Gov. Chris Christie previously vetoed an online wagering bill but has indicated he may sign an amended version next week.
“As to our competitor, New Jersey, they should be accustomed to following Nevada,” he said.
“This was a lot of work and it couldn’t have been done without the governor’s leadership and vision,” he said.
Partnering with other states gives Nevada an expanded customer market and provides other states with Nevada’s expertise in gambling regulation.
Several other states began looking into online gambling after the Department of Justice issued a letter in 2011 stating that the federal Wire Act of 1961, often used to crack down on gambling over the Internet, only applies to sports betting.
CARSON CITY, Nev. New Jersey Gov. Nevada wanted to beat New Jersey, its East Coast casino rival, to the online gambling punch. It sailed through both the Assembly and Senate on Thursday after a joint hearing before the two judiciary committees.
The benefit for other states, he said, is Nevada’s “most mature regulatory infrastructure.”
Sandoval and Nevada legislative leaders said it was important for Nevada to remain at the forefront of gambling regulation.
“It’s imperative for the success of this that we compact with other states because we don’t have a universe of players,” Ernaut said.
Lawmakers in 2011 passed a bill that put Nevada in position to legalize Internet gambling if the federal government sanctioned it. Sandoval had pushed for companies that want to offer online gambling to pay a $500,000 fee, while Horne, in the original bill draft, proposed $1 million.
. Senate m88 and Assembly judiciary committees approved it, sending it to the Assembly where it passed unanimously. A renewal fee was set at $250,000.
“This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada,” Sandoval said, flanked by dozens of state lawmakers. Brian Sandoval signed legislation Thursday legalizing online gambling in Nevada, capping a dizzying day at the Legislature as lawmakers passed the bill through the Assembly and Senate as an emergency measure.
He praised legislators for their swift action and commended Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, a Democrat from Las Vegas, for shepherding the bill.
Horne couldn’t resist at jab at Nevada’s gambling rivals.
Horne, in turn, had equal accolades for the Republican governor.
The measure makes Nevada the first state in the country to approve interstate online gaming, notes CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS-TV, adding that it was put on the fast track Thursday. The Senate passed it at midday and sent it to the governor’s desk for signature.
“We have the most mature financial, auditing and collection capabilities, much greater than some of those states, and they have the players,” he said.
AB114 authorizes Nevada to enter into compacts with other states to offer Internet poker. “Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada.”
Gambling regulators will now come up with regulations dictating compact parameters.
Pete Ernaut, a lobbyist representing the Nevada Resort Association, said expanding the customer base was key.
AG Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said the state already has about 20 applications from various operators, equipment and software vendors to be licensed for online gambling.
The bill approved Thursday resolved a disagreement between Horne and the governor’s office over licensing fees. But when those efforts failed in Congress, Sandoval said Nevada would work toward agreements with other states.
Sandoval, a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission added, “This bill is critical to our state’s economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation.”
Under a compromise, the fee was set at $500,000, though it gives the Nevada Gaming Commission authority to change the amount