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Bill to Allow Gambling in Rooms at Hotel-Casinos in Nevada Advances

By Cy Ryan, Las Vegas SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 20, 2011--CARSON CITY -- A bill that would allow guests to gamble in their rooms at hotel-casinos was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee after receiving assurances there would be "a significant amount of security" to prevent teens from playing.

Lee Amaitis, president and chief executive officer of Cantor Gaming, told the committee there are systems that would prevent underage gambling.

Committee Chairwoman Valerie Wiener, D-Las Vegas, said she had concerns about underage gambling, but added there are "substantial safeguards" that could be installed in any computer system that ran the games.

Assembly Bill 294 goes to the full Senate for a vote, and if passed, would return to the Assembly for agreement on an amendment.

Mark Lipparelli, chairman of the state Gaming Control Board, said any company that wanted to install the system would have to come to regulators for approval. It will be tested before it could go into operation, he said.

Wiener said the computer system would prevent a guest from going outside the confines of the hotel-casino and trying to play.

As explained previously, a guest would deposit cash with the hotel-casino and would be given a security card with a private code.

Amaitis estimated there could be $18.5 million collected in taxes in a year.

There was testimony previously that fewer than 7 percent of those who come to Las Vegas casinos are accompanied by children.

The bill says the computer system that runs gambling in rooms can be located off the premises of the hotel but must be in Nevada.

The Nevada Resort Association has taken a neutral stance on the bill.


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Copyright (c) 2011, Las Vegas Sun

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