LAS VEGAS — The state’s largest casino companies pushed for fully remote registration of Nevada sports betting mobile wagering accounts at a Tuesday meeting of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The board scheduled the special meeting to discuss proposed changes requested by casinos to Nevada sports betting regulations. MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn all testified in favor of allowing remote registration and verification of sports betting accounts.
“We believe the technology has advanced to the point where remote verification is possible,” said Mark Russell, counsel for MGM Resorts.
Work remains to bring mobile registration to market
The Nevada Resort Association, a trade group representing the state’s casinos, has not taken an official position on full mobile registration.
Speaking for the NRA, Scott Nielson expressed the gaming trade group’s preference for maintaining a regulation that allows operators to sign up people off-property only per an approved marketing plan.
“Generally, our members of our association are comfortable with the status quo in that, if you go through a marketing plan process, then you can sign people up for a wagering account on premises. So we are comfortable with that status quo,” Nielson said.
Nielson spent many years working for Station Casinos, which previously has favored in-person registration. Nielson also anticipated individual members would speak on their positions on the marketing plan exception and other issues, as MGM, Caesars and Wynn did.
The board took no action at Tuesday’s meeting. Chairwoman Becky Harris told Legal Sports Report that she plans to engage stakeholders to continue discussion of remote registration.
The current setup in Nevada sports betting
Current Nevada regulations require anyone registering for a mobile sports betting account to visit the physical casino sportsbook. Paperwork that includes the patron’s social security number must be completed and identification checked in-person to open an account.
“We don’t believe (that) is an exclusive way to provide confidence that we can identify the individual who registered online is then the individual who commenced wagering,” Russell said.
Attorney Mike Alonso spoke on behalf of Caesars and called verification technology “reliable, safe and secure.” Wynn general counsel Stacie Michaels echoed MGM and Caesars in supporting mobile registration and verification.
Keeping up with sports betting elsewhere?
Nevada faces new challenges to its dominance as the sports betting capital of the country. Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia all began sports betting operations this year after the repeal of PASPA. Only Mississippi does not offer mobile sports betting off the premises of a casino.
MGM and Caesars both launched mobile apps for New Jersey sports betting. The Garden State allows bettors to register and verify their identity without stepping into a casino.
The first two months of New Jersey sports betting produced strong results for mobile wagering. In fact, September’s report showed mobile revenue ($12.5 million) already surpassed land-based revenue ($11.4 million) for state operators. Total New Jersey handle of $184 million shows that Nevada will face a significant challenge from new markets.
Nevada does not separate digital and retail revenue in its monthly reports. William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said at last week’s G2E convention that about 75 percent of Nevada sports betting revenue comes from mobile.