Internet poker seeks approval in Nevada

March 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM

CARSON CITY, Nev., March 21 (UPI) -- The world's biggest online poker operator, blocked at the federal level, is urging Nevada to approve the practice for state residents.

Opposition from big Nevada casinos may doom the idea, but Randall Sayre, a former gambling regulator now lobbying for PokerStars, tells the Las Vegas Sun it is shortsighted for the state to pass up the chance to become the U.S. headquarters for Internet gambling.

"If we don't approach this in a rational fashion this legislative session, by the time we meet again in two years ... we will be left on the sidelines," he warned.

After losing a bid to legalize Internet gambling in Congress last year, PokerStars has been pushing states to allow it for their residents.

Large casino operators say it is pointless to limit poker to Nevada residents because the state's population is too small, and other gambling options too plentiful, the newspaper reported.

A decade ago, the Nevada Legislature authorizing regulators to draft Internet gambling regulations, but the power has never been used while companies debate financial and regulatory uncertainties.

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