10 April 2023
Many of the subsections and amendments tucked into Nevada’s nearly three dozen gaming regulations have been on the books for so long they are no longer applicable in overseeing the state’s largest industry.
For example, Regulation 26, which governs pari-mutuel wagering, contains Subsection 26.060, which was added in the 1970s. However, it’s never been adjusted to include legislative changes in the activity’s tax percentage.
“No one ever went back and fixed it,” said Gaming Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick. “Of course, it’s inconsequential. The industry has been paying what’s required by statute.”
The outdated subsection was found as part of the board’s effort to comply with a directive issued in January by Gov. Joe Lombardo, tasking all state agencies to review existing regulations and recommending at least 10 for removal by May 1.
The control board scheduled a public workshop for Wednesday in Las Vegas to discuss removing that particular subsection of Regulation 26 along with more than two dozen other regulation subsections deemed to be out of date or no longer relevant.
The subsections headed to the chopping block are within nine of the state’s 37 different gaming regulations.
Five of the subsections recommended for removal fall under Regulation 14, which covers the licensing process for gaming equipment manufacturers and distributors and the approval process for all casino games, equipment and systems, cashless gaming and interactive gaming products. Regulation 14 also includes seven technical standards documents.
One of the five subsections highlighted was 14.160, which was adopted in 1989. It required duplicating the contents of gaming device programs when storing the information. This action is no longer necessary because of changes in technology.
“It’s not an earth-shattering regulation, but we found it because of the directive, which allowed us to go back in and clean up the regulations,” Hendrick said.
During the workshop, he assumes the board will hear from gaming company representatives suggesting additional regulation subsections for removal, primarily from the equipment manufacturing sector after last month’s workshop that discussed speeding up the approval process for bringing new gaming products to casino floors.
Complying with the governor’s directive wasn’t a simple task for the control board, which has policies and procedures for making regulation changes. The workshop is the first part of the process, which would be followed by a control board recommendation to the Nevada Gaming Commission, which would make the final decision.
Hendrick called the regulation review “a real deep dive by the staff and every agent in every division,” adding that division chiefs and their deputies made the final suggestions.
He credited Jose Torres, the board’s senior research specialist, and Deputy Attorney General Tiffany Breining with compiling and organizing the sections for removal.
“Our procedures allow the industry and the public more time to consider and comment on any revisions,” Hendrick said. “The workshop will greatly expedite the future process because most of the drafting and reviewing will have already occurred.”
Hendrick said removing an entire regulation “would be difficult and could produce unintended consequences.”
Former control board Chairwoman Becky Harris, who is now a distinguished fellow in gaming and leadership at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, agreed that removing entire regulations would cause considerable problems in the industry. Revamping gaming regulations is something that takes place on a regular basis.
“I would suggest that Regulation 14 is probably ripe for massive editing,” Harris said.
She also recommended the control board take its time in evaluating any future regulation revisions.
“You really have to do it with a 360-degree view and understand how removing certain sections, especially if they are significant sections, will impact the rest of the regulations,” Harris said.
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