Written on 5/25/11 :
State Senate Judiciary Committee approves with some amendments
AB258, a Nevada state measure designed to prepare for online poker legalization at state level once federal legalization has been successful, overcame another hurdle in the process Tuesday when it was unanimously passed by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill now goes to the Senate for debate and voting, and will then return to the Assembly, which has already passed the original draft.
The bill tasks the Nevada Gaming Commission with preparing licensing and regulatory conditions in anticipation of the federal legalization regime favoured by major Vegas gambling groups, or the recognition that online poker is legal by the US Department of Justice.
The bill's author, Assemblyman William Horne, told the committee that online poker in other countries is generating billions of dollars in taxable revenue, and that it was important for Nevada to be a pioneer in the game. Federal law recognises the right of states to pass intrastate laws governing gambling, he reminded the members.
The Nevada Resort Association was granted an amendment to the bill which effectively prevents the federal government from taxing Nevada legalised online poker, instead imposing the state's 6.75 percent gross gaming tax.
License fees and other measures against criminal involvement, underage gambling and problem punters will all be framed by the NGC, with the proviso that interactive licenses may be issued to a resort that has held a non-restricted license for at least five years.