Nevada to Issue Online Poker Licences from February

Nevada to Issue Online Poker Licences from February

While other states that are actively seeking to legalize intrastate online poker drag their heels, Nevada plan to be accepting applications for online poker licences starting February.

At last week’s conference on U.S. Online Gaming Law held at the Las Vegas Aria casino, the chairman of Nevada State’s GCB (Gaming Control Board). Mark Lipparelli announced that applications for online poker licences will start being accepted by the GCB from next February. This is a significant development in the ongoing saga of whether online gambling will eventually become legal or not.

While there is some movement in Congress with a current Bill travelling slowly through the political machinery at Federal level to overturn the 2006 UIGEA, there has been more noise made by some individual states attempting to take it further at state level. So far, New Jersey, California, Iowa and Florida have all taken steps in the right direction but come up against a variety of opposing forces that have kept them from realising their ambitions. The District of Columbia has actually managed to have localised online gambling passed into law, although that is now being hotly debated by opposition groups angry at what they see as a controversial law sneaked past them by stealth.

But it has taken the one state that is synonymous with gambling at established casinos, Nevada, to go that extra step forward and literally put their much debated plans into action. Even so, there are still some obstacles to get around for the forward thinking state. The UIGEA is still law and prevents any form of interstate or country-wide online gambling. However, there is explicit permission for intrastate online gambling, which is carried out within the borders of any specific state.

Any of the licences granted to operators would restrict them to offering access to online gambling services and games to Nevada residents only. According to Lipparelli, those operators who already hold a license for gambling at established casinos will get to be first in line and their applications will be processed quickly and relatively smoothly. It won’t be quite as simple as rubber stamping the applications. Existing operators will still be required to prove they have the necessary technology in place to prevent underage players within Nevada and those outside its borders from playing. Any new operators in the state will face extensive investigations before they are able to obtain a licence.

A regulatory workshop open to the public was held by the GCB in September to field questions while discussing possible revisions to the regulation that sets out Nevada’s online gambling framework. Not surprisingly, very few concerns arose, meaning they are on track for the final approval set for December.