At Nevada DFS Hearing, Casino CEO Urges Officials To Embrace Innovation

Press Release
March 7, 2016

Las Vegas, NV –Nevada officials considering Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and other products that don’t fit within traditional gaming silos should embrace innovation and establish a flexible framework that allows gaming companies to stay ahead of ever-changing consumer demand, said American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman in remarks before the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee today in Las Vegas.

The Committee meeting was convened by Governor Brian Sandoval to focus on the future of DFS in Nevada and included a robust lineup of speakers to address a comprehensive range of perspectives.

“As innovative, disruptive new platforms become established in the marketplace, regulations should aim to integrate them into our industry without instead pushing the customer down the path of least resistance to the unregulated, illegal market,” said Freeman. “As gaming operates in 80 percent of the country, we’re competing against every other entertainment option. Flexibility will allow operators to adapt to rapidly changing markets and consumer trends and help to ensure a thriving gaming industry.”

Freeman conveyed that the casino gaming industry believes legal clarity and appropriate consumer protections of DFS are needed. With clear rules of the road, gaming companies could enter into marketing partnerships, host major DFS events at gaming properties or even develop a DFS platform of their own.

“We want regulators across the U.S. to take DFS out of that legal gray zone and make it either black or white,” said Freeman. “We believe legal clarity can accomplish two important public policy goals: ensure that the highly-regulated gaming industry isn’t prevented from entering into new and innovative opportunities and encourage new entrants and fresh innovations. Further, greater consumer protections will safeguard customers from unscrupulous operators and unfair games.”

While the issue today is DFS, it could be something completely different in the near future. ESports is another example of a potentially disruptive concept that is gaining steam.

“One of the challenges in regulating DFS, eSports and who-knows-what’s-next is that they don’t fit into the traditional statutory and regulatory silos. They’re not like slot machines, live poker or other standard casino games; instead, they’re new platforms that present unique sets of questions,” said Freeman. “The challenge for regulators and policymakers is to build an effective framework for bringing these new platforms into the world of regulation without losing the customer to the black market and harming the very qualities that make these products innovative in the first place.”

About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.  

press release contact
Christopher Browne