The question of federal regulation and legalisation of online gambling in the United States is on going. Some operators, in particular land based casino groups interested in the online gaming market, favour federal legislation but others would prefer state by state legislation. At the end of last year Nevada’s Gaming Commission approved intrastate regulation of online poker. (See article: Online Poker Regulation in Nevada).
The initial hope was that online poker would be up and running by autumn 2012 but now it looks more likely that it will be the end of the year or even early 2013 before the regulations and also technical matters are in place.Earlier this year the Nevada Gaming Commission started to accept applications for licences for real money online poker. Many states are in negotiations to pass their own laws regulating online gambling within their own borders.
The states of California, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington Dc have plans to legalise online gambling if such laws are passed in each individual state. The state of Delaware, which has a population of under one million has recently approved intrastate online gambling but due to the cost of regulation some within the state are suggesting that a partnership with Nevada would be a better deal. Several other states are also thought to be considering such a partnership. These states are also looking to the future when interstate rather than just intrastate online gambling may be legalised and that would open up a very lucrative market in online poker and casino games.Several gaming companies have already been issued with online poker licences by the Nevada Gaming Commission. These include Bally Technologies, South Point Poker and Monarch Interactive Inc among others. So far in 2012 close to a dozen licences have been issued. Some of these licences have been granted to operators who have free to play online poker sites already in place and who now hope with the licence from Nevada to benefit from the players already using their site when they can offer real money online poker.
The most likely prospect for online poker in the near future seems to be that individual states will proceed with their own legislation to regulate online gambling. Nevada is looked upon world wide as a leader in the regulation of gambling and so having an online poker licence from Nevada is considered by many operators to be a major step in the direction of providing interstate online poker in the future.