The Intrastate Internet debate
By Paul
Now that the Department of Justice has nixed the prospect of legal interstate gambling in the US, the idea of Nevada-only (intrastate) Internet gambling is being debated. However, despite the technology being in place, Online gambling within Nevada is far from certain.

'Making it more convenient (might) fly in the face of legislation over the past decade,' state Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said at a public hearing Thursday in Las Vegas.

The meeting was the first in a series of debates scheduled for the next couple of months to explore whether to develop regulations that permit 'intrastate' gambling in Nevada.

Limiting Internet gambling to Nevada residents, in theory, wouldn't violate federal law, according to legal experts. The question for legislators and industry is whether intrastate online gambling will cannibalize the customer base of existing casinos without boosting gambling tax revenues.

That and the issue of 'convenience' gambling in places like neighborhood stores were policy concerns that weren't explored when the Legislature in 2001 authorized regulators to develop rules authorizing Internet gambling, Neilander told members of the Nevada Gaming Commission Thursday.

Over the next couple of months, the Institute expects to present specific examples of systems that can allow customers to legally gamble within Nevada. Richard Fitzpatrick, president of the lobbying and consulting group Interactive Gaming Institute of Nevada said that casinos are waiting to see what works.

Companies have already created systems that can pinpoint customers' identities and locations, allowing online casinos to place bets for adult customers in places where it is legal, Fitzpatrick said after the commission meeting Thursday. Systems for 'intrastate' gambling in Nevada would be simpler in that they would be an extension of what some casinos are already using, he said.

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