The online poker community is getting pretty excited about the possibility of online poker being legalized in Nevada. If you stop and think about it, though, it makes perfect sense that Nevada would be the first state to actually legalize online poker. After all, Nevada is the home of Las Vegas, sin city itself – gambling paradise surrounded by miles and miles of sand. This new bill, if passed into law, will not just allow online poker, it will also make intrastate gambling possible. Also, unlike the first draft of the gambling bill proposed a few months ago, this one is actually fair in that it allows poker rooms such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt to move into the US market without trouble.
About the new bill
AB258 is a bill that, if passed, would allow the residents of Nevada to play online poker legally not just among themselves, but also with players from other states that have also allowed online gambling. California could have been the first state to achieve this, but the bill was vetoed by governor Christie, though he had raised some valid arguments behind his veto. Many of you might remember all the hype that was created last year when Harry Reid presented his bill to the senate, only to be disappointed when the bill was rejected. However, hindsight showed that a lot of online players would have been displayed had that bill actually passed, mainly because Reid’s bill was extremely biased towards US-based brick and mortar casinos.
This certainly won’t be the case this time as it was revealed in an article in the Wall Street Journal that PokerStars, or more specifically, Rational Enterprises Ltd., is the lobbying force behind this new bill. They’re sure to be protecting their own interests if they’re this adamant on having this new bill passed.
Nevada Casinos say Nay
Of course, the bill still has a long way to go before it gets passed into law. In fact, it has a pretty bumpy road ahead of it since most of the big casinos in Nevada are set against it. They’re not too keen on the idea of having to compete against Pokerstars and Full Tilt, both of which are already massive despite being “illegal” by US standards.
It’s really annoying that the whole issue of online poker regulation is just becoming a legal tug of war between the big poker rooms and the land-based casinos. Hopefully – though this is highly unlikely – these companies and the lawmakers would put their own interests aside and actually try to come upon a conclusion that’s best for the players, and not just for themselves.
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