Speaking at the Gaming Law Conference in Las Vegas sponsored by the Nevada Bar Association, Governor Sandoval today announced that he will convene the Gaming Policy Committee to discuss issues related to technology and the modernization of the gaming industry. Although subcommittees called "review panels" have been convened in recent years, the full Gaming Policy Committee has not met since the mid-1980s.
The Committee consists of the Governor as chair, two legislators appointed by the Legislative Commission, representatives of the Gaming Control Board, Gaming Commission, Native American tribes, and five persons appointed by the Governor. The Governor will announce his appointments at a later date. No first meeting date has been set.
Gaming has been legal in Nevada since 1931. Sandoval described several eras of gaming regulation since that time, stating that the Gaming Policy Committee was needed at this juncture.
"I hope to help sketch a roadmap for the journey ahead. We must preserve Nevada's leadership role in gaming -- even in this brave new digital world. If we are, as I believe, entering a new era in gaming history, I intend as Governor to ensure it is as successful and secure as the last 80 years have been," Sandoval said.
Sandoval pointed to the possibility of Internet poker as one in a series of modernizing events that may change the direction of gaming, with statewide implications for tax policy, workforce development, and infrastructure on the Las Vegas Strip. Remarking how much the world has changed since he was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission a decade ago, he said, "The world is not just changing -- the pace of change is accelerating. In the face of this kind of change, the gaming industry will modernize as well. We can only imagine what technology will bring in another ten years. And there are policy implications for us in that world of rapid change -- as there have been with each new law or economic innovation over the last 80 years."
Sandoval also praised Nevada's gaming regulators. "Chairman Bernhard has more than a decade of experience at the Commission, and Chairman Lipparelli has the sophistication and technical background we need for this conversation. I look forward to working closely with them in this process," he said.