Nevada, which is one of three states to allow online gambling activities, has proposed an amendment to its gambling legislation that would make it a felony to profit as an affiliate to unauthorized online sites.
Anyone affiliated with a gambling site not holding a vetted Nevada license, if the amendment is added, could be prosecuted well above a simple slap on the wrist, which would most likely be enough of a threat to end affilliates’ relationships.
Senate Bill 40 Filed in Nevada
The state senate saw a pre-filed amendment back in December named “Senate Bill 40” and was referred to the judiciary committee.
The hope behind the bill is that it would pass early in the 2015 session of the state legislature, which will pick back up on February 2.
The bill is purportedly only one page and would add on to Capter 465 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.
The language would include details about dealing with the transaction of wagers through “mediums of communication” which is vague enough to cover written, verbal, or online methods.
Currently it is illegal to accept or receive wagers in Nevada without a state gambling license.
This new amendment would extend that liability of illegal activity to any entity that would financially benefit from aiding anyone offering illegal wagers.
Specifically, affiliates who help refer business to online sites who do not take wagers themselves, are targeted by this proposed amendment.
Details of SB 40 and Potential Punishments
The amendment specifically would make it unlawful in Nevada to receive, whether directly or indirectly, any compensation, reward, percentage or share, or property played.
It would apply to anyone accepting or facilitating wagers placed with those entities that do not possess a Nevada state license.
The safe assumption is that the amendment will be passed with flying colors early in 2015 as the state tries to assess and solve some of the issues they have had rolling out online poker and gambling within their borders.
If it does pass, SB 40 could be found guilty of a Category B felony, which means time in a federal prison between one and six years and a fine up to $5,000.
The details of SB 40 coincided with a new proposed online poker bill in California that also had language that would make it a felony for players to play on any online gambling site not holding a state license.
It would stand to reason that state authorities are starting to align on policy and certainly aren’t content with anything short of serious penalties to assure compliance from players, affiliates, and operators.
Intended Impact by Nevada Legislators
It is clear that this amendment is intended to help curb sites operating in Nevada that do not have a state license and to make sure any affiliates operating in the state strictly turn their attention to sites with licenses.
If the well dries up, so to speak, for player pools on illegal sites operating in the state (since affiliates will not be driving traffic) it stands to reason that Nevada’s vetted sites will finally see some growth.
Did the author not notice this phrase in the bill, “any bet or wager upon the result
of any race, sporting event or future contingent event”? The bill is not targeted at online poker affiliates, as posited by this article author. Rather, it is targeted at wagering at sportsbooks, for the purpose of curtailing money laundering by wagering both sides of a sports or similar event. The possible wide scope of “future contingent event” is a potential problem for poker players, especially in regards to tournament staking, and possibly for online poker affiliates. But it is a bit of a stretch to say that this bill is specifically intended to target these activities.