Nevada Governor Signs Poker Bill into Law
Key Takeaways
  • Sandoval signs the fast-tracked bill that allows Nevada to build online poker interstate compacts.
  • Introduction of five year lock-out period seen as directly targeting PokerStars.
  • License fees stay at $500k, not the $1m proposed.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 114 into law Thursday, allowing the Silver State to enter into interstate agreements for online poker without federal legislation.

The law also places a 5-year restriction on companies that operated online poker in the US after UIGEA was passed in 2006. Such “bad actor” provisions ensures companies entering the state’s new market will not have to compete with market leader PokerStars.

Less than a month ago, Sandoval urged the legislature to move forward with a law that would allow the Nevada governor to make agreements with other states where online poker is legal, like Delaware.

The Nevada Legislature rushed the bill through, in a race to beat New Jersey as the US online gambling hub. It passed the both houses of the Legislature unanimously earlier in the day.

Under the law, there’s a $500,000 licensing fee though Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, who sponsored the bill, had proposed a $1 million fee.

In certain instances, the Nevada Gaming Commission could alter the price tag, though the fees can be no more than $1 million and no less than $150,000, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. A license renewal would cost $250,000.

Horne estimated that online gaming could bring in $3 million in tax revenue to the state.