Skill-Based Slot Machines & Going Through The Motions For Approval

Having spent over two and a half hours discussing regulations for gamblers who place real wagers on skill-based slot machines, Nevada is no closer to reaching the introduction of the potentially industry-changing games on their casino floors.

Last year the Gaming Control Board oversaw their second workshop in Carson City that pertained to regulations that would accommodate technology for skill-based slot machines, however there were very clear differences of opinion in the proposed language and in the proposed regulations offered by the Control Board and the Senate Bill 9 sponsor AGEM, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers.

Opinions Split On The Different Proposals

There were suggestions made by several of the technology providers and different slot machine manufacturers on the various proposals at hand. A.G. Burnett, Chairman for the Control Board said he hoped that differences could be ironed out before proposed action on the regulation changes, finally come into effect. The matter must be approved by Nevada's Gaming Commission, once the Control Board puts forward new regulations.

SB9 called for the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Control Board to adopt rules that would allow for arcade-like and skill-based features; currently slot machines in the USA are purely based on chance. Gaming industry insiders along with regulators originally planned to have the games on casino floors by the end of last year, with many slot game manufacturers looking to display their skill-based slot products in the Fall at Las Vegas' Global Gaming Expo.

Regulation changes would allow for the addition of video components associated with arcade-style games to traditional slot machines. By the association's own definition, their regulations describe a game of skill as one that is a hybrid game that also incorporates the elements of a game of chance, it includes both elements.

Michael Somps, Senior Deputy Attorney and Dan Reaser Reno-based gaming attorney of Fennemore Craig representing the association, put forward similar changes to Regulation 14, that which governs the new slots. The regulation had its first introduction in June, however some of the language was different in various areas.

The association wants some unique elements to be included to the machines, namely electronic commerce transactions and a social networking element. Reaser is of the opinion that the regulations should allow all players the same electronic commerce capabilities as those offered through interactive gaming and mobile sports betting.

Regulators are looking for the slot machines to include various skill-based element descriptions, so players clearly understand rules and how they get to earn jackpots or bonus points. Designers however say some rules may prove to be too cumbersome, with some skill-based arcade games requiring "hundreds of pages" of strategic guides.

Burnett has said that skill-based slot machines could give a welcomed boost to Nevada's casinos' slot machine floors, At the meeting's outset he said that it will be down to the manufacturers as to what "offensive games or themes" are allowed into casinos, however the responsibility of the casino operators to ensure only guests over the age of 21 years old are allowed to play them.