Free-spending high rollers would have to bet $10,000 a hand on table games and $500 a pull on slots to gamble in private Nevada casinos, according to a newly modified state rule that is being considered by Nevada gaming regulators.
The proposal before the state Gaming Control Board previously set the minimum bet at $20,000 a hand and $500 a pull, but some Las Vegas casinos felt the table minimum was too high for their gamblers.
A major goal of the change: to compete with the private gambling areas of Asian casinos and Connecticut’s Foxwoods tribal casino to lure publicity-shy high rollers who seek privacy and stay away from Nevada’s fully public casinos.
“The legislative intent was to create a new market,” said control board member Bobby Siller. “They wanted to attract (gamblers) who demanded privacy. This is intended to go after a new market, new people. People with incredible amounts to gamble.”
Casino industry executives and lobbyists met with regulators at a two-hour Tuesday morning workshop to discuss the proposal. A new rule could be adopted by the end of the year after consideration by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Regulators testified that modern video surveillance methods would allow the control board to ensure the integrity of the private games of chance — a key reason for the state’s wide-open gaming law.
Bill Bible, president of the Nevada Resort Association, the Slot Deposit Pulsa casino industry’s Carson City lobbying arm, said his membership would prefer that regulators not set a minimum bet amount.
“They thought the state should set a minimum credit line, or a front money requirement, and leave the properties with some discretion on the bet size,” said Bible, a former control board chairman. “Some players might want to bet $50,000 for a few hands but then drop down to $500 for a bet or two, depending on how their luck is running.”
Siller said the industry appears to be trying to include players who now wager in existing high-limit betting areas as potential players in the new private gambling areas.
Bible said when he testified on behalf of the bill he said the change would retain gamblers and attract new ones.
“Defensively it would keep players from being lured to other venues offering private (gambling), and offensively it would attract players who otherwise wouldn’t play in Nevada,” Bible said. “We have to retain the business as much as we can and attract new business as much as possible.”
Las Vegas Looks to Internet Gambling
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The tourism slump stemming from the terrorist attacks is giving the gambling industry fresh incentive to look to the Internet as a way to attract business.
Casino corporations eligible to apply for Internet gambling licenses planned to meet Wednesday through Friday with technology developers of proposed online casinos and regulators at the first Interactive Gaming Exposition and Conference.
“Given the significant falloff of business, particularly in Las Vegas, Internet gaming in an environment like this can have significant upside opportunities,” said Marc Falcone, a gambling analyst for Bear Stearns Co., a Wall Street investment firm. “If people aren’t going out to casinos, they can continue to play at home.”
The conference, sponsored by the nonprofit Interactive Gaming Institute of Nevada and Bear Stearns, comes when hotel occupancy rates – normally around 95 percent on Fridays and Saturdays – were about 75 percent last weekend.
Lawmakrs in June approved a bill enabling Nevada to become the first state in the nation to offer Internet gambling. Federal law currently bars Internet gambling, but state officials say court challenges could change the federal government’s position.
Experts estimate revenues from Internet gambling – largely conducted by offshore companies because of the U.S. ban – reached $1.5 billion last year and could total $6 billion by 2003.
Given the past month’s disruptions in air travel and ensuing visitor decline, Anthony Cabot, Internet gambling legal expert and conference chairman, said the casino industry needs to be vigilant in pursuing the legalization of online gambling.
“I think ultimately in two or three months everything will be back to normal,” he said. “But this illustrates the need to market your product in several ways and not rely on one source.’’