To some this may be a case of “here we go again.” Nevada however is trying to position itself to be an important cog if the U.S. takes the leap and legalizes online gambling. As the debate is growing in Congress, Nevada voted to become the first state to allow online poker.
Thursday, Nevada approved rules that would allow companies to apply for licenses to operate a poker website in Nevada. Now, should Congress approve any of the regulations currently up for discussion, Nevada is now positioned to take quick advantage.
Nevada’s casinos, as long as the adhere to the state’s new standards, could be allow for them to have their own websites up with in the end of next year that could cater to Nevada residents only. According to Mark Lipparelli, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the board that drew up the rules that was unanimously approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission;
“I think this is an important big step. This establishes a U.S. foundation for online gaming regulation.”
Nevada has directly addressed the issue of underage gambling that has been so hotly debated in many state governments. New operators must verify the age and location of every gambler within 30 days of registration and cannot extend credit.
There are also regulations directly coming from the DoJ issues with Full Tilt Poker. Operators must also hold a reserve, either of cash or credit to cover the money held for players in their account and the regulations limit the profits that celebrity poker players could receive if employed by the site.
Thought the large casino companies are still lobbying for a federal law to legalize and regulate online gambling, Caesars has already applied for a Nevada online gambling license. It is still unclear whether they will take advantage of the new Nevada regulations or wait for federal legislation.