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Nevada Bill: Interstate Online Poker Is OK

Nevada’s nascent internet poker market could grow beyond the borders of the state if the Gaming Control Board prevails.

In a draft bill submitted to the legislature, the board proposes amending the current regulatory language to allow the state to enter into agreements with other states that legalize online poker.

Under the existing regulations, websites in the state can only accept wagers from players gambling on computers or mobile devices physically located within the state.

A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Gaming Control Board, says Nevada would benefit from the new rules because several states, including New Jersey and California, are in the process of enacting online gaming laws. Congress has not enacted federal legislation to legalize the online games.

“The need to make clear the governor’s ability, should he choose, to negotiate such agreements was paramount,” Burnett said.

Which states would partner with Nevada is the question. California has a massive built-in market, and would have no need for the few Nevada players. Nevada regulatory structures are mature, but would any state partner with Nevada simply to get use of the regulators?

So far, a total of 17 casino operators and technology providers have been licensed to provide the framework for web-based games in the Silver State. Three more companies are seeking license approvals. Interactive poker websites could launch this spring after the technology is approved by testing laboratories and gaming regulators.