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ONLINE GAMING BILL REVIVED IN NEVADA SENATE

Jun 3, 2001 11:50 PM

An online gaming bill has come back from the dead in the Nevada Legislature.

After failing to clear the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, and with the clock ticking on the end of the legislative session at midnight Tuesday, a bill to establish regulations for Nevada casinos to enter the Internet gambling business was revived over the weekend using a little-known legislative procedure called a "resurrection waiver."

The device was invoked by the casino industry's powerful Carson City lobby, which has pushed for passage of the bill to enable the state's gaming operators to grab their share of the Internet gambling pie, estimated at more than $1 billion in annual revenues worldwide.

Reports over the weekend indicated the casinos were responsible for pulling the bill off the Senate floor last week, where it was scheduled for a vote. The bill was pulled when it appeared it was going to be amended with a higher state tax on the online casinos' gaming revenues.

As the bill is currently written, online operations would be assessed the same 6.25 percent state tax on revenues that bricks-and-mortar casinos pay.

The bill, which will return to the Senate for a vote on Monday, authorizes the Nevada Gaming Commission to establish rules and safeguards for online casinos that ensure the sites comply with existing state and federal law and that minors will be prevented from accessing them.