Nevada sports book operators urge patience before making any regulatory changes By Howard Stutz, Executive Editor, CDC Gaming Reports July 19, 2018 at 10:00 am When it comes to the U.S. expansion of legal sports betting, we’re still in the top of the first inning. What about a couple of other sports metaphors? It’s first-and-10 following the opening kick-off, and the puck just dropped for the first period.This is the message Nevada’s gaming industry is sending to state regulators: It’s too early in the game to discuss changes to Regulation 22, the gaming law that governs Nevada’s race and sports book operations. In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing single-game sports wagers to be legally accepted and regulated by the other 49 states, the Nevada Gaming Control Board rightfully began exploring the potential ramifications to the Silver State’s sports books, which took in nearly $5 billion in wagers last year. Casino operators and sports book managers, however, want the new markets to have a little more time to settle into business. Casinos and racetracks in Delaware and New Jersey began accepting sports wagers at the end of June. Mississippi sports books may launch by August. Other states, including Rhode Island, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, hope to open sports books by the time football season arrives. “Give us 90 days to see how things shake out,” said one sports book operator. “There is still a lot we don’t know.” Gaming insiders said they support the Control Board’s efforts. They just don’t want to change parts of the regulation now and then have to repeat the process in another three months if a different issue from a competing state arises. Many states are grappling with complicated aspects of legal sports betting, such as implementing mobile wagering, suspicious activity reports processes, and shared accounts for different forms of gambling. The consensus in Nevada is to give new states a few innings to work out the kinks. But gaming operators are paying attention. They don’t want to give away too much of the action. Vinny Magliulo, who has spent more that 40 years in Nevada’s sports gaming business, said the state needs to be mindful of what other markets are doing. If there is a sports wagering aspect that is successful in other states, Nevada should investigate. “We’ve had a monopoly for a long time,” said Magliulo, sportsbook director for casino management company Gaughan Gaming and co-host of My Guys in the Desert on the VSiN sports gaming network. “We need to be cognizant and adhere to our regulations, but also have the ability to fix the regulations to maintain our competitive advantage,” he said. That’s part of the idea behind the Control Board’s July 5th notice to gaming license holders. The agency wants commentary by August on any suggested changes to the comprehensive 17-page regulation. “Various divisions of the board are presently reviewing Regulation 22 to determine which, if any, regulations need changes,” Karl Bennison, chief of the enforcement division, said in the notice. “As such, the board would like comments from the industry regarding changes it feels are appropriate.” Vic Salerno, the first Nevada sports book operator to be inducted in the Gaming Hall of Fame, has several ideas for Regulation 22 modifications. Among them, Salerno would like to see the state’s rules changed to allow for the remote registration of mobile wagering accounts, instead of requiring customers to physically set foot inside a casino. He would also like to see Nevada allow wagers on non-sporting contests, such as the presidential election. “What other states want is our talent pool,” said Salerno, the president of USFantasy Sports, which provides state-regulated daily fantasy sports contests in Nevada and Colorado. “A lot of places want the amenity, but they don’t want the risk.” The problem is that none of those ideas were covered by the decades-old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Control Board Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton said the agency will evaluate all the proposals, along with the subsections and language for possible changes. “At this time, we don’t have any comment on any specific changes we are contemplating,” Lawton said. “A draft regulation will be posted eventually.” During the recent National Council of Legislators from Gaming States’ conference in Cleveland, Control Board Chairwoman Becky Harris said Nevada regulations wouldn’t change just to match other markets “Eventually, every jurisdiction will have to adopt a plan and program that works for the jurisdiction,” Harris told GamblingCompliance.com’s Chris Sieroty. For now, Nevada’s casino industry will wait until the market gains a few more players. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.