NGCB Says Yes To Interstate Gambling, No To Remote Mobile Sign-Up

Written By Marc Meltzer on February 12, 2019

The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently met to discuss a slew of sports betting topics.

In addition to approving William Hill to operate more sportsbooks in Nevada, it cleaned up some technicalities in gaming definitions.

While those were the main topics, a couple of additional items were discussed that could impact Nevada sports bettors in the near and unforeseen future.

Updating gaming definitions

The Nevada Gaming Control Board added official definitions for “amateur sport or athletic event,” “governing body,” “professional sport or athletic event” and “virtual event.” The board also modified definitions for “call center system,” “communications technology,” “operator of a call center” and “sports pool.”

In the short-term, the definition updating won’t affect sports bettors in Nevada. Over time, the updated terms will help gaming regulators define the events that will be available for sports bettors. This could lead to more and different wagering opportunities for sports bettors.

No online enrollment for sports betting apps

Nevada was the first state to offer legal NV mobile sports betting.

Customers who wish to wager on sports in Nevada with a mobile device must set up an account in person at a land-based casino. Once the account is open, some sportsbook operators have the option to fund an account again via a mobile device.

This process allows brick-and-mortar casino operators to keep potentially new, mobile-wagering customers visiting their property.

Even though the convenience of setting up an account online might create more demand to sign up for mobile sports wagering in Nevada, some casino operators want to ensure that potential customers keep coming to their casinos.

Casino operators who support the old model of in-person account sign-up will be happy because the Nevada Gaming Control Board shot down online mobile account setup. This decision may or may not be good for business. It’s certainly less convenient for customers looking to wager at their leisure.

New Jersey is the first state to allow online enrollment for sports betting. More than 70 percent of all sports wagers in New Jersey in November 2018 were placed online via desktop computer or a mobile device.

The online sports betting success in New Jersey continued in December. This is a trend that sets New Jersey up for success in a culture that is more dependent on their mobile devices than ever.

Nevada doesn’t separate mobile and on-site wagering. Coming up with an exact split of mobile to in-person sports wagering isn’t as easy as it is in New Jersey. Anecdotally, mobile sports wagering varies from 25 percent to more than 50 percent for Nevada sportsbook operators.

The casino operators seeing the benefits of customers being able to set up a sports wagering account online in New Jersey will likely bring this topic up for discussion again in the future.

Interstate gaming approved

The Nevada Gaming Commission took preemptive action should federal laws change to allow betting across state lines. This will potentially help casino operators. It should be easier to gain new customers that would like to place wagers in Nevada from other states in the future.

There’s no sign that US law will allow this anytime soon. This should be helpful for casino and sportsbook operators to plan for the possibility of interstate gaming in the future.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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