Earlier this month New Jersey Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed an online gambling bill, promising to sign into law a slightly amended version. In the meantime, Nevada has beaten New Jersey to the punch, with Gov. Brian Sandoval signing that state's online gambling bill into law in 22 Feb.
With all the focus on legistaltive developments in New Jersey, Nevada's bill slipped under the radar to some extent. Effective immediately, it allows operators licensed by the Gaming Control Board to offer intrastate online poker games.
Governor Sandoval described the bill as, "critical to [Nevada's] economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation."
Under the legislation only Nevada residents will be able to play the games - a market estimated to be worth only $2 to $3 million to Nevada's treasury. But Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett outlined plans for this market to be expanded in time via agreements with other states, whereby Nevada becomes the defacto licensor and regulator of games available to residents of those states.
"We feel pretty certain that an agreement with another state would be legal because it is some form of compact. We are being cautious and researching so that we do things appropriately. We are not going too fast and don't want to offend the federal government in any way. But we need to allow our licensees to compete."
Meanwhile, in New Jersey Governor Christie told that state's legislature that he would quickly sign into law a bill (number 2578) after certain key amendments are made the version he vetoed on 7 February.
That bill allows Atliantic CIty casinos to offer a range of casino games online to New Jersey residents.
No doubt New Jersey will be looking to become an online gambling hub for other states just as Nevada aim to be.