All that buzz surrounding a bill that would’ve allowed private equity groups to place large wagers at Nevada sports books has all but fizzled out after failing to get a vote last week in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 346, a legislation that would have authorized the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt rules to regulate “entity” bettors in the state, had earlier passed passed the Senate on a unanimous vote with one abstention. But that was still not enough to get any kind of nod from the Assembly Judiciary Committee, leaving the bill in limbo for the next few years, possibly until the 2015 legislative session.
Ironically, SB346 lost steam after Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett went in front of the Assembly Judiciary Committee to defend his position that the bill would pose serious regulatory concerns should it be given approval by the committee.
But Sen. Greg Bower, R-Reno, the sponsor of the bill, defended the merits of his legislation and all of its subsequent concerns, which he said was already addressed in previous sessions. But with the bill’s disappointing showing at the recent legislative sessions, Bower appears to be realistic about its immediate future.
“Given the deadline, I’m not sure the concept is still alive,” the senator told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Maybe we just didn’t have enough time to convince everybody it could work.”
Not that it matters now, but despite receiving opposition from the chairman of the GCB, Bower’s SB346 did have an influential voice supporting it. Former Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli has gone on record saying that the bill would be a good idea for the state. “It will increase transparency, bolster competition and move at least one small element of the billions of dollars of illegal wagering out of the shadows.” Lipparelli said in a statement.
“I have high confidence Nevada regulators will create a balanced framework that would address any concerns that could emerge.”
For now, though, SB346 has been sent back to the drawers with not timetable set on when it can be revisited.