Nevada Gaming Control Board Holds Online Poker Workshop

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Nevada's Gaming Control Board held a workshop to discuss the potential of having legalized online poker this week, with very little controversy or argument being generated.

Speaking in regards to the workshop, Mark Lipparelli, Control Board Chairman said, "I think we're fairly close....we have a solid foundation, but there may be changes based on (12) written comments that were submitted."

Gaming officials at the workshop discussed the proposed regulations, listened to testimony and answered questions. Audience members included players, industry attorneys, corporate reps, and former regulators.

Regulations discussed at the workshop included:

• The Nevada Gaming Commission must review and approve all interactive gaming systems of applicant companies.

• There is a requirement for ongoing testing of interactive systems, including privacy oversight to protect a player's identity and account information.

• Strict requirements regarding the registration of players, including identity, age (21 years) and location verification, together with checks that the player is not a problm gambler or excluded player.

• Records of all financial transactions, wins and losses, must be kept and players may not be given credit.

• Operators must report suspicious wagers within seven days.

• Interactive gaming licenses are classified as distinct from any existing gaming licenses that may be held, and therefore a new i-gaming licence must be taken out by applicants, for which fees will be charged. Fees have been set at $500,000, with $250,000 annual renewals and $125,000 for service providers with $25,000 annual renewals.

More public hearings are set to be held by the Nevada Gaming Commission in November. Regulations for the legalization of online poker must be accepted and in place by January 31 of next year. Any legalization of online poker in Nevada must also be backed up by Federal law approving of internet poker, which remains up for debate in the House of Representatives via the Barton Bill.