Study Looks at Dotty’s Model, Again

It’s back: the debate about Dotty’s chain of taverns in Nevada. Critics say they are thinly disguised slot parlors. Dotty’s and similar eateries derive more revenue from slots than food.

A legislative committee in Nevada is asking if Nevada’s more than 2,000 restricted gaming venues rely too heavily on slot machines as a revenue source.

The issue has sparked much debate in the past few years. Casinos with unrestricted licenses have complained that the taverns, which hold restricted licenses, are unfairly impinging on their business.

Because of the complaints, a number of changes have been made to state and local ordinances, regulations and statutes, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal. On February 26, members of the committee?with the unwieldy name the Committee to Conduct an Interim Study Concerning the Impact of Technology Upon Gaming?raised the issue again. Las Vegas attorney John O’Reilly told them the matter is closed.

“It’s been governed and it’s been regulated,” said O’Reilly, who represents several tavern operators and their trade association. “It’s as perfect as it’s going to be. As it is now, we have a clear direction and there should not be any changes made.”

Las Vegas attorney and lobbyist Sean Higgins, who represents Golden Gaming, agreed with O’Reilly, but said the legislature should increase funding to the Gaming Control Board so agents can monitor restricted gaming locations and look for those that violate the rules.

“The regulations, as they stand right now, are fine and our members are meeting the requirement,” Higgins said. “But let’s make sure our regulators have the ability to police those that are not in compliance.”

“The vast majority of the restricted licensees play by the rules of the game,” agreed Cannery Casinos Executive Vice President Guy Hillyer.“

But there others that don’t. Give the regulators the tools they need to make sure these locations are brought into compliance.”