It's no big surprise that the state of Nevada would be leading the way in the push for legalized online poker in the US, with Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said that Nevada will likely issue its first licenses in one to two months.
Nevada residents and poker fans shouldn't get too excited, however, as Lipparelli also said that it'd be at least six to eight months after that before any games were running, which would push any possible legal online poker into 2013 at the soonest.
Nevada was the first state to push legislation setting up a framework for awarding licenses for online poker sites as well as guidelines for software testing and other issues related to providing safe and secure online poker to state residents. With hopes for a federal bill legalizing online poker fading slightly in the US several states such as Nevada are taking the initiative to prepare to launch their own intra-state online poker offerings.
While other states such as New Jersey and California have flirted with their own online poker legislation, Nevada is the first state to begin the process of drafting various laws and guidelines and regulatory bodies to oversee its online poker efforts -- not surprising given how heavily the state of Nevada relies on gambling in general for tax revenues and tourist dollars.
Several large Las Vegas-based casino groups have struck partnerships with online gambling operators including bwin.party and 888, with brick-and-mortar companies looking to quickly move if and when online poker is made legal by quickly launching online sites instead of potentially spending months or years developing their own software in-house.
Gambling revenues in Nevada have slowly recovered from the recent recession but still remain far below earlier levels, with casinos looking for any new revenue source to bring in much-needed profits and greater liquidity.