According to a story in the Las Vegas Review Journal, it seems unlikely that federal legislation to legalize Internet poker will be passed this year and will most likely be pushed into 2013, the reason being that lawmakers didn’t attach an online gaming bill as expected to the payroll tax cut extension.
A Wall Street gaming analyst, Chad Beynon of Macquarie Securities, told investors that Nevada stands to benefit from the lack of Federal legislation as individual states poise themselves to offer internet gaming and The Silver State may become the only state that allows American citizens to gamble online this by this year.
Last week, Nevada’s gaming regulators finalized the state’s internal control standards for internet gambling which could become effective in a month’s time.
“We think the standards were written in a way that will allow for small adjustments as the process moves forward,” Beynon told investors. “At this point, no firm date has been set, but 13 companies have now submitted for an operating license.”
Last Thursday, Senator Harry Reid ended speculation that online poker legislation would be attached to a bill that renewed the payroll tax cut through the end of the year but that was omitted from the bill that was approved Friday by Congress and sent to President Obama for signing.
Companies will likely look to Nevada to get into the online gaming space in the United States and also push in other areas such as play for fun gaming and social gambling.
Beynon said land-based casino operators, such as Caesars, MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corp., have the best opportunity with state gaming legislation, depending on how the laws are written. Lottery vendors also would benefit because they have existing infrastructure and state contracts.