Hearing on adding full online gaming in Nevada delayed until after legislative session ends

May 7, 2021 8:08 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
May 7, 2021 8:08 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

Nevada gaming regulators have postponed a workshop hearing for next week on a potential move for the state to offer full online casino gaming and change the rules requiring in-person registration for mobile betting accounts.

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In a brief statement released late Thursday, the Gaming Control Board decided to wait until after the state legislature adjourns in June before holding the workshop, the first step in the potential adjustment to Gaming Regulation 5A.

“To ensure that all parties wishing to participate in this important discussion about the future of Nevada gaming are able to attend, and ideally in person, the Board intends to schedule workshops on these proposed amendments and on the role of technology and gaming in Nevada at some point in the near future after the conclusion of the current session of the Nevada Legislature,” according to the notice.

The Control Board intended the workshop to be used for casino operators, technology providers, and the public to comment on proposed amendments to the regulation.

A list of 15 suggested changes offered by regulators includes the removal of “provisions limiting interactive gaming to the game of poker,” adding “all games offered on an interactive gaming system,” and amending “authorized player requirements.”

Remote registration for mobile sports betting has long been opposed by major casino operators in Nevada who want customers to visit their traditional casinos.

The potential changes to the state’s interactive gaming regulations are being considered as other states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan, have legalized online casino gaming. Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey saw a tremendous amount of activity through online gaming last year the nation’s casino industry was closed due to the pandemic.

Nevada has offered online poker since 2013 and at one time had four different Internet poker websites. Today, there is just one online poker site – WSOP.com, which is overseen by Caesars Entertainment.  In 2014, Nevada signed on to an online gaming compact with Delaware, allowing the two small states to pool players. New Jersey joined the compact a few years later.

Implementing full online casino games would take a vote from both Control Board and the five-member Nevada Gaming Commission.

Nevada first implemented an interactive gaming regulation in 2001, but the Legislature and then-Gov. Brian Sandoval weighed to push for changes that allowed Internet poker. The entire process to get the bill pass was approved in 24 hours.

However, because a customer had to be physically located within the state’s boundaries to gamble online, poker was unsuccessful due to a lack of enough players.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgaming.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.