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Nevada Hammers Out Online Poker Industry Details

Regulators Adopt Minimum Internal Control Standards for Sites


Nevada’s future online poker industry is taking shape, as regulators adopted the real substance to the regulations this week.

The Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) were finalized on Tuesday, a couple of weeks after the Technical Standards. Both help to further define the industry after the core regulatory framework was finalized in December.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli told Card Player on Thursday that the adoption of the two documents allows businesses to enter “concrete stages of product development.”

The MICS will become effective in late March. The industry stakeholders will have time to voice any concerns, Lipparelli said.

Lipparelli said that, taken as a whole, the standards were made to be “as flexible as possible,” since it’s unclear how companies will chose to conduct business.

However, for now, poker players can finally see how two important aspects of online poker’s rebirth in the United States will shake out.

Player Registration

Mark ClaytonNevada online poker will likely begin as intrastate — where both residents and tourists can engage in play.

In order to initially register on an Internet poker site, players must provide their real name and any screen names they wish to use, a current residential address, date of birth, a physical address where they reside, a social security number if a United States resident and finally, an e-mail address.

However, an individual can begin playing poker, to a limited extent, for 30 days during the full-scale verification process. According to a regulation, a player can’t deposit more than $5,000 or withdraw money during this 30-day period.

A high degree of certainty can be established in “real time,” former Control Board Member and current 888 Poker attorney Mark Clayton told Card Player. The first level of scrutiny can be completed nearly instantaneously, Clayton said, with complete verification coming at a later date.

Technology solutions for player registration have yet to be flushed out, according to Clayton.

If the verification process fails, a player forfeits their winnings to the casino. The amount deposited will be refunded.

An operator may allow an individual to register either remotely or in person.

Deposits and Withdraws

NV gaming regulators hold hearings at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las VegasA poker player cannot transfer funds to anyone else. At a Control Board hearing in November, Lipparelli said that he doesn’t want online gaming sites to serve as “shadow banking.” The general concern was that player accounts could circumvent financial institutions.

Operators will try and ensure that funds deposited via one financial institution are not withdrawn to a different financial institution.

Players can deposit into and withdraw from their online account while in person at the casino. According to Nevada regulations, only existing brick-and-mortars can operate poker sites.

Funds can be transferred between an online poker account and a casino account.

Withdraws from online poker accounts will be completed within five days.

The Next Steps

Mark LipparelliAccording to Lipparelli, regulators are engaged in a “normal process” toward intrastate, and possibly interstate, online gaming.

Despite the progress, regulators have been cautious with their language and haven’t given any time frame for when the first Nevada poker site will open its doors.

However, with the MICS and Technical Standards out of the way, regulators will move toward a potential licensing phase. So far, 13 companies have applied to participate in online poker, and regulators have already started to review some of the paperwork.

With online poker applications still trickling in, regulators will also be busy with crafting language for independent testing labs, which will help inspect and certify poker sites, as well as other gaming technology in the state.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus



over 9 years ago

"If the verification process fails, a player forfeits their winnings to the casino. The amount deposited will be refunded."

Okay.... they need to flush that out further. What if a player loses? The process takes 30 days and more than a few people are going to try to register and play from other states. These people can't be on a free roll. Sure they cant win but they cant lose either. Also why do they forfeit their winnings to the casino? If they were allowed to play illegally shouldnt that money be refunded to the players they beat and not the casino? They are playing poker... no casino games against the house. The houses cut is the rake... not forfeiture money. That sounds absurd to me.


over 9 years ago

I would have to agree with that. The casino keeping the money seems like would open up greed from the casino. If they lose, they lose what they deposited.


over 9 years ago

If you cannot transfer funds from player to player they may as well not even bring online poker back. That would be the dumbest most inconvinient thing they could ever do to players. Most players, in one way or another, have a backing deal or they buy and sell action on themselves and other players. If you can't transfer money from player to player it's just gona cause a big mess. Real players that do this for a living are gona have to step in and help with this regulating process or it will be set up so poorly that it's not even practical to play online. I can see them taking this in the wrong direction completely to the point where it would be better to just play live anyways. How many people are gona want to have to go to a casino to withdrawl or transfer funds? They want to have online so over regulated so they can tax and rake you for every dime your worth, but you can go to an acctual casino and play cash games and black jack and little tourneys and win thousands of dollars and never pay a dime into taxes. It's the same thing as charity card rooms, people can win a thousand dollars a week out of the smallest charity rooms and never have to pay a dime for taxes. Theres no proof of anything as long as you keep it in cash. With online poker, if they are gona tax everything that is withdrawn anyways, then why would it matter if you transfer it back and forth to each other? in the end the only way the money will ever leave the virtual felt and into the real world is if someone pays the taxes on it!