Internet Poker Regulations to be set by Nevada Bill

Internet Poker Regulations to be set by Nevada Bill

03/18/2011

State lawmakers wanted Nevada to take the lead in regulating Internet poker. Several legislatures have been making this move after federal efforts to regulate the multibillion-dollar industry failed at the end of last year.

A bill was introduced by assembly members Thursday calling on Nevada gambling regulators to devise rules for Internet poker operators and companies that assemble related equipment.

The bill prohibits the Nevada Gaming Commission from refusing a license to existing poker sites like PokerStars, which have been running in a legal gray area after a federal law passed in 2006 effectively banned online gambling.

Senator Harry Reid’s efforts to set federal regulations for the industry were supported by the American Gaming Association, the biggest casino industry trade group in America. However, the effort died in December during the lame duck session of the United States Congress.

Zac Petkanas, the spokesman for Sen. Reid, said, “The writing has been on the wall that if the federal government doesn’t act to regulate Internet poker, then states will try to do so.”

American Gaming Association officials declined any comment regarding the Nevada bill.

The preamble of the bill states that the ailing economy of Nevada could benefit from legal Internet poker. It also notes that technology could be utilized to limit the gambling in places where it is legal.

The proposed regulations would have to be on the lookout against underage gambling and cheating, as well as set standards to protect the privacy of players.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com