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January 22, 2018

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As feds grapple with issue, Legislature will consider legalizing Internet gaming

In a move that has divided the gaming industry and may raise eyebrows in Washington, state lawmakers are about to consider an Internet gaming bill that would allow residents and non-residents alike to play. The bill, which I have posted at right, is being put in (today, perhaps) by Assembly Majority Whip William Horne at the behest of former Speaker Richard Perkins, who represents PokerStars.net. It is being portrayed as an intrastate web gaming bill, but it clearly would allow those in other jurisdictions to play, mandating state regulators set up a structure.

For instance:

"The Commission is authorized to enter into compacts with other jurisdictions where interactive gaming is not prohibited, setting forth the manner in which the State of Nevada and such other jurisdictions will regulate and share tax revenues from interactive gaming operations between such jurisdictions and enforce criminal laws related to cheating, tax evasion or unlicensed interactive gaming, and authorizing the commingling of games and pots between such jurisdictions. Such compacts may be limited to Internet poker."

And:

"Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this chapter, to the extent that players of Internet poker are located in jurisdictions other than this State, the licensee shall pay the license fee based on gross revenue at the rate of 4 percent on the gross revenue resulting from the play of players located in such other jurisdictions."

Still not sure how something banned in federal law could be passed at state level, but that is one of many questions sure to be raised.

This one will be fun to watch because of effect on the Nevada Resort Association, gamers not in the NRA who have an interest, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and state lawmakers caught in middle. As usual.

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