Sunday February 10,2013 : NEVADA MOVING QUICKLY ON NEW ONLINE GAMBLING INITIATIVE
Assembly Majority Leader William Horne to push legalization as New Jersey developments introduce more urgency
It appears that Nevada may be upping the ante in its bid to stay out in front in the licensing and regulation of US online gambling, spurred by the probability that New Jersey will soon join Delaware in legalising online gambling .
Nevada already has an online poker legalization law in place, along with a fully developed regulatory system, although commercial operations are yet to commence.
Nevada governor Brian Sandoval has for some weeks been pushing for Legislative authority empowering him to make collaborative agreements with other like-minded states to overcome player liquidity problems.
Now, however, it appears that Gov. Sandoval wants to augment this with legalization introduced by Assembly Majority Leader William Horne which seeks to legalise online gambling…and he hopes to drive it through within the next 30 days.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that the bill will have two major components: removing state statutes requiring Nevada to wait for Congress to pass online gaming legalization, and enabling the governor to enter into mutually beneficial compacts with other states that pass bills to legalise online gaming.
Last week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in a conditional veto on a bill passed by his Legislature that he supported the concept of online gambling and would sign the measure into law provided certain pre-conditions were met
The news, and his generally positive comments, triggered a wave of enthusiasm and rising share prices in gambling companies and NJ lawmakers immediately set to work making the required amendments.
There has been some speculation that Nevada and New Jersey could form a formidable alliance on internet poker particularly, with Nevada providing ready-to-go regulatory systems and New Jersey providing a potentially enticing player pool among its 9 million residents.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Horne will spearhead the Nevada governor's drive for the changes, and that Horne's objective will be to push the legalization through within the next 30 days.
Gov. Sandoval observed in a statement Friday that Nevada is now in a “critical” race with New Jersey to pass an online gaming bill into law.
“In light of the developments in New Jersey yesterday, the need to act quickly has become even more important, a fact that both I and Assemblyman Horne agree on,” Sandoval said.
For his part, Horne has directed legislative staff to prioritise his online gaming bill in hopes that it will beat the New Jersey initiative to the punch.
“Online gaming is a creature that is out of the bottle, and Nevada needs to be first,” Horne told the Las Vegas Sun.
“The population of Nevada is not enough for online gaming so we think we can have some good relationships with other states who may have large populations but don’t have the gaming expertise, particularly in regulations, that Nevada has,” Horne said, adding that he hopes to receive bi-partisan political support, given the governor's Republican background.
The Las Vegas Sun notes that the Nevada Gaming Control Board already has a bill seeking to empower the governor to enter into interstate compacts on internet poker, but would not stand in Horne's way, although it is unclear whether Horne intends to push a new bill or sign on to the Gaming Control Board’s measure.
Governor Sandoval's staff told the newspaper that Horne’s participation will speed along the legislative process.
“Teaming up with the Assembly Majority Leader will only enhance the opportunity to pass the legalization as quickly as possible,” said Mary-Sarah Kinner, the governor’s communications director.