Gaming Control Board Holds Businesses’ Fate in Their Hands

Posted on: May 7, 2013, 05:37h. 

Last updated on: May 13, 2013, 08:42h.

burnettIt was just another monthly meeting of the Nevada Gaming Control Board on May 1, 2013. But for big businesses like Aristocrat Technologies, Pinnacle Entertainment, and GambleID, it might have been a nail-biter: the GCB has the power to approve or deny licensing of virtually anything gaming- related, and they take that job very seriously.  This month, there wasn’t too much dissension among their ranks; three major issues that came in front of them all passed with a 3-0 vote.

Aristocrat Joins Online

First on the agenda this month was considering whether to grant Australia-based Aristocrat Technologies, a slot machine gaming developer and a major player in the gaming market, a license as an interactive gaming equipment manufacturer. Obviously, with legal, regulated online poker just released to huge fanfare in Nevada, and the possibility of a larger online casino presence down the road, Aristocrat wants in on the action.

With a unanimous vote, the GCB – made up of Chairman A.G. Burnett, Shawn R. Reid, and Terry Johnson – approved Aristocrat’s licensing request, making them only the 22nd company to receive such a license in Nevada.

Pinnacle’s Acquisition

Next on this month’s meeting agenda was consideration of Pinnacle Entertainment’s purchase of rival Ameristar Casinos. Oddly, though neither company has any Southern Nevada casinos – they are both primarily in the Midwestern and Southern U.S. – they are both headquartered in Las Vegas.

In another unanimous vote, the board recommended approval of the deal, which means Pinnacle can take over Ameristar’s two non-Vegas casinos: Cactus Pete’s and the Horseshu (sic) in Jackpot, Nevada (just south of the Idaho state border). Also in the deal, Ameristar will turn over the keys to all their Missourri, Louisiana, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana and Mississippi properties.

GambleID Gets Licensed

Finally, the GCB considered licensing GambleID, which describes itself as “delivering products and solutions designed to meet the regulatory compliance requirements of the gaming industry.”  With legalized poker for now, and eventually fuller spectrum online gaming likely,  interactive businesses now need secure platforms by which to determine if online players are actually who they say they are.  On the board’s agenda, this is described politely as “geo-location and patron identification services for licensed partners.” As gambling providers’ own online licenses will hang in the balance of having accurate software for knowing who’s who and what’s what, this company could potentially play an important role in the shift to legal online gambling.  As such, the board recommended approval, making them possibly the 23rd company to get an interactive gaming license in Nevada.

It’s not over, however, until the fat lady at the Nevada Gaming Commission sings; all three recommendations now move on to them for final approval or denial.