The Nevada Gaming Commission has unanimously approved its regulatory framework for online poker, which facilitates the launch of live poker games early in 2012. This development is not at all surprising because Las Vegas is naturally making attempts to safeguard its reputation as an international gaming hotspot.

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A number of US states have mulled over the idea of launching intrastate online gambling services, but Nevada is the first state to take definite steps in this direction. The approved online poker regulations are open for amendments, but they are easy to understand and promise plenty.

These regulations make it difficult for players to transfer gaming money to one another as all withdrawals and deposits need to take place through the online casino operator or the internet service provider (ISP) to assist proper accounting and taxing.

Online poker players in Nevada can use the gaming sites to deposit their funds, use it to wager on real money games, and credit the funds back into their accounts when they have had their fun. This eliminates the need to carry a lot of cask around. The rake is limited to just 10 percent of the pot.

The Nevada online poker regulations also require online poker room operators to hold a cash reserve that is equal in value to the total amount deposited by players. This law really ensures that players get paid when they win a jackpot. A player can open only one account and must provide proof that he/she is indeed 21 years or above.

Speaking on these developments, Poker Players’ Alliance (PPA) Executive Director John Pappas says, “Nevada is essentially moving ahead without a federal law. Should it become federal law, I think Nevada will be in position to be one of the first states certified to issue licenses.”

Nevada has a population of around 3 million, owing to which one cannot expect really large jackpots. Competition will be poor at the tables because players from other states will not be able to access the games. However, there is nothing to prevent other states from joining hands with Nevada if they do not want to create regulatory frameworks of their own.

The state has already done what the federal government could not—start from scratch. To make things better, the Department of Justice (DoJ) recently announced that the 1961 Wire Act applies only to betting on sports, which makes the formation of poker alliances between states easier in future.

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