Wednesday April 10,2013 : NEVADA WANTS TO GET INTO COLLECTIVE WAGERING
New bill could bring substantial amounts of money to the gambling state
Nevada, one of only four US states where sports betting is permitted, has plans to expand its offering even further through collective wagering, which could see private investment groups placing sports wagers on behalf of investors, reports the Associated Press news agency.
Sponsored by Republican senator Greg Brower, a new bill received its first hearing Monday in the state Senate, seeking to introduce new betting opportunities that experts believe will generate very substantial revenues in the years ahead.
Brower explained that his idea is to "….allow a group of bettors to bet as an entity.”
Under existing law, only individuals can place wagers at Nevada sports books.
Supporters of the Brower bill said the measure would help the state capture some of the estimated $380 billion bet illegally on sports each year in the U.S.
The bill would add “entities” to be formed and authorised to make sports bets. These groups could act as a type of hedge fund and wager large amounts on football, basketball, baseball and other sports. In turn, they could seek out investors to put up money and “leave it up to the expert to make the bet,” Brower said.
Randy Sayre, a former member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board who supports the measure, described it as a very significant untapped market. He said that risks of money laundering were minimised because current technology allows regulators to closely monitor wagering organisations.
However, AG Burnett, current chairman of the state's Gaming Control Board, was less sanguine, saying that he was concerned about protecting the state’s main industry from being tainted.
“I’m not sure how we’d go about regulating that,” he opined on the collective concept.
Lawmakers and gambling industry officials who testified Monday did not provide many specifics about how the new system would work.
A senior executive with sports betting operator Cantor Gaming, Lee Amaitis, told the committee he projected that Nevada revenues could almost treble to $10 billion within five years if ‘entity wagers' are allowed.
Tax revenue to the state would more than double to roughly $25 million over that time, he said.
Once approved in principle by the Legislature, the changes would be handed over to Nevada gambling regulators to frame the necessary standards and regulations, which will include requirements that those involved would have to have a presence in the state.
Discussion on the bill – SB346 – continues.