Las Vegas Times " Were Going To try & get It through Today" LINK
Online poker bill moves forward at Nevada Legislature
By Andrew Doughman (contact)
Published Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 | 10:52 a.m.
Updated 23 minutes ago
CARSON CITY —
The Nevada Legislature today took its first step toward passing an online poker bill — a priority for both Gov. Brian Sandoval and the gaming industry.
The Legislature could fast-track the bill to the governor’s desk today, expediting what is usually a lengthy process.
“We’re going to do it now,” said Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, who wants to beat New Jersey in being the first state to pass online gaming legislation. “We’re going to see if we can do it today. We’re going to beat New Jersey.”
The Assembly Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today to amend and pass the bill that would allow Nevada to move ahead with online gaming in the absence of federal action on the topic and to join in interstate compacts that would expand the customer base for Nevada casinos.
This is great news for ZNGA and other gaming companies ..However, all these companies were down today with the market and will wait to make sure it gets through both houses and is signed by the governor. If so watch out as share prices may easily double knowing that with over 250 million gaming members Zynga is going to be one of the most powerful beneficiaries of internet gaming and a prime target of buy out by likes of MGM, LVS, etc.
The bill now moves to a vote by the full Assembly, after which it will go to the Senate for a vote.
“This is good natured competition,” said Pete Ernaut, lobbyist for the Nevada Resort Association, in reference to New Jersey. “If we get there first, fantastic. If we get there within 24 to 48 hours, it’s not a big deal.”
The committee vote came after Sandoval and Horne reached a compromise on how much to charge for an online poker license. Horne had wanted to double the current license fee to $1 million.
He backed down from that, agreeing to a compromise that would allow the Nevada Gaming Commission to increase the $500,000 fee in certain circumstances.
The pair sat side by side to testify in support of the compromise legislation.
Republican and Democratic support for the bill should help it sail through the Assembly and Senate to the governor’s desk, where Sandoval could be one of the first governors in the country to sign an online poker bill.
“It is important that we move quickly,” Sandoval said, arguing that Nevada must maintain its edge in being responsive to changes in gaming technology and culture. “Other states are on the verge of approving similar measures. It is vital that we move quickly.”
An online poker law would legalize online gambling for the first time in Nevada, allow Nevadans to play online poker with players in other states, and potentially net Nevada millions of dollars in licensing and other fees.