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First Draft Of Online Poker Regulations Released In Nevada

The state of Nevada, as it has done so many times in the past, is out in front of the rest of the US when it comes to the gambling industry. Online gambling has become the hot topic in many legislative debates in recent years, with only a couple states actually passing regulation laws.

Nevada is one of those states. Lawmakers, earlier this year, passed legislation that will allow for regulated online poker when the federal government changes their current laws. That process is in the works, but Nevada is pressing forward with their regulatory plan.

On Wednesday, the Gaming Control Board released their first draft of regulations. The rules that were posted dealt with oversight, customer databases, and technology guidelines. Although it is only a draft, the regulators believe the time has come for Nevada and other states to get their hands on billions of dollars traveling outside the US.

"Internet poker has become a multi-billion dollar business around the world," said Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli. "The technology supporting it, while not perfect, has improved dramatically since its introduction. Similar to our land-based requirements, Nevada will establish high standards giving players as much confidence as possible in the entities and technologies that might eventually gain approval."

The federal government is moving swiftly on changing current laws for the first time in five years. Since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was created, legislators considered online gambling a dead issue. That has changed in the months since Black Friday, when two of the largest online poker sites in the world were indicted in the US.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid represents Nevada, and he is the driving force behind online poker regulations. Reid has been joined by other former anti-online gambling entities such as Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. The big Las Vegas-based gaming companies have started to come around to the idea of online gambling as a way to offset the struggling land-based casino industry.

Gamblers had become accustomed to playing their favorite casino games online before Black Friday, and they have taken to the phones to voice their displeasure with losing their two favorite online sites. With PokerStars and Full Tilt both out of the US market, Americans have made it a point to show legislators that they want online gambling prohibition ended.

Lawmakers have responded with several bills that are making their way through Congress. The most telling sign that online poker regulations may be coming soon is the change of heart by Senator Jon Kyl, one of online gambling's harshest critics in past years. Kyl has now asserted that he would be open to some form of regulated online gambling.

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