Online casino gaming is legal in Nevada, but not an option right now. When the state started offering online poker in 2013, it had the option to launch casino games well. However, land-based casino operators were worried that the games would become a substitute for gamblers and the brick-and-mortar business would suffer. Now, it seems that officials feel it is now time to possibly get started, so discussions begin next week.
On May 13, the Nevada Gaming Control Board will meet to host a discussion on the option to start online casino gaming. Anyone that would to take part in the meeting needs approval. The Board will take applications and approve those who can take part in the meeting. Questions and comments can be provided as well, with the Board set to talk about what is submitted during the event.
The meeting is simply a discussion so it is not a starting point for any type of regulation change. If there is enough interest, the regulator may decide to move forward with making changes to allow the industry to get started. There will be several regulation changes required before licensing can begin and operations launch.
The industry can certainly benefit from added revenues right now. Over the past year, casinos in Nevada have struggled with closures due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been operational for months at a lower capacity. The state expects to be at 100% by next month, but there is still a huge revenue loss from last year and a lack this year due to lower tourism rates.
If operators could get started offering online casino gaming, then it would provide a second option for revenues. If the virus rears its ugly head again or there are any other issues where casinos would shut down for an extended period of time, the online industry would be an offset for earnings.
It will be interesting to see the results of the meeting and how the online industry in Nevada might grow based on the outcome.