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Nevada's Tryst with Gambling, and the Legalization of Online Poker

Nevada has been the defacto gambling capital of the world since 1931 when gambling was officially legalized. The Silver State has always led from the front and been a pioneer in many ways in the gambling industry. By introducing legislated online poker in its casinos, Nevada has one again dared to do what no one else has. The state has some 86 online casinos, and two of them have online poker rooms. Nevada's move to introduce online poker has also evoked a similar action from Delaware and New Jersey.
Online poker was launched at the end of April 2013, and since then the numbers in the state have been pretty steady. Next year's World Series of Poker is already making waves and reports show an increased spike in ratings and number of poker players using Nevada's sites. It is true that the state has come a long way in the half century and more since gambling was first introduced here. The time is ripe to take a trip down memory lane and see how far the gambling industry has progressed in Nevada.

A capsule history

Before the Strip in Vegas was even dreamed of, Nevada was a bonafide gambling hotspot in its own right. The state had legal gambling from the 1870s through 1910, but it was only in the '30s that regulated gambling became the norm. Since then, the state has given shelter to over 250 land-based casinos. Geographically speaking, that's about one casino per 425 square miles in the state. The state also allows charitable gambling which is permitted along to standard laws, along with pari-mutuel wagering. Nevada also has tribal gambling facilities.
So far, there is only form of gambling that has not been introduced in the Silver State (and apparently never will be) and that is lottery. Nevada does not have a state lottery and for a place that is known to be a gambler's haven, this is somewhat of a surprise. But state authorities say that they do not have any plans of introducing any in the near future.

Nevada's poker connection

Nevada has a long connection with one of the most popular, and oldest, gambling games - Poker. Poker was not born in Nevada, but the state is so synonymous with the biggest tournaments and the best players, that one can be forgiven for believing that Nevada was indeed the birthplace of the much loved game.
Therefore, it's not much of a surprise that Nevada decided to take matter into its own hands and legalize online poker rooms. The state has been issuing licenses to operators and the latest news says that casino giant MGM is among the ones who have got approval to have an online poker presence. However, since online poker is yet to be granted a federal go-ahead, the authorities in Nevada are only being cautious by taking things slow. As Gov. Sandoval had noted in October of 2012, the state authorities would prefer a federal solution to the problem. Till then, players in the country will have to be content with the online poker rooms and may have to wait a while before intrastate poker becomes a reality.