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Cy Ryan

Bill to Limit Gamers on Ads is Withdrawn

12 April 2005

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- A bill that would have eliminated state gaming regulators' power to decide whether casinos' billboards or other advertisements were too racy was withdrawn today.

When Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, had introduced Senate Bill 299, he had derided the state Gaming Control Board as "moral cops," and he said the unelected members should not be setting standards for decency in advertising.

His legislative intern, Carrie Henderson, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee today to announce that he was pulling the bill.

The withdrawal drew praise from groups in Las Vegas who had opposed the legislation.

Susan Leavitt of American Mothers Inc., said billboards "were starting to offend the citizens. ... We need to have a voice."

Joy Kendall of the Nevada PTA and Shari Peterson both of Las Vegas also expressed support for the withdrawal of the bill.

The state Gaming Control Board filed a three-count complaint against the Hard Rock Hotel for its use of risque billboards to attract business. The state Gaming Commission dismissed two of the counts regarding the billboards.

The resort then paid a $100,000 fine because it failed to comply with an agreement that it must have its advertising and promotional material reviewed by a compliance committee.

Henderson, in her statement to the committee, said this suggestive advertisement is legal. She noted however that the fine levied on the Hard Rock was not related to the billboards but to the violation of the agreement.

The bill would have restricted the board and state Gaming Commission to dealing only with advertisement that was false, deceptive or misleading. It would have stopped the regulators from ruling on the propriety of advertisement.

Withdrawal of the bill means it is dead for the rest of this session.