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There was a single word in Gov. Joe Lombardo’s January State of the State address that especially caught the focus of Gaming Handle Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick. 


Throughout the speech, Lombardo took the uncommon step of calling out the board’s testing lab, saying that “concerns have surfaced” more than the approval approach. The governor mentioned new gaming solutions have been getting introduced “with additional speed outdoors of Nevada,” which provides other casino states a competitive benefit in the opinion of casino operators.

“We need to have to operate with the manage board to make certain the logjam is cleared,” Lombardo mentioned.

Rapid forward two months, and the board is set to tackle the situation raised by Lombardo by way of a  public workshop session on Tuesday in Las Vegas, a meeting that Hendrick described as an open discussion on strategies the agency can “modernize the technologies division” and effectively manage the approval approach in the board’s test lab.

The coming meeting at the Grant Sawyer Developing is viewed as an initial step in addressing casino market issues raised by the governor in January more than the time it requires for Nevada to approve new slot machines and connected gaming gear, such as cashless payment technologies.

“I decided the greatest way to tackle the challenges is to get everybody with each other and freely exchange concepts and options,” Hendrick mentioned.

The workshop is anticipated to be nicely-attended by representatives from the gaming market suppliers along with Daron Dorsey, executive director of the Association of Gaming Gear Makers (AGEM), the industry’s trade organization.

“It’s been a lengthy time due to the fact anyone believed about this in Nevada,” Dorsey mentioned. “Imagine the speed of technologies and what gaming has completed just in the final eight years. We want to give some information and facts and facts and give an overview of what it appears like at a macro level.”

In 2015, the Nevada Gaming Commission adopted a number of regulation modifications 4 months just after they have been advisable by the Legislature that have been viewed as strategies to streamline the procedures. Considering that that time, several states and tribal gaming authorities produced adjustments that speeded up the introduction of new gaming technologies in markets outdoors Nevada.

Following the speech, Lombardo appointed two of the 3 manage board members, Hendrick as chairman and former Las Vegas Judge George Assad. The governor also named former Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki to the gaming commission, which tends to make the final selection on suggestions that come from the board.

Hendrick mentioned in an interview with The Nevada Independent final month that the governor’s use of the word “logjam” got his focus. He mentioned a public workshop gives a forum for the market to propose concepts on how to accelerate the approach.

“By understanding everyone’s ambitions and objectives, I’m confident we can obtain strategies to additional expeditiously regulate the market,” Hendrick mentioned in an e-mail. “While the board really should by no means substitute successful regulation for expedited regulation, the two ambitions really should co-exist.”

Hendrick anticipates that some of the recommendations would demand adjustments in regulations.

“However, I am personally searching for concepts that can be implemented significantly more rapidly, devoid of the need to have for new regulations,” he mentioned.

Jim Barbee, chief of the manage board’s technologies division for additional than a decade, declined comment on the workshop, saying he would defer to Hendrick’s remarks.

Jim Barbee, chief of the Gaming Handle Board technologies division, observes a board meeting in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Feb. eight, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Alterations in 2015 brought new technologies

In October 2015, the manage board and gaming commission adopted amendments to 3 gaming regulations viewed as a way to “facilitate entry of new ideas and technologies into Nevada,” according to a memo signed by then-manage board Chairman A.G. Burnett.

He also recommended producers coordinate with the technologies division early in the improvement approach on how the notion or technologies would match into Nevada’s regulatory structure.

Burnett, now a gaming lawyer with McDonald Carano in Reno, mentioned the adjustments eight years ago “were a superior very first step” in encouraging communication in between the market and the regulators.

“The planet has changed,” Burnett mentioned in an interview. “You speedy forward to right now and there is the advent of all sorts of new gaming solutions, and [there are] new entrants into the market place that are providing unique options for gaming firms. The firms want to use these options, but they want to do it rapidly.”

Burnett mentioned the governor and the board have been taking the appropriate methods in reviewing the approach.

“I’m hopeful the market and the manage board and commission can come with each other and permit for continued innovation,” he mentioned.

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