by Adam Sowell, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
The internet poker community received positive news yesterday when the Nevada Gaming Commission approved a set of regulations that will allow local companies to operate online poker sites for Nevada residents. While this may seem insignificant to some, others see it as a giant leap towards official national legalization of internet poker in the US.
The new rules state that sites must maintain accurate record keeping for tax purposes, so Uncle Sam will be sure to get his share of the action. In addition, Nevada internet poker sites must have adequate measures for monitoring criminal acts such as fraud and money laundering. The new regulations require internet poker companies to maintain enough cash on hand to cover all player accounts in order to avoid a situation like the Full Tilt Poker scandal.
An estimated $5 billion in online gaming revenue has been generated by residents of the USA since the UIGEA was passed in 2006. Considering the size of the market, the sites that lay down the groundwork in Nevada may be poised to reap the largest benefits if poker is clearly defined as legal throughout the country.
At least six companies have already done their homework and are anxiously awaiting the approval of their licensing applications, although it may take several months before any licenses are granted. Some of the following companies may be operational by the end of 2012:
Which contender will emerge the champion of the Nevada market? Which poker stars will align themselves with Nevada online rooms? Will all of this eventually lead to interstate online poker using a system similar to interstate lotteries?
So many major questions remain unanswered, but one thing is for certain - Nevada residents will be offered VIP treatment when sites first launch and compete for consumer loyalty.
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