In what several observers state is another step forward to the legalisation of online gambling by American officials, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is soon to release a study it commissioned through the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) earlier this year into the pastime.
According to reports in the Las Vegas Sun, the objective of the study is to quantify how many Nevadans gamble online and measure attitudes toward legal Internet gambling. Regulators said that the survey is intended to inform lawmakers about the pros and cons of regulating a business that the US Department of Justice has declared to be mostly illegal.
“This will be valuable information for policymakers,” said Dennis Neilander, Chairman for the Board. Nevada has historically taken a liberal attitude towards strictly controlled online gambling and approved legislation in 2003 allowing regulators to study whether Internet gambling could be regulated.
The Gaming Control Board stated that it had since learned of developing technology to pinpoint the location and identity of gamblers using satellite signals, conduct online background checks and maintain account information.
Las Vegas gaming attorney Tony Cabot has consulted for Internet operators and said that the UNLV study may show that there are enough gambling dollars going to offshore sites to warrant efforts by the state to tap into that revenue.
“It’s historically been the policy of the state of Nevada to regulate gaming so that we can protect patrons and make sure they get paid when they win,” said Cabot.