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American Gaming Association promotes keeping up with technology

The American Gaming Association is citing Nevada’s process of having a single wagering account for multiple types of bets as a case study for modernizing gaming regulations nationwide.

The Washington-based association that represents the $261 billion U.S. casino industry is publishing a white paper Wednesday that cites actions in five states in three case studies as examples of how gaming regulations can be updated to be more efficient, save money for vendors and still protect the gambling public.

“Advancing Regulatory Modernization: Building on a Record of Success” cites industry advancements achieved through regulatory change in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, as well as Nevada.

“Because the industry is at a maturation point, it’s only natural that we look at what the systems are that we have in place and we make those nips and tucks that we need to in order to continue to be successful,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the association.

The AGA’s 11-page white paper cited Nevada’s allowance of customers to open integrated wagering accounts for financial transactions to multiple forms of gaming at a casino as a critical first step toward meeting consumer expectations for seamless, simple financial tools they can access with a “virtual wallet” through their smartphones.

Before laws and regulations took effect, casino customers had to manage separate accounts for sports wagering, race betting and online poker play.

Nevada’s effort, crafted through a Senate bill, was promoted to encourage the development of better games with greater appeal to tech-savvy millennials. But regulators also had to be conscious of staying within money-laundering laws and work with law enforcement, auditors, technologists, and investigators.

The AGA plans to send the white paper to more than 4,000 regulators and administrators that oversee gaming in their respective states.

“This is an industry that certainly knows and is no stranger to regulations and I think what we’re simply asking for is just a constant sort of refresh to make sure we can get the customers what they want when they want it, but keeping the hallmark of what the industry is, which is protecting consumers and promoting integrity,” Slane said in a telephone interview.

The association cited the states of Ohio and Michigan for dropping decades-old regulations on the shipment of gaming machines that increased costs without serving their regulatory priorities.

It cited Pennsylvania and Mississippi for increasing the ownership share level that triggers the need for an institutional investor to become licensed.

“For the gaming industry to thrive in today’s accelerating economic world, regulators have to embrace constant review of how regulatory standards and processes can work better to ensure a gaming industry that operates in the public interest while delivering economic success to its communities,” the report’s executive summary says.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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