When the Nevada Gaming Commission meets Thursday, members will consider tinkering with Regulation 22, the state’s rules governing race and sportsbook wagers.
When the Nevada Gaming Commission meets Thursday, members will consider tinkering with Regulation 22, the state’s rules governing race and sportsbook wagers.
Under scrutiny will be a section that would require new record-keeping requirements on all wagers that pay out more than $10,000.
Most sportsbook players in Southern Nevada won’t be affected by the changes proposed because there’s already a mechanism in place for books that generate more than $1 million in annual gross gaming revenue to file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service whenever someone wins more than $10,000 on a sports bet.
Actually, you could probably make the case that most sports players won’t be affected because they don’t win $10,000 on a bet that often.
Nevada officials agreed about 10 years ago to follow federal policies of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) to report wins and wagers greater than $10,000 as a means of combating money laundering.
But that policy doesn’t extend to casinos generating less than $1 million in annual gross gaming revenue, so there’s a loophole in the regs.
So says Richard Tomasso, vice president of security and government affairs for Mesquite Gaming, which operates the Casablanca and Virgin River properties in Mesquite.
In October, Tomasso made the case that the smaller rural sportsbooks — including his company’s biggest rival, the William Hill-operated book at the Eureka — didn’t have to comply with the federal guidelines. He developed a scenario in which a prospective money launderer could place bets of, say, $9,999 on both sides of a wager and win double that amount, minus vigorish on one side, and lose the bet on the other. It’s basically a push for the bettor, but the potentially ill-gotten cash is legitimized as a payout by the casino.
How much of that actually happens in rural Nevada is an unknown, but the Justice Department believes $140 billion is laundered in sportsbooks every year.
Attorney Scott Scherer, who represents William Hill, said Mesquite Gaming’s conversation should be with FinCen on the federal Bank Secrecy Act of 1985, not with state regulators. He thinks the proposed amendments to Regulation 22 are just a bid to force small books to conform with the same rules the big casinos have.
Some of those small rural books have one employee to manage all the bets that come in, and some betting locations, in fact, are kiosks where players must make arrangements to pick up their winnings.
The administrative heads of the Gaming Control Board have concurred that writing in the $10,000 payout clause would close a loophole in the regulations and give regulators a more complete picture of financial transactions that may or may not be illegal. The entire process will be streamlined when new financial software comes online, so it technically won’t be a lot of extra paperwork.
Commissioners are likely to to approve the proposed amendments. The move would be good PR for the state, and the cost of implementation would be minimal.
The only unanswered question: How many money launderers will have to find a new way to clean their cash?
Contact Richard N. Velotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.
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William Hill has opened wagering on Virtual Racing at two of its Nevada Race and Sports Books. After receiving approval for a field trial from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the company will offer Virtual Racing inside the Plaza Casino and Silver Sevens Casino, both in Las Vegas.
Featuring the voice of legendary race caller Tom Durkin, William Hill Virtual Racing allows sports bettors to wager on simulated horse races. With a new race every five minutes, players can bet Win, Place, Show, Exactas, and Trifectas on line-ups that range from eight to twelve animated horses.
Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said: “We are excited to be the first Sports Book operator to bring Virtual Racing to Nevada. The addition of Virtual Racing is just another example of how William Hill prides itself on offering the largest and most innovative betting menu. Being able to have Tom Durkin, horse racing’s best story teller, as our Virtual Racing voice is ‘absolutely sensational’ in itself.”
William Hill has worked diligently with regulators over the past two years to bring Virtual Racing to Nevada. Virtual Racing is extremely popular with sports bettors in Las Vegas and across the globe.
What career will produce the largest growth?Gaming Services Occupations
Legalized gambling in the United States today includes casino gaming, State lotteries, pari-mutuel wagering on contests such as horse or dog racing, and charitable gaming. Gaming, the playing of games of chance, is a multibillion-dollar industry that is responsible for the creation of a number of unique service occupations.
