A gambling bill in Nevada calls for the state gaming commission to create a list of people with online gambling accounts who have been suspended or banned for cheating.
But according to Sara Cholhagian Ralston, the former executive director of the state’s Patient Protection Commission, that was never the bill’s intention.
The bill, AB380, has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Nevada bill would create an online gambling black book
Ralston, a professional poker player, said she continues to work alongside Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) to help correct the bill.
Speaking with The Nevada Independent, Ralston said, “The [bill’s] intent is to protect players.”
“A lot of these online players hide behind a screen name. We have no idea who they are. The idea is to provide more information to the player.”
The language in the bill was not intended to create an internet gaming black book. The list of Excluded Persons banned from Nevada casinos is commonly referred to as the Black Book.
As written, the bill would require online poker operators to provide the names of black-book individuals. The Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission nominate and approve Black Book members.
“This was never intended to be an overburden on the operator, because cheating is so hard to define, especially in the online space,” Ralston said. “How do you prove it and how do you not interfere with a criminal investigation? That’s not the intent.”
Caesars is the only online poker operator in Nevada
Although Nevada legalized online poker in 2013, Caesars Entertainment runs the only site available website, the World Series of Poker. As a result of there being only one online poker site, the state keeps revenue from the activity private.
Under the bill’s current form, it’s unclear how it would affect Caesars. The online poker operator always sees a jump in activity between the end of May and the middle of July due to the annual World Series of Poker tournament.
Yeager said AB380 was drafted with more language than it needed.
“I think it should be more narrow and limited,” he said.
“There needs to be some kind of transparency and some kind of accountability. When the WSOP or somebody decides that something is egregious enough that they’re going to ban a player, I think the poker community ought to know that.”