Nevada Passes Online Poker Bill, but Software Not Yet Approved

The legislature of the State of Nevada rushed a bill through to passage, allowing internet based poker rooms to be played by residents of the state. Sadly they have not yet approved any software package, so the new law remains in a sort of legal limbo for the time being.

Both the Nevada senate and assembly passed the approval unanimously, treating it as an emergency measure, and Governor Brian Sandoval held a quick and informal signing ceremony to make the new law official. The urgency was abated however when A.G. Burnett, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, stated that the computer systems to actually get the game online are “still being tested.”
“We have to certify that the software meets (Nevada) state standards,” Burnett said, but he softened the blow by sharing, “the technicians are moving full steam ahead.” Unfortunately, he could not predict when the first system would be approved.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has already issued licensed to nine operators, poised to enter the online poker market. Back in 2011 the legislature approved companies to offer internet based poker within Nevada’s borers.

The new law allows the State of Nevada to sign agreements with other states in order to offer internet poker.

Governor Sandoval requested that the legislature approve the bill within the first thirty days of the next legislative session so that Nevada would be the first to enter this exciting new field. New Jersey is also in the running, but their bill has not yet been introduced as of this writing.

Sandoval stated that the new law was going to “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 of gaming regulation.”

This is good if fairly limited news. Those of us who play online casino for real money and the numerous US legal casinos are painfully aware that there is no federal stamp of approval on online casino play, and each player and property must adhere to variant local laws and regulations, an in many areas, are simply not allowed at all. There have been bills introduced in the United States on a federal level, but they are stopped and blocked in congress, and are facing staunch opposition by many of our representatives. With Nevada taking this step to create legal online poker rooms, it sets an example that, with a little luck, other states may follow.

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