The State Assembly in Nevada on Thursday passed a revised version of February's attempt to legalize online poker in the state. The passing of the bill will set up a licensing system before next year.
The State Assembly in Nevada yesterday passed a revised version of February's online poker
bill, Business Week
Members of the Assembly unanimously passed the measure to allow the state to develop a licensing process for online poker businesses, just one month after the U.S. Department of Justice shut down the operations of the nation's three largest operators, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars
and UB Poker/Absolute Poker.
"There is a need," said Assemblyman William D. Horne, one of the sponsors of the bill.
"Where there is a void of regulation, there is corruption," he added.
The original version of the bill was backed by PokerStars, and called for the legalization of online poker in Nevada.
However, in the aftermath of Black Friday, PokerStars' involvement in the development of the bill has been left behind, and a new and revised version has been drafted instead.
Now, the bill calls for the Nevada Gaming Commission to develop regulations and set up a path for licensing online gambling business by January 2012, so that the state is ready "the day the (federal) law passes," Horne said.
The bill will as such not allow for online poker operators to enter the Nevadan market before federal legislation is in place, but it will prepare the state in the best possible manner once and if the Federal government chooses to move forward with regulation.
According to the draft, online sites wishing to attain a license under the new legislature would furthermore need to have a partnership with an existing, non-restricted gambling license, like the now-buried partnership between PokerStars and Wynn Casinos.
The bill will now go on to face hearings and a vote in the Senate, with its sponsors saying that they expect it to pass on that side, too.