Nevada Bill Worries Gaming Tribes and Foes

The Monday passage by the Nevada Senate of AB466, a bill that could eventually enable the state’s casino resorts to offer Internet gambling, worries both anti-gambling forces and casino-operating tribes. Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, says legislators approved the measure because “they didn’t want to put the industry at a disadvantage.” He explains, “You have to realize the Nevada Legislature meets only once every two years, and gaming is the major industry in the state…

Next month there could be an advance that would convince gaming regulators around the world that Internet gaming can be tightly regulated, and the Nevada companies would be behind the eight ball.” The decision worries Rev. Tom Grey, exec. director of the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion: “We have long fought to keep gambling off Main Street, so we don’t want to let them move into someone’s house… the more accessible you make gambling, the more you increase its addictive rate.”

For different reasons, the prospect of legalizing online gambling in Nevada also worries Indian tribes that operate casinos. Internet casinos would threaten their land-based businesses, but Mark Jarboe, an Indian law attorney, says that tribes would probably move quickly take their games onto the Internet as well. “If you have Caesars or Mandalay Bay in Vegas offering this because they’re known, why can’t another known name like the Oneida, Ho-Chunk or Rainbow Casino put their name on something and offer it, too?”


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