CARSON CITY — Gambling in Las Vegas hotel rooms took one step closer to legality Friday morning in the state Legislature.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to advance Assembly Bill 294, which would lift a provision in state law that prohibits customers at casinos that offer mobile gambling devices from using them in their hotel rooms.
It could mean as much as $18 million in new revenue from gambling taxes annually for the state, according to previous testimony.
Some Nevada resorts already have mobile gambling devices but their range is limited to areas near the casino floor.
“What we are expanding to is to allow in the room, with substantial safeguards,” state Sen. Valerie Wiener, D-Las Vegas, said.
The bill, sought by device maker Cantor Gaming and supported by the state’s major gambling resorts, had been watered down in the Assembly Judiciary Committee to exclude the hotel room provision after legislators and regulators raised concerns about the potential for underage gambling.
But supporters worked to assuage those fears by highlighting the security of the devices’ identity verification systems and assuring lawmakers and regulators that the Nevada Gaming Commission would have the final say on whether the machines are secure and can be deployed.
Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said revisions to the bill would give regulators the chance to ensure the devices are secure before putting them into use.
The bill now goes to the full Senate.
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at
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