Casino operators caution Nevada regulators about expanding online gaming – Northern Nevada Business Weekly

Red Rock Resort, a Station Casinos property, is located in Summerlin. Photo: Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

A cross-section of Nevada gaming operators has voiced opposition to expanding the state’s online gaming regulations, saying any proposed changes should be explored by the governor’s Gaming Policy Committee and ultimately approved by state lawmakers.

In a four-page letter sent last week to the chairmen of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, nearly 30 small casino owners, tavern operators and CEOs outlined reasons they believe online gaming would damage their business operations.

The letter originated in the corporate offices of Red Rock Resorts and is viewed by its signers as a preemptive measure even as regulators have delayed any plans to change the state’s online gaming guidelines as spelled out in Gaming Regulation 5A.

Red Rock Resorts CEO Frank Fertitta III and Vice Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta, whose company operates the Station Casinos properties throughout the Las Vegas Valley, signed the letter.

A company spokesman declined to comment on the letter. Station Casinos backed Ultimate Poker, Nevada’s online power website. The business folded after 19 months after falling short of projections.

“We want there to be a discussion, not just throw the doors open,” said Andrew Diss, vice president of government affairs for Meruelo Gaming, the company that owns the Grand Sierra in Reno and the Sahara in Las Vegas. Meruelo Gaming CEO Alex Meruelo was one of the executives who signed the letter.

Diss was the only representative from any of the companies listed as signers who would comment publicly. He said the group believes any changes concerning online gaming expansion are policy matters.

“We believe (the Gaming Policy Committee) is the proper venue,” Diss said.

In the letter, gaming executives wrote, “We strongly oppose any expansion of online gaming

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