It was a proud day in the Nevada Legislature. Politicians set aside their party differences and worked furiously to get a bill passed and on the desk of Gov. Brian Sandoval. The “emergency measure” made Nevada the first state in the U.S. to legalize online gambling.
“This bill is critical to our state’s economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation,” the AP reported Sandoval saying after signing Assembly Bill 114 into law on February 21, as fellow lawmakers grinned about the nasty dunk on New Jersey’s gaming establishment. Assembly Majority Leader William Horne said our rival should be “accustomed to following Nevada.” Face! Even Delaware beat New Jersey to the punch.
The posturing is about the facts that Nevada and New Jersey both have mature regulatory systems and stand to compete for partnerships with other states dipping their toes in and hoping to maximize the yield of online gambling, as the new laws apply only to gamblers physically within state borders. But for now, Nevada is sticking to poker, while New Jersey is wide open for slots and other table games in the digital realm.
If Nevada hopes to link interactive plans to share players and jackpots with more populous states, it may need to play nice, even with New Jersey. According to Reuters: “A partnership with New Jersey, which has more than three times as many residents, would boost the pool of potential players dramatically.” Talk about a nasty dunk.