With Nevada leading the nation by being the first state to pass legislation clearing the way for regulated, legalized real money online poker within the state, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Nevadans could be sitting down at the virtual poker table as early as this fall. PokerFuse wrote that it looks as if the first casino to receive approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission will be a so-called locals casino, the land-based South Point Casino. South Point is located off of the Strip and boasts a 25 story hotel and a 90,000 square foot convention center and will be the first to be reviewed by the NGC as it prepares to begin issuing license to online operators.
South Point Casino’s owner, Michael Gaughan, has been a leading propenent of regulating online poker within the state of Nevada. In an interview with eGaming Review, Gaughan said, “I may not be the biggest or the best, but hopefully I’ll have a head start by two or three months. At the end of the year it will be a full-blown site in Nevada. Then we’ll try and go into the other states where it is legal and do some contracts there.”
Nevada’s governor, Brian Sandoval, who also happens to be a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, expressed trust in the state’s ability to regulate the industry in his state, saying, ”I have confidence in our regulatory system. I have confidence all issues have been considered and exhaustively covered. The technology is always evolving, but I have a level of comfort the public is protected.”
While rooms will only be open to those within the state of Nevada, already there is anticipation that many of the major rooms will be licensed to operate in the state in addition to local land-based operations. Questions remain about what kinds of features the rooms will be able to offer, with players hoping for Mac poker, Linux compatibility, and availability of mobile apps.
As for the rest of the nation, online poker regulation remains a much-discussed question. With major supporters in Congress, such as Rep. Joe Barton of Texas and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the possibility of federal poker regulation is not out of the question. Executive director of major lobbying organization the Poker Players Alliance called for regulation in order to protect US players, who currently have few options for playing online.
“There’s a significant reason to believe Congress should do something this year. It’s our No. 1 priority, that there are strong consumer protections, so our members can go to a site that is safe and secure, and they can deposit their money and get it back when they want it. Those things aren’t guaranteed right now,” Pappas told the Washington Times.
In the meantime, the list of rooms accepting players from the United States. An Americas Cardroom review can be of help to players seeking information about rooms in which they can play.