Nevada’s Online Poker Regulations & My Busy Day

I’ve had a busy day. Going over yesterday’s changes to Nevada’s gaming regulations that open the door for online poker, I thought that it would be neat if someone created a sort of Cliff Notes guide to them. Then I realized that I was probably that someone. Five pages later, I was done. Here’s the executive summary:

On December 22, 2011, the Nevada Gaming Commission adopted amendments to its regulations that make possible the licensing and operation of online gambling operations within the state. Specifically, these regulations were amended:
• Regulation 3 (Licensing): Adds “operator of interactive gaming” and “service provider” to the list of entities that have to report “qualifying employees” to the Board.
• Regulation 4 (Applications): Creates three new categories of gaming license: manufacturer of interactive gaming systems, operator of interactive gaming, and service provider.
• Regulation 5 (Operations): Adds a new section, 5.240 Service Providers, to the regulations that currently govern the gaming operations; creates classes of service providers, defines them, and elucidates the disciplinary framework
• Regulation 5A (Operations): A new regulation that outlines exactly how online gaming will be conducted in Nevada.
• Regulation 8 (Ownership): Adds “operator of interactive gaming license, or a service provider license” to the list of licensees who must report loan/lease transactions to the Board.
• Regulation 14 (Manufacturers, Distributors, Operators): Adds language about interactive gaming systems to the devices covered and mandates that games display the rake and wagering limits.

Nevada’s Online Gaming Regulations: Changes Adopted December 22, 2011

There’s a lot more, including lots of details of what’s included in the regulations. It’s an interesting five pages if you’re a fan of gaming regulation or want to play online poker in Nevada.

I then wrote a semi-opinion piece for Two Way Hard Three about the changes:

So what does all this mean? Basically, that Nevada casinos will be able to start offering online poker as soon as they can get their systems together and get them approved by regulators.

How is all of this going to happen? There are going to be two ways casinos will offer online poker:

1. By building (or buying, or partnering with the supplier of) an “interactive gaming system” themselves. They would own it outright and run it.

2. By contracting with an “interactive service provider” to do the same….

Nevada Online Poker: What Just Happened? Two Way Hard Three

On top of that, I wrote up the UNLV Center for Gaming Research December Update and then fielded a bunch of calls about the Department of Justice memo that says, “Sorry for the confusion, but the Wire Act only applies to sports betting.

I can hope that the Wire Act being in the news will trigger a surge of interest in my 2005 book on the statute, Cutting the Wire: Gambling Prohibition and the Internet, but I won’t hold my breath. It being so close to the holidays, I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than by giving an academic monograph on federal gaming law as a gift to your loved ones. I’m only half joking there.

UNLV is closed next week thanks to budget austerity measures, so I’ll say thanks to everyone for an interesting 2011 right now. I hope 2012 is even better for all of us.