Nevada gaming regulators reiterate their stance on cannabis and casinos
Nevada’s Gaming Control Board restated their position that the drug is off limits for casinos, despite how impractical that will be. They stated that Legal marijuana in Nevada has to stay out of casinos.
Despite the voters legalizing recreational marijuana in the State on November 8th, casino licensees are advised to steer clear of permitting it on their premises or engaging with any legal marijuana businesses, Including taking their money, as long as federal and state laws are at odds on the matter.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) made a stance in 2014, after the state passed a bill that would license businesses to dispense medical marijuana.
Tony Alamo, of the Nevada Gaming Commission said that despite the vote, regulators would not alter their views, he did say that their position was “work in progress” that could be revisited at a later date.
The NGCB’s Stance On Medical Marijuana
Unless the federal law is changed, the board does not believe investment or any other involvement in a medical marijuana facility or establishment by a person who has received a gaming approval or has applied for a gaming approval is consistent with the effective regulation of gaming. Further, the board believes that any such investment or involvement by gaming licensees or applicants would tend to reflect discredit upon gaming in the state of Nevada.
Gaming Commissioner John Moran questioned why the federal government should bother having a law that it has said it would not enforce should state authorities choose to disregard it.
“Going back to my law school days, I learned that laws that are not enforced should not stay on the books,” Moran said. “We have to also talk about a question: When does a lawfully approved voter initiative and business … when and how does that bring discredit on state gaming industry?”
The Casino industry was against marijuana legalization, despite the increased tourism it might bring to the state because of the legal position it puts casinos in. If casinos are barred from doing business with anyone involved in the marijuana trade, how can are they to enforce this? Are they required to vet everyone who places a bet in a casino in case they have links to a business that is, in fact, legally licensed in Nevada?
And, meanwhile, how can casinos, in any practical sense, prevent people from smoking in their rooms?
“Our goal today was accomplished,” Alamo told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the meeting. “The industry is looking to see what our general direction is. There was a tilt here. The tilt was that there’s a federal law and we expect people to follow the federal law.”