A.G. Burnett is Chairman of the State of Nevada Gaming Control Board, in other words, the man in charge of what operators and service providers get interactive licenses to operate within the state of Nevada. Burnett replaces popular iGaming conference speaker and moderator Mark Lipparelli who resigned in September of 2012.
Burnett made his first online gambling conference cameo at GiGse in San Francisco, moderating a panel focusing on the commercial challenges of state-by-state legislation. CalvinAyre.com had the opportunity to get his opinion on some hot topics and here’s what he found out.
When it comes to Nevada, at present the state is the center of gambling in the United States. Burnett believes one of the reasons the state will also be the hub of online gambling is because of the taxation structure. We’re talking a reasonable 6 ¾ % which is the same as the resort based casinos and relatively low in comparison to what other states are considering.
A challenge that Nevada will face with its real money poker offering in Nevada is liquidity- poker sites need liquidity in order to run properly. When asked how Nevada will deal with the inevitable liquidity issue his initial answer was, “I don’t know that we can. Our population is what it is.” But continued with, “Compacts with other states might increase liquidity a little bit depending on how the compacts are worked out”. He also mentioned that Nevada may have a population of three million but that its important to remember there are an additional ten million visitors in Las Vegas at any time.
While the liquidity challenge may be isolated to poker, Burnett makes it quite clear that his state is open to expanding their real money online offerings to include other games such as slots, bingo and sportsbetting. “I think we’re amenable to it, I really do,” he says. “We could do it within 60 to 90 days”.
When it comes to his state’s biggest competition, California and New Jersey, Burnett remains confident and gracious, pointing out that he’s keeping an eye on California’s progress and respects New Jersey’s desire to allow sportsbetting in their jurisdiction. “The truth is people bet on sports all the time, legally or illegally, I think the best thing you can do is regulate it”, he says.
On a lighter note Burnett expresses his approval towards the new AGA President Geoff Freeman and acknowledges that working on The Hill is immensely – he says it twice for effect- more difficult than within one state.
Finally, when asked for his best advice to European iGaming operators who want a piece of the Nevada pie, he responded with a smile, “get yourself a Nevada attorney…”