A Kink in the Plans

Posted on: April 14, 2011

It’s been about a week or so since I’ve written about the recent developments with Internet Poker, and a LOT has gone down. First, Washington DC surprised all of us by passing poker legislation. The new law will allow the district’s lottery to run an intrastate poker operation. It is estimated that if Washington DC starts operating an online poker site, they potentially could raise up to $13 million over the next three years starting next year.

Meanwhile, back in Nevada, where many thought for sure would be the first place to start legislating online poker, it appears we may have more hurdles than originally thought. Our new governor, Brian Sandoval, was interviewed on Nevada Newsmakers and stated that he thought Nevada should hold off on legislating online poker until the federal laws are revised and online poker is not explicitly illegal. He also wrote a letter to Assemblyman William Horne, the original author of AB258 – the law that addresses the licensing and regulation of online poker in Nevada. (As a side note, if you haven’t seen or read this letter, I highly encourage you to click through, as it is very insightful and interesting) In the letter, Sandoval states that while he feels it is important for the legislature to take the first steps in creating Nevada’s online poker regulatory framework,” he also hopes that “any bill passed will not facilitate the legalization of online poker before the federal ban is lifted, or encourage any action that would hinder the United States Congress’s efforts towards the lifting of the ban.” Basically, he is saying that in no uncertain terms, he plans to veto any bill legalizing online poker in Nevada until there is Federal legislation that also allows online poker, which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. He also states in the letter that:

“While there may be some disagreement about tile scope of the ban, it is important that we not unintentionally expose the citizens of our state to civil and criminal liability. And, perhaps just as importantly, it is vital that we not undermine the State’s credibility as a thoughtful and conscientious regulator of gaming. Along these lines, it is important that the State’s effort to maintain this harmony is matched by our federal partner on this issue. Therefore, I would ask that any bill on this subject encourage Congress to enact legislation providing for the licensure of online poker as soon as practicable.”

I think he’s made his point pretty clear. It’s also important though to understand Sandoval’s background, which includes serving as a member and chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff. He has also served as a US District Judge and Attorney General for the State of Nevada. It’s hard to argue that his position is not what’s best for the state – especially taking into account his experience both in the legal and gaming world.


1 Response to "A Kink in the Plans"

Thanks for sharing Erin.

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This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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