Nevada Officials to Discuss Potential for Online Casinos

Way back in 2013, online gambling started in the United States after Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware legalized the option. Both New Jersey and Delaware decided to go with online poker and casino gaming, but Nevada stuck with online poker only. Now it seems that Nevada is ready to get in on the online casino market. The state’s Gaming Control Board has announced a public workshop will take place on May 13 with discussions on how the industry could begin and who might be interested.

Public Workshop

The workshop will take place at 11 am in Nevada with individuals able to participate online and in person. The workshop will be hosted at the offices of the Gaming Control Board. Anyone interested in taking part must apply with the Board and be approved. Anyone that wants to listen online can do so without applying.

Individuals can also provide comments and questions to the Executive Secretary of the Board in advance. The comments and questions provided will be read out loud when the meeting takes place. The goal of the meeting is to gain perspective on the industry and see if the Board should move forward to pursue the process of licensing.

The state has the ability to launch online casino gaming, but regulation is needed. Legislation already allows for the expansion, but there are steps that will need to be taken to get the ball rolling. Current rules would have to be amended to ensure online casino is operational in a legal manner.

This would include removing a limitation on interactive gaming as it stands now, because it only lists poker. The definition of poker would need to be changed to a separate game. Clarification is needed to ensure that all operators meet the qualifications associated with licensing.

Additional changes would also be needed including self-exclusion and game rules, player registration, operator revenues, etc.

Why Now?

While launching an online casino market in Nevada would be welcomed by operators and players, why now? The state has stuck with only online poker for almost a decade, so why look to online casino gaming now?

It seems that either casinos are more open to the idea or they need the extra revenues. When online gaming first began in Nevada, many operators were leery about launching online casino games for fear it would infringe on the land-based earnings.

Well, New Jersey is a clear indication that is not the case. The state has easily seen success with online casino gaming and properties in Atlantic City have thrived. It does not appear as though online gaming will stop people from visiting the casinos and it would only enhance operators bottom line.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, earnings remain low for operators in Nevada, as they do for those offering casino gaming in other states. With iGaming, the casinos would be able to bring in new revenues, which can help fill the gap from the lack of earnings due to the virus.

The industry is seeing a slow recovery, but it could still be many months before people are comfortable traveling to Las Vegas for gambling. It will certainly be interesting to see how the meeting goes and if there will be online casinos launching in Nevada in the near future.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.