Nevada executive in favor of online poker

23 March 2011
By Howard Stutz

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- South Point Hotel Casino and Spa owner Michael Gaughan became the first high-profile Nevada gaming executive to voice his support for bill that would legalize Internet poker in Nevada.

In a statement expected to be released Tuesday, Gaughan said the Nevada Legislature should pass Assembly Bill 258, which would allow the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations for Internet poker.

"There is no doubt in my mind that online poker and other games are coming," Gaughan said. "AB258 would make us a pioneer in the nationwide movement and the leader for the rest of the country to emulate."

Gaughan, who founded the Coast Casinos chain that was sold to Boyd Gaming Corp. in 2003, said passage of the bill could help the state's budget shortfall and go toward reducing Nevada's high unemployment rate.

Gaughan said online gaming could infuse more than $500 million into the state budget.

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