Nevada Legalizes Online Poker, Will Encourage Other States Next

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Nevada passed a historic bill Thursday making it legal for people to play online poker within the state and with other people across the country.

Bill AB114 passed unanimously, and Governor Brian Sandoval signed it into law Thrusday.

Though it states that interstate gambling is allowed, players can not play against people in individual states until Nevada reaches an agreement with them.

Previously, the Department of Justice cracked down on sites which let people gamble across states.

Sandoval promised he would discuss the measure with the Department of Justice and talk about the agreements made between states.

The process was hurried because the state wanted to beat New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is likely to sign a similar legislation next week.

“This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada,” Sandoval said. “Today, I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada.”

“This bill is critical to our state’s economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation.”

A bill called The Wire Act made gambling across states illegal, but that was changed in 2011 by the Court of Appeals who rules that it only applied in sports betting.

The change in the act allowed Nevada to legalize internet gambling if the government sanctioned it, but since Congress failed to accept it, Sandoval said the state would work toward agreements with other states.

If the bill is to work to its fullest potential, the state needs to get other states on board. But Sandoval, and many others, believe this won’t be an issue.

Pete Ernaut, a lobbyist representing the Nevada Resort Association, said customers are key.

“It’s imperative for the success of this that we compact with other states because we don’t have a universe of players,” he said. “We have the most mature financial, auditing, and collection capabilities, much greater than some of those states, and they have the players.”