Mark Lipparelli, the GCB chairman, announced at the US Online Gaming Conference, which was held last week at Aria Casino, Las Vegas, that the Nevada State Gaming Control Board (GCB) will start accepting applications to operate online poker services statewide from online poker companies, starting this February.

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Lipparelli further said that the GCB will begin investigating applicants immediately and that operators who already have licenses to run other forms of gambling will be given preference over new applicants. However, there is a catch that might rip the smiles off the faces of online poker players all over the world. The online poker gaming licenses issued by the GCB will not welcome online poker players from outside Nevada.

This announcement follows a new law in Nevada that facilitates the modification of existing online gambling laws in Nevada. The major reason for the issue of licenses is, however, Nevada’s urgent need to boost its revenue. The state gaming laws have also been loosened because Senator Jon Kyl, who used to oppose online gambling in America, has suddenly changed his mind owing to the economic recession all over the world.

GCB’s online poker license will permit online gaming operators to offer online games only to those who live in Nevada because the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) 2006 does not permit any interstate online poker. Lipparelli says that those who already have licenses to run land casinos in Nevada shouldn’t find it difficult to get a license to establish online gaming sites. However, the process is not that simple. Operators have to prove that they have the technology to prevent underage gambling and to block non Nevada players. New operators will also be thoroughly investigated by the GCB, a process that might take several months.

The GCB in September organized a workshop to discuss revisions to regulations that provide the framework for online gambling legislation in Nevada. Not many were against the approval of online gambling. The regulations set the legal age for online gambling at 21 and require online gaming operators to maintain a fund worth $20,000 for compliance investigations. Players can register only one account each and should not use false details while registering. They can use credit cards to fund their online gambling accounts, but inter-account transfers are not allowed. The operators must maintain hand histories for a period of 5 years and take all possible steps to prevent bots from using the site.

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