Last week the Nevada Gaming Commission decided to remove the ban on communications equipment, including cell phones, in sportsbooks. Improving technology made the rule harder and harder to enforce, while also making the necessity for the rule largely obsolete.
Since the advent of cell phones, casinos have levied rules against their use inside the sports books. Whenever a patron would unthinkingly flip open his phone, a casino employee would promptly appear, and politely remind the forgetful gambler that no phones were allowed inside the race and sports area.
This week the Nevada Gaming Commission decided to remove the ban on communications equipment, including cell phones, in sportsbooks. Improving technology made the rule harder and harder to enforce, while also making the necessity for the rule largely obsolete.
Nevada claims to be sensitive to the issue of phone use for illegal wagering; that is, to allow messenger betting, in which case the purchaser of the wager is acting on behalf of another party, or interstate gambling, in which bets are transferred across state lines. To demonstrate a desire to closely watch this problem, the commission only suspended the cell ban for a year, to study the result before permanently lifting the rule.
However, casinos were also aware of their vulnerability to conspiring gamblers that may be comparing lines up and down the Las Vegas Strip, searching for the „middle“ when a line was moved slower at one casino while another updated rapidly. By using the most advanced systems, casinos no longer worry that results of an event might be called to a player while the casino lags behind, or that line changes may be caught and acted upon by players before sportsbook management reacts.
Combine that with advances like wireless Bluetooth devices, and both the necessity and the ability to spot and prevent cell communication are gone. Sportsbook managers say they will still ask patrons to observe cell rules at ticket counters, to show respect for the law against taking interstate play; but otherwise, calling is now wide open. Even wireless laptops are expected to be allowed, giving online info to bettors doing research.