The majority of all gaming services workers are employed in casinos. Their duties and titles may vary from one establishment to another. Despite differences in job title and task, however, workers perform many of the same basic functions in all casinos. Some positions are associated with oversight and direction—supervision, surveillance, and investigation—while others involve working with the games or patrons themselves, performing such activities as tending slot machines, handling money, writing and running tickets, and dealing cards or running games.
Like nearly every business establishment, casinos have workers who direct and oversee day-to-day operations. Gaming supervisors oversee the gaming operations and personnel in an assigned area. They circulate among the tables and observe the operations to ensure that all of the stations and games are covered for each shift. It is not uncommon for gaming supervisors to explain and interpret the operating rules of the house to patrons who may have difficulty understanding the rules. Gaming supervisors also may plan and organize activities to create a friendly atmosphere for the guests staying in their hotels or in casino hotels. Periodically, they address and adjust complaints about service.
Some gaming occupations demand specially acquired skills—dealing blackjack, for example—that are unique to casino work. Others require skills common to most businesses, such as the ability to conduct financial transactions. In both capacities, the workers in these jobs interact directly with patrons in attending to slot machines, making change, cashing or selling tokens and coins, writing and running for other games, and dealing cards at table games. Part of their responsibility is to make those interactions enjoyable.
Slot key persons coordinate and supervise the slot department and its workers. Their duties include verifying and handling payoff winnings to patrons, resetting slot machines after completing the payoff, and refilling machines with money. Slot key persons must be familiar with a variety of slot machines and be able to make minor repairs and adjustments to the machines as needed. If major repairs are required, slot key persons determine whether the slot machine should be removed from the floor. Working the floor as frontline personnel, they enforce safety rules and report hazards.
Gaming and sportsbook writers and runners assist in the operations of games such as bingo and keno, in addition to taking bets on sporting events. They scan tickets presented by patrons and calculate and distribute winnings. Some writers and runners operate the equipment that randomly selects the numbers. Others may announce numbers selected, pick up tickets from patrons, collect bets, or receive, verify, and record patrons’ cash wagers.
Gaming dealers operate table games such as craps, blackjack, and roulette. Standing or sitting behind the table, dealers provide dice, dispense cards to players, or run the equipment. Some dealers also monitor the patrons for infractions of casino rules. Gaming dealers must be skilled in customer service and in executing their game. Dealers determine winners, calculate and pay winning bets, and collect losing bets. Because of the fast-paced work environment, most gaming dealers are competent in at least two games, usually blackjack and craps.
The atmosphere in casinos is generally filled with fun and often considered glamorous. However, casino work can also be physically demanding. Most occupations require that workers stand for long periods; some require the lifting of heavy items. The atmosphere in casinos exposes workers to certain hazards, such as cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Noise from slot machines, gaming tables, and talking workers and patrons may be distracting to some, although workers wear protective headgear in areas where loud machinery is used to count money.
Most casinos are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offer three staggered shifts.
There usually are no minimum educational requirements for entry-level gaming jobs, although most employers prefer at least a high school diploma or GED. Each casino establishes its own requirements for education, training, and experience. Some of the major casinos and slot manufacturers run their own training schools, and almost all provide some form of in-house training in addition to requiring certification. The type and quantity of classes needed may vary. Many institutions of higher learning give training toward certificates in gaming, as well as offering an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in a hospitality-related field such as hospitality management, hospitality administration, or hotel management. Some schools offer training in games, gaming supervision, slot attendant and slot repair technician work, slot department management, and surveillance and security.
Gaming services workers are required to have a license issued by a regulatory agency, such as a State casino control board or commission. Applicants for a license must provide photo identification, offer proof of residency in the State in which they anticipate working, and pay a fee. Age requirements vary by State. The licensing application process also includes a background investigation.
In addition to possessing a license, gaming services workers need superior customer service skills. Casino gaming workers provide entertainment and hospitality to patrons, and the quality of their service contributes to an establishment’s success or failure. Therefore, gaming workers need good communication skills, an outgoing personality, and the ability to maintain their composure even when dealing with angry or demanding patrons. Personal integrity also is important, because workers handle large amounts of money.
