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Who Will Get Online Poker First, Nevada or DC?

16 June 2011 by admin

A few months ago the race to be the first state of state or jurisdiction to regulate online poker in an in-state, intranet infrastructure. It looked like it was going to be New Jersey, but then Governor Chris Christie handed down his conditional veto—which was not a bad thing; it just meant that a little more work was needed to tweak the bill to meet New Jersey’s needs. And so New Jersey has passed out of the news…for now.

But coming in fairly quick on New Jersey’s heels was Washington DC and Nevada. DC is considered a jurisdiction. They are able to make some laws for how to run their city, but ultimately Congress can look in on them and say no if Congress feels a law or bill will not be prudent. And we all know Nevada is a state and is not under the same constraints as DC.

Both Nevada and Dc have been neck and neck in the race to be the first with online poker. It was believed that DC was the first. A bill that would give the district intrastate online poker as early as next month was believed to be passed. However it has recently come to light that there might have been some questionable actions on the part of one of the council members. It is now known that the council member in question slipped the bill for intrastate online poker into the back end of DC’s budget, which was how it was passed; once Congress found out about the bill, the fussing and poking into the bill’s history began. That was how the actions of the council member came to light.

While all of this was going on, Nevada’s Assembly Bill 258 was moving through their Assembly, Senate Committee and Senate with unanimous approval. Only in the full Senate vote did anyone vote against it and even then it was only two senators. After that AB 258 went to the governor’s desk where it was signed in the early part of this week. At this point it need only be approved by the state’s gaming regulatory board.

The biggest difference between these two bills is when they will be enacted. If the fuss dies down over the DC bill and it is allowed to move forward, free online poker is set to be offered in July with real money online poker set to happen as soon as September. In contrast, the Nevada bill will allow for the creation of an online poker infrastructure for the state, which will be held in reserve until the federal government decides to legalize online gambling and online casinos in the US.

At this point we are all waiting to see whose bill will move forward faster, Nevada or DC. While both bills are only for online poker, there are high hopes that poker is only the beginning and that online casinos as a whole will be regulated on a federal level so that all Americans can play.

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