Nevada governor makes case for legalised online gambling

News on 29 Apr 2017

Nevada governor Brian Sandoval had a busy official visit to Washington DC this week, judging by reports on Twitter and a news report in the Nevada Independent.

During his visit the governor met with a number of top officials in the Trump administration to discuss issues ranging from nuclear waste disposal to marijuana….and online gambling.

It is the latter that will most interest Our readers, and Nevada Independent journalist Michelle Rindels started the ball rolling with tweets late night Friday which revealed that Sandoval met with new US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has triggered wide speculation over a remark that he may review the Department of Justice legal opinion that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting.

Sandoval has a dog in this fight – Nevada is one of three US states that has legislation legalising different forms of online gambling.

Apparently Sandoval – who is also vice chair of the National Governor’s Association – made a strong case, telling Sessions that he was a former Nevada gaming regulator who has negotiated an interstate online poker compact and knows of no cases where under-aged or problem gamblers have managed to get through the consumer protection measures deployed by online gambling companies in his state.

The governor further requested that if the Sessions did decide to take adverse action on the Wire Act review, that this not include Nevada.

Our readers will recall that earlier this month the National Governor’s Association wrote to Sessions reminding him of states’ rights regarding laws within their boundaries.

Sessions’ response to Sandoval is not made clear in the reports, which were followed by a brief article in the Nevada Independent written by Rindels.

The piece focused mainly on efforts to dissuade the federal government from dumping nuclear waste in Nevada and the regulation of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

But Rindels reported:

“Sandoval also brought up online gambling, asking the attorney general that “if there is any action that is taken, that it not include Nevada.”

“He said he reminded Sessions that he is a former chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission, that he negotiated an interstate online poker agreement with Delaware and that he’s not aware of any instances of minors gaining access to online gambling.

“Sandoval says that in spite of their policy disagreements, he gives the administration an A+ for working with Nevada and has had more access to the highest-level cabinet officials than he did under the Obama Administration.”

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