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Back-office operations to stay in Nevada

A companion to Senate Bill 443 is designed to help sports book operators in Nevada manage their risks all over the globe and set the state up to be a leader in the industry.

The new legislation,€” Senate Bill 445 — also allows Nevada sports book operators to manage setting gambling lines and control other back-of-the-house operations from Nevada for other jurisdictions that may someday allow sports wagering. Only the ticket-writers would be in the specific jurisdictions.

These practices were already legal in Nevada, but it just wasn‘€™t expressly in the law, said Quinton Singleton, vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary at CG Technology, Las Vegas-based sports book operator. CG Technology, private gaming attorney Bruce Leslie and Greenberg Traurig gaming attorney Mark Clayton were the main authors of both bills and helped push them through the Nevada legislature.

Singleton calls the Senate Bill 445 the risk management bill.

Clayton described how it will work: If the Dallas Cowboys are -6, but information comes out that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is hurt and cannot play, the line moves to +10. The new line can be established in Las Vegas and sent out to all the other books owned by CG Technology. Now, if an entity takes that new information and wants to bet $50,000 against the Cowboys, the sports book can find another gambler to bet the other side from all over the globe in order to accept the bet.

"Global risk management allows sports books to manage books in other legal jurisdictions in the Bahamas or the United Kingdom that they run or operate," Clayton said. "Rather than duplicate the risk management team at each of those jurisdictions, we can now run and operate risk management in Nevada, which becomes the brain center or hub."

Besides operating the race and sports books at eight Las Vegas casinos, CG Technology also operates a book in the Bahamas, Clayton said. This bill will allow CG Technology to set the lines at the book in the Bahamas from Las Vegas, and if sports wagering is eventually allowed in other states, it can do that in Las Vegas as well.

Singleton said the upcoming U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision to determine whether New Jersey can legalize sports betting was the impetus behind Senate Bill 445. He was thinking about the evolution of the sports wagering industry when he decided to get to work on this bill.

"We enacted the law if New Jersey or some other jurisdiction goes live with sports betting Nevada already has the knowledge, the technology and the expertise to manage sports book anywhere in the world," he said. "This law says that if a jurisdiction in the U.S. or outside the U.S. goes live, which has legal sports betting, we can base our headquarters in Nevada and manage those sports books remotely."

In drafting SB 443, one of the goals was clarity.

"This practice was already permissible and operational in Nevada," Clayton said. "However, we have received inquiries from other jurisdictions, and they want us to show that gaming regulators are OK with it in Nevada…. This bill is just codifying it now so that someone cannot come to a different interpretation of the law."

Like Senate Bill 443, many legal experts are still unsure how 445 will affect Nevada. A lot of it depends on whether the Third Circuit allows sports wagering in New Jersey.

Michael Alonso, a gaming attorney with Lewis Roca Rothgerber, said Senate Bill 445 has its eye on the future, and gives Nevada sports books the opportunity to get a head start on other jurisdictions if sports wagering is allowed in those jurisdictions.

"I"m not sure in the short term what it would mean for sports books in Nevada until sports betting is opened up on a more national and global scale and where sports betting would be allowed across jurisdictions," Alonso said. "The whole concept behind it was to allow for Nevada sports books to be able to provide these services for other states or books in other states. The gaming commission will have to do some regulations before anybody can take advantage of it, and I’m not sure what the timing of that is until something happens in terms of sports betting on a larger scale."

While the benefits of Senate Bills 443 and 445 are still being determined, the ultimate goal of both pieces of legislation is to help Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, remain the hub of sports wagering across the globe, Clayton said.

Singleton said the passage of these bills should attract new businesses to Nevada. He added that Senate Bill 445 will also add more jobs and more expertise in the risk management and data analytics department of the state’s race and sports books.

"What we are hoping is these two bills will attract new businesses, new people and new technology to Nevada," Singleton said. "For the entity wagering companies that are really into this, you might find securities traders moving into Nevada needing to use data centers like Switch and opening up shops.

"Since the bill passed, we have had regular contact from a wide variety of people who are interested in setting up the entity wagering. It is actually exciting because there are a lot of people reaching out. "

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