The issue about online poker cheating has been lingering for a while now. Almost every poker player has given their views while only a few have given possible solutions. Nevada has gone a step further to propose legislation that would have probably solved online cheating once and for all.
The bill was seeking to create a black book for online poker cheaters. The bill would give power to the Nevada Gaming Commission to police and maintain a list of online cheaters.
Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager and Sara Ralston were the brains behind bill AB380. The success of the terms stated on the bill would have depended on online poker operators cooperating. Ideally, these operators would submit a list of players they had banned from their sites.
Steve and Sara hoped that the bill would create transparency and protect players. Initially, the bill targeted cheaters. However, Sara amended the bill to remove all clauses about cheating.
The final copy focused on creating a list of all players with online poker accounts and their status. According to Brittney Miller, the chairwoman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, AB380 did not have enough votes to move to the next level.
Caesars Entertainment Opposed the Bill
Caesars Entertainment is the only online poker operator in Nevada. The company runs the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Caesars opposed the bill, explaining that it would create a burden for the company.
Through its lobbyist, Mike Alonso, Caesars already works closely with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to prevent cheaters. The company submits malicious account users to the gaming board, which then decides to put them in black book.
Alonso insisted that Ralston`s proposed bill could harm a player`s reputation. He also said that some players would use the opportunity to demand compensation. Moreover, Caesars implements every possible measure to keep malicious users off their site.
Ralston Will Continue the Fight
Ralston is not about to give up on her cause. She vows to continue campaigning on the transparency issue in the poker industry. Ralston believes that it is crucial to have the conversation and vowed to reintroduce the bill in 2025 if the gaming regulator will not have implemented more transparency to internet poker.
Ralston was an executive at the Patient Protection Commission. This opportunity gave her a unique insight in what she is lobbying for today. She believes that transparency in the poker industry will protect the integrity of the game.
While the bill did not pass, the issue of transparency in internet poker will likely continue. With more states legalizing online poker and entering into multi-states compact, the conversation about the integrity of the game is far from over.
Nevada legalized online poker in 2013. Being a small poker industry, only WSOP.com operates in the state. The state entered the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement in 2014 with Delaware. This created a bigger player pool between two small poker markets.
New Jersey joined the compact in 2017 while Michigan joined the party in 2021. There have been rumors that Pennsylvania might join the compact.
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