Nevada Gaming Officials Visit Macau

Nevada Gaming Officials Visit MacauAll three members of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) traveled to Macau on a fact-finding endeavor to meet with gaming officials from that locale.

Macau has the largest gambling market in the world. The GCB and their Macau counterparts in the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau held several meetings in hopes of developing a strong relationship that had been lacking in recent years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The sit-downs, which included discussions with Hong Kong law enforcement personnel, were labeled a success by GCB Chairman A.G. Burnett.

Burnett said that the meetings established a good rapport that will likely set the tone for cooperation and further discussions in the future between both agencies. But he did add that such relationships do take time to develop.

Burnett had visited Macau in the past while serving as the GCB’s assistant chief of corporate securities. However, it was the first such journey for fellow board members Terry Johnson and Shawn Reid. Johnson is the GCB’s newest member, who joined the board following the resignation of Chairman Mark Lipparelli in September. Burnett was promoted to fulfill the role of chairman in October by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Several Las Vegas casino companies also operate casinos in Macau. MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts Ltd. are firmly entrenched mainstays in both jurisdictions. In fact, those three gaming companies are making moves to build additional casinos in Macau.

The Nevada GCB members took time out of their busy schedules to visit Macau. Those schedules include analyzing and investigating applications from companies wishing to participate in the Silver State’s intrastate online poker scheme. Earlier this month, Sartini Synergy and Lottomatica were recommended for interactive gaming license approval by the GCB. Those recommendations were passed on to the Nevada Gaming Commission, which ultimately makes the final licensing decisions.

To date, more than a dozen licenses have been granted to online poker operators in Nevada and a handful more have received licensing to provide services in that capacity. The first intrastate online poker sites should be up and running sometime this spring. However, Nevada lawmakers are now considering amending their current statute to allow for interstate online poker, which is expected to increase player liquidity tremendously.