Nevada May Want To Cut Off WSOP Online Poker Sponsors

Written by:
Patrick Flanigan
Published on:
World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker may find itself in yet another setback.  Following legislation passed in October 2006 that essentially made it illegal (or at least difficult) for banks to transfer funds between poker players and online poker rooms, the World Series of Poker witnessed a sharp decline in participants from its 2006 peak.

Now comes word that Nevada regulators are looking to clamp down on contractual relationships between the state's casino operators and nongambling arms of the Internet gaming industry.

Such a move is almost guaranteed to cut off a significant revenue stream for the WSOP and other poker tournaments that take place in the state.   A large number of poker tournaments are now sponsored by online poker ventures such as PokerStars and  In fact, just announced the cancellation of its well received Aruba Classic Poker Tournament in order that it may enjoy a greater presence at existing poker events, presumably some of which take place in Vegas.

Gaming Control Board member Randall Sayre said he is drafting a letter the gaming industry in hopes that guidelines would be set.  He stopped short of declaring that such relationships should be completely abolished. 

"We don't have a policy and clearly the board needs to boil down exactly what that policy needs to be," Sayre said. "Some gaming licensees play carefully by the rules and others do not. I do not believe the board can remain silent on this any longer."

"There is a lot of confusion right now in the industry and there needs to be some regulatory guidelines," said veteran gaming attorney Frank Schreck. "All we're asking is to tell us what is permissible."

Online poker rooms get around legislative hurdles by promoting their .net websites, which they claim to be "instructional" in nature and do not accept wagers from US citizens. 

Patrick Flanigan,