Many casino industry stakeholders are looking to Nevada to see if major changes to the gambling industry will arise any time soon. It was recently reported that the state planned to have a workshop that looks to address online gaming and remote sports betting registration for new user accounts. However, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has decided to postpone the proceedings, at least for now.
The decision made by the NGCB was to ensure that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to attend the meeting. It was scheduled to take place in mid-May, but has been postponed and will now happen once the legislature in Nevada finalizes the 2021 session in June. A notice from the NGCB stated that all parties wanting to attend and participate will be catered for by this decision as it pertains to the future of gaming in Nevada. Additionally, the notice added that workshops will be scheduled to discuss and learn more about the amendments and the role that technology can play in gaming in the state but will be decided after the legislature concludes its proceedings.
In early May, some reports spoke about plans from the NGCB to review the state’s stance on online gaming and whether or not it is time to legalize the industry. The legalization would span online table games and interactive online slots. As an additional amendment and part of the discussion of technology and how it will shape the gaming industry in Nevada, the regulator will take a closer look at whether in-person registration for sports betting is still needed and if remote registration will be more of a benefit to the industry.
The state of Nevada has the longest recorded history of gambling in the U.S. and relies heavily on the industry to fuel the state. In 2020, as health and safety regulations clamped down all over the country and the rest of the world, Nevada took a hard hit especially considering that access to online gaming facilities is far fewer than in other U.S. states.
While other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania suffered the same fate, the losses experienced in these states were less harmful than they were in Nevada. The top two gaming jurisdictions in the U.S. (NJ and PA) were able to soften the blow of their losses given that these states have regulated and legal online gaming already in operation. This helped to slightly balance the books between land-based and online gaming. The only online gaming facility that Nevada offers is a single online platform that allows players to enjoy online poker.
The point of the workshop is to discuss and evaluate several amendments to Regulation 5A that governs online gaming in the state. Instead of opening up the market to independent online casinos, the NGCB wants to make changes that would allow the preexisting casinos to offer and operate online casinos with their brands. This will allow their players to engage in games such as roulette, blackjack and their favourite slots, with their favourite casino brand wherever they are in the state. However, there may be quite a hurdle to overcome when it comes to legalizing remote registration for sports betting accounts. Opposition is sure to be raised by casino operators in the state because keeping in-person registration means that there is more foot traffic through their casinos.
Over the past few years, online gaming has gone from strength to strength. This was especially true in 2020 when iGaming operators came to the rescue of those that could not gain access to their local casinos. Thus far five U.S. states offer a full online casino experience. Players can access all their favourite casino games in Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. Even after the worst was over and land-based casinos opened their doors once again, the iGaming industry continues to thrive.
There could be a lot to gain in Nevada especially when looking at the figures presented by iGaming states. The gross gaming revenue reported out of Pennsylvania for iGaming in March came in at 97.6 million USD while iGaming in Delaware in March generated just under 900,000 USD. Additionally, sticking with results from March, iGaming in Michigan was able to generate a total of 95 million USD after less than three months since its launch. Finally, the New Jersey iGaming market topped all others with a total of 113.6 million USD in casino revenue which represented a 75% increase year on year. Stakeholders in Nevada have a lot to discuss when the dates for the workshops are announced and it should be an interesting conversation that seeks to improve gaming in the state.