The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee on Wednesday unanimously recommended Governor Brian Sandoval propose online gambling compacts with neighboring states and potentially even foreign countries.
The action comes as Nevada prepares for the start of online poker inside its borders early next year, based on a 2011 U.S. Department of Justice legal opinion that states may allow intrastate, online gambling with the exception of sports wagers.
Nevada gambling regulators, however, fear other states may start competing for online gambling operators by relaxing their regulatory standards, causing a race to the bottom in online regulation.
Nevada officials worry that the federal bill may die, leaving states with widely varying standards for online gambling.
Nevada has only 2.7m people, but neighboring California has a population of 37.7m.
Nevada could very well be live before 2013 according to Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Mark Lipparelli, one of 11 members on the panel, stating that the first real-money operator licenses, which are exclusively for casinos, will come through in 60-90 days.
Only three companies so far have been given approval to provide online poker software to Nevada casinos, which are Bally Technologies, International Game Technology and Shuffle Master.