Scandal-plagued CG Technology hopes for a break from the Nevada umpire By John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports November 12, 2018 at 8:29 pm Sports betting company CG Technology has a history of breaking the rules. Now it’s hoping that three strikes won’t mean it’s out of the ballgame in Nevada. Facing the threat of losing its gaming license at a time legalized bookmaking is surging nationwide in the wake of the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), attorneys for CG Technology are effectively throwing themselves on the mercy of the Nevada Gaming Commission by attempting to resolve an ongoing complaint by paying a $1.75 million fine, giving $250,000 to a problem gambling center, and pledging to make sweeping changes in its corporate governance.Although the commission doesn’t have to accept the offer, and could move to revoke the license, the act of contrition just might work. The promises are impressive and the kind of thing you’d expect from an outfit with such a checkered history. I’ll let others judge the company’s sincerity level. I would note that in its motion for consideration that outlined its proposed agreement, it continues to harp on the fact it self-reported the violations that a reasonable person might think made it unqualified to hold a license. They should give that tired tune a rest. In an August hearing that saw the gaming commission reject a low fine and settlement deal, Gaming Commissioner Philip Pro, the respected former federal, bluntly observed, “I’m not all that impressed that they self-reported. That’s not a mitigating factor in my view. That’s what you’re supposed to do.” Normally a circumspect group, the commission clearly appreciated that CG Technology’s scandalous ineptitude was bad for Nevada’s reputation as a legalized bookmaking regulatory leader. The company’s comportment was bad, and its timing couldn’t have been worse. Commission Chairman Tony Alamo Jr. said, “I have zero appetite to move forward with this settlement with CG Technology. My comfort level with CG Technology is zero.” And Commissioner John Moran Jr. added that what was at stake for the company was “not a fine issue. This is a revocation issue.” CG Technology has been providing sports book services for some of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas, the Hard Rock, Palms, Cosmopolitan and Venetian among them. The company has paid multiple fines over the last five years to settle a string of egregious violations. One scandal led to the ouster of its chief officer, Lee Amaitis. The latest scandal includes past-posting wagers and accepting bets from outside Nevada. That’s a failure of Compliance 101. From an outside perspective, it’s interesting to note the lengths to which the company is apparently willing to go to preserve its license status. It’s agreed to transition to an outside sports pool wagering system and abandon its own problematic system. That’s a little like owning a butcher shop but hiring someone else to cut the meat. CG Technology also promises to establish a Corporate Social Responsibility Officer (CSRO) who will report director to the head of the company, to “enhance” its “meaningful contributions to the Nevada gaming community and employee training. The CSRO shall focus on enhancing responsible and ethical gaming, employee training, identifying opportunities for philanthropy and local community engagement, encouraging charitable and civic participation and promoting diversity, and environmental sustainability.” Good heavens. This isn’t a sports betting outfit. This is the Sierra Club. But there’s more good news. CG Technology promises to “implement semi-annual training of the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and CSRO to ensure continued adherence and implementation of ‘best practices’ in the areas of responsible and ethical gaming, gaming policies and procedures generally, and social responsibility within the gaming industry, consistent with the Nevada Gaming Control Act, the Commission’s Regulations and the Board’s and Commission’s policies as articulated through ‘Industry Notices.’ Why, there will be barely enough time to book a bet with all the training going on. Makes that socially responsible and highly ethical training. All of which begs the obviously question: If you need so much oversight and training up and down your corporate structure, aren’t you really saying you’re not up to a standard worthy of licensure? Perhaps the commission won’t see it that way. Maybe they’ll look at CG Technology’s cry of uncle, deposit the check, and move forward. But the least the commission should do is ban the company from taking a baseball bet. It clearly doesn’t know that, after three strikes, it’s struck out. Contact John L. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @jlnevadasmith.