Thursday was an enormous day for Nevada's gaming industry, as Assembly Bill 114 was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
"We now, as a state, have the ability to go into this place we haven't had the ability to go before with regard to online gaming," said Sandoval.
The Nevada legislature fast-tracked the bill and approved it unanimously after catching wind New Jersey was also on the verge of passing its own online gaming legislation.
"This is the beginning of a domino effect across the United States," said Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment. "Nevada is the leader, it is the first of many, and so today is a historic day. It is the first day of legalized online poker in the United States."
As of right now, there are no Nevada-based online sites that are using real money, but many are in the final stages of the race to be first.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which operates poker website wsop.com, is waiting for final approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission.
"I think you'll definitely see us online for real money in Nevada in 2013," said Garber.
Garber estimates his site will begin taking money from poker players located within the state's borders, including tourists, between August and October.
But there will be some major competition.
"We think we're uniquely positioned, we think we will be the online poker leader," said Garber.
The governor believes AB 114 will strengthen Nevada's economy and create jobs.
The bill also has provisions for Sandoval to personally broker deals bringing Nevada-based online poker across state lines.
In 2011, the Department of Justice stated the federal Wire Act of 1961, which has been used to regulate online gaming in the past, only applies to sports betting.
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