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September 2, 2014

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Gaming Commission hears proposal to link video games, slots

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Claire Hart

A gamer plies his craft at Insert Coins

CARSON CITY — Allowing gambling on video game competition may be a wave of the future in Nevada.

“The market is huge,” says Christopher LaPorte, owner of Insert Coins, a video arcade in downtown Las Vegas. This would be a new way to invigorate the gaming industry, he says.

A legislative study committee recommended Nevada change its law to permit the state Gaming Commission to decide on ways to expand the gaming market.

Dan Reaser, a Reno lawyer representing game manufacturers, advanced the proposal. The idea would be to allow the Gaming Commission to approve rules to permit skill-based games and also to permit casinos to give good customers a better chance to win.

Reaser explained the skill-based concept could tie video games — which require some skill — to a slot machine. The individual with the most skill would win.

Part of his proposal would allow odds to change for recognized good customers. As an example he gave a hypothetical case: A frequent player at a casino may sit two hours or more playing the slot machines. The odds are a 75 percent return on the money wagered. But recognizing the frequent player, the casino could change the odds to allow him or her to win 85 percent, he said.

State rules now require odds to win to be the same for all players.

He has submitted patents on tying video games to slot machines.

LaPorte said today’s 20- to 30-year-olds grew up playing video games.

“It’s their lifestyle,” he said.

He said Insert Coins had been in business three and one-half years and has “a lot of success” He is considering expanding.

Insert Coins, which operates Wednesday thround Sunday, opens at 8 p.m. and usually closes at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., when the last video player departs.

Reaser, representing the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturer presented his idea to the Legislative Committee to Conduct an Interim Study Concerning the Impact of Technology upon Gaming on May 27.

The proposal “would expand the authority of the Nevada Gaming Commission to promulgate regulations that encourage development and deployment of gaming devices incorporating innovative, alternative and advanced technologies.” It will be presented to the 2015 Legislature.

It was the only proposal that the committee passed in its final meeting.

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