Nevada Lawmakers adding amendments to Net gambling bill
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – As another legislative deadline nears, a major gambling bill that’s still being considered by Nevada lawmakers is getting loaded down with amendments.
Once simply a housekeeping bill for the Gaming Control Board, AB578 was amended when it passed the Assembly to include a previous bill that enabled regulators to establish Internet gambling.
Now in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Internet gambling provisions are being tweaked, and other amendments are being requested.
”My bill has everything in it but the kitchen sink,” said GCB Chairman Dennis Neilander.
After a lengthy hearing Tuesday, the bill was sent to a work session with representatives of casinos, slot manufacturers and even lawmakers requesting changes.
Judiciary Chairman Mark James, R-Las Vegas, focused most of his remarks on the Internet gambling provisions, saying they need to be a part of policy decisions by legislators.
The bill enables regulators to establish interactive gambling as long as it’s proven secure and legal. If that occurred, hotel-casinos with unrestricted licenses would be allowed to apply for an interactive gambling license, subject to a $500,000 application fee and a 6.25 percent tax on gross revenue.
”We’re trying to have the law be ahead of the technology,” James told Neilander. ”We’re telling you to go satisfy yourself that there isn’t going to be a problem.”
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Brian Sandoval assured the committee that regulators will move cautiously and will meet with U.S. Justice Department officials to ensure that anything Nevada undertakes is lawful.
Among the many amendments proposed to the bill is one presented by the Association of Gaming Manufacturers to reduce the license fee for manufacturers from $250,000 to $75,000.
Another amendment would allow the Longstreet Hotel-Casino in Nye County to enter into Internet gambling.
Harvey Whittemore, representing the Nevada Resort Association, presented an unrelated amendment dealing with labor unions in casinos.
Sen. Jon Porter, R-Henderson, suggested an amendment concerning bets on fixed sporting events, and James suggested an amendment related to the suitability of landlords in businesses that have slot machines.
The committee has until Friday to pass the bill on to the full Senate.
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