What’s Nevada up to? Betting or investing?

Once again, Nevada is the state to show brave moves when it comes to gambling. They are the first in the nation to allow business entities to bet on sports on behalf of investors! What first sounds like nothing big, could not only turn into big business but in some interstate fights as well.

Nobody knows what it means

This is the first and main bullet point. At this stage, everyone is looking into the just passed bill and we see a lot of interpretation. While the lawmakers in Nevada insist the new bill gives more black and clarity, there is lack of knowledge how this will look in the daily business. Absolute sure is: the businesses need to be based in Nevada, including their bank account. Staff and investors need to fully disclose their identities.

A bookie friendly regulation

This is clearly a bookie friendly regulation if you read the statements made by CG Technology (the company behind the sportsbooks of the Venetian, the Palazzo, the Cosmopolitan, the Palms, the Tropicana and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino). They were the company pushing for the new regulation together with deputy general counsel Quinton Singleton. One of the most interesting statements was made by Singleton, stating that in case of a dispute, the investors would take the business entity to court and NOT the sportsbook. This clearly is a very bookie friendly approach.

Messenger betting still prohibited

Messenger betting is the terminology used to describe what is an individual based in Nevada taking money from people outside the state to place bets. Let me explain with a simple example: you have a buddy in Nevada and you think you could send him money, so he can place a bet for you? This is illegal and called “messenger betting”. This is how it sounds on paper for individuals, but the business entity and their employees on the other hand, will be allowed to place bets.

Pushing away risks

The sportsbooks are pushing away any risk if there is a dispute between the investors and the business entity, but at same time, the state is doing quite the same thing with the sportsbooks. The whole responsibility will be on them, because they can decide if a bet will be accepted or not. Additional, it is up to the sportsbooks to investigate who is behind the bets if they want to accept them. The Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett stated it was key to make the sportsbooks accountable to invest where the money is coming from, so the regulators can but don’t have to watch.

Interstate trouble on the horizon?

The more I think about this bill, the framing of the regulation and everything around it, the more it looks like Nevada is trying to established remote betting through “betting fonds” and betting “investments”.

The hype for fantasy leagues is there and it more and more looks like a little replacement for betting in some states. The new regulation in Nevada could open an alternate market and also create pressure on other states to regulate iGaming if they don’t create a way to forbid a betting investment. I am sure we will see some court action here, especially when it comes to definitions what a bet is and what a real investment is.

Feda Mecan

I am the co-founder of PlayingLegal and I love to write about this industry...next to being a serious NBA junky! During my career, I had several senior roles in the international iGaming business. If you want to talk to me, just pick a social network.

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