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Professional gamblers qualify for Nevada unemployment amid crisis

Updated April 8, 2020 - 7:55 am

Professional gamblers would normally not be allowed to file for unemployment insurance benefits in Nevada, but circumstances have changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

These workers may qualify as independent contractors or self-employed “during this unprecedented time and under the CARES Act,” said Rosa Mendez, a spokeswoman for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Professional poker player Chris Konvalinka told the Review-Journal last month that he was considering filing for unemployment benefits.

“We’ll see. I’m going to give it a shot,” he said. “It seems like a free roll to me. Worst case, they say no.”

For 2019, Nevada had a total of 119,232 weekly initial claims. In the past three weeks alone, 170,596 initial claims have been filed, according to a Friday statement from DETR.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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