Douglas 100-room gaming rule stands
September 7, 2017
While rejecting a proposal 4-1 to eliminate a 100-room requirement for an nonrestricted gaming license, Douglas County will ask establishments how the county could improve the business climate.
Commissioner Dave Nelson sought the elimination of the requirement, calling it monopolistic.
"It works if you're a big casino," he said.
Three speakers supported the repeal of the ordinance, including representatives of Hamdogs, which was refused a zone change in 2009 after commissioners were unwilling to change the zoning and master plan to allow general gaming.
The next year, commissioners approved the 100-room limit. There is only one casino with 100 rooms in Carson Valley, the Carson Valley Inn.
The C.O.D. Casino was grandfathered in when the ordinance was approved in 2010. The Washoe Plaza Tribal Casino is not subject to county regulations.
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Commissioner Steve Thaler pointed out that several counties besides Clark and Washoe have a room requirement for new unrestricted gaming licenses, including Carson City.
In Nevada, a restricted gaming license allows permitted establishments to have up to 15 machines. A nonrestricted license allows its owner to have more machines, table games and other gaming devices.
Commissioner Larry Walsh disagreed with repealing the ordinance, but was the swing vote for polling the gaming establishments.
"Big casinos invest in community, they hire people in the community," Walsh said. "They want to hire people in community. They want to be here."
Walsh pointed out that residents didn't want a bunch of small neighborhood casinos and that repealing the requirement would be a door for that to happen.
However, Walsh agreed that staff should meet with stakeholders to discuss possible changes to the code and bring it back.
"Let's have all the gaming folks in and approach it from a reasonable point," Commission Chairman Barry Penzel said. "We'd come out with better ideas, if we get everyone to buy into it. Right now we're pitting restricted and nonrestricted against each other. They're job is to make money and our job is to not be in their way."
County Manager Larry Werner said the county has the ability to contact every gaming establishment to send out a survey.
"That could be done very simply," he said.