With the issue of online poker legalization in the United States still at the debate level in House meetings and hearings, the Silver State is about to beat the federal government as well as the other 49 states and become the first to introduce online poker regulations. The decision of legalizing internet poker in Nevada should be announced in just a few days time making it the best Christmas gift to all of the online poker players in the state.
Vegas INC took a closer look into how Nevada came up with the “golden standard” in gambling and why it is now the global gambling leader and mentor not only to the other states, but to the rest of the world as well.
However, one thing that needs to be emphasized is that neither Nevada nor any other state that approves internet poker or any other online gaming activity will be able to take their decision into action unless the federal government approves it. And for that to happen US Congress needs to pass legislation allowing internet gambling.
Nevada has recently received the title of “the gold standard of gaming regulation” during the Internet gambling conference in Las Vegas. The state which holds the leading position in the US in the number of casinos located in one state also sets an example to the rest of the jurisdictions aiming to attract big gambling companies to their territories as well as thousands of players ready to invest millions in cash.
The industry experts and officials agree that Nevada is setting gambling trends worldwide in both introducing the latest technology to the business and the new regulations. Gambling companies from all over the world, as well as government and municipality officials, seek advice and shared experience from the Nevada gambling regulation officers.
“If you talk to government officials around the world, they still look to Nevada for guidance,” said an attorney with Kaempfer Crowell Renshaw Gronauer & Fiorentino in Carson City and a former chairman of the state Gaming Control Board, Dennis Neilander. “It’s usually an exchange of ideas. They’ll ask about the structure of the agency or about best practices. How the industry is regulated differs around the world. Some things that work well in Nevada may not work as well in Singapore, Australia or Canada or among the various states.”
The current Nevada Gaming Control Board’s chairman Mark Lipparelli encounters the same interest from the other states and units as did Neilender during his time in the office. “There’s a constant dialogue with regulators from other jurisdictions,” Lipparelli said. “I get phone calls weekly from other regulators who say, ‘We’re thinking about doing this. What do you think? Do you have any experience with it?’”
The main reason so many turn to the Silver State for gambling regulation advice is its history and experience. In 1931 Nevada became the first state to legalize gambling and was followed by 21 more states since then. It now has the biggest amount of casinos in the United States – 256 generating over $10 million a year in gambling revenue.
An attorney and a senior professor at the Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, I. Nelson Rose said that experience is the main factor why Nevada is such a trustworthy gambling regulation source. “I think Nevada has always been considered the gold standard,” he said. “It’s the only state that has had legal gambling for more than half a century.”
Clarence Greeno, the Missouri Gaming Commission assistant deputy director expressed the same opinion about Nevada's long-time, and what's most important, successful 'career' in the gambling business. “They’re very competent, and I think every jurisdiction may consider them to be the gold standard,” Greeno said. “They’re often looked to by the manufacturers, so they usually get the first look at things like wireless technology on the casino floor, ticket in-ticket out and online gaming. The way we look at it is why reinvent the wheel?”
Introducing new technology into the industry might be perceived as taking a big risk especially when talking about such security-sensitive businesses as gambling. However, compared to the other states, Nevada has always been known as the one that does not put a lot of restrictions in people's way. In other words, the state is open to new technologies and innovations if they prove themselves successful.
This also applies to casino regulations. With almost 3,000 licensees including restricted and non-restricted properties, slot routes, and manufacturers, the state mostly relies on self-reporting. In Nevada, where gambling is the #1 business, those running a casino or a coffee shop with a slot machine in it, simply cannot afford the risk of losing their license. No license in Vegas means no business.
So the main question now standing behind Nevada's “gold standard” is whether the state will keep it up when internet gambling and poker kicks in? Introducing the legislation state-wide is one thing, but should online poker be legalized by Congress, all of the big poker and gambling companies will turn to Nevada to make their first move.