Gaming services workers who manage money should have some experience handling cash or using calculators or computers. For such positions, most casinos administer a math test to assess an applicant’s level of competency.
Most gaming supervisors have experience in other gaming occupations, typically as dealers, and have a broad knowledge of casino rules, regulations, procedures, and games. While an associate or bachelor’s degree is beneficial, it is not a requirement for most positions. Gaming supervisors must have strong leadership, organizational, and communication skills. Excellent customer service and employee skills also are necessary.
Slot key persons do not need to meet formal educational requirements to enter the occupation, but completion of slot attendant or slot technician training is helpful. As with most other gaming workers, slot key persons receive on-the-job training during the first several weeks of employment.
Gaming and sportsbook writers and runners must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Most of these workers receive on-the-job training. Because gaming and sportsbook writers and runners work closely with patrons, they need excellent customer service skills.
Most gaming dealers acquire their skills by attending a dealer school or vocational and technical school. Most of these schools are found in Nevada and New Jersey. They teach the rules and procedures of the games as well as State and local laws and regulations. Graduation from one of these schools does not guarantee a job at many casinos, however, as most casinos require prospective dealers to also audition for open positions. During the audition, personal qualities are assessed along with knowledge of the games. Experienced dealers, who often are able to attract new or return business, have the best job prospects. Dealers with more experience are placed at the “high-roller” tables.
Advancement opportunities in casino gaming depend less on workers’ previous casino duties and titles than on their ability and eagerness to learn new jobs. For example, an entry-level gaming worker eventually might advance to become a dealer or card room manager or to assume some other supervisory position.
Gaming services occupations provided 177,000 jobs in 2004. Employment by occupational specialty was distributed as follows:
Gaming services workers are found mainly in the traveler accommodation and gaming industries. Most are employed in commercial casinos, including land-based or riverboat casinos, in 11 States: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, and South Dakota. The largest number works in casinos in Nevada, and the second-largest group works in similar establishments in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mississippi, which boasts the greatest number of riverboat casinos in operation, employs the most workers in that venue. In addition, there are 28 States with Indian casinos. Legal lotteries are held in 40 States and the District of Columbia, and pari-mutuel wagering is legal in 40 States. Forty-seven States and the District of Columbia also allow charitable gaming. Other States have recently passed legislation to permit gambling, but no casinos have been opened as of yet.
For most workers, gaming licensure requires proof of residency in the State in which gaming workers are employed. But some gaming services workers do not limit themselves to one State or even one country, finding jobs on the small number of casinos located on luxury cruise liners that travel the world. These individuals live and work aboard the vessel.
With demand for gaming showing no sign of waning, employment in gaming services occupations is projected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2014. Even during the recent downturn in the economy, revenues at casinos have risen. In addition, the increasing popularity and prevalence of Indian casinos, particularly in California, and pari-mutuel casinos will provide substantial job openings that were not available in the past. With many States benefiting from casino gambling in the form of tax revenue or agreements with Indian tribes, additional States are reconsidering their opposition to legalized gambling and will likely approve the construction of more casinos and other gaming establishments during the next decade. Some job growth will occur in established gaming areas in Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey, but most of the openings in these locations will come from job turnover.
The increase in gaming reflects growth in the population and in its disposable income, both of which are expected to continue. Higher expectations for customer service among gaming patrons also should result in more jobs for gaming services workers.
Job prospects in gaming services occupations will be best for those with previous casino gaming experience, a degree or technical or vocational training in gaming or a hospitality-related field, and strong interpersonal and customer service skills. As a direct result of increasing demand for additional table games in gaming establishments, the most rapid growth is expected among gaming dealers. However, there are generally more applicants than jobs for dealers, creating keen competition for jobs. In addition to job openings arising from employment growth, opportunities will result from the need to replace workers transferring to other occupations or leaving the labor force.
Wage earnings for gaming services workers vary according to occupation, level of experience, training, location, and size of the gaming establishment. The following were median earnings for various gaming services occupations in May 2004:
Gaming dealers generally receive a large portion of their earnings from tokes, which are tips in the form of tokens received from players. Earnings from tokes can vary depending on the table games the dealer operates and the personal traits of the dealer.
