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Gaming Guru

Richard N. Velotta

Gaming Commission OKs Rules for Slot Surveillance

29 July 2005

The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved a series of new gaming regulations that shorten the process for modifying surveillance systems, allow slot manufacturers to ship devices out of state to locations that allow gaming and allow slot machines in liquor stores.

There was little debate on the new regulations, which became effective immediately and had been debated at previous hearings conducted by the commission and the state Gaming Control Board.

Equipment manufacturers and casinos have been concerned that technological changes in surveillance systems have occurred so rapidly that industry leaders needed a means to react more quickly.

One of the approved amendments addresses the adoption of surveillance standards for nonrestricted licensees. Surveillance system standards aren't changed by the new regulation, just the process of enacting them.

Under previous regulations, a standard that receives no opposition and is fast-tracked through the system would take five months to enact. Under the amended regulation, the board chairman would be able to publish proposed standards, receive testimony and consider objections before enactment, all within about two months.

The new regulation approving the distribution of gaming devices out of Nevada permits manufacturers and distributors to ship equipment to persons licensed to have it, to federal, state or tribal gaming regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies and testing laboratories contracted by regulators or law enforcement agencies.

Specific details on shipped devices and their shipment dates are still required to be disclosed to the Gaming Control Board chairman.

The regulation was enacted primarily to help casino companies that modify their machines to allow them to transport equipment to sister properties outside of Nevada.

Two regulation amendments were required to allow liquor stores to offer slot machines.

One of the two amendments approved by the commission defines a liquor store. The second adds their eligibility for restricted gaming licenses -- which permit a limited number of slot machines -- into the regulation.

State regulations already allow slots at bars, taverns and saloons where alcoholic beverages are sold by the drink; convenience stores; grocery stores; and drug stores.

While a maximum of seven slot machines are permitted at convenience stores, only four are allowed at liquor stores under the new regulation.

The Gaming Control Board recommended the lower number to prevent a proliferation of new liquor stores.