Online Poker Regulation in Nevada

NevadaIn December 2011 the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the first regulations for online poker. According to the United States Department of Justice rules online poker within a state but not across state lines is permitted. Since the Department of Justice change of policy in December outlining that the Wire Act of 1961 will apply to online sports betting this has been interpreted to mean that online poker and state lotteries are not prohibited by the Wire Act. The Department of Justice opinion stated that “Interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to “a sporting event or contest” fall outside the reach of the Wire Act”.
Now companies that already have gaming licences or companies wishing to do so can apply for licences to run online poker within the state of Nevada. Several companies are lined up to do so and the hope is that licences will begin to be issued for internet poker during the first quarter of 2012. The new online poker regulations include strict rules such as the prevention of under age gambling, players must be registered and present within the state, clear information must be presented on the site and there must be links for those who may have a gambling problem.Operators who are granted licences to set up poker websites under the new regulations must provide the in-house rules, a link to the Gaming Control Board’s website, information on the solving of disputes and a link to a site offering information on responsible gaming. They must also offer a “self exclusion’ option so that players can limit their own access to gaming sites. (See article: New Jersey: Renewed Attempt to Legalize Online Gaming).

The question facing the different states now after the Department of Justice’s opinion in December is whether to introduce their own legislation or to wait for a federal online poker law. Several states including New Jersey, California, Illinois and Washington DC plan to offer online gaming after they pass their own state online gambling laws. In this way the individual states will be able to regulate their own online gambling industry and also gain valuable tax revenue from online gaming.

Others including some of the major Las Vegas casinos would prefer a federal online gaming law. At the moment Nevada is the only state that would be wiling to grant online gaming licences under a federal law. Those who support a federal law say that with individual state laws regulation and player protection could be more difficult.

The hope in Nevada following the new poker regulations is that its online poker will be launched in the fall.

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