Many other occupations provide hospitality and customer service. Some examples of related occupations are security guards and gaming surveillance officers, sales worker supervisors, cashiers, gaming change persons and booth cashiers, retail salespersons, gaming cage workers, and tellers.
For additional information on careers in gaming, visit your public library and your State gaming regulatory agency or casino control commission.
Information on careers in gaming also is available from:
In 2010, Lee Amaitis, former executive of Cantor Fitzgerald and then CEO of BCG Partners, looked at Las Vegas sports books and asked a simple question: Why do Wall Street and Las Vegas behave so differently?
“When Wall Street first opens, everybody starts trading. In this town, when a game gets going, everybody stops betting,” he told Wired Magazine. “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard. The game is the market. Why not let people bet the market?”
That sentiment has fueled Amaitis’ quest to liberalize sports gaming, a process that has relied on the proliferation of technology, increased market transparency and a more open-minded approach by regulators.
Long before daily fantasy sites FanDuel and Draft Kings—two platforms that require the mass adoption of technology and algorithms—launched, Amaitis had a vision of allowing any Nevada visitors to trade in-game during live sports events.
It’s Wall Street meets Las Vegas Boulevard, a revolution that has fueled strong growth in the Nevada sports gaming sector and Amaitis’ firm CG Technology, which manages several prominent Nevada sports books and provides technology and risk management solutions for casinos around the globe.
CG Technology is just getting started. Following the passage of two recent laws in Nevada, the firm could accelerate a process to reform and commoditize sports gaming as a traditional investment vehicle, a process that can move the industry out of the shadows and attract the interest of hedge funds and other alternative investors.Looking to make a deal
Amaitis got his start in the horse race industry long before he entered Wall Street. Although he wasn’t really fascinated by the gambling in the Sport of Kings, early-on he recognized the importance of liquidity to the industry, a lesson that defines his career.
“Horse racing doesn’t survive unless there is a purse provided by pari-mutuel wagering,” he says.
From the 1970s until 2008, Amaitis worked in the financial markets within the inter-dealer broker space. In the mid-1990s, working for Cantor Fitzgerald, he moved to London to run the broker operations and had a realization.
Sports gambling was and still is legal in London, with some of the top bookmakers allowing wagers on virtually anything. “It fascinated me that the same people we were doing business with in stocks, bonds, interest rates and commodities, were all gambling with English bookmakers,” he says.
Amaitis saw the similarities between the business of the bookmakers and the inter-broker model. “When you look at them, you say, this is an interesting business. From an inter-dealer business, we buy from ‘A’ and sell to ‘B’ simultaneously. I asked, ‘Why couldn’t this be put into a business model that said we could create a marketplace for sports?’ Of course, it’s easier said than done.”
That answer would be found through the development of technology to beat competitors and bring more transactions to the market, another underlying theme of his career. eSpeed, for which Amaitis served as COO, was founded in 1996 and was one of the first major platforms to trade bonds and currencies on a global scale.
“Trading evolved from pieces of paper, to multiple telephones, to trading across technology,” he said. “Cantor Fitzgerald, eSpeed and BGC Partners were one of the first to introduce technology.”From bonds to sports books
Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 employees on 9/11, wiping out its entire inter-dealer broker operations. Just weeks after the attacks, Amaitis was part of a team that rebuilt Cantor’s broker business. He served as a senior executive under Howard Lutnick from 2001 to 2008.
By 2004, Amaitis began to explore the industry of gaming and wagering. He founded Cantor Gaming, which would later become CG Technology. Amaitis officially relocated in late to 2008 to continue pursuing race and sports book operations. He also intended to manufacture and distribute mobile gaming devices.
CG Technology offered sports wagering as a gaming option on the company’s platforms and that was fundamental in CG Technology taking shape. “The sports concept allowed CG Technology to take over the casinos’ sports books and provide the underlying technology.”
