Nevada Touts in Less of a Bout

As noted in a prior blog,[1] Senate Bill 46 (SB 46)[2] was filed to regulate services that provide advice on wagering in racing or sporting events. SB 46 would require tout service providers and persons involved with the operations to register with the Nevada Gaming Commission (the Commission) and allow the Commission to regulate how these services may operate. A “tout service,” according to the bill, is any person who provides advice or opinions relating to wagering on racing or sporting events for any form of compensation, fee, or remuneration.

One of the foundations for the bill was concern that some service providers have allegedly manipulated data to create the perception of high success rates. Moreover, State Sen. Keith Pickard explained that owners of tout services are difficult to find until complaints are filed. SB 46 aimed to not only submit tout services to regulatory oversight, but make the industry more visible via the registration requirement.

However, this visibility may come with unintended consequences. In a Senate Committee on Judiciary hearing dated February 6, 2019, Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (the Board) explained that registering tout services could provide an inadvertent state stamp of approval. Tout services could market the fact that the company is registered with the Board as a way to create the perception that the company is legitimate.

Accordingly, Chairwoman Morgan suggested removing the sections regulating tout services because Nevada law already allows the Board to pursue enforcement actions against tout services acting unlawfully. She mentioned the Board has discussed SB 46 with the industry and stated the Board can remain committed to regulating tout services without any statutory mandate.

We agree with Chairwoman Morgan’s approach to remove the provisions requiring registration of tout services. In particular, the proposed amendment prevents the Board from venturing down the slippery slope of registering persons who are tenuously linked to the industry. Existing Nevada laws already allow the Board and the Bureau of Consumer Protection to take the necessary enforcement action against such businesses acting unlawfully.

If you have questions regarding this legislation, sports betting or land-based gaming, please contact  authors Karl Rutledge at krutledge@lrrc.com, Glenn Light at glight@lrrc.com or Mary Tran at mtran@lrrc.com.

[1] Glenn Light, et al., Nevada Touts in a Bout, Lewis Roca Rothgerberger Christie LLP (Nov. 30, 2018), https://blog.lrrc.com/commercial-gaming/2018/11/30/nevada-touts-in-a-bout/.

[2] Senate Bill 46, 80th Nev. Legis. (2019). Available at: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/80th2019/Bill/5965/Text.