The proposed legislation in Carson City, Nevada, which aimed to mandate online poker platforms to disclose their list of banned individuals, has not been successful.
Speaker Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) introduced Assembly Bill 380 in March, with input from local online poker player Sara Cholhagian Ralston. Ralston expressed the need to communicate to the Nevada Gaming Commission the list of individuals who have allegedly cheated or violated regulations while playing online poker.
However, Caesars Entertainment and its WSOP.com online poker platform, which is the only authorized interactive poker site in Nevada, have opposed the bill. They argued that such a legal requirement could lead to expensive lawsuits, with players potentially suing Caesars and/or the state for publicly tarnishing their reputation without a fair process.
The bill has been stalled in committees
AB380 was initially heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on March 22 and again on April 5, after which the committee members decided not to advance the bill. Caesars, the only iGaming operator in Nevada, argued that the proposed legislation would only serve to embarrass banned players.
Despite the ongoing legislative session until June 5, the committee members confirmed that AB380 has been shelved and will not receive further consideration. Ralston expressed her disappointment with this decision, but she hopes to continue the conversation on transparency in poker regulation in the state.
Ralston suggested that the Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board could address the issue through regulatory means. It is worth noting that online gaming sites in the US, including Caesars’ WSOP.com, can ban players for various reasons without providing an explanation.
Ralston hopes that Speaker Steve Yeager and other state lawmakers will reintroduce a similar bill to AB380 during the next legislative session in 2025.
Online gaming, particularly online slot machines and table games, has become a lucrative industry in the six states that allow it. In New Jersey, online casinos generated over $1.6 billion in gross gaming revenue last year, while in Pennsylvania, internet gaming operators won about $1.4 billion.
However, despite being the wealthiest gaming state in the US, Nevada’s gaming industry is still primarily in-person. While Nevada permits online poker, it does not allow internet slots or other table games.
As online poker is not a significant source of revenue, with only $27.3 million of the $1.6 billion won online in New Jersey last year coming from poker rake, only Caesars’ WSOP.com platform is operating in Nevada.
The World Series of Poker tournament is held annually in Las Vegas, attracting thousands of poker professionals and amateurs to Sin City. While not playing at the live tables, many choose to play casual games online from their hotel rooms.