Nevada GCB Tests the Out-of-State Waters

September 15, 2013

On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a proposed Internet poker governing regulations draft. On Wednesday, the state took yet another step on its long and complicated road to legal online gaming. The state’s Gaming Control Board held a workshop meeting to address a proposal for progressive jackpots to be offered across state lines.

Bally Technologies and International Game Technology, the leading slot machine manufacturers in Nevada, petitioned for the amendment of gambling regulations to allow multi-jurisdictional progressive prizes. The motivation for the two companies is enabling wide-area progressive jackpots over a larger area, and they are confident that jackpots for multiple jurisdictions will be larger and build faster.

A.G. Burnett, the Gaming Control Board chairman, concurred that amending the regulations is the first step towards making Internet poker across state lines a reality. For interstate online poker play to become possible the technical specifications must be developed with precision and the governor must enter agreements with other states.

Early in the 2013 session of the Legislature, Governor Brian Sandoval signed legislation approval that paves the way for setting up of regulations to enable poker play by people outside the state.

Sandoval said, “I can’t enter into any compacts or agreements with other states until the Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission adopt regulations to allow me to do so.”

The governor also said that other states had shown an interest in entering into such a compact.

“We have had preliminary conversations with other states, but there is nothing I can do until the regulations are adopted, which I understand may happen next month.”

Currently, people are allowed to play online poker only within the borders of Nevada and the only company with the license to run an online poker site is Station Casinos, which it does through its Ultimate Poker brand. Station is yet to reveal the amount of revenue it has generated through intrastate online poker, but according to Sandoval it is doing “extremely well.” There are several other operators on the blink of acquiring their licenses.

Appointed to oversee the development of the regulations on interstate agreements is Commissioner John Moran Jr., who is experienced in the negotiation of compacts with other states on Colorado River water usage.

At the Wednesday session, the Control Board reviewed regulatory amendments addressing the technicalities of deploying an interstate network. Burnett said the purpose of the session was information gathering for presentation to the Gaming Commission. Hearings on the proposals should be scheduled for October.


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