The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports playing Internet poker in Nevada could become a reality even before the 2013 Legislature considers several Gaming Policy Committee recommendations to tweak current state regulations covering interactive gambling.
State regulators in June licensed slot machine makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology to provide interactive gambling products to casino operators. On Thursday, the state Gaming Commission approved Shuffle Master to manufacture and provide interactive systems.
Sandoval reactivated the 11-person policy panel, which had been dormant since the 1980s, to explore Nevada’s push into Internet gambling. The state Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission have already approved regulations allowing for wagering on Internet poker as long as the activity takes place within Nevada’s boundaries. More than three dozen casino operators and equipment providers have applied for Interactive licenses.
Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said the first casino operators could be in front of regulators in 60 to 90 days. Once the casino operators are licensed and independent testing labs sign off on the technology, pay-to-play Internet poker could go live within the state before the next legislative session begins in February.
The policy committee met four times and developed seven recommendations for lawmakers.
The recommendations are not specific, but ask lawmakers to modify statutory barriers affecting online gambling regulation and to strengthen regulatory standards to keep underage players and those in other states from accessing websites.
The policy committee also wants the Legislature to strengthen safeguards for player money held by online gambling sites.
Any change in how revenues from Internet gambling are taxed would also have to be taken up legislatively. Lipparelli said potential revenues from Nevada’s online poker websites will be taxed at 6.75 percent. However, certain revenues from poker tournaments can go untaxed, an area that might be reviewed.