With the technology in place, the next challenge was breaking the mold of traditional sports wagering through the expansion of technology and the adoption of the Wall Street account model in Las Vegas.
“My focus was to get individuals to wager on an account, as opposed to the old style of waiting and wagering at the window, which was an anonymous wagering model,” he says. “This is basically all that Nevada ever did. A few companies had tried account wagering, but they didn’t put much effort into it.”
The convergence of mobile technology and individual accounts fueled a remarkable surge in demand for CG Technology products and services.
“We told people we would accept higher limits for wagers, and provide more liquidity to the wagering markets if they opened an account with us and bet on account through our technology,” he says. “Over the last five years, we’ve been adding to that technology to expand the footprint.”
As mobile expanded, CG Technology became the first company to handle more than $1 billion in sports wagers. “Since we entered the market, the total handle in Nevada has doubled from roughly $2 billion to $4 billion. We’ve had a good part in that given the ability to trade on account. More than 60% to 70% of these wagers are done over mobile devices.”The risk similarities
To someone who spent several decades managing brokers on Wall Street, sports wagering is similar to market-making specialists on Wall Street.
“[This business] speaks to the inter-dealer in me. In my previous career, I bought from company ‘A’ and sold to company ‘B’ simultaneously, so there was no risk,” he said.
However, running a sports operation carries risk.
“With [the Super Bowl between] Seattle and the Patriots, there was a market for that game. Our job is to ensure there are as many buyers as sellers. Because people need to pay for a wager, they are betting 110 to make 100 on every bet or 11/10. In that 10¢, we have our commission value risk. Based on that, you automatically have built in value on your balance. But the world doesn’t always work out perfectly. Sometimes there will be $10,000 traded one day, and $12,000 the other. Now you have to try to get yourself into a position where you get $12,000 both ways or if you accept the risk.”
Like Wall Street, sports books require a boost in liquidity to reduce exposure to one side or the other.
“The more liquidity, the more volume you take, the less risk,” he says. “The only way that liquidity grows is through the growth of technology. Our goal was to create multiple transactions the same way that Wall Street did for Treasuries, commodities and foreign exchange. Technology allows volumes to increase dramatically.”Enabling the "trade"
The underlying technology has propelled an explosion in usage. Gamblers are able to use mobile platforms at the pool, in the restaurants or in their hotel rooms rather than walk into the sports book.
And Amaitis’ terminology parallels his years on Wall Street.
“We’ve made it easier for them to be able to what I call ‘trade,’ as oppose to ‘wager,’” he says. “I treat it like Wall Street. I treat it like trading. There are smart people out there, and there’s an opportunity to build a business on each transaction.”
CG Technology is likely the first company to take on the advance quantitative traders who have taken on Las Vegas during the last decade.
“We were probably the first to take on the ‘smarter players.’ We assume they have algorithmic models, that they handicap their games, and wager with us, in some cases significant amounts of money,” he says. “But when you look at some of these people, they’re actually just trading. They just are using sport as a commodity. They are buying and selling something they find to be of value. And that volume is more than just simple wagers on winners and losers of an NFL game on Sunday. The vast adoption of Big Data has allowed CG Technology to create an in-game market in sports.
Traders can wager on whether a team will drive the length of the field to score a touchdown or a field goal. They can wager on whether a batter will strike out in his next time at bat.
It can go even deeper—offering odds on the likelihood that a tennis player’s next serve will hit the net within a matter of seconds. The power of CG’s underlying technology enables buyers and sellers to trade on all aspects of the game, with tech taking a commission from each transaction.
“I look at this completely as a commission business. The less risk that I can take, the better off I’m going to be. Once the data comes faster, the more people will be able to invest and trade. That’s why account trading is so important.”The deregulatory drive
Currently, Federal laws prevent Americans from gambling on sports outside of four states: Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada. The latter currently comprises the largest sports book market at roughly $4 billion annually.
