Nevada gaming officials will host two days of expert panels later this month in their first effort to understand the issues they will face if and when online gaming becomes legal in the U.S., the chairman of the state’s gaming commission said on Thursday.
The forum, which begins July 31, will occur about a month after Nevada passed legislation authorizing its gaming regulators to set up a framework to oversee online gambling.
The legal status of such gaming is a federal issue, and is still being debated in the country’s court system and in the Congress. But if and when online gaming is determined to be legal, the Nevada law paves the way for the state to become one of the first to allow gambling over the Internet.
“We would have four or five panels (at the forum), one of which would be a legal panel,” said Brian Sandoval, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, which is organizing the event expected to attract worldwide media attention. More aboutelquintobeatle
Other panels would address:
— Ensuring that online gaming does not occur across state borders, which could violate interstate commerce laws;
— Making sure minors cannot gamble over the Internet;
— The economic impact of online gaming;
— The security of online gaming systems and preventing their use for illegal functions like money laundering; and
— Issues involved with problem gambling;
At least one representative from the casino industry, an employee of MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGG – news), will take part on the economic impact panel, Sandoval said. Other panel members will come from as far away as Australia, he added.
“It will be a public meeting held in Las Vegas,” Sandoval said. “I don’t want this to be a marketing seminar. … We’ll have these five panels, but going forward we’ll spend time on individual issues.”
Sandoval declined to give a timetable for drafting preliminary regulations governing online gambling, saying it would be premature to speculate how long it will take to tackle all the issues.
“Follow-up forums would be ongoing through the fall,” he said. “A lot depends on information we receive a the forum. Certainly we will move forward and dedicate the amount of time necessary to satisfy ourselves with the technology associated with each of the individual issues.’’