Nevada Race and Sports Wagering
The only live horse racing in Nevada is conducted at two tracks: Elko County Fair, which offers seven race days a year, and White Pines in Ely, offering two race days each year. There have been unsuccessful attempts to bring horse and greyhound racing to Las Vegas. Jai alai was offered for a number of years at the old MGM Grand in Las Vegas and not as long in Reno. Most simulcasting occurs in casino racebooks, and as such, pari-mutuel revenue is included with casino and card room revenue. Racebook and sportsbook revenues are no longer included with casino and card room revenue for purposes of this publication.
In 1949, bookmakers were allowed to accept bets on horse races and professional sports. They operated independently from the casinos, but had to pay a 10% tax, so they had to charge a high vigorish to remain profitable.
In 1974, the tax was lowered to 2%, and the Stardust became the first casino to operate a sportsbook in 1975. Most casinos followed suit, and the tax on sports bets was lowered to 0.25% in 1983.
In 1915, the Nevada State Racing Commission was created to construct horse racing industry rules and regulations and to inspect racing associations within the state. In 1949, the legislature replaced the commission with a revamped agency of the same name and in 1951 supplanted this second commission, creating in its place the Nevada Racing Commission (NRC). In 1993, the legislature eliminated the NRC, transferring responsibilities for licensing and regulation of horse racing and greyhound racing to the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC).
In January 2008, the NGC approved Wynn Las Vegas to start accepting phone account wagers on thoroughbred races.
After a vote in August 2008, the NGC lifted a long-standing ban on cell phones and other electronic devices at sportsbook locations.
In January 2011, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) approved American Wagering Inc.'s (AWI) new mobile application, the Leroy's App, which allowed state gamblers to enjoy legal sports betting from their BlackBerrys. In March 2012, AWI got approval from the NGCB to offer its mobile wagering application on the Apple iPad. This approval was a major milestone in sports betting history, as it was the first mobile sports betting app available for download through the Apple app store.
In 2011, British bookmaker William Hill bought American Wagering for $18 million. Nevada regulators approved William Hill's gaming license in summer 2012.
In August 2012, a shutdown of Nevada's racebooks was avoided when the Nevada Off-Track Pari-Mutuel Wagering Committee and the Las Vegas Dissemination Company, Nevada's only licensed systems operator for pari-mutuel wagering, were able to reach an agreement on a new contract that expired 31 July 2012. A temporary extension of the contract had been granted by the NGC in July.
In February 2015, the Nevada State Gaming Commission signed off on allowing wagers on Olympic events.
In June 2015, a sports betting bill that authorizes business entities to place racebook and sports pool wagers became law. On 30 March 2016, Bettor Investments, LLC became the first registered betting entity in the state.
On 16 October 2015, Nevada became the first state in the U.S. to ban unlicensed daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites. The Nevada Gaming Control Board ruled that DFS should be considered gambling, and since no DFS sites had applied for gaming licenses, all sites were told to cease and desist operations within the state.
In September 2017, Nevada Gaming Control Board announced that it would allow operators to place wagers on multiple eSports events, rather than the current policy of only allowing bets on a single event at a time. No timeline for implementation has been set.
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