Regulators Approve License for Computer Gambling
By Linda
On Wednesday, state regulators recommended a short-term license for a company that has developed a system enabling Nevadans to use personal computers to bet on sports events.

Virtgame has an arrangement with Coast Casinos Inc. for the computer betting operation that will let Nevada residents legally place bets 24 hours a day on baseball games, horse races and other sports.

But even though gamblers can use their home PCs to put money on favorite teams, regulators say the sophisticated betting system shouldn't be confused with Internet gambling.

Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander has described the Virtgame system, which is designed to block out-of-state computer calls, as 'an extension of telephone wagering, using modems and a PC.'

Desktop sports bettors must sign up at a casino sportsbook and deposit front money in exchange for a password that allows their computers to dial directly to a modem in the sports book using a closed-loop connection. In order to cash in bet, they have to return to the sports book.

The long-term future of the state Gaming Control Board's recommendation for the Virtgame Corp. will be decided October 24.

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