18 April 2011

Bill would let state keep 75 percent of unredeemed slot winnings

CARSON CITY – The state could be millions of dollars richer from money now being kept by Nevada casinos.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday designating that uncollected winnings from slot machines would be split, with 75 percent going to the state and 25 percent to the casino where the win occurred.

Committee Chairman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, explained that players receive their payout in the form of a ticket. Under Assembly Bill 215, a winning ticket must be redeemed within 30 days or it would be considered abandoned, then the state and the casino keep the unredeemed winnings with the 25-75 percent split.

Horne, the sponsor of the bill, said estimates on the amount that might come to the state range from $20 million to $50 million annually. The bill now goes to the Assembly floor.

The committee also voted to revise the state's mobile gaming law.

Horne noted that casinos provide hand-held gaming devices allowing players to wager in other places in the casino, such as restaurants or swimming pools. Senate Bill 294 would expand the places in casinos where games could be played with such devices.

But the bill would prohibit wagering in a hotel room. Horne said gaming control officials were uncomfortable with hotel room wagering since there would be no supervision of play.

Cy Ryan