Nevada Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Online Poker

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill legalizing online poker on February 21st after it unanimously passed. The goal was to jump ahead of New Jersey, a state also interested in making online poker legal for Nevada residents. The law became effective immediately. Per Governor Sandoval, legalizing poker for the online market is vital to improve the state's economy. It also protects Nevada's status as the United States' gambling capital.

Potential Income from Online Poker

The chairman of the Gaming Control Board, A. G. Burnett, states that online gambling has the potential of bringing in up to $10 billion a year in the U.S. If online casinos in the U.S. opened to the world market, the amount could easily reach $30 billion.

The governor did caution that online poker sites will take time to build. In addition, the law doesn't help players outside the state. The U.S. Congress has yet to take action on revising the Wire Act of 1961. Until that changes, the U.S. Government feels that all forms of Internet gambling are illegal.

Nevada Casinos and Game Companies Rushing to Apply for Permits

Casinos are already applying for permits to set up online poker sites. Companies that have applied for permits include:

  • American Casino and Entertainment Properties
  • Bally Technologies
  • Boyd Gaming
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Golden Nugget
  • International Game Technology
  • MGM Resorts International
  • NetEffect Networks
  • PokerTrip Enterprises
  • SHFL Entertainment
  • South Point Poker
  • WMS Industries
  • Wynn Resorts
  • Zynga

Some of these companies have their license in hand and hope to have their poker sites live by the end of 2013.