March 26, 2023 3:37 pm

There was a single word in Gov. Joe Lombardo’s January State of the State address that particularly caught the interest of Gaming Handle Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick. 


For the duration of the speech, Lombardo took the uncommon step of calling out the board’s testing lab, saying that “concerns have surfaced” more than the approval method. The governor mentioned new gaming goods had been becoming introduced “with much more speed outdoors of Nevada,” which offers other casino states a competitive benefit in the opinion of casino operators.

“We will need to function with the handle board to guarantee the logjam is cleared,” Lombardo mentioned.

Quickly forward two months, and the board is set to tackle the problem raised by Lombardo by means of a  public workshop session on Tuesday in Las Vegas, a meeting that Hendrick described as an open discussion on methods the agency can “modernize the technologies division” and effectively deal with the approval method in the board’s test lab.

The coming meeting at the Grant Sawyer Constructing is viewed as an initial step in addressing casino market issues raised by the governor in January more than the time it requires for Nevada to approve new slot machines and linked gaming gear, such as cashless payment technologies.

“I decided the ideal way to tackle the difficulties is to get absolutely everyone collectively and freely exchange concepts and options,” Hendrick mentioned.

The workshop is anticipated to be nicely-attended by representatives from the gaming market suppliers along with Daron Dorsey, executive director of the Association of Gaming Gear Companies (AGEM), the industry’s trade organization.

“It’s been a extended time considering the fact that anyone believed about this in Nevada,” Dorsey mentioned. “Imagine the speed of technologies and what gaming has completed just in the final eight years. We want to supply some data and information and give an overview of what it appears like at a macro level.”

In 2015, the Nevada Gaming Commission adopted numerous regulation modifications 4 months soon after they had been suggested by the Legislature that had been viewed as methods to streamline the procedures. Considering the fact that that time, numerous states and tribal gaming authorities created modifications that speeded up the introduction of new gaming technologies in markets outdoors Nevada.

Following the speech, Lombardo appointed two of the 3 handle board members, Hendrick as chairman and former Las Vegas Judge George Assad. The governor also named former Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki to the gaming commission, which tends to make the final choice on suggestions that come from the board.

Hendrick mentioned in an interview with The Nevada Independent final month that the governor’s use of the word “logjam” got his interest. He mentioned a public workshop gives a forum for the market to propose concepts on how to accelerate the method.

“By understanding everyone’s ambitions and objectives, I’m positive we can discover methods to much more expeditiously regulate the market,” Hendrick mentioned in an e-mail. “While the board should really in no way substitute powerful regulation for expedited regulation, the two ambitions should really co-exist.”

Hendrick anticipates that some of the ideas would demand modifications in regulations.

“However, I am personally seeking for concepts that can be implemented significantly quicker, devoid of the will need for new regulations,” he mentioned.

Jim Barbee, chief of the handle board’s technologies division for much more than a decade, declined comment on the workshop, saying he would defer to Hendrick’s remarks.

Jim Barbee, chief of the Gaming Handle Board technologies division, observes a board meeting in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Feb. eight, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Modifications in 2015 brought new technologies

In October 2015, the handle board and gaming commission adopted amendments to 3 gaming regulations viewed as a way to “facilitate entry of new ideas and technologies into Nevada,” according to a memo signed by then-handle board Chairman A.G. Burnett.

He also recommended producers coordinate with the technologies division early in the improvement method on how the idea or technologies would match into Nevada’s regulatory structure.

Burnett, now a gaming lawyer with McDonald Carano in Reno, mentioned the modifications eight years ago “were a superior initially step” in encouraging communication among the market and the regulators.

“The planet has changed,” Burnett mentioned in an interview. “You rapidly forward to now and there is the advent of all types of new gaming goods, and [there are] new entrants into the marketplace that are providing diverse options for gaming businesses. The businesses want to use these options, but they want to do it promptly.”

Burnett mentioned the governor and the board had been taking the right methods in reviewing the method.

“I’m hopeful the market and the handle board and commission can come collectively and let for continued innovation,” he mentioned.

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