International edition
September 16, 2019

Interview with Becky Harris, Chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board

Brazil: "Each jurisdiction needs to implement a regulatory structure that works for them"

Brazil:
Once a jurisdiction has developed and implemented a regulatory framework that works for their jurisdiction, new issues will emerge because the gaming environment is constantly changing.
Brazil | 05/21/2018

The Chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) spoke exclusively with Yogonet.com to share her views on how Nevada's gambling regulatory framework can serve as a model for Brazil, if the country manages to overcome the existent obstacles to legalized gambling.

W

hich concepts and ideas were you able to provide and acquire during the International Legislators’ Agenda in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies?

Key concepts for me are the importance of public trust and confidence in the gaming industry, specifically regarding the operation of games and devices. Additionally, the industry must be free of all criminal and corruptive elements in order to ensure that gaming is conducted honestly.

In Nevada’s regulatory framework there are six separate divisions within the agency which are responsible for various aspects of gaming regulation, all of which are extremely important to the mission of the Board -- which is protecting the integrity and stability of the gaming industry through in-depth investigative procedures, exacting licensing practices, strict enforcement of laws and regulations holding gaming licensees to high standards. However, I attempted to reinforce the guidance that an effective regulatory structure requires a strong enforcement and Investigations division. The Board’s Enforcement Division operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and their primary responsibilities are to conduct criminal and regulatory investigations and to arbitrate disputes between patrons and licensees. Meanwhile, the Investigations Division is charged with investigating all individuals and companies seeking a privileged Nevada gaming license, registration, finding of suitability or other approval. Although not more important than other divisions, their responsibilities are critical to the Board’s success.

Which possibilities and considerations do you find Brazil should contemplate if they eventually decided to regulate gaming industry in the country?

Nevada’s Public Policy on Gaming is a profound testament to how we regulate gaming. As a mature gaming jurisdiction, this declaration of public policy provides the framework for everything we do.

Nevada Revised Statute 463.0129(1) provides a summary of the public policy of Nevada regarding gaming. All gaming regulatory decisions reflect these public policy mandates. Specifically,
(a) The gaming industry is vitally important to the economy of the State and the general welfare of the inhabitants.

(b) The continued growth and success of gaming is dependent upon public confidence and trust that licensed gaming and the manufacture, sale and distribution of gaming devices and associated equipment are conducted honestly and competitively, that establishments which hold restricted and nonrestricted licenses where gaming is conducted and where gambling devices are operated do not unduly impact the quality of life enjoyed by residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, that the rights of the creditors of licensees are protected and that gaming is free from criminal and corruptive elements.

(c) Public confidence and trust can only be maintained by strict regulation of all persons, locations, practices, associations and activities related to the operation of licensed gaming establishments, the manufacture, sale or distribution of gaming devices and associated equipment and the operation of inter-casino linked systems.

(d) All establishments where gaming is conducted and where gaming devices are operated, and manufacturers, sellers and distributors of certain gaming devices and equipment, and operators of inter-casino linked systems must therefore be licensed, controlled and assisted to protect the public health, safety, morals, good order and general welfare of the inhabitants of the State, to foster the stability and success of gaming and to preserve the competitive economy and policies of free competition of the State of Nevada.

(e) To ensure that gaming is conducted honestly, competitively and free of criminal and corruptive elements, all gaming establishments in this state must remain open to the general public and the access of the general public to gaming activities must not be restricted in any manner except as provided by the Legislature.

Could you identify policies, legislation or strategies from your jurisdiction that could be applied to countries in Latin America? For instance, the Board’s recent recommendations on regulatory changes in Regulation 5 related to sexual harassment prevention, alcohol, drugs, and out-of-state sports bettors. Could you give us more details on that decision, its reasons, and your expectations? Do you think they should be implemented in every jurisdiction where gaming is regulated?

Each jurisdiction needs to implement a regulatory structure that works for them. Once a jurisdiction has developed and implemented a regulatory framework that works for their jurisdiction, new issues will emerge because the gaming environment is constantly changing. It is vital that the regulatory structure allows for these issues to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Nevada has a model that works, and one of the critical elements that allows for our successful regulatory environment is flexibility. The emerging issues can range from a new technology for slot machines to changes in laws completely separate from the gaming industry but indirectly could have an impact. Nevada’s regulatory structure allows the Board to make effective regulatory changes in a timely manner.

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