Although Nevada has had a framework of laws for online poker on its legislative books for years (NRS §463.745 et seq.), things started picking up speed in 2011. First, the Legislature passed an amendment to the state’s general gambling law requiring the Nevada Gaming Commission to establish regulations for internet poker licensing and operations. Those regulations were adopted by the end of 2011.
The NGC began to issue the first online poker licenses in the second half of 2012.
In February 2013, in response to pressure from New Jersey, which was considering legalizing and regulating all forms of internet gaming and allowing the state to pool players with other states, Nevada amended its internet gaming law to expressly allow the state to enter into player-sharing agreements with other states. It also added a “bad actor” clause that restricts operators who took bets without a license in the United States after December 31, 2006 from being found suitable for licensure for five years.
Due to rigorous software requirements set out by regulation, licensees have been slow to start offering poker. UltimatePoker.com launched its real-money poker product on April 30, 2013. Ultimate Poker closed its online poker room in November of 2014.
Six months later Ultimate Poker was joined by WSOP.com, and we had our first real competition in the US market. In early 2014 the South Point Casino launched their Real Gaming online poker room, but thus far the site has failed to gain even the smallest foothold in the industry.
The biggest news since the launch of Ultimate Poker was the deal signed by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval with Delaware Governor Jack Markell to form the first interstate online poker agreement, which is now slated to occur sometime in slated 2014 or early 2015
On a lesser scale the NGC and the NGCB both approved an intrastate network proposed by 888 and several casinos which is expected to launch before the end of 2014.
Live poker is, of course, permitted in Nevada, the home of the some of the most expansive and permissive gambling laws and regulations in the United States. Poker falls under Regulation 23 of the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board. Poker rooms in Nevada have wide latitude to offer just about any conceivable variant of poker, subject to appropriate rules.
Not surprisingly, home games are also legal under Nevada law pursuant to NRS §463.0152, which excludes from the definition of “gambling game” “games played with cards in private homes or residences in which no person makes money for operating the game”.