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Gaming regulators in Nevada debate tavern rules ones more

Date: 14.10.2013 | Categories: Articles | Tags:

The Nevada Gaming Commission and Control Board began debating future changes that might be introduced to a regulation concerning the slot machines operations inside the tavern industry of the state.

Several members of the commission were obviously not satisfied with Regulation 3.015, which after undergoing a number of changes and in 2011was subjected to extensive scrutiny, once again was back infront of them.

“We do not desire to witness the rules changing every two years,” said Pete Bernhard, the Chairman of the Gaming Commission at the start of the hearing that lasted for three hours.

“Uncertainty is one of the worst things the regulators provide us with. I thought this issue has been resolved by us in 2011.”

The changes were introduced for the first time with the aim to outlaw parlors with slot machines, like the business model often associated with the chain of taverns of Dotty’s.

The Nevada Resort Association and rival tavern operators claimed that Dotty’s stands as nothing more than a famous parlor for slot machines that offers minimal alcohol and snack food while its focus is almost entirely on gaming.

The changes introduced to the regulation by the commission required Dotty’s and small businesses of similar type concerned with gaming to have a bar with nine seats, a public space of 2,000 square feet and a kitchen which is operational for at least half the time in which the business remains open.

Bill 416 of the Senate, which lawmakers approved last spring, required from a tavern to offer its customers no less than 2,500 square feet, together with a working restaurant and a bar area for it to be able to qualify for a license for restricted gaming in order to operate up to fifteen slot machines.

The office of the Attorney General said that the bill is in need of a merger with Regulation 3.015.

There is also a requirement for tavern operators to prove that the revenues generated from slot machine action result from the primary business of the tavern.

Bernhard also said he does not agree with the interpretation of the changes by the attorney general.

John Moran Jr., the Gaming Commission member, said the 2011 changes should have prevented parlors with slot machines from doing business in the state.

“I thought this problem has been resolved by us,” said Moran.

The trade organization of the tavern industry also disagreed with the statement of the attorney general.

Sean Higgins, the attorney who represents the Nevada Restricted Gaming Association with its 1,450 members, said than no incidental revenues test is spelled out any statute revised by Nevada.

“For us the battle continues,” added Higgins, a lobbyist taking part in the negotiations concerning the 2011’s changes.

The Nevada Resort Association has been blamed by Higgins for the return of the matter.

“We have gone over this issues time and again, we put a veto on it and the matter is concluded,” said Higgins. “What is unfortunate is that the group besides me decided it was not enough.”

Virginia Valentine, the Association President of the Nevada Resort, said that the organization desires that all small businesses with slot machines operations in Washoe County and Clark County should be required to conduct an incidental revenues test.

Randy Miller, a tavern owner whose 8 operations both nonrestricted and restricted locations, announced that he is in support of a revenue test.

However, the constant changes to the restricted gaming laws tire him.

“We are only asking for some guidance on the matter,” said Miller. “We do not require from out how we should operate our businesses. What we are concerned about is that you introduce changes to the rules even before a location can be opened by us.”