Nevada’s multi-billion dollar sports betting business could get a boost if lawmakers approve a bill to open sports wagering to investor who join businesses entities and share the profits and losses from large bets on games.
Senate Bill 443 would authorize the formation of business entities to place race and sports pool wagers. In other words, sports betting investment funds that are registered and managed in Nevada. Among the operating conditions contained in the three-page bill are the funds must keep original copies of records and bets from the sports books, in addition to any records required by the state’s business laws.
Also, anyone who profits from a bet must be at least 21 years of age and provide personal identification, including a social security number, to the state’s Gaming Control Board. There would be a $1,000 initial registration fee, then an annual renewal fee off $500.
According to the bill, the business entity must maintain an account with a bank or financial institution in Nevada. The bets would have to be made in Nevada.
The key to this legislation is it could allow participants to bet on sports from outside Nevada.
Supporters of the bill say it would open up sports betting to a wider audience and increase the dollars wagered on sports at the 187 sports books throughout the state. Opponents believe this could open the door for illegal bookmakers to set up business in Nevada.
Nevada has a monopoly on sports betting in the United States with race and sports books offering a full menu of betting options. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, or PASPA, bans sports betting in all but four states – Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
Casino visitors in Nevada wagered $3.9 billion on sports last year, an increase of 7.7 percent. Meanwhile, bookmakers posted revenue of $227 million, an increase of 11.8 percent over 2013 and an all-time single year record.
Montana and Oregon don’t offer any sports wagering, even through their lotteries. Delaware re-started the sports lottery in 2009 and has seen demand growth from $10.8 million to $37.8 million in 2014. Delaware offers betting on NFL games with parlay cards.
So far, there is no opposition to SB 443 in Nevada. The bill will need to pass through the Senate by April 22, before heading to the Assembly. St. Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, introduced a similar bill in 2013, which had overwhelming support in the Senate before stalling in the Assembly.
This session’s bill was introduced on March 23 by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Roger Gros, publisher, Global Gaming Business
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