Nevada may be months away from issuing its first online gaming licenses. Mark Lipparelli, the Chairman of the state’s Gaming Control Board, said that the regulator expects to begin reviewing applications for online poker licenses in either May or June.
Lipparelli spoke in front of the Gaming Policy Committee on Wednesday. Although 11 members sit on this panel, the committee hasn’t had to assemble for 28 years. Governor Sandoval asked the panel members to assemble several months ago to discuss the future of online poker in Nevada.
Nevada is moving closer to legalizing online poker. However, Lipparelli and Sandoval cannot predict when the first company will be able to launch its online gaming platform. Even though many firms may have their licenses approved in July, they will not be able to offer gaming to their customers until their technology has been approved. Sandoval cannot predict how long the approval process will take.
Sandoval said that the developments in Nevada will have a huge impact on the legislative movements among other states. California and New Jersey are both reviewing their own online gaming laws as well. Other states are interested in seeing how online poker legislation works for Nevada before they decide how to move forward with their own laws.
MGM CEO Jim Murren spoke at the meeting as well. Murren said that his firm stands behind the online poker and realizes there is a lot at stake. Therefore, he is doing everything he can to ensure that no one in his firm does anything to jeopardize the likelihood of legislation passing. Murren said that he is depending on the regulatory movement in Nevada to move forward, because lawmakers in Washington seem to be dragging their feet.
Sandoval appears to be encouraged that Nevada will be the first state to legalize online poker. He stated that online poker is going to have a profound impact on Nevada’s gaming industry. He also asked the Gaming Policy Committee to do its job carefully, because the state is depending on its ability to maintain the “gold standard” in the gaming industry.