THE FIGHT: Nevada Gaming Commission Approves First Online Licenses

THE FIGHT, presented by Chris Krafcik, brings you the latest headlines and insight from the attempts to regulate online poker in the United States.

The Delaware Senate Executive Committee this week approved a bill, HB333, that would authorize the state lottery and the three racetrack casinos it regulates to offer various forms of Internet gambling, including poker. The bill, which passed Wednesday in a 4-0 vote, now heads to the Senate floor, where it faces a June 30 deadline for passage. A floor vote has been scheduled for June 26. If the bill is approved and signed by Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, Delaware would become the third U.S. state or territory — behind Nevada and the Virgin Islands — to legalize Internet gambling.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee this week approved a bill, A2578, that would authorize Atlantic City casinos to offer various forms of Internet gambling, including poker. The bill, which passed Monday in a 6-0 vote, now heads to the Assembly floor, where a vote may occur after the Legislature reconvenes in September. A companion bill in the Senate, S1565, may also be taken up for a floor vote this fall.

The Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday approved Internet poker license applications for Bally Technologies and International Game Technology. The companies are now authorized to provide Internet poker technology and related services to a pool of land-based casino licensees — including Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts — whose Internet poker license applications are being reviewed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Notably, Bally and International Game Technology are the first to be awarded Internet poker licensure in American history.

Due to intensifying opposition from Indian gaming interests, the California Internet poker bill, SB1463, remains in limbo. After the bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright, declined to hear the measure during a recent meeting in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee he chairs, he told The Los Angeles Times: “We’re going to try and work some more and see what we can do. We will keep talking. But it’s a tough go.” The bill faces an Aug. 31 deadline for passage.

Once again, there was no change in the Capitol Hill Co-Sponsor Count. According to GovTrack.us, Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s Internet poker bill, HR2366, has 30 supporters, while California Rep. John Campbell’s Internet gambling bill, HR1174, remains close behind with 29.

Random quote of the week: “‘Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs … ’” —John McClane, Die Hard (c. 1988)

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