Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nevada Gambling Hypocrisy On Parade

Here are a couple of recent stories that highlight the hypocrisy that arises when you deal with an industry that has a strong regulatory component.  These stories are in addition to my recent post regarding casino heavy hitters fighting each other over expanded gambling, which you can see here

The first story details the news that Nevada's senators (one Democrat, one Republican) are teaming up to introduce a bill to outlaw all online gambling in the US except for poker.  Why?  Because they are trying to stop the "wild West" of gambling.  You see, yes they are doing this to protect their Nevada casinos, but you shouldn't only think of their more noble motives of protecting YOU from evil gambling.  As you of course may realize, Nevada only offers good and pure that's OK and should be protected.

This bill is going to be bi-partisan because, let's be clear, the Democrat, Harry Reid, isn't very popular among Republicans, which is probably an understatement.  He needs his fellow Nevada senator, a Republican, to help weasel this bill through.  Of course, the bill would also have to get through the House of Representatives, but one step at a time.

My view is that this bill shouldn't get through the Senate, but it indeed may.  When?  After the November elections during Congress' lame duck session.  This bill will be inserted into another bill that due to its content would be deemed a "must pass" bill.  Think of something like a bill to authorize the budget for the armed forces, or removing a tax impediment for disabled elderly people.  No one will stop those bills, so Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader will add this bill to that one and force people to vote for this or they will be viewed as hating old people, the military, etc.  Watch for the news on this bill to go very quiet until after the election, then watch these lame duck bills come up in November and December.  The article on this bill can be found here.

Now, where's the hypocrisy?  Well the Nevada view that their gambling is good and everyone else's is bad is hypocritical, but let's add in the other story to buttress the hypocrisy.  This story discusses how Nevada regulators are allowing slot players to use prepaid access cards.  Now similar means are used for sportsbook and poker players, but doing this with slots isn't exactly the same.  It would take some time for a sportsbook player to place their wagers, similar with a player in a poker game.  Slot machines are fast.  You can get a new spin about every 6 seconds if you're fast enough.  Also, sports betting and poker have a skill component, where a slot machine does not.

Here's a quote from the article:

"Here’s how it would work: A player who wants to use an access card in a slot machine would first have to register at a casino with identification that verifies a player’s address and date of birth. Registration would also tie a player to a casino’s loyalty card. Players could then load the cards at their banks by transferring funds from a checking or savings account.  Harry Hagerty, president and chief financial officer of Sightline, said his company’s agreement with banks puts limitations on the amount of money that a player could load to an access card — a maximum of $2,000 a day, $4,500 a week and $10,000 a month, and the most a player could put on a card at any time is $25,000.  Regulators also said a player wouldn’t be able to use the card for at least 15 minutes after transferring the funds."

Wow, very responsible of Nevada to make sure the maximum on a card is $25,000 and they have a whole FIFTEEN MINUTE cooling off period. (sarcasm alert)

Here's the Nevada hypocrisy.  One the one hand, they want to make it easier for people to spend their money on slot machines, ahem, THEIR slot machines, which they must think is a good thing.  On the other hand, they are seeking to pass a federal law to outlaw online slot machines, because those are generally not Nevada slot machines, which of course must be assumed to be bad.

So, in essence, NO NO NO don't put your money in those non-Nevada slot machines because they are bad and evil because they are electronic and online and you could go through your money very fast.  Put your money in our slot machines because we're pure and decent and we limit the money you have on your prepaid card to $25,000 dollars!  Right, I stand corrected thinking about hypocrisy here!  (sarcasm alert)


Kim Smith said...

They have their own hidden agenda to protect for and I'm not surprised for this kind of system.

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Chino Moreno said...

Thanks for the heads up, never thought of such things like this existed.
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