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Nevada to Focus on Online Poker .... For Now

Delaware and New Jersey will soon be launching online gambling regimes that include Internet casino games, but that is not prompting Nevada to stray from its poker-only scheme.

Nevada was first to legalize online poker and first to launch when Ultimate Poker went live in late April. But the decision of state officials to refrain from expanding into online casino gaming has not been met with an ounce of regret.

“We’re only six months into poker,” Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “For now, we want to prove out poker first.”

True to his word, a meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission was held late last week with an agenda that listed a discussion on changes in certain regulations of the existing online poker statute. But delving into offering online casino games was not part of the talks.

Some continue to remain surprised that the leader in U.S. casino gambling has restricted itself to poker-only in the realm of online gambling. Yet others are of the mind that Nevada made a wise choice to take things a bit more slowly before fully embracing wagering on the Internet. After all, there is always time to expand in the future if the situation warrants it.

Assemblyman William Horne (D-Las Vegas) called it prudent that the Silver State is taking “conservative steps” in its approach to all forms of Internet gambling. “Nothing prohibits from going beyond poker” in the future, he added.

As Delaware and New Jersey prepare to launch online gambling schemes of their own, October 31 and November 26, respectively, don’t expect Nevada to rush into that frontier anytime soon. Other online poker sites will first be joining Ultimate Poker and in Nevada’s plan.

Online poker interstate compact agreements are also likely on the horizon for Nevada before any online casino regulations are seriously considered. Those compacts have reportedly been discussed among the trio of states, but will wait until after the rollouts in New Jersey and Delaware.

In the meantime, slot, roulette and blackjack players in Nevada will have to continue visiting brick and mortar casinos to make their wagers. Expect that to continue for the near future, at least.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.