Friday February 22,2013 : NEVADA GOVERNOR SIGNS NEW ONLINE GAMBLING BILL INTO STATE LAW (Update)
AB114 fast-tracked through a joint sitting of the Judiciary Committees, the House and the Senate
Nevada's measure designed to enable online gambling compacts with other like-minded states, AB114, moved with impressive speed through the state Legislature this week and was signed into state law almost immediately by Governor Brian Sandoval.
Introduced by Assembly Majority Leader William Horne and endorsed by US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the bill sailed through a joint sitting of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees before being approved unanimously and in rapid order by the House and the Senate and sent to the governor's desk Thursday.
Sandoval did not hesitate to sign it, saying: "This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada. Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada."
Fears that the bill would be slowed down by arguments over the licensing fee did not materialise as Horne and the governor compromised, agreeing on a $500,000 fee instead of Horne's proposed $1 million, and a renewal fee of $250,000. These amounts can be amended by the Nevada Gaming Commission if required.
However, a 5-year "bad actor" clause blocking the licensing of any entity that has offered Americans online poker since the advent of the UIGEA in 2006 was left in the measure, and could cause problems for Pokerstars.
The governor's main priority – to achieve the state Legislature's approval for negotiations with other states aimed at shared player pools without reference to the US Congress, remains in the bill, with the governor commenting: “We can’t wait any longer for Congress to act.”
Nevada's gambling regulators will now draft the necessary regulations governing the rules and limitations on interstate agreements negotiated under the new law.