Nevada governor approves online gambling, touts economic benefit

Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:25am EST

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation legalizing online gambling, after quick approval of the bill by state lawmakers, in a move that comes as New Jersey weighs a similar measure.

"This bill is critical to our state's economy, and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation," Sandoval said in a statement after signing the bill on Thursday.

The bill removes the provision requiring federal legislation or Department of Justice approval before online gaming licenses are made active, the statement said.

It comes as New Jersey - another major gambling hub - considers a similar move to legalize online gambling. Governor Chris Christie rejected a measure earlier this month that would have allowed Internet gambling, but has said he would consider approving such a law if it was framed properly.

The law requires the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations authorizing the governor to enter into agreements with other states to conduct interactive gambling.

The signing came after a joint Judiciary committee hearing on Thursday morning and approval by the legislature in the afternoon, the statement said.

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