a licensing and regulation system for online poker games, Burnett said. Nevada has been working to allow such gambling within the state - hoping to draw tourists - and is likely to have its system up and running within months, he said. The new online requirements mirror those already in place for gambling in person.

Intrastate online poker will probably draw about $2 million to $3 million a year to Nevada, Burnett said. But the state is small and the number of new tourists will probably also be small, he said.

The real jackpot is negotiating with other states to form a compact that would allow the expansion of to customers from those states.

In effect, Nevada would supply the licensing and regulation that could make online poker accessible everywhere the Internet is available in the United - a potential market of $4 billion to $10 billion a year. Globally, that market could reach $30 billion a year, Burnett estimated.

"We feel pretty certain that an agreement with another state would be legal because it is some form of compact," Burnett said. "We are being cautious and researching so that we do things appropriately. We are not going too fast and don't want to offend the in any way. But we need to allow our licensees to compete."

Already in the regulatory pipeline to offer poker websites are nine casinos, as well as manufacturers, software designers and other professionals needed to prepare the sites, Burnett said.

"Right now, I think we're in the right time and the right place," Burnett said.

Explore further: Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nevada adopts rules for Internet poker licenses

Dec 23, 2011

(AP) -- Nevada gambling regulators on Thursday unanimously approved rules that allow companies in the state apply for licenses to operate poker websites, a move that puts Nevada in a position to capitalize if Congress reverses ...

Christie again vetoes NJ's Internet gambling law

Feb 07, 2013

(AP)—Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have made New Jersey the third state to legalize gambling over the Internet, but he says he will support such a law if it were put on a 10-year trial period.

Gambling exec: Online regulations unlikely in 2012

Oct 02, 2012

(AP)—It doesn't look like Congress will pass Internet gambling regulatory laws this year, the head of the industry's main lobbying group said Tuesday, as he cast online wagering hosted by sites overseas as one of the biggest ...

US tries its luck easing online gambling stand

Mar 01, 2012

Despite a new crackdown on Internet gambling this week, the US government appears to be easing its stand on many forms of online betting, prompting states to swing into action to tap a new revenue source.

Poker domain names unfrozen to allow refunds

Apr 20, 2011

US authorities said Wednesday they were unfreezing the domain names of two online poker companies targeted in a crackdown on Internet gambling so US players could withdraw their money.

Recommended for you

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

Aug 23, 2014

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

Aug 22, 2014

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
1 / 5 (1) Feb 26, 2013
Why do not folk learn statistics and a bit about the dopamine system in their brains before throwing their money down the Nevada sink?