Cell Phone Ban Lifted At Nevada Sports Books

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

On Thursday, Nevada's Gaming Commission agreed to lift a ban on the use of cell phones inside state sports books for one year, but many are wondering why that ban was even authorized in the first place.
Gaming officials initially put the ban in place to stop people from making bets for friends and bookies outside of the casino.

But gamblers say even that wasn't enough to justify the ban.

"I don't see it working for what it used to," says Cloyde Flatt from Reno. "Because you can sit in the back with these big screen and you can read the odds off and get your buddy the information you don't have to be in the sports book to get that information."

Even if you've never wagered on a sporting event, odds are you've noticed a line on the carpet floor at local casino sports books.
Until Thursday, it signified where cell phones were permitted. But casino staff members at the Atlantis and Peppermill say with cell phones more prevalent than ever, the law has become dated, making enforcement more difficult each year.

"They generally are understanding," says Bill Hughes, the Director Of Marketing Operations at the Peppermill. "But not always. They think it's a little silly that they're not able to talk on the phone because most are just making personal calls."

It's only been one day, but sports fans are already taking advantage of the new rules and in some cases bending them considerably.

"I've been able to call my buddy after each touchdown," says Charles Kirkendole from Reno. "I'll be able to tell someone what the line change is."

Sports book managers say those are conversations they will continue to crack down on, but otherwise gamblers should feel free to use their cell phones for the next year or possibly even longer.

"As I understand it, it's not just a one-year period," says John Falenski, the Race and Sports Manager at the Atlantis. "In other words, they expect it to go on for good, because it was a good decision."

Managers say they're not expecting this to impact the number of people who frequent sports books. But they say it will definitely make things more convenient for employees and customers.


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