AGA urges states to adopt new regulation for changing market

6 March 2019

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is urging more states across the US to update their gambling regulations to ensure the rules are fit for purpose in what it sees as an evolving marketplace.

In a new white paper entitled ‘Advancing Regulatory Modernization: Building on a Record of Success’, the AGA cites how regulatory changes across a number of states have had a wider impact on the market.

Regulators in Nevada have changed gaming rules to allow licensed operators to set up single-account play across all verticals, so that consumers do not need to register for multiple account in order to access different services.

Both Ohio and Michigan have moved to streamline the process of installing and removing gaming machines by amending existing regulation, with Missouri also set to take similar action.

In addition, regulatory authorities in Pennsylvania and Mississippi have made it easier for investors to get involved with gaming by increasing the ownership share that triggers the need for an institutional investor to acquire a gaming licence.

“By watching other jurisdictions to identify promising reforms, many are finding new ways to approach their vital mission,” the AGA said.

“Only through constant re-examination of these regulatory standards and many others can regulators achieve their goal of ensuring a successful gaming industry that operates in the public interest while incorporating evolving technologies in today’s fast-paced economy.”

In Nevada, operators are now able to offer a single account to handle sports and horse betting and online poker play. The AGA said this is a critical first step toward meeting consumer expectations for seamless, simple financial tools.

Meanwhile, Ohio regulators have stripped out previous regulations stating that gaming machines can only be shipped in an inoperable position. Now, casinos can ship the devices, fully assembled, in ‘plug-and-play’ mode, while a gaming agent no longer needs to be present when a machine is unloaded at a casino.

The situation is similar in Michigan, where the regulator only requires licensees to maintain a log of gaming machine deliveries, installations, and removals. This replaced a previous system, under which an agent needed to be present when a machine arrives at the gaming venue.

In Pennsylvania, regulators have said that institutional investors may own up to 20% of a business or entity before they need to apply for a separate licence. The amendment, according to a Pennsylvania regulator, will “maintain the ability for operators to generate funds when needed,” while also ensuring “that investors remain passive in order to qualify as institutional investors.”

Mississippi regulators have taken a similar approach, increasing this threshold to 25% before the investor must apply for a licence.