It doesn’t look like the entire famed Vegas Strip casino owners are against the proposed online poker bill (Bill 258) in Nevada. Proponents of the bill got another endorsement for the bill and this one came from South Point Hotel and Casino owner Michael Gaughan. The 68 year old casino owner support is in stark contrast to the two major casino companies that have already come out against the bill.
“There is no doubt in my mind that online poker and other games are coming,” Gaughan said in a statement. “AB 258 would make us a pioneer in the nationwide movement and the leader for the rest of the country to emulate.”
Gaughan went on to say that this bill could bring in over $500 million dollars in state revenue which could help the Nevada’s budget shortfall as well as helping reduce its high unemployment rate. He also gave credit to the Nevada Gaming Commission for having the ability to regulate and license online gaming and also ensure the games integrity and fairness to all players using the current technology available.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee will have a hearing on this bill this morning. Democrat Assemblyman William Horne heads the committee and also introduced the bill, backed by PokerStars, March 10th. According to Horne,
“This legislation will create high-tech jobs, bring in revenue to state and local government, and will be a significant boost to our economy at a time when it is desperately needed.” Horne also added, “Nevada is the undisputed leader of the live-gaming industry and it only makes sense that it should become the first state to make Internet poker legal. While we understand the federal government is looking at this issue as well, Nevada can’t wait to see if Congress can finally get it done.”
Nevada’s ambition is to regulate online poker throughout the U.S. and not just in Nevada. This bill however does not have the support of the MGM Resorts International or Caesars Entertainment. Both companies say they would rather see a federal mandate on online gambling and not one by individual states.