Nevada Sports Books Gearing Up to Accept Out-of-State Bets

Nevada Gaming

A change in policy could let sports book operators in Nevada receive a green signal for accepting out-of-state bets. The state lost its monopoly on sports betting since the PASPA law was struck down by the Supreme Court in May this year. Nevada will have to wait for another federal ban to be lifted before it lures in customers from other states.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is currently pondering the changes that could help operators accept bets from outside the state and the US legally. Such acceptance is banned under the Interstate Wire Act of 1961. The Board’s Chairwoman Becky Harris noted that regulators could revise state rules as an “efficiency measure” and get ready to enter the market.

Nevada is facing competition from the states of West Virginia, Mississippi, New Jersey and Delaware, all of which have started accepting bets. Sports wagering has been legalized in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New York but the states haven’t started taking bets yet.

The state of Nevada could be well-positioned to take advantage of the interstate sports betting market, if and when it becomes legal. Dickinson Wright PLLC’s Kate Lowenhar-Fisher said that Nevada could become a hub for interstate betting. Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP partner Glenn Light noted that gaming companies have the potential for accessing more customers and operate more efficiently if the Wire Act is done away with.

Chris Krafcik, MD of the political and regulatory market at California research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC noted that if the 1961 act is struck down, operators wouldn’t be mandated to create servers in each state. However, the industry can still discover ways to thrive within the ambit of the Wire Act. Krafcik further noted that states are already laying the groundwork for interstate sports wagering.

The new gaming policies will be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The regulators are receiving feedback about cross-state sports betting and changes to their current sports book operations. The federal ban, however, makes the fate of the state’s moves uncertain. An important aspect of the striking down of the Wire Act would be taxation. It would involve decisions about paying taxes especially when bettors and operators are in different places.

Richard Auxier from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center suggests that casinos would make more money than states if cross-state betting is allowed. It is important to note that sports betting is a very small part of the gambling industry. Nevada sports pool wins account for barely 1.4 percent of the total gaming revenue for the state in August.