Nevada Presses Forward With Interstate Gambling

14 September 2013

On Wednesday, Nevada took its first step toward its goal of offering online poker to residents of other states. After two of its largest slot machine manufacturers, International Game Technology and Bally Technologies, petitioned the state’s gaming commission to allow multijursidictional progressive prizes, the Nevada Gaming Control Board conducted a proposal workshop meeting to suss out regulatory and technical scenarios.

Both IGT and Bally’s are attempting to grow bigger jackpots more quickly, and having a larger jurisdiction would allow them to do that, a scenario not unlike the Powerball lottery.

A.G. Burnett, Gaming Control Board Chairman, concurred that an adoption could be possible. “You might say we’d be sticking our toe in the water,” he said of the proposal in a VegasInc.com article.

Nevada residents and visitors have been able to play poker online legally since April 2013. While Governor Brian Sandoval has already signed legislation that would allow online poker players from other states to join in, two crucial items–appropriate regulations and technical considerations–are necessary for the goal to become reality. For instance, two different state regulations would need to be amended, state compacts would need to be negotiated, and the regulatory checks and balances must be in place before widening the online poker player pool.

“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,” Sandoval said last week. “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.”

The push to include more players comes not only from Governor Sandoval and game manufacturers, but also from the popularity of the games themselves. Ultimate Poker, Nevada’s only online poker site at the moment, helped contribute to the 3.4% poker gross win increase since July 2012. We won’t be able to report how much revenue online poker has generated since its inception until at least two other online poker companies are up in running in order to keep each site’s specific winnings confidential. According to Governor Sandoval, however, Ultimate Poker has done “extremely well” since its launch.

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