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August 1, 2014

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Nevada governor skeptical about betting on elections

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Steve Marcus

Voters cast their ballots on Election Day at Cambridge Recreation Center, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval isn’t sold on allowing Nevada to become the first state to permit betting on the presidential and other federal elections.

“As I think through it, unless I’m convinced otherwise, it is not something I would support,” Sandoval said today.

He described himself as “more of a traditionalist” when it comes to betting. “The state has done fine on sports and horse race betting and other events,” he said.

The governor hasn’t taken a public position on the issue until now.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, is pushing a proposal to open up wagering on presidential elections and said he was a “little surprised” at the governor’s statements.

He said he would be talking to Sandoval about the issue. His proposal, he said, has gained a lot of attention nationally and the focus would be on Nevada if it permitted elections betting.

Wagering on the presidential election is permitted in England and with off-shore gambling operations, Segerblom said.

Sandoval noted that the state Gaming Control Board and the Gaming Commission have not supported the proposal in the past, and a legislative committee on gaming did not take a vote to support it at it’s meeting in Las Vegas last week.

Segerblom introduced a similar bill in the 2013 Legislature. It passed the Senate 14-7 but died in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which never brought it up for a vote.

He plans to introduce the bill again in the 2015 Legislature.

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