Nevada Gaming Control Chair, A.G. Burnett

With one eye on the future, the Nevada state legislature is considering a bill allowing the state to enter into interstate online poker compacts.

Lawmakers and Gaming Control officials stated a lack of Federal legislation as their main motivation for the change, but there’s clearly a financial interest at play, too.

Under the terms of the current online poker bill,  the Silver State can only enter into interstate compacts if they’re approved by the Federal Government. With the Reid-Kyl Online Poker Bill floundering in the hands of the do-nothing Congress, State lawmakers saw the need to take action on their own.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett clarified lawmakers’ thinking on the subject:

The need to make clear the governor’s ability, should he choose to negotiate such agreements, was paramount. I don’t know if there are specific negotiations right now.

When it comes to online poker, Nevada is already leaps and bounds ahead and the ability to add interstate poker compacts would further that lead considerably.

Here’s how a typical interstate poker compact might work.

A states that legalized online poker would send players to Nevada sites and leave all the licensing and regulating headaches to most established gambling infrastructure in the country. In exchange, Nevada would get a cut of the tax revenue and local businesses would profit enormously from the new players.

It’s a smart move given the cost of online poker regulation and limited number of potential players in Nevada. With under 3 million residents, Nevada’s population is the 35th smallest in the country.

A draft of the proposed changes was put together by representatives of the Governor’s office and the Gaming Control Board. Legislators will likely consider the bill when the convene in Carson City on February 4.

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