That pales in comparison, however, to the amount of money wagered in black markets around the country. NBA commissioner Adam Silver raised eyebrows earlier this year when he stated that that, “nearly $400 billion is illegally wagered on sports each year.” That number seems extremely high; one suggesting that every American wagers roughly $1,500 a year on sports. Conservative estimates place it near $80 billion each year, although Amaitis says market estimates indicate it’s close to $200 billion.
CG Technology stands to benefit if New Jersey is able to legalize sports gaming, which was part of a lawsuit in the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and was set for a July ruling.
Should New Jersey be able to add sports books, the company has already built a base where it can expand the scale anywhere it is legal to gamble.
“We can simply turn the switch,” says Amaitis.
He sees this as a broader movement by many states. “Two to three years ago, I don’t think I would see a push for legalization in my lifetime,” he says. “Now I read every day that another state is closer. What state doesn’t want that tax revenue? If you start reading other people’s positions on it – particularly politicians – why can’t we regulate this market? The underground is in the hundreds of billions.”
The solution, he says, is to look to how Nevada has managed the industry, and use its road map to build a legal gaming sector.
The sports gaming industry doubled to $4 billion during the last few years. Other states will see this and want a piece of that pie. With the technology we’ve built, the support from regulators here and our ability to manage risk, we see an acceptance of this industry.
The desert game changer
While other states are seeking ways to relax the federal sports gambling laws, Nevada is expanding its reach to maintain its own competitive edge.
Companies like CG Technology and regulators explored ways to boost the flow of gambling funds to the state while helping the sports books expand beyond today’s traditional business model.
The expansion of Las Vegas’ $4 billion sports gaming industry is set to accelerate thanks to a game-changing decision by the Nevada legislators to liberalize investment and domiciling laws for financial entities looking to facilitate sports trading.
In June, two bills passed the Nevada state legislature that will merge Wall Street trading with Las Vegas sports gaming in its most advanced form.
The passage of Senate Bill 443 will allow the creation of investment funds managed by or on behalf of the state’s top sports handicappers.
“What Senate Bill 443 does is allow a fund to run in the state of Nevada that allows individuals to invest in that fund, and have someone making trades on sports,” says Amaitis. “Those investors will either share in the profits or the loss of that portfolio manager.”
Investors from out of state can now invest in a fund that uses a handicapper’s knowledge of the sports betting market to produce alpha. The pro-regulation approach has the capacity to generate billions more for the industry and, of course, more money for state revenues. In addition, the laws have already generated significant interest from portfolio managers across the county.
“After a CNBC interview of our lead counsel, we received a ton of cold calls just asking us about this law,” says Amaitis.
A second bill that just became law allows Nevada to become an anchor state for sports book operations. According to the law, a licensed sports book in Nevada can manage sports books located in other legal jurisdictions. This naturally requires liberalization and cooperation from other states across the nation, but if other states are able to get the federal government to reduce its ban, book operators like CG Technology stand to make a significant profit on a commission basis as liquidity in the legal sports gaming market surges.
The registration for sports funds under Senate Bill 443 would require the same collection of investor information and registration of the entity in the state, in addition to a state-based banking account. But between investment in oil and gas futures or the purchasing of stocks and bonds, Amaitis says that they are creating a platform that turns sports into another commodity.
“We think this will be a game changer for the state of Nevada,” he says.
The legislature and regulators are very excited about its potential.
The tax-free state seems eager to welcome new residents, and Amaitis is eager to offer its technology as a launching point for investors looking to profit on an expanding sports gaming industry.
“If I can get people the opportunity to be able to plug into my platform and trade sports because they have an algorithmic desire to do it, we would welcome it,” he says. “They can connect to any other marketplace from Nevada. They’ll be able to connect from here and trade other commodities.”
But with that expansion, CG Technology will be challenged continually by investors and gamblers alike as they build this industry from the ground up.
“This portfolio type of management will bring people who are tied into big data,” says Amaitis. “They are looking for value in price. We need to stay ahead of them on issues like what player is injured, what the weather is going to be like.”
Amaitis’ efforts confirm another trait shared by Wall Street bond dealers and Las Vegas bookmakers — he’s always trying to stay a step ahead of the market.
© Sports Betting 2018