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December 18, 2014

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Play progressive slots? Want more money? This regulation may help

Players of progressive slot machines may see bigger jackpots in the future thanks to some companies' desire to compete with large lottery payouts in other states.

The three-member Nevada Gaming Control Board conducted a workshop Wednesday on a petition by IGT and Bally Technology to change regulations that aim at get more players to spend their money on the progressive machines.

The proposed amended regulation would allow a Nevada company with a network of progressive machines to tie the Nevada progressive machines into the slots owned by the company in other states where gambling is legal.

If the regulation is adopted by the Gaming Commission, a company with progressive machines in Nevada would have to apply to state regulators to test the system and ensure it operates properly.

Dan Reaser, attorney for the two companies, explained that the jackpot increases in Nevada with each wager, and the larger pool of players would result in higher jackpots. Reaser said the jackpots would be the same in each state but would rise faster with more play.

But Senior Deputy Attorney General John Michela, representing the control board, said he believes Nevada law does not permit this type of new regulation.

Reaser told the board at its workshop that the commission has wide authority to approve the regulation, and Board Chairman A.G. Burnett said he disagreed with the opinion of the Attorney General’s Office.

“I don’t think it would be illegal,” Burnett said, referring to the suggested regulation change.

Board member Terry Johnson also said the law gives the commission a broad grant of authority.

The board did not take a vote and passed the issue on to the Nevada Gaming Commission to make a final decision about whether to adopt the proposed regulation change.

Commenting on the legal question, Burnett said there are three attorneys and one former state senator on the commission who could make a decision at the commission's Oct. 21 meeting in Las Vegas.

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