The Nevada legislature worked to unanimously approve a new online poker bill that would allow silver states to connect poker player mobility to other states without federal approval. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval mentioned the urgency of the bill in his State of the Union address last week and quickly signed it into law. Apparently this is under pressure from New Jersey's online gambling bill.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the state gambling bill on Feb. 7, suggesting that online poker would require a higher tax rate and a 10-year cycle. New Jersey will pass the new amended bill on Feb. 26 after consideration. Governor Christie said it would be signed as soon as it reached the desk.
This situation is clearly urgent for Nevada, which has been trying to be the first place to operate online poker sites, putting pressure on other states that have legalized it. Nevada's goal is to become the center of the online poker industry, which means that other regions will follow the standards set by Nevada.
Senate Majority Leader William Horne proposed last week raising the cost of online poker licenses to $500,000 to $1 million. But Governor Sandoval still set the fee at $500,000 while leaving open the possibility of raising it to $1 million. The minimum fee is also reduced to $150,000. The fee rate will be administered according to the Nevada Gambling Commission.
Nevada's first true online real money poker site will emerge, and Nevada has approved 20 gaming licenses, including software and technology testing licenses. Delaware is another state that offers online poker, with September 30 as the deadline to provide it. New Jersey is expected to launch online poker this fall, but still has to pass the bill first.
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