Written on 4/14/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Anthony Aperman :
But no legalization without federal approval
Political compromise, in the form of amendments to a bill proposing the legalization of online poker, enabled further progress on the initiative in the Nevada Assembly Tuesday.
Assemblyman William Horne's AB258 was unanimously passed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee after a week of inactivity.
The bipartisan support came at the cost of some amendments, principally the removal of provisions that would have allowed international play, thereby preventing any Nevada online poker initiative in this direction from implementation without federal approval, either in the form of legalization in Congress or a go-ahead from the Department of Justice.
The bill does permit the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Nevada Gaming Control Board to assemble an online poker regulatory structure for a future online gambling environment, however, and Horne appears to think that a successful bill will allow strictly intrastate online poker.
“Nevada will have all the pegs in place,” said Horne regarding a future in which federal approval will be granted. “Until then though, Nevada is not precluded from intrastate poker.”
The amendments should ensure Governor Brian Sandoval's imprimatur should the bill pass successfully through the state Legislature; Sandoval has already indicated that he supports online poker…but only if it is in synch with federal law.
AB258 now moves to the Assembly floor for debate and voting, after which it is destined for the state Senate.
“This [amended bill] puts Nevada out there and up front,” Horne said. “The important thing is putting the regulatory framework in place, with the Gaming Control Board and the Gaming Commission now able to begin work to establish an avenue for granting licenses.”