Nevada’s State Assembly passed a bill today that would develop a licensing system for online poker businesses in the state – but only after the federal government took steps to legalize online gambling.
The bill, a modified version of previous legislation, would put Nevada in the position to be able to license online gambling operators should the federal government allow regulated online poker or other gambling. The bill instructs regulators to draft rules for licensing in the event that such federal legislation is eventually passed.
Originally, the bill was also designed to allow for online poker in the state of Nevada. However, that portion of the bill was removed just days before the events of Black Friday, which shut down the USA operations of Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Judi Poker.
The Nevada Gaming Commission would be put in charge of any such licensing scheme. The bill calls for rules to be developed by January 2012, and states that any online gambling site to receive a license would be required to have a partnership with a company that holds a non-restricted gambling license – in most cases, a land-based USA casino companies.
The bill will now move on to the Nevada State Senate, where it is expected to pass without much trouble. Given that the law would only put Nevada in excellent position to act as a licensing system in the case of federal regulations, and does not actually legalize or regulate anything on its own, the provisions of the bill aren’t seen as controversial.
The original bill was backed heavily by Poker Stars. The company reportedly contributed $272,000 to political campaigns in Nevada, donations that appear to have been in violation of federal laws. Most or all of the contributions have since been returned, with most legislators saying that they were unaware of Poker Stars’ foreign status when they initially accepted the contributions dominoqq.