Saturday, September 15, 2012

Legal INTRAstate Nevada Poker Taking Steps to Combat Online Poker Cheating

Source: Cardplayer

A start-up company in Tennessee is looking to provide upcoming Nevada intrastate online poker sites with something they could be in desperate need of one day — a centralized list of player information.

Why would competing online sites in the Silver State want to share such data? Per Nevada regulations, players can self-exclude. Also, some players will become, as what Digital Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has called, “fraudsters.” Protecting the integrity of a platform is a must for the fledgling industry, which will bring all eyes on Nevada. A big scandal could devastate Internet poker efforts at the federal level and in other states.

Ryan, speaking to the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee in May, expressed the need for such a third-party hub of information. MGM Resorts International,’s Nevada partner, wants one too. Here comes Player Verify LLC, led by Managing Member Mark Dalton, who told Card Player Friday that his company has submitted paper work to do business in Nevada.

For $4.99 a year, would-be Nevada online poker players can upload their personal documents to Player Verify, which would store all of it for when a casino (also paying $4.99 per year) wants to access and inspect it as part of the player registration process. Nevada regulators were very conscientious about giving business the flexibility to self-police in this area, Commission Chairman Peter Bernhard recently said.

For self-exclusion — a mammoth deal to opponents of online gambling who worry about increases in addiction figures — casinos could tap into such information to prevent a player with troubles on another site from even registering. Cheaters could also be flagged thanks to a digital drawer full of player data. In other words, if you collude on one site, the entire industry would know about it. Possible criminal penalties are another story.

Just like Nevada’s online poker industry, Player Verify is just starting out. Dalton said that he has reached out to “a bunch” of gaming companies about possibly doing business together, but he hasn’t heard back from any yet. He thinks that once his company snags a license it will be “taken more seriously.”

According to Dalton, Player Verify already has a few hundred sign-ups, but admitted that there won’t be any real incentive to use his site until many Nevada casinos come on board with the concept, as well as his version of it. “The sky is the limit,” he said about his business if it becomes popular in the Mojave Desert.

Dalton’s company is still in its infancy (two years), but he said his team has been working hard to put together a product for the launch of the nation’s first ever intrastate web poker market, which could kick off as early as this fall.

“We’re the only site that I know of doing what we’re doing,” he said. “We’re outside the box.”

My take: This is good stuff, and I think it will help in one day getting online poker legalized in the entire US!