If there was a race to legalize online gambling in the United States, Nevada may have just won it. Governor Brian Sandoval signed AB114 on Thursday, putting the final approval on legislation that legalizes online gambling in Nevada and allows the state to enter into compacts with other states for online poker.
“This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada,” Sandoval said in a Washington Post article. “Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada.This bill is critical to our state’s economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation.”
The bill flew through both the Nevada Assembly and the Senate before being autographed by Sandoval, who is a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.
While Nevada is considered by some (if not most) to be at the forefront of gambling regulation and expertise, it’s population doesn’t provide it enough players to really power the online gambling machine. The success of the online poker legislation will depend on how many states it can partner with to provide an expanded customer market.
The race to the online gambling finish line was primarily with Nevada’s East Coast “rival”, New Jersey, who is just days away from passing its own legislation. The difference between the two states may be more than just the amount of time it took to pass the bills; where Nevada will only offer online poker, New Jersey may have a market for other online casino games, like bingo and slots.
Both will need other states to join in to survive, however, and that will be the next step in the game as gambling regulators figure out compact parameters and negotiations.