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Online Poker Growth Concerns Nevada Regulators

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Nevada gaming regulators seem unable to deal with the new realities that have accompanied the rise of Internet poker.

Playing poker online for money is illegal in Nevada, according to state law, and the federal government says it is illegal everywhere in the United States, a stance the online poker business hopes the courts will overturn.

Nevada gaming regulators originally took a tough stand against Internet poker.

They forced prospective gaming license applicants to sell their ownership stakes in online casinos. They prohibited poker tournaments in state casinos from licensing online poker rooms to conduct official satellite tournaments that send winners to play in Nevada events.

They did so because almost every top Web poker room accepts bets from the United States, including Nevada.

Regulators considered the poker Web sites to be lawbreakers.

Some say it's time for Nevada regulators to say enough is enough and prove they still have the backbone to stand up to the big money of online gambling casinos.

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