It seems Nevada is ready to start making money with Internet gambling. At least if its politicians have anything to do with it.
Majority Leader William Horne is pushing a bill through the Nevada Legislature that would double the online gaming license fee up to $1,000,000. While that point seems to be garnering the most press (and the most criticism), the bill also includes language that is otherwise very well received.
The bill includes the following:
- The ability for Nevada to continue forward with online gaming licenses.
- The ability for Nevada to forge intrastate compacts as needed to widen its player base.
- Companies that illegally operated online gaming storefronts in the United States before 2006 would be denied an online gaming license until 2016.
To the critics of the $1 million fee, William Horne said, “We don’t want some average American Joe Six-Pack with a server in his garage starting an online gaming operation. We want to have serious entrepreneurs entering this arena.”
Critics pointed out that under current Nevada law only hotel resorts with specific qualifications are eligible for online gaming licenses, which automatically makes Joe Six Pack ineligible.
While it is unlikely that Governor Sandoval will sign the bill as it currently stands, it is likely he will issue a conditional veto until that part of the legislation is changed.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Gaming Control Board Chairman, A.G. Burnett, presented Senate Bill 9, state legislation that would allow Nevada to tax the net profits from Internet poker tournaments. Currently, on-site poker tournaments can profit tax free due to the large amount of capital required to fund the events. Since online poker tournaments do not have to pay for floor space rentals, food and beverage, and utility fees, they should not be given the same consideration.
It’s important to note that the proposed tax in the new bill would not include the prizes won by online poker players.