Nevada Gaming Control Board Recommends Regulatory Changes for Drunks, Stoners, and Sports Bettors

Posted on: April 5, 2018, 08:01h. 

Last updated on: April 5, 2018, 08:01h.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) unanimously recommended changes to the state’s regulatory laws this week that would modify how casinos treat impaired patrons, as well as how out-of-state sportsbook customers cash their winnings.

Nevada Gaming Control marijuana law
Nevada Gaming Control Board Chair Becky Harris, the first female to oversee the state regulatory agency, says casinos need to turn away not only drunks but also illegal and recreational drug users. (Image: David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

On Wednesday, the three-member panel endorsed revisions to Regulation 5, the “Operation of Gaming Establishments.” Subsection 5.011 “Grounds for Disciplinary Action” says casinos run the risk of incurring penalties should they fail to allow any activity “that is inimical to the public health, safety, morals, good order, and general welfare of the people of the State of Nevada.”

Under the current regulation, “permitting persons who are visibly intoxicated to participate in a gaming activity” is grounds for punitive consequences. The GCB has suggested that wording be updated to persons “who are visibly impaired by alcohol or any other drug.”

The slight modification is primarily the result of Nevada’s liberalized recreational marijuana market. Licensees could soon be forced to be on the lookout for not only individuals who have over-consumed alcohol, but also those under the influence of legal and illegal drugs.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will now consider formally approving the measure.

Rewriting the Sportsbook

The Nevada Gaming Control Board also backed a resolution that would differentiate the process for out-of-state sports bettors looking to cash their winning ticket slips.

Non-residents, should the recommendation be approved by the Gaming Commission, would be able to produce a photocopy of their driver license or US passport instead of furnishing the actual identification material when making or cashing a bet of $10,000 or more. Under current law, the sportsbook cashier must review the physical ID card.

The change is to allow out-of-state gamblers to cash their winning tickets by mail. According to the proposal, sportsbooks would be required to keep the photocopy identifications for a minimum of five years.

Another amendment would require sportsbooks to report not only suspicious wagers, but any suspicious activity. The new language specifies that sportsbooks be attentive to wagers placed by anyone directly involved with professional and collegiate sports (coaches, players, team personnel, etc).

Budding Problems

Nevada’s gaming agencies certainly won’t have any trouble filling up their meeting agendas in the coming months and years.

State regulators and casinos want little to do with marijuana due to its federal classification remaining an illegal Schedule 1 narcotic. However, last month the governor’s Gaming Policy Committee ruled that casino resorts can host conventions and meetings related to the cannabis industry.

The only stipulations are that the drug not be consumed on the property, and the events “do not promote illegal activities or foster incidents which might negatively impact the reputation of Nevada’s gaming industry.”

The state is also reviewing the ongoing qualifications of Wynn Resorts holding a gaming license in the aftermath of the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding its former chairman and CEO.

And then there’s sports betting, and the potential repeal of the federal ban that essentially allows Nevada to keep a monopoly on such wagering.

Throw in new security concerns in wake of October 1, and state regulators have plenty on their plates.