Will Nevada Finally Allow Remote Sports Betting Signups?

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Nevada sports betting

The Nevada sports betting industry will have to wait before settling an old issue.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board canceled a public workshop that would have discussed allowing mobile sports betting registration throughout the state. The big proposed change was to Regulation 5.225, which would allow a person’s identity to be verified remotely.

The workshop will be rescheduled, according to the cancelation notice.

The issue has been considered twice before. In 2016, the bettor still would have been required to verify his or her identity before placing bets online. The effort in 2018 would have removed any in-person requirement at all.

Plenty of other states have legalized remote registration. Rhode Island, which began with in-person registration, corrected that mistake earlier this summer to allow remote signups.

Nothing is certain in Nevada, though.

Industry might not change

Unfortunately for sports bettors, it might not be that easy to get the industry to agree.

William Hill, for example, has fought against remote signups in Nevada in the past. The company has hundreds of locations where accounts can be funded, including retail stores and PT’s Pub locations throughout Las Vegas.

The sportsbook also has signup kiosks in nearly 70 casinos throughout the state, according to its website. Station Casinos, which dominated the locals market in southern Nevada, consistently opposes mobile registration as well.

It’ll be interesting to see if William Hill’s stance changes this time around, considering it’s being bought by Caesars for $3.7 billion. In 2018, Caesars, MGM Resorts, and Wynn were in favor of allowing remote registration.

The coronavirus pandemic might have softened some opposition as well. Without mobile registration during casino shutdowns, sportsbooks had to hold drive-through signup and funding events.

Nevada mobile sports betting share lower than leaders

Nevada’s gaming regulators only began breaking out mobile share in revenue reports this year, and it’s not great.

The state had its highest mobile market share in June at 79%, which was partly because of limited casino re-openings and a smaller handle base.

That number since dipped to 54.9% in September.

That’s far from the ~90% that states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania hit on a routine basis every month.

NJ sports betting saw 90.6% of its US record $748.6 million bet in September come from mobile. Mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania accounted for 89.5% of its record handle in September.

Nevada sports betting took first steps this year

The Nevada sports betting industry started out on the right track this year.

Changes to Regulation 14.265 allows players to fund their betting accounts from their bank accounts:

A licensee shall not allow a patron to use a debit instrument for purposes of making electronic transfers of money from a financial institution directly or indirectly to a game or gaming device unless the transfer uses a cashless wagering system approved by the Chair for such transfer. This subsection only applies to electronic transfers of money at a game or gaming device.

It was a great first step to remove the requirement that any funding must be done at a sportsbook or approved funding location.

Some companies like William Hill utilize PayNearMe, which lets bettors fund accounts at places like CVS and 7-Eleven. Others, like Boyd and Station, use the Play+ service. Bettors could fund the Play+ card and then move those funds to their betting accounts.