Election Wagers Still Taboo In Vegas

On May 31, 2013, in Sporting News, by Buddy TB

State of Nevada SealThere was a proposal on the table at the last session of the Nevada legislature that would allow private equity firms to wager the funds that they manage at casino sports books.  Does that sound like a fishy proposition to anyone else?

Well, the Nevada lawmakers came to the conclusion that the proposition could easily get out of control… and killed the measure.  Actually, it never even made it out of committee.

On the same slate was an attempt to legalize placing wagers on national and state elections in Nevada based casinos and sportsbooks. That one also bit the dust.

The idea of turning elections for public offices into moneymaking opportunities for oddsmakers did not go over very well.

Both bills were sponsored by the Republican Senator from Reno Greg Brower but his efforts were shot down when Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett spoke before the lawmakers and raised various red flags over how hedge funds and other private equity groups would be regulated.

According to Burnett the proposed changes in Nevada law would cause serious heartburn problems for those charged with the regulation of such activities. He also said that the concept of ‘entity’ wagering appeared to be an attempt to allow hedge funds and other big investment firms to gamble on behalf of investors.

The NGC Chairman told reporters, “We don’t object to new methods and modes to enhance the sports betting business in the state. But, we have to do it carefully and we have to make sure it’s legal so the state doesn’t get embarrassed.”

Senator Brower commented to the press, “As hard as the team was working, I guess they couldn’t get everybody on board.  I think it is an idea that has a lot of merit.”

As the law stands today, only individuals can place wagers.  It’s also illegal to pay someone else to place a bet for you which is a practice known ‘messenger betting’.

Under a 1992 federal law, Nevada holds a monopoly on sports wagering but, that status has come under fire from several other states seeking to share in the added revenue that legalized wagering on sports can bring into the states’ coffers.

According to one estimate, there is over $380 Billion(!) wagered illegally on sports in the United States each year. Several more states are now lining up for their piece of the pie.

 

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