A draft bill has been submitted to the Nevada Legislature that would make it possible for Nevada-based online poker domains to accept wagers from gamblers in other authorized states.
The bill, officially named Assembly Bill 5, has been introduced in the Nevada General Assembly on behalf of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Governor Brian Sandoval. Read the Nevada Intrastate Gambling Bill here as it was introduced. This bill, as it is currently written, would update language in the previously enacted online gaming bill that referenced the federal government’s role in authorizing online gambling. It would add language that allows the governor to act on behalf of Nevada to enter into online gambling agreements with other states.
Since a federal bill for nationwide regulation of online gambling has been declared dead at least until Congress straightens out the nation’s financial situation (which could be quite a long time), the introduction of state compacts is not a surprise.
The possibility of gaming compacts burned a bit brighter in December 2011 when the US Department of Justice reversed the stance on the Wire Act stating it only refers to sports betting. This change of heart put some lawmakers’ fears to rest that money transactions in online gaming could cross state lines without being in a violation of federal law.
State online gambling compacts offer both pros and cons, and rather large ones on both sides at that. On the plus side, state compacts would increase player pools, which would increase activity and funding. They also allow states who are relatively inexperienced in regulating gambling activities to glean from the states who survive by them. This being said, it’s unknown how wise it will be to place so much power in one particular body–the Nevada Gaming Commission, for example–nor is it known if Nevada will ask for something in return for its gambling expertise.
Says the voice behind JDSupra.com in the article, New Nevada Bill Would Allow for Interstate Gaming Compacts:
Interstate gaming compacts have the potential to be a good development for gamers, but at this point there are too many unanswered questions about how they would operate. The idea of one state-level agency wielding enormous power over online gaming throughout the country is something that should be studied carefully before it is implemented.
To date, Delaware and Nevada are the only two states with fully enacted online gambling legalization bills. New Jersey could quickly follow, pending Governor Chris Christie’s autograph. And more states are chomping at the bit for a piece of the action, and the revenue.
We all know that Nevada is the head of the gambling body of the United States. If this new legislation is passed, it could also become the brains.
The next legislative session for the Nevada General Assembly on the Judiciary begins on February 4, 2013.