Nevada Licensing Online Poker Operators In February 2012

Updated: November 16th, 2011 by Dev Ops

Starting in February 2012, the Nevada Gaming Control Board will start licensing online poker companies in the state. The Nevada Gaming Control Board was compelled by state law to create online poker regulations by the end of 2011. These regulations would set the laws that would govern online poker operators that are located in Nevada. These requirements include payment methods, game security, problem gambling and holding of player’s funds. These licensed companies would be set up to launch interstate online poker as soon as the U.S. Congress passed online poker regulations.

There was a surprise unveiled by the Nevada Gaming Control Board when this announcement was made.

Starting in February 2012, companies that would like to get licensed to operate online poker rooms can start applying for a license. While those companies will have to wait for online poker regulation at the federal level to offer interstate online poker, the Nevada Gaming Control Board announced that online poker rooms would be allowed to offer real money games to Nevada residents.

These intrastate online poker rooms would be the first of their kind in the U.S. While Washington D.C. has also passed online poker regulations, the launch of lottery based online poker appears to be stalled in the nation’s capital.

Nevada is no stranger to online betting. Nevada, which is the only state where single game sports wagering is legal, allows sportsbooks to accept wagers on all sporting events over the internet. Players can make a deposit at their local sportsbook and then bet on their computer from home. Sports wagers may also be made through mobile devices. Nevada is not the only state with some form of online gambling. Many states offer horse race wagering and state lottery ticket sales over the internet.

Nevada has a small population compared to most states. In addition to a small population, Nevada has a disproportionate number of retirees who are typically not as active on the internet as younger age groups are. The younger age groups will consist of many experienced poker players that may have moved to Nevada for the poker action. This makes it so that there may be liquidity issues and the poker rooms will be small. Even if the Nevada online poker rooms do not make any money, there will still be a lot to gain from launching them.

Many people that are opposed to online poker in the U.S. point to underage gambling, problem gambling and game security as issues that will make safe online poker impossible. This will be the chance for the new online poker industry to prove that they can prevent underage gambling, identify problem gamblers, and offer safe and secure games to their players. Nevada intrastate online poker would become the test market for online poker in the U.S. If Nevada online poker operators can avoid having any scandals, it will help other states and the U.S. government realize that safe and secure online poker is possible, just as it is all over the world.

While the first intrastate online poker rooms could be six months away, this is still huge news for the online poker industry. U.S. players outside of Nevada should be excited as well. If Nevada can successfully launch online poker within their state, it will only be a matter of time before other states see the potential revenue and regulate online poker themselves.

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