LVS-Backed Attempt To Limit Nevada Online Gambling Compacts Fails

John Mehaffey May 18, 2015
LVS-Backed Attempt To Limit Nevada Online Gambling Compacts Fails

There are three bills under consideration by the Nevada Legislature pertaining to gaming that moved to the next step last week.

A fourth bill died when it failed to leave committee by the deadline.

Interstate compact restriction bill dies

Las Vegas Sands pushed AB414 during this legislative session. The bill would have redefined what interactive gaming was as it pertains to interstate agreements. The bill died when it failed to leave the Senate Judiciary Committee by the May 15 deadline.

The current definition of interactive gaming, found under NRS 463.016425, that can fall under interstate agreements:

Includes, without limitation, Internet poker.

This means that poker is specifically included, but other games could also be considered. A definition in the next section specifically excludes race books and sports betting.

The language in AB414 would have defined interactive gaming as it pertains to interstate liquidity sharing agreements as excluding “any gambling game other than Internet poker.”

As Steve Ruddock pointed out last month here at USPoker, the goal of this bill was unknown.

There is no demand to roll out casino games in Nevada. Even if there was, house-banked games do not require liquidity in most cases. The change of the definition of interactive gaming would have only applied to NRS 463.747, the section pertaining to the governor’s ability to enter into liquidity sharing agreements.

It would not have changed the definition in 463.016425, which legalizes interactive gaming in the state “without limitation,” except for race and sports betting.  Nevada could have still approved its licensed casinos to spread online casino games over the Internet.  These games are already approved within licensed gaming establishments.

The goal may have been to prevent interstate lotteries if Nevada ever passes a constitutional amendment to allow them, although that could easily be changed during the same process. Perhaps the goal was to prevent live dealers based in Nevada from spreading games to players in other states via webcam.

Another thought is that it would eliminate the ability to network progressive online slot jackpots across state lines.

Regardless of the reason for the bill, AB414 died on Friday when it failed to leave the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Skill-based slots bill passed Nevada Assembly

SB9 passed the Nevada Assembly on Thursday. The bill would allow slot manufacturers to produce slot machines where skill can contribute to the outcome. Skill can be a predominate factor or the game can act as a hybrid where elements of skill and luck can be combined.

SB9 states:

The State of Nevada depends on the fostering of a business and regulatory environment that promotes continued advances in the use of technology in gaming, which improves the entertainment experience, encourages innovation and supports expansion of the domestic technology sector of the economy of this State.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission are directed to draft rules that will regulate the next generation of slot machines under SB9. The bill is headed to Governor Sandoval’s desk.

He is expected to sign it.

Sports betting entity bill progresses

SB443 would allow business entities to register with the state and sportsbooks to make wagers. The bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Friday.

The definition of a patron would be changed in Nevada’s sports betting regulations to allow acceptance of bets from these types of businesses. The entities would act as a mutual fund.

These groups would wager money deposited by investors through sportsbooks that are willing to accept action without any input from depositors. Investors and operators would be required to register with the state and sportsbooks.

Sportsbooks would not be required to accept action from betting entities.

Sportsbook global risk management bill moves forward

SB445 would allow sportsbooks to operate a central global risk management system. The bill looks to develop framework in anticipation of legalized sports betting in the U.S., should the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act get repealed or ruled unconstitutional.

It also allows Nevada sportsbooks to streamline services among related betting shops within the state, according to testimony to the Assembly Judiciary Committee by interested parties.

Bills still alive have two weeks to pass

Both SB443 and SB445 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on May 15. That was the last day that a bill passed by one house must pass the committee of the other before it dies. SB443 and SB445 must pass the full Nevada Assembly by June 1.

Any bill not passed by both houses by that day dies.

The Nevada Legislature meets on a biennial basis. This means that any bill that does not pass in 2015 cannot be revisited until 2017 unless a special session is called by Governor Sandoval.

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