LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Nevada has become the first state in the country to adopt online gaming regulations.
In a unanimous vote today the Nevada Gaming Commission passed rules to control online poker.
News 3’s Sergio Avila was at the meeting and is here to tell us what happened at the meeting.
The state legislature mandated the gaming commission and control board to adopt internet poker regulations before the end of January of next year. They finished ahead of schedule in what many people are calling a historic move for the state.
Nevada's goal is to continue being the gold standard when it comes to gaming in the United States.
As gaming commissioners voted to adopt online gaming regulation, Chairman Peter Berhard said the state is now ready for the future of gaming.
"We're not sure if it's going to happen or when it's going to happen but we want to be ready when and if it's appropriate," Bernard said.
They don't know what's going to happen because online gambling is still illegal.
The idea was to make sure Nevada is able to get the business if and when it's legalized. The regulations went into effect immediately but don't expect to be able to gamble online any time soon.
"There's not going to be anyone turning on machines to gamble on the Internet either, interstate or intrastate, in poker in the near future," Bernard said. "But at least the framework is there to allow the process to continue so we're ready when and if an applicant before us meets our standards."
Some have argued online gambling could deal a blow to the brick and mortar casinos.
Cantor Gaming CEO Lee Amaitis thinks the opposite.
“I don't personally believe that it'll displace the experience of the experience to come to a grand resort,” Amaitis said. “So there are online players and people who are looking for the entertainment value of a resort.
Applicants for online gaming licenses have to prove their sites are safe, will prevent crimes like money laundering, and help stop problem and underage gambling.
Carol O'Hare of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling says regulating online poker is the right play.
“We know people gamble online with or without regulation so with the fact Nevada is creating a regulatory framework and the fact that framework includes concern about underage and problem gambling,” O’Hare said. “I don't think that's scary. I think that's appropriate and i think it's definitely going to set a standard for the rest of the country to consider.”
The gaming control board tells us they've already received a few applications for online gaming licenses although it's still illegal on the Federal level. These regulations adopted today could pave the way for poker sites that operate strictly in Nevada for people living here.