Nevada becomes first state to allow online gambling

The state's governor signs a bill deeming Internet gaming legal; the law also allows Nevada to partner with other states.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr

The state known for its lady luck has become the first in the nation to forge into the online gambling world.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed an online gambling bill today that legalizes Internet gaming, according to the Associated Press.

"This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada," Sandoval said, according to the Associated Press. "Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada."

For years, the U.S. has maintained strict laws against online gambling and went after any sites providing Internet poker or other games. "We're going after the people making the money -- the owners of these virtual casinos, gaming rooms, and off-track betting parlors," the head of the Cyber Crime Fraud unit at the FBI Leslie Bryant said in a statement about online gambling.

According to the Associated Press, Nevada already has 20 pending licensing applications from Web site operators and software vendors.

The state's Assembly and Senate easily passed the new bill before the governor signed it today. The bill allows Nevada to partner with other states to let their residents also partake in online gambling.

"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.