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Senate committee passes bill on Internet poker in Nevada

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Senate committee passes bill on Internet poker in Nevada On Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill to define provisions which regulate the issuing of licenses and operation of online poker in Nevada. During a meeting in Carson City, Assemblyman and sponsor of Assembly Bill 258, William Horne from Las-Vegas, told the committee that there had already been a great need for such regulation and that no one could do it in more proper way than Nevada.

The bill gives the Nevada Gaming Commission right to set regulations and to issue licenses to casinos to be able to offer online poker services if Congress adopts an Internet gaming bill or the USA Department of Justice admits that online gambling is in agreement with federal law. Horne said that online real money poker is allowed outside the USA and produces billions of dollars throughout the world. He also added that federal law doesn’t forbid states to legalize online poker on their territory. In 2006 federal law forbade banks and other financial organizations to process gambling money across state borders. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act also admits that intrastate online gambling is not illegal is specially permitted by the law of the state.

Peter Ernaut from the Nevada Resort Association proposed an amendment which the committee accepted. It contained a prohibition for both federal and state government to tax the industry. It means that in case federal government imposes a tax, the state cannot have its 6.75% gaming tax. The bill orders state regulators to establish rules that ensure the clients’ protection, fraud prevention, non-admission of underage players, guard against problem gaming and help in law enforcement actions. Moreover, the bill dictates them to collect license fees from online gaming operators, software developers and equipment connected with online gambling. According to the bill only a resort that has possessed a nonrestricted license for a period of a minimum of 5 years before filing the application can get a license for online poker. The bill needs first to pass the full Senate vote, and then it will be returned to the Assembly for the amendments’ approval.

After the Justice Department blocked the web domains of Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars and on the 15th of April charged 12 people with federal law abusing, future of online gaming remains uncertain. Those sites have been closed to players from the USA. In another case similar to the “Black Friday” 11 bank accounts and 10 web domains have been seized by Rod Rosenstein, the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland in Baltimore. The indictments of two Canadians and a Costa Rican result from Homeland Security Investigations trap. They established a firm for payment processing and used it to get in touch with top managers of internet gaming companies.

American Gaming Association’s executive officer Frank Fahrenkopf Junior said that those indictments were only partial solution for fixing the problem and emphasized the Association’s support for federal regulation and licensing in that area. Fahrenkopf said that strong measures against illegal gaming business and clear laws are essential. According to him proper control could prevent money laundering by the means of poker sites and other illegal operations. The charges in Maryland were filed against BMX Entertainment and ThrillX Systems Ltd and private persons David Parchomchuk, Darren Wright and Ann Marie Puig. Among the blocked sites were Beted.com, DoylesRoom.com, GoldenArchCasino.com, Bookmaker.com, TruePoker.com, 2Betsdi.com, BetGrandeSports.com, FunTimeBingo.com, BetMaker.com and Betehorse.com.