UNLV’s International Gaming Institute is doing a study on how many Nevadans gamble online. The goal is to quantify this number and measure gambler’s attitudes toward legalizing Internet gambling. This study, commissioned by the Nevada Gaming Control Board will help to inform Nevada legislators about the pros and cons of regulating online gambling.
"This will be valuable information for policymakers," Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said.
As the online gaming debate in Congress rages on, it has been pointed out that Federal law allows the state to oversee online gaming within their own borders.
Although regulators have the authority to adopt rules governing in-state online gambling, they aren’t completely ready to take that step, so the legislature is being reviewed and the study has been set in motion.
Since the passage of last year’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the government’s crackdown, many of the largest and most trusted gambling websites have been forced to cease doing business in the United States. Credit card companies and U.S. banks have also steered away from online gambling transactions and many gamblers had to take drastic measures like setting up accounts with offshore banks.
Specifically, federal law states that not only is it the right of the individual state to regulate online gaming, but it also says bets are legal as long as they begin and end in a jurisdiction where Internet gambling is allowed. "That's an important point because it reduces some uncertainties that may have existed in the past," Las Vegas gaming attorney Tony Cabot said.
The United States could be losing out on massive quantities of money right now by not cashing in on the online gambling craze. Nevada, in particular, will soon find out just how much they are missing out on when the study is released in a few weeks.
With the advances in technology that enable a company to pinpoint the location and identity of gamblers using satellite signals and conduct online background checks, it seems silly not to tap into the internet gaming industry.
“It's historically been the policy of the state of Nevada to regulate gaming so that we can protect patrons and make sure they get paid when they win," Cabot said. Using that logic, it seems very plausible that Nevada just might go for it!
*Picture courtesy of UNLV International Gaming Institute*