Online Poker to Start in Nevada in Autumn

Online Poker to Start in Nevada in Autumn

Nevada residents will most likely get to play intrastate online poker from autumn 2012. Nevada Gaming Control Board’s chairman, Mark Lipparelli stated that Nevada will be the first US state to offer legalized online poker.

Online poker regulations in Nevada were approved by the state’s senate committee towards the end of 2011. Following this, quite a few online gambling firms applied for a license to the Nevada Gaming Control Board for offering real money online poker. Lipparelli mentioned that the last step in the process of approving an application is technical verification. It is still uncertain as to how long the process will take. However, Lipparelli is confident that the first set of license applicants will be able to start offering legalized online poker from autumn this year.

Nevada Leads Among US States

Apart from Nevada, quite a few other US states such as New Jersey,California and Iowa are trying to legalize internet poker services within their territory. Industry watchers believe that a few US states will form agreements with the government which will allow them to offer interstate online poker.

License Applications in Nevada

In Nevada, more than 24 companies including site operators and software providers have applied for a license to operate online poker rooms. Some of the firms which have applied for licenses are, Shuffle Master, Caesars Entertainment, Bally Technologies, and 888 Holdings.

The technical evaluations of these companies will be done between spring and summer, this year. Once licenses are granted, companies can get started with their online poker operations. According to Lipparelli, in case technical evaluations take time, license applicants will be able to offer real money online poker latest by the beginning of 2013.

Not Much Progress in New Jersey Online Gambling Legalization Efforts 

The online gambling bill in New Jersey has been approved by the senate committee. However, the state may not be able to offer online poker as early as Nevada. This is because the horse racing industry in the state is opposing online gambling legalization. Horse racing companies like Owners Association and Standardbred Breeders argue that if the legalization of online poker becomes a reality in the state, the horse racing industry will suffer.

An online gambling bill was introduced in New Jersey last year which was rejected by the governor Chris Christie. He stated that according to the New Jersey constitution, gambling activities should be restricted to Atlantic City. Christie issued a statement last year mentioning that he wants New Jersey to be the hub of online gambling. However, he doesn’t want to rush in the matter as he wants the legalization of online poker to take place in accordance with the state’s constitution. The latest bill was designed after incorporating the suggestions by Christie.

Online Poker Bill Approved in Iowa

Apart from Nevada and New Jersey,Iowa is another state which is pushing for an online poker bill. Recently, the subcommittee of Iowa approved an online poker bill inspite of quite a few oppositions.

Jeff Danielson, the state senator argued that the bill will add to the tax revenue of the state by about $3 to $13 million. The figures were calculated after conducting a study which revealed that real money poker in Iowa will generate around $13 to $60 million revenue per year. The opponents of online gambling in Iowa stated that with legalization, the dangers of problem gambling will increase.

Similar to a few online poker lobbying groups such as the American Gaming Association and Poker Players Alliance, the Iowa Gaming Association is pushing for a federal bill for online poker. However, the state will move ahead with its own regulation in case the US government doesn’t pass a federal bill.

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