Former Nevada Gaming Commission chairman Brian Sandoval says sensible federal framework “necessary to compliment state efforts on internet gaming”
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has written a letter to US Senator Harry Reid in support of his proposed federal online poker bill.
The letter is addressed to Reid and House Speaker John Boehner, as well as Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, minority leaders of the Senate and House respectively and, although unconnected, comes just 24 hours after multiple arrests were made in connection with a number of alleged illegal sports betting activities across the state.
Last week 25 people were arrested as part of a major national investigation in which it is alleged that offshore sites, including Pinnacle Sports, took sports bets from US customers. Nevada-based Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Mike Colbert was one of the individuals, although his charges are understood to be unrelated to Cantor itself.
In Reid’s draft bill, which was leaked last week, federal online poker would be legalised, but other forms of internet gambling, including sports betting, would remain illegal.
Sandoval said in the letter: “As a former Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, I have a unique perspective on this matter that my fellow governors do not. State rights in this area must be protected, but a sensible federal framework is necessary to compliment state efforts on internet gaming. A sensible federal approach would preserve state authority to ban gaming within its borders, protect minors from exposure to online gaming, and protect legitimate consumers from illegal offshore operators. The Reid-Kyl approach would accomplish these essential objectives while introducing strong consumer protections into a space where none currently exist.”
Last week, the National Governors Association wrote to House and Senate leaders in opposition to the Reid-Kyl bill.