Nevada's Internet gambling bill, AB 578, will be discussed on the state Senate floor this morning, one of the last stops it will make before possibly being passed by the full Senate and sent to the governor. Some debate on the bill is expected as well as perhaps the introduction of another amendment that would increase the gross gaming tax on Internet gaming from 6.25 percent to 10 or 11 percent.
The bill was last taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which passed an amended version. The amendments, available below, contain several provisions regarding licensing fees as well as the permitting of rural casinos to launch online games in addition to casino/resorts.
Overview of Conceptual Amendments
Adopted by the Senate Committee on Judiciary
For Internet Gaming Bill
1. Comprehensive Amendment from Representatives of the State Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Resort Association – The Senate Committee on Judiciary approved a comprehensive amendment submitted by these two entities, which includes the following changes:
2. Revise Certain Licensing Fees – Lower the fees for certain licenses associated with interactive gaming under Section 8 of the bill. (Proposed by the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers)
As approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, the amendment lowers the fee, from $250,000 to $125,000, for a license for a manufacturer of interactive gaming systems. The license fee for a manufacturer of equipment associated with interactive gaming is also lowered from $100,000 to $50,000.
In addition, limit the renewal fee for the license for a manufacturer of interactive gaming systems to $50,000, and lower the renewal fee the license for manufacturers of equipment associated with interactive gaming from $50,000 to $25,000.
3. Revise Types of Establishments that May be Involved in Interactive Gaming in Counties Other than Clark and Washoe – (Proposed by Mark Fiorentino on behalf of an establishment in Nye County)
Amend Section 3, subsection 4(c) of the bill to lower certain requirements that establishments in counties other than Clark and Washoe must meet to be eligible for a license to operate interactive gaming. The amendment, as adopted by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, decreases from 10 years to 5 years the length of time the establishment must have held a nonrestricted license for the operation of games and gaming devices.
The amendment also decreases the number of rooms the establishment must operate from "more than 100" to "more than 50," and decreases the number of required gaming devices from 135 to 50.
During the discussion of this amendment, the Committee also voted for an additional amendment to provide that the licensure eligibility requirements that apply to establishments in a county whose population is more than 100,000 but less than 400,000 (Washoe County) also apply to establishments in Carson City and Douglas County. (See Section 3, subsection 4(b) of the bill.)
4. Illegal Activity Relating to Fixed Sporting Events – At the request of Chairman Mark A. James and Senator Jon C. Porter, the State Gaming Control Board submitted the following language, which was adopted by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, to address a loophole in the law regarding illegal activity associated with fixed sporting events or games:
Amend NRS 465.070 (Fraudulent Acts) as follows: It is unlawful for any person:
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8. To offer, promise or give anything of value to anyone for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a race, sporting event, contest or game upon which a wager may be made, or to place, increase or decrease a wager after acquiring knowledge, not available to the general public, that anyone has been offered, promised or given anything of value for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the race, sporting event, contest or gaming upon which the wager is placed, increased or decreased.
9. To change or alter the normal outcome of any game played on an interactive gaming system or the way in which the outcome is reported to any participant in the game.
5. Address Situations in which Landlords May be Profiting Inappropriately under Nevada’s Laws from Higher Leases on Properties with Gaming Equipment Solely Because of the Presence of Gaming Equipment – At the suggestion of Chairman James, the Senate Committee on Judiciary approved an amendment to NRS 463.200 to provide that if an application for a state gaming license is for a restricted license on premises not owned by the applicant, the application must include a sworn and notarized statement from the owner or lessor of the premises stating whether the consideration paid by the applicant for use of the premises has been or will be increased because of the operation of gaming on the premises.