Nevada State Bill 40 has created waves throughout the poker community, with many wondering whether it will affect online and live poker staking within the state's borders if the bill becomes law.
The bill was pre-filed on Dec. 20, 2014, and was made public on Jan. 23, 2015, which led internet gaming attorney David Gzech to warn the poker community on TwoPlusTwo that the bill "would prohibit [and] criminalize player-to-player staking for brick-and-mortar poker tournaments, among other activities," in Nevada.
Despite the bill targeting the sports wagering industry, many in the poker industry were concerned that this bill could in fact prohibit poker staking for events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) by making it a Category B felony, which could include hefty penalty with a prison sentence of one to six years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
However, Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman AG Burnett this week clarified the bill's intentions in an attempt to alleviate concerns from the poker community. Burnett told PokerFuse on Wednesday, "I've seen a couple articles on the Board's bill regarding certain types of wagers. Just to clarify, this isn't a poker bill. It is solely related to sports betting only."
Gzech believes Burnett's clarifications should alleviate concerns of poker players, telling PocketFives, "The clarification from Burnett should be sufficient to give assurance to poker players and stakers that it doesn't cover poker staking with respect to Nevada activities like the WSOP. The outcome is good for this bill. I think Burnett acted promptly to address the problem."
Steve McLoughlin from Max Value Software, the parent company of both PokerTracker and Hold'em Manager believes that Burnett's statement should be sufficient. He told PocketFives, "You'll have a legislative history and statements of intent. I think any violation of the bill would defer to the state regulatory agency first and if there's nothing contrary in the legislative history, I wouldn't be worried."
Stay tuned to PokerNews as more develops in the Nevada gaming marketplace.