While still preparing to be the first state to offer online poker under an intrastate format, Nevada legislators are weighing the possibility of amending their current laws to allow for an interstate online poker scheme.
The new proposal would give the Silver State’s governor the authority to enter into partnership deals with other states in order to increase player liquidity, pokerfuse reported. While many are anxious for Nevada online poker sites to be up and running early this year, the viability of the endeavor is in question due to the state’s small population. Though tourists in Nevada will also be able to log on and play within state borders, the player pool may be too small without additional players culled from interstate compacts.
Nevada approved online poker in December 2011 and gaming officials have been issuing licenses throughout 2012. Thirteen gaming companies have been licensed so far. South Point Poker had anticipated being the first online site to be in operation in late 2012, but delays in testing have put off the launch until sometime this year.
The current Nevada state statute requires federal legislation or approval in order for partnerships with other states to be valid. The amendment being considered by lawmakers would eliminate such permission on the federal level.
The much-publicized Reid-Kyl federal online poker bill failed to gain support in the lame-duck session of Congress and was not introduced. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has stated his desire to once again try to pass the law in 2013. However, Silver State lawmakers appear intent on not waiting for federal legislators to act, as the federal bill’s passage is far from certain.
Delaware is the only other state that has passed online gambling legislation thus far and could be a potential partner with Nevada. However, the New Jersey legislature recently approved online gambling legislation and needs only Gov. Chris Christie’s signature for the bill to become a law. California Sen. Rod Wright reintroduced online poker legislation prior to year’s end and Golden State legislators will consider the measure early this year.