Nevada is a step closer to allowing gamblers register remotely so they can take advantage of cashless gaming opportunities at brick-and-mortar casinos.
On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) endorsed proposed changes to regulations that would enable people to self-verify their identification online when they register for a cashless gaming account. The revisions were recommended by Sightline Payments, a Las Vegas company that offers the cashless gaming platform used by Resorts World Las Vegas and Boyd Gaming.
Under the current guidelines, players can open a cashless gaming account online. However, before they can use it on the gaming floor, they need a casino worker to verify their identification. At Resorts World, that has meant some players have had to wait in line for up to two hours before an employee could verify them.
The proposed amendment would allow a user to set up their account online and submit their government identification. As part of the online verification process, the user would need to answer a knowledge-based question to confirm their identity. For example, to verify their account, the user would need to pick their previous address from a list of options.
Nevada Gaming Commission Next Step for Amendment
The NGCB’s decision means it will now go before the Nevada Gaming Commission for its review and decision. That could come as early as next month.
The recommended changes deal only with registering for a cashless gaming application online. It does not allow individuals to verify online sports betting accounts remotely in Nevada. Those accounts still require a user to complete the registration process at a retail sportsbook before they can wager online.
State officials took the recommendations Sightline provided and created a draft document with few revisions. Most of those were to put the amendment in the style of most regulatory documents
Sightline Co-Founder and Co-CEO Omer Sattar told the board Thursday that the company felt the draft captured what it sought.
NGCB Member: Online Verification Now the Norm
During Thursday’s meeting, NGCB Board Member Phil Katsaros said that online account registration and verification are commonplace in most parts of today’s society. While he still stands in line at Starbucks, he knows many people order online. Those customers pick up their drinks upon arrival.
Amending the regulation to allow online verification encourages the broader use of technology and gives players more options. Those are goals Nevada gaming regulators have pushed for in recent years, he added.
It’s just a convenience,” Katsaros said. “It’s part of our everyday life now, where people want to sign up in advance. Just move on with their life. They don’t even want to go to that queue. It’s just what people do.”
Last month, during a work session on the amendment, Station Casinos said it had concerns about the proposal. It feared self-verification would threaten federal law.
On Thursday, Marc Rubinstein, a lawyer representing the gaming operator, said the company leaders “still find it curious” that such a change is needed for land-based gaming. Despite that, he added Station Casinos no longer had any objections. Rubinstein said the addition of knowledge-based questions or a similar second form of verification makes it compliant with federal law.
Earlier in the meeting, Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Somps told the board members that he did not see any conflicts between the proposed amendment and federal law.
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