LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is using the low-grade rivalry between Las Vegas and Atlantic City to encourage lawmakers to pass a bill that could expand the state's online gambling market nationwide.
The day after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suggested that he'd be open to legalizing some form of Internet gambling, the Nevada Republican released a statement asking lawmakers to act quickly to ensure the state maintains its place as the nation's leader in gambling regulation.
On Friday, Sandoval asked lawmakers to approve a bill that would a let companies offering online poker in Nevada accept wagers from players in other states. He said he wants Assembly Bill 5 to arrive on his desk within 30 days and announced that Democratic Assemblyman William Horne would manage the proposed legislation.
"I am pleased that the Assemblyman has offered to carry legislation allowing for the establishment of online gaming in our state and help Nevada maintain its position as the gold standard in gaming," he said. "In light of the developments in New Jersey yesterday, the need to act quickly has become even more important."
The Legislature began its four-month session Monday.
Nevada's existing online gambling regulations, which went into effect in 2011, stipulate that companies cannot accept wagers across state lines until Congress or the U.S. Department of Justice takes regulatory action.
Assembly Bill 5 would get rid of that requirement and allow Sandoval to enter into interstate online gambling agreements with other governors.