Nevada Regulators Postpone Online Gaming and Sports Betting Workshop

Posted on: May 7, 2021, 10:34h. 

Last updated on: May 7, 2021, 01:46h.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) is delaying its planned workshop regarding online gaming and in-person registration requirements for new sports betting accounts.

Nevada Gaming Control Board online gaming
Brin Gibson, chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, speaks during a meeting last month. Gibson’s NGCB is pushing back a workshop on online gambling and in-person sports betting registration. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Originally scheduled for May 13, the NGCB says the meeting will now take place once the Nevada Legislature concludes its 2021 session later next month. 

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,” a NGCB notice explained.

As Casino.org previously reported, the NGCB plans to review whether it’s time for Nevada to legalize online gaming, including interactive slots and table games. The gaming regulator is additionally set to evaluate if the state should do away with the present necessity of sports bettors first registering their accounts at a physical casino sportsbook.

Future Discussion

No state more heavily relies on gambling than Nevada. During the COVID-19 pandemic, state casinos suffered greatly as a result of being forced to fully shut their gaming and resort operations.

That was also the case in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, now respectively the nation’s second-and third-largest gaming markets after Nevada. But unlike those jurisdictions, which have legal, regulated online gaming that at least helped offset some of the brick-and-mortar losses, Nevada casino revenue went to $0 during the shutdowns. 

Nevada has only online poker, and only one platform presently in operation — WSOP.com.

The NGCB workshop is to mull numerous changes to Regulation 5A, which deals with internet gambling. The board wants input on allowing Nevada licensed casinos to operate online sites that offer players interactive slots and popular table games like blackjack and roulette. 

The in-person sports betting registration discussion is expected to garner much opposition from Nevada casinos. Operators favor the in-person mandate because it forces potential sports bettors to visit their physical casino floor before being allowed to place sports bets online.

Online Gaming Big Business

COVID-19 was disastrous to land-based casinos nationwide. But iGaming operators prospered during the stay-at-home orders. 

Five states have full online casino gambling — Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. And though coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted, iGaming continues to fare well.

Delaware iGaming in March 2021 totaled just shy of $900,000. Prior to the pandemic, March 2019 iGaming gross gaming revenue (GGR) was less than $300,000. Pennsylvania’s online operators reported GGR of more than $97.6 million in March. Online casinos in the state only went live in the summer of 2019.

Michigan, which debuted iGaming just this year, reported a March online GGR of $95 million. That’s up from $79 million in February. Online casinos in West Virginia kept just shy of $5 million of gamblers’ bets during March. 

And in New Jersey, the richest iGaming market, March online casino revenue totaled over $113.6 million. That is up 75 percent on March 2020, and 190 percent in March 2019, when iGaming GGR totaled $39.1 million.