Governor calls for updated gaming regs

Mar 8, 2016 11:46 AM

Gov. Brian Sandoval wants Nevada to create regulations that will address daily fantasy sports, so-called eSports and any other concepts that can produce thoughtfully regulated revenue streams for the state’s casinos.

It’s a matter of keeping Nevada on the cutting edge of the fast-evolving worldwide casino business.  This much was made clear Monday during a meeting of the state’s 12-member gaming advisory panel that has seldom met during recent years.

The inactivity has ended, Sandoval said. He presided over the better than four-hour session that attracted more than  a hundred people, including experts from every corner of the industry. The committee will meet every other month for the rest of the year gathering the information that will provide the basis for legislative action next year.

The list of experts offering input included top executives from FanDuel and DraftKings, the two giants in the daily fantasy sports business. Their companies will not be able to do business in Nevada unless they are willing to go through the extensive process required of all businesses holding casino and sports book licenses.

The two companies are not big fans of the current licensing process, which they contend asks too much of applicants.

New ideas and attitudes are needed, according to Geoff Freeman, the chief executive at the Washington-based American Gaming Association.

“Over the past year,” he explained, “gaming regulators across the country have warned casinos to steer clear of DFS so as not to risk our multi-billion dollar privileged licenses. Yet how are gaming companies supposed to stay ahead of the curve driven by consumer demand, which DraftKings and FanDuel have clearly tapped into.”

Professional sports leagues have not only embraced but invested in business relationships with DFS companies. In the NFL, 28 of 32 teams have business relationships with DFS companies, Freeman said.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].