When Nevada’s Gaming Policy Committee wrapped up its final meeting yesterday before the 11-member panel’s scheduled calendar break, the panel, led by Governor Brian Sandoval, had unquestionably positioned Nevada to become the first state to allow at least one of its casinos to have a legal website where Nevada residents and visitors can play poker using real money.
And just a day earlier, the Gaming Policy Committee said that it intends to encourage Nevada’s State Legislature to investigate the legality of Nevada forming compacts, or revenue-sharing agreements, between the state’s legally operated websites and other states and foreign countries when Nevada’s Legislature reconvenes in February of next year.
With Bally Technologies and International Game Technology, or IGT, receiving licenses to provide Internet gambling software to licensed brick-and-mortar casinos from the state last month and Shuffle Master receiving its service provider license earlier today, only two identifiable obstacles remain before Nevada becomes the first state in America to have its casinos operate legal online poker websites.
First, the Independent Testing Labs approved by the state must test the software developed by licensed software providers for fairness, among other things. Second, the state must approve at least one of the more than thirty land-based casinos that have applied for a license to host a legal gambling website. According to Mark Lipparelli, the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada may not have to wait too long to overcome at least one of these obstacles.
According to the online version of “Card Player Magazine” and the “Las Vegas Review-Journal,” among other sources, Lipparelli estimates that Nevada could issue its first operator license(s) within the next 60 – 90 days. If Lipparelli’s estimate is accurate, Nevada truly is well-positioned to become the first state in the nation to offer independently run, state-regulated online poker to its residents and visitors who are at least 21 years-old.