Posted 3/15/11 : The world's biggest online poker operator is becoming more noticeable in Nevada
With US online poker legalization initiatives very much in the news through both state and federal initiatives recently, it is perhaps understandable that the world's biggest online poker provider, Pokerstars, is ramping up its involvement in the United States.
Recent media reports indicate that the Isle of Man-based company has an interest in three new intrastate proposals shaping up in the Silver State – one legalising online poker, and the others creating the foundations for such an activity.
The legalization initiative is of especial interest to Pokerstars, because it contains provisions that specifically forbid the regulator from excluding licensing applications from companies (like the internet poker giant) that have previously been active in the US market. And it leaves room for ‘legal' players from outside the state to participate by agreement.
Earlier this year Pokerstars hired former Nevada Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins to head its lobbying efforts in the Nevada Legislature, and more recently it has been revealed that the Isle of Man company has brought onboard as a consultant a former regulatory heavyweight in Randall Sayre, an outspoken and highly experienced official who was previously a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board in a distinguished career in the business lasting over 26 years.
Sayre could prove to be a powerful advocate for the industry; he is widely respected in regulatory circles internationally and was voted Regulator of the Year back in 2009. He has been forthright in opining that the legal advent of online gambling in the United States is simply a matter of time, with Nevada in an ideal position to benefit, thanks to the state's deep experience and facilities in the regulatory field.
Referring to online gambling, Sayre is on record as saying: "We can stand on the beach and let it wash over us, or we can recognize the potential economic opportunity for the state."