Online Poker Approved in Nevada

Nevada had all of its ducks in a row when the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that the Federal Wire Act of 1961 pertained only to sports betting and did not in any way prohibit online poker. With that the Nevada Gambling Commission met and unanimously approved regulations for intrastate online poker.


Quick Reaction

Online poker is a step closer to being a reality in Nevada.

Online poker is a step closer to being a reality in Nevada.

The move by the commission occurred quickly due to the fact that the state already had online poker regulations in place. State legislators had planned ahead, writing and approving online poker and gaming laws after Black Friday. Thus, the commission, with legislation in its pocket and an array of potential providers, simply had to give the green light once the DoJ made its ruling.

Once the legislation in place, various companies including Bally’s Technology, South Point, Caesars Entertainment, International Game Technology, Shuffle Master and Cantor Gaming, applied for licenses months ago. Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Liparelli said that those companies with proposals already in the pipeline will have “a smoother time moving forward.” That’s because they have already made it through some parts of the process.


Irony of Sorts

The irony of the situation must certainly be seen by New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak (D- Union) who in 2011 had sponsored a bill in his state to open the door for online poker. The bill passed but was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie who said it violated state law.

For his actions, Lesniak also drew the ire and fire of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and Republican Jon Kyl, both of Nevada. They wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, “We believe that the Department of Justice’s longstanding position has been that all forms of Internet gambling are illegal – including intrastate Internet gambling, because activity over the Internet inherently crosses state lines.” The letter was written in response to Lesniak’s efforts.

At that time, Lesniak responded in a letter to the A.G., observing, “Were you to accept Sens. Reid and Kyl’s letter on the merits, you would have to prosecute the Nevada Gaming Board, which this year approved sports betting via mobile Internet within the confines of the state of Nevada.”


Nevada in the Lead

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Liparelli sees the first license being awarded this spring.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Liparelli sees the first license being awarded this spring.

Nevada is once again the leader when it comes to gambling and innovation. Chairman Liparelli believes the first license to be awarded this spring. The expectation is that online poker will then be up and running by the end of 2013.

The company that gets first approval will have to be able to show that it can control player registrations, restrict players to in-state locations and prevent underage gambling. They will also, according to the regulations, be required to reveal on their website how records will be kept, disputes resolved and in what manner fees and taxes will be paid. They must also offer information and links for those with problem gambling.

Nevada is not expected to actually allow an Internet provider to open their doors until U.S. lawmakers pass national legislation related to online poker. But chances are Nevada will be the first to have a website go live with legal poker for those in the U.S.

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Posted by on Jan 22 2012. Filed under Online Poker News, Poker Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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