Nevada Gaming Regulators Tell Casinos: Stay Away from Marijuana
Nevada gaming regulators have their hands full when it comes to dealing with all the new innovations and verticals that are popping up in the state’s casinos. Between e-sports and mobile sports betting, the gaming world is changing at a rapid pace.
But while you’ll almost certainly be the aforementioned products popping up at almost every casino on the Strip, there’s one Nevada business innovation you won’t be seeing there – legal marijuana. Recreational marijuana sales have been legal in Nevada for a few months now, but don’t go looking for them at the gift shop of your favorite casino.
In a recent interview with CalvinAyre reporter Becky Liggero, Terry Johnson of the Nevada Gaming Control Board made it clear that weed and gambling will not be mixing in Nevada:
We want to make sure that there will be no co-mingling of cash between the gaming industry and the marijuana industry, because the latter cannot use the traditional banking system.
Johnson is pointing out one of the big wrinkles in the United States’ growing regulated cannabis industry; marijuana businesses cannot use traditional banks. That’s because marijuana, while legal in several states, is not legal at the federal level. Because of that, federally insured banks will not accept money from regulated marijuana businesses.
Furthermore, there’s a chance that the current administration will be clamping down on regulated marijuana. These are headaches that the Nevada Gaming Control Board doesn’t want anything to do with.
Johnson explained the issue further saying:
That’s actually the biggest challenge that we’re facing is the differing perspectives that we are hearing from Washington during the campaign, we heard that it is a state’s right issue. Now we are hearing that the Justice Department convened a committee to examine the cold memorandum, whether it will main in effect as it is under the Obama administration. So it is difficult for us to gauge what is going to be the policy, and as a result we have to act in a way that reduces risk. So in that area of uncertainty, we want to reduce our risk that the gaming properties would be caught up in any adverse actions.
So it sounds like, for now anyways, visitors enjoying Nevada’s legal marijuana will have to be satisfied by enjoying it in their rooms, and not on the casino floor.
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