A Brief Introduction to Gaming Control Boards

It should come as no surprise that the legalized gambling industry is heavily regulated. While some of this regulation comes at the federal level, the true gatekeepers are the state or local-level gaming control boards. Note that not all boards will be called “gaming control boards.” These entities operate under many different names including gambling board, gaming commission, casino control board, and gambling control board, to name a few. Most, but not all, are state-wide.

What Gaming Control Boards Do

What all of these gaming control boards have in common, however, is the jurisdiction to control gambling in their particular area. At a minimum, they are responsible for enacting and enabling rules and regulations regarding gaming in their area. Rules and regulations cover a broad swath of topics including accounting systems, employment by casinos and gambling houses, sales of liquor, and gaming.The boards also enforce the laws of the state or locality with respect to gaming.  

Perhaps one of the most important roles of gaming control boards is to decide who gets to own and operate a gaming establishment. Gaming control boards are usually given the sole power to approve or disapprove applications for gaming licenses not only to the owners of the gaming facility, but its employees and vendors as well. They determine the types of information that must be provided and then review it to determine if the applicants possess the necessary honesty, integrity, and character to take on the responsibility of operating a gaming establishment.

Native American Gaming Boards

Native American tribal nations who operate their own casinos on their reservations also have their own gaming boards. These gaming boards, however, are considered independent of the tribes to ensure some transparency and accountability. Moreover, working under the national Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which also regulates tribal casinos, there exists the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) which sets minimum requirements for tribal gaming boards. There is no federal equivalent for state gaming boards.

How Gaming Boards Affect Potential Gaming Owners

Since gaming control boards – be them state or tribal – will determine the fate of any attempt at legalized gambling in the jurisdiction, it is vitally important to understand and appreciate the numerous requirements and regulations to obtain licensure. This vigilance on the licensee’s part does not end once a license is obtained, either. Licensees must be particularly careful to follow the gaming board’s rules and regulations to maintain their license.

Attempting to break into the gaming industry requires many resources, some obvious and others not so much. Patience, capital, and diligence are certainly high on the list. Another resource that is almost a requirement for successfully navigating this labyrinth is an attorney who knowledgeable and skilled in gaming law, particularly in regulations and licensure.

The Law Office of Chris Clark can guide you every step of the way if you are attempting to get licensed in the gaming industry. We know the rules and regulations as well as how to comply with licensure requirements. If you are thinking about starting a business in the gaming industry, your first call should be to us.

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