Nevada gaming officials hesitant to register paid sports handicappers

Fri, Feb 8, 2019 (2 a.m.)

A proposed bill that would require sports handicappers who sell tips to register with the state could create a bigger problem than it seeks to solve, said Sandra Douglass Morgan, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Part of the bill was intended to provide a comprehensive database of handicappers, or touts, in the event of customer complaints. But Morgan said gaming officials are concerned the system could provide an unintended state stamp of approval on the services.

“We believe this is something we can definitely handle internally or at least narrow a bit to not hold ourselves out to potentially registering these services and giving them some type of legitimate forum to say, ‘We’re registered by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Come and use us,’” Morgan said.

“We don’t believe it needs to be in statute at this time,” she said.

An amendment removing the registration language from the bill was introduced Wednesday at a hearing in the state Senate Committee on Judiciary.

State Sen. Keith Pickard, R-Henderson, brought up concerns of federal regulation of tout services if that section of the bill were removed and lack of knowledge of who the owners of tout services are until complaints are filed.

“I’m not surprised that we have cases regarding touting services. But ... the comments that I’ve received regarding touting services have to do with the lack of knowledge of who they are,” he said. “And if we require registrations, so if we find somebody who’s not registered who’s doing those things that’s an automatic violation, whereas if we don’t have registration or anything, the only way to find them is through a complaint, an investigation.”

In addition, the bill would create a system of registration for gaming service providers who don’t share in gaming revenue. It would also allow the state attorney general or a county district attorney to intercept a wire transfer when there is an assumption of illegal behavior related to gaming.

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