Annie RKH
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Can This Bill Kill the WSOP As We Know It? Poker Media Coverage of Nevada SB40

The SB40 is essentially an anti money-laundering Bill targeting specific sports-betting practices such as 'proxy' or 'messenger betting'. In its present form and wording, it has potentially huge implications for poker as it could criminalize staking and swapping action - both pillars of the poker economy and its flagship, the World Series of Poker.

The Bill was filed in Nevada State Senate on December 20, 2014 and as the start of the 78th Session of the Nevada Legislature approaches (February 2nd), it has been causing increasing concern in the poker industry and has received broad coverage by poker media. 

What all the analysts point out is that there is no doubt reason for alarm, but not for panic. It is important to note that we are nowhere near the passing of this piece of legislation (yet to be discussed in the Judiciary Committee). But even if you are yourself unconcerned by specific Nevada laws, remember that as one of the three states with regulated online poker and the host of our single most important event, Nevada is emblematic AND symptomatic of developments across the U.S., and hence, of the global future of the poker industry. The SB40 also rekindles the old debate about staking&swapping and about the sometimes conflicting interests of poker pros and amateurs (not to mention the always conflicting interests of poker players and tax authorities :).

This post from the related 2+2 thread is just one example of the issues raised by the proposed Bill:

Every other career, field or industry allows you to sell shares of ownership or investment, isolating poker is ridiculous. The debate of staking WITHIN our industry should continue because that is a debate over whether or not staking/backing/shares should be disclosed - but EVERYONE should fight to stop this bill because it turns poker players who sell or buy shares into criminals with imprisonment in NY State prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Where do YOU stand? Can you imagine the WSOP moving to a different location and if yes, where? Do you think staking is crucial for the poker economy? Should it all be done out in the open? Would amateurs stand a better chance without it? Please share other interesting articles about SB40 and your own opinion about its (un)importance!

New Bill in Nevada Legislature Would Prohibit StakingEarl Burtonwww.pokernewsdaily.com

Proposed Nevada Poker Legislation Threatens WSOPA proposed amendment to Chapter 465 of the Nevada Revised Statutes would make it a felony to take a piece of another player´s action in a game of poker.www.pokerrealmoney.com

Will Nevada SB40 Be the End of Staking in Poker Tournaments?www.pokerupdate.com

Nevada Proposes Felony Charges for Unauthorized Gambling AffiliatesThe state of Nevada is proposing an amendment to its gambling legislation that would make it a felony for anyone to profit from unauthorized affiliate activities.www.cardschat.com


Hi Annie, Great post,. Seen that pokerrealmoney foloowed up their article with an update in today´s news that the Nevada Gaming Board say that SB40 was intended to have nothing to do with poker. PRM suggests that "intention" and "enforcement" are two different things and this could still affect players at the WSOP. (BTW Pokerfuse also reported it, but told all the poker players they were safe). Guess we won´t know until the bill is passed or the WSOP comes and goes - whatever happens first. 

Yes, thanks @Domingo Cerrado :) As announced yesterday, "the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, A.G. Burnett, has emailed pokerfuse to explain that the new laws will only apply to sports betting" : Poker Staking is Safe in Nevada, pokerfuse.com

Since the Bill was submitted on behalf of the Nevada Gaming Board, this should be reassuring news for the poker community but the wording still needs to be changed/specified.