Gaming Regulation History

Regulatory Structure

Nevada's gaming regulatory structure is considered by many to be the best in the world. It consists of a three-member Nevada State Gaming Control Board and a five-member Nevada Gaming Commission, members of which are all appointed by Nevada's governor.

The Gaming Control Board is responsible for the daily regulation and administration of the Nevada Gaming Control Act. Seven divisions operate under the auspices of the Gaming Control Board. They are:

  • Administrative Division
  • Investigations Division
  • Enforcement Division
  • Electronic Services Division
  • Audit Division
  • Tax License & Economic Research Division

The Nevada Gaming Commission has the responsibility and authority to deny, limit, condition or restrict all gaming license applications, findings of suitability or other required approvals. The Commission acts on State Gaming Control Board recommendations, adopts regulations pursuant to the Nevada Gaming Control Act and adjudicates gaming tax disputes and disciplinary actions.

Regulation History

From 1931 to 1945, gaming licensing was handled at the local and county level. Taxes were determined by the number of games or machines in operation. In that year, licensing authority shifted to the state level and Nevada enacted a new licensing program that, in addition to the per-game fee collected, enacted fees based on percentage of gross gaming win.

Over the next 10 years, gaming in Nevada flourished. By 1952, commercial gambling had eclipsed mining and agriculture to become Nevada's largest revenue-producing industry. As Nevada's economy became more and more dependent upon gaming as an economic engine, the fear of federal gaming prohibition and negative public sentiment grew larger. This prompted the Nevada State Legislature to create the Gaming Control Board in 1955. A division of the Nevada Tax Commission, the Board's primary purpose was to oversee the licensing and operation of Nevada casinos, while also eliminating the unsavory elements that threatened the industry's existing and future integrity. In 1959, the Legislature passed the Gaming Control Act, establishing the Nevada Gaming Commission, which acted upon the recommendations of the Gaming Control Board and was the final arbiter of all gaming licensing matters.

Nevada's gaming regulatory system has been an integral part of Nevada's success and has become the standard upon which all other national and international gaming regulatory agencies are based.