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NGCB to Discuss Online Gaming Rules, Not New Games

Friday, October 25th, 2013 NGCB to Discuss Online Gaming Rules, Not New Games

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is meeting this week, and the agenda includes discussing the changes to be made to the existing rules for offering online poker in the state. While that is on one hand, the board made it clear that the meeting will not focus on the matter of adding new online casino games that operators can offer. At present, the board has no intention of extending beyond online poker, according to the Chairman of Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), A. G. Burnett.

Burnett stated that the state, which has two fully operational online poker sites already, has been into internet poker for only six months and adding any more casino products right now is not really in the plan. The idea is to improve the existing online poker services first, he added.

Two Down, Three to Go

At present, Nevada already has two online poker sites – WSOP.com and Ultimatepoker.com, both of which cater to the players within the state. While WSOP is based on the World Series of Poker format and is owned by Caesars Entertainment group, Ultimate Poker is operated by its majority stakeholder, Station Casinos. Nevada will not break out the revenues generated by these casinos, which share a meager 500 registered players between them, until they are joined by a third one.

The state has three more casinos with licenses to operate online poker sites. All three operators have recently asked for a six-month extension for further testing of their internet poker software and platform before finally launching real money sites. Approval of the technology used by these sites is also pending, which will happen after it is tested in independent labs and also in the labs managed by the NGCB.

Burnett added that there could be confusion about the internet gaming products in Nevada as New Jersey, which is all set to launch its online gaming operations in November, is offering both poker and casino games like slots for real money. Nevada, however, will be only-poker, he confirmed.

Regulatory Changes for Online Poker in Nevada

The Nevada Gaming Control Board will be making changes to the existing regulation for offering online poker in the state. The changes to be incorporated in the regulation include addition of certain technical specifications and conformation of the language to be in compliance with the statuary changes that were made during the Legislature Assembly Bill 114, in 2013. The meet will also discuss the requisition that will be presented to the governor, to allow people from states other than Nevada to wager on the existing online poker sites in Nevada. This is in an attempt to increase the player base of these sites and boost their revenue.

Legislation Allows Casino Gaming, But Nevada Regulators Wont

According to the legislation, interactive gaming offered by the states excludes only racing and sports betting. The states are free to allow inclusion of casino games like slots, roulette and blackjack, but then it is a choice that is left to the state alone. So if Nevada chooses not to include casino games, then it is going to be only poker for the casinos in the state. While New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are the only states to have legalized internet gaming, Nevada is the only state with real money, legal online poker sites. New Jersey will join it next month, and Delaware would launch online poker in the state on Halloween.

Other states like California and Pennsylvania along with four other states are considering adapting these online gaming regulations to legalize online poker and casino gaming within their states. In the meantime, a New Jersey lawmaker is proposing internet gaming across states, according to a statement he made at an internet gaming conference in Philly.