Good news, poker players. Legislators are looking to legalize and regulate online poker.
You’re thinking, Wait, didn’t Harry Reid just try that? And didn’t he get shot down in December? Yes, but Reid tried at the federal level. Now, there’s movement at the state level.
Last week, Nevada assembly members introduced a bill that would require state regulators to create rules for the operation of online poker and would force the Nevada Gaming Commission to give licenses to websites like ultimatebet.com, pokerstars.com, and fulltiltpoker.com, which have been operating for years.
Presumably, the law would be enforced through IP addresses. Meaning, you could only “sit down” at a real money table if your computer was in Nevada. Or if you had a really long Ethernet cable. But these enforcements could be countered with anonymizers, which could be counter-countered with an anonymizer blocker, which could be counter-counter-countered with—well, you get the idea.
Not everyone is on board with the proposed law. Namely, representatives from Caesars and MGM. They argue that we should hold out for federal legislation. But that argument presupposes that legalizing online poker in the state would quench the nation’s thirst. Likely, the opposite is true. Citizens from other states would grow jealous, and would push their state legislators to legalize online poker. Eventually, the demand would grow strong enough that the federal government would buckle.
In the meantime, Nevada stands to benefit from this bill. Big time. Online poker is a multi-billion-dollar industry, practically begging to be taxed. But this isn’t just opportunism; it makes sense. Look, we in Nevada might not grow the greenest grass or filter the purest water, but we know how to run a casino. And we know how to regulate gaming. So why not profit from our expertise and take our efforts online?