There is real movement in the online poker industry in Nevada. Back in June the Nevada Gaming Commission made online poker history by approving the issuing of the first ever United States licences for online poker within Nevada. These two first licences were granted to companies which manufacture and supply online poker systems to internet operators. Bally Technologies is based in Las Vegas and International Game Technologies is based in Reno.
The most recent licences were issued to three casino operators in Nevada. The Station Casinos, the Boyd Gaming Corporation and the Golden Nugget Casinos were all given initial approval to provide intrastate online poker. Later this month it is expected that the three companies will be granted full approval when the Nevada Gaming Commission meets.In order to gain a Nevada licence the state’s online gambling regulations must be observed. So each new licence holder must be able to show that their online poker system can confirm that players are actually present within the state borders and that they are of the legal age to gamble online.
The presence in the state is important since the United States Justice Department issued a ruling at the end of 2011 which stated that internet transactions not relating to a “sporting event or contest” are not covered by the 1961 Wire Act. It also ruled that online gambling across state lines was against the law but some states have taken this to imply that online gambling within the borders of states where gambling is legal is permitted. Licence holders in Nevada are also required to protect online players from gambling addiction problems and to prevent fraud and money laundering.The three latest recipients of the online poker licences can see the future economic benefits from online poker. Nevada’s annual intake from poker in land based casinos is about 132 million dollars and when online poker is in place this is expected to almost double. The state of Nevada will also benefit as it will help the casino industry and bring new employment in technology linked to online poker. The Boyd Gaming Corporation is hoping to increase its presence to about 30 or more employees. The Station Casinos group hopes to have around 100 people working in Las Vegas in 2013 compared to about 25 at the moment. The Golden Nugget Casinos also hope to increase employment. The Golden Nugget’s online poker will use a system provided by Bally Technologies which was one of the first companies to receive a Nevada online poker licence in June 2012.