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  • Applications for Online Poker Licenses Soon to be Accepted in Nevada

    Saturday, November 19th, 2011 by Nadia

The Nevada State Gaming Control Board (GCB) will be accepting applications for online poker licenses in February 2012. This was announced by the Chairman of GCB, Mark Lipparelli, at the United States Online Gaming Law conference that was recently held at the Aria Casino, Las Vegas.

What the Licenses Would Permit

The licenses, once issued, would permit online gaming operators to offer internet games only to the residents of Nevada. This is due to the continued enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). This law prohibits interstate online poker within the United States.

Now, online poker is explicitly permitted, but those who have proposed regulation and legalization on a national level, argue that intrastate gaming would not be able to gain the critical acceptance that is required to make it a viable option in most states.

Application Process to be Easy for Land-Based Casino Operators

According to Lipparelli, gaming operators who already have licenses for their land-based gambling operations in Nevada will find the application process relatively quick. However, these operators will still have to prove that they have the technology and ability to keep under aged players and non-residents of Nevada from playing on their sites. This will still be relatively more convenient when compared to the process that new operators will be subjected to.

Each new operator will have to undergo an extensive licensing investigation which could take months to complete. Lipparelli stated that the GCB has taken the operational standards of the industry to an all new level, setting the bar high for suitability and licensing.

New Online Regulations to be Enforced in Nevada

In September 2011, the GCB conducted a workshop for the public on the subject of gaming regulations. In it, they discussed potential revisions in the Regulation 5A. This is the regulation which contains the framework for the online gaming industry in Nevada. Minimal concerns were voiced. The final move will be determined in December.

The legal age to start online gambling, like that imposed in land-based casinos, will be 21. Casinos will be required to ensure that none of the players are younger than the legal age. Licensees must ensure that they have a revolving fund of at least $20,000, at all times, to pay for investigations regarding compliance. Players are permitted to maintain a single account at a given online gaming operation and they are prohibited from playing under fake names.

Customers are allowed to use credit cards to deposit funds in their accounts. However, players are not permitted to make transfers to other players’ accounts. Operators must keep the histories of the hands that have been played for a period of five years. They must also take proactive steps to prevent the use of bots.

The regulations would be applicable to intrastate poker. The GCB is also prepared for the possibility of the federal government legalizing online gambling. In the event that legalization and regulation is enforced on a national basis, Nevada is prepared to issue licenses for internet poker games that will be conducted interstate. The goal of Nevada is to be the state that all prospective online gaming operators approach for licenses in the U.S.

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