Nevada passed a law requiring their gaming regulators to create rules that would go into effect if and when the U.S. government passes online poker regulations. Nevada needs online poker to pass more than any other state. More jobs would be created here than in any other state if there is ever licensed online poker in the U.S. The state should have done more to put pressure on the federal government.
Nevada already has online gambling. Nevada residents can already sign up for an internet sports wagering account and make a deposit at many casinos. A player then launches the software on their computer and makes bets in a way that is similar to how offshore sportsbooks operate. Some sportsbooks even offer a mobile app that works as long as you are within the borders of Nevada. There is also remote gaming at some Las Vegas Strip casinos. Online poker would be easy to implement.
It seems Nevada has the opinion that the state is too small to sustain successful online poker. That is probably true. There is still another option. I would imagine that online poker networks like Party Poker, that have already settled with the U.S. Department of Justice, would be more than willing to partner up with a major Las Vegas casino and offer them a skin on the network. Caesar’s Entertainment already has a World Series of Poker skin on the 888 Network. It would be extremely easy to set that up for Nevada residents. Paypal already processes online gaming payments for several non U.S. facing sites so processing would not be a problem. If the poker rooms did not like that then they could require a cash deposit like the online sportsbooks require.
Had Nevada decided to go this route the state could have become a leader and shown the rest of the country how it could be done. After other states or the federal government saw how easy and safe regulated online poker was it would likely speed up regulations across the country. The online poker rooms would not get rich from the rake of Nevada residents but that would not be the point. The point would be to show everyone else how it could be done. It also would have made Nevada the first state, almost guaranteeing that they would bring in more contracts from other states.
Nevada played online poker too safe. This is a state known for being the maverick. Nevada was the first state to have casinos and to this day is the only state with legalized brothels and casino sports betting. There is no reason for Nevada to play it safe here, safety is not in Nevada’s personality.