Nearly two years after the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) postponed a workshop seen as an incremental step toward allowing online casinos in the state, officials with the regulatory agency said there are no plans to reschedule the event.
The NGCB was initially scheduled to hold the workshop at its offices in Las Vegas on May 13, 2021. The regulator was to accept public comments that day on 15 proposed amendments to its interactive gaming regulations.
The proposed amendments called for removing verbiage in the state’s gaming regulations limiting online gaming to just poker, thereby opening the door for online casino gaming as well.
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Official Says Workshop Could Be Rescheduled
When asked if the regulator plans to reschedule the long-delayed workshop, two NGCB officials offered slightly different statements.
Michael Lawton, a Senior Economic Analyst for NGCB, told pokerfuse earlier this month that there was “no new information to report” about the canceled workshop.
“The meeting was canceled, and there are no plans to reschedule,” Lawton said on March 15.
NGCB Executive Secretary Nicole Rupert expressed a similar sentiment — with a twist. In a separate statement on the same day, Rupert said, “There are no plans at this time for a workshop on 2021-03R,” using the number the regulator assigned to the agenda item from two years ago.
But Rupert added, “there is the possibility one could be scheduled in the future.” The difference is noteworthy in that it clearly signals that NGCB is at least receptive to the idea.
The gaming industry is perceived to be in favor of rescheduling the workshop and launching online casino gaming in Nevada. Despite early fears that online casino gaming would cannibalize land-based properties, attitudes have evolved, and operators now support iGaming expansion.
Regulator Was to Consider 15 Amendments
The NGCB was to consider 15 amendments to Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) Regulation 5A. The most consequential were the first two — one to create definitions for “non-peer-to-peer game” and “peer-to-peer game,” and one to remove the definition of “poker.”
Both of those moves would remove the poker-only restrictions on iGaming in Nevada and make it possible for online casino gaming to launch.
According to the agenda for the meeting, the NGCB was set to discuss an amendment designed to clarify that an operator licensed to offer online casino gaming must still follow all of the state’s applicable gaming laws. Other amendments under consideration called for:
- deleting requirements regarding persons who may access an interactive gaming system
- amending requirements related to the adoption of rules for all games offered on an interactive gaming system
- changing the provisions related to what operators must display on their website
The NGCB was also to consider amending internal control standards, including requirements regarding players’ personal information, requirements for player registration, interactive gaming accounts, self-exclusion, compensation to operators for conducting a game, the use of celebrity players, the adoption and use of the NGC seal, the computation of gross revenue, and records maintenance.