A new poker-only bill has been introduced in Nevada, allowing land-based casinos to form agreements with offshore operators including those taking US bets. BDR 41-657 could give the green light to agreements such as the deal between Caesars Interactive Entertainment and Dragonfish, which today received approval from the Nevada State Gaming Control Board (GCB).
The Nevada bill states that licenses cannot be denied to operators “solely because the operator…operates, operated or was associated with, in interstate or foreign commerce and while licensed by another jurisdiction.” It also states that such a denial cannot be issued to those “which were unlicensed in the United States or the State of Nevada and in which bets or wagers were initiated, received or otherwise made by persons located in the United States.”
While Nevada’s population of just over 2.7million is comparable to that of Iowa – another state to recently introduce egaming legislation – Washington DC-based lawyer Jeff Ifrah is confident that these offshore provisions, coupled with the reputation enjoyed by the Silver State (Las Vegas in particular) gives Nevada an advantage in the race to become the first state to regulate online gaming.
Ifrah, who represents various offshore organizations, told eGaming Review he believed the bill “would not be introduced if it didn’t have a chance of succeeding, and if it didn’t have the support of the land-based casinos. This suggests that the land-based casinos have bought into the idea that online poker is here to stay.” He added that “land-based casinos in Nevada are some of the largest in the world, and very powerful players [whereas] there’s not so much financial incentive for foreign operators to team up with land-based casinos in other states.”
Cooperation between Nevada and other jurisdictions has been in evidence already this year, with the GCB reaching a cooperation agreement with Alderney’s Gambling Control Commission in January.