The Nevada State Legislature timely concluded the 2015 session on June 1. Here is a summary of some of the important legislation affecting the liquor, gaming, and entertainment industries in the state.
SB246 creates a private cause action for violations of certain alcohol franchise laws. The same bill also expands the amount of product a craft distillery can export from 20,000 to 40,000 cases per year. The craft distillery can also provide samples of 4 ounces, versus 2, and sell an entire case of product so long as the same person does not purchase more than 6 cases per year.
SB464 bans the sale, distribution, purchase, and possession of powdered alcohol. This follows the recent ban by Ohio, Alabama, and other states. There has been recent talk at the federal level on creating a nationwide ban.
AB4 authorizes wineries to be located in any county in Nevada. Wineries were previously not permitted in the state’s largest counties — Clark (where Las Vegas is) and Washoe (where Reno is).
SB9 has been highlighted a lot in the media as permitting skill-based components into gaming. Although existing law allowed for skill elements, this law highlights the importance of skill features in gaming, the intersection between gaming and social media, and incorporating technology frequently used by younger generations. Nevada Gaming Commission Regulations implementing this new law will certainly be circulated to the industry soon for comment.
SB38 combines three separate gaming-related issues into one bill — a UNLV Boyd Law School student-led effort to clarify charitable lottery laws; requiring associated equipment providers to go through registration or licensing; and mandating the registration of nightclub employees with the Nevada State Gaming Control Board.
SB443 allows a business entity to place sports wagers. It will be interesting to see whether a new investment industry career is made — sports fund manager. Relatedly, SB445 allows for the communication of risk management information relating to race and sport wagers to other jurisdictions as permitted.
SB266 modifies the live entertainment tax (LET) so that it imposes a 9% tax on admission charges only and not food, beverages, and merchandise. The LET also now applies to escort services. There are some new exclusions, such as complimentary admission, bottle service table reservations if an admission is paid, and certain luxury suite fees. The tax will not apply to spontaneous performances of no more than 20 minutes for every hour; some activities not considered a performance, such as go-go dancing; and NCAA athletic events, among other things. Nevada professional sports team events will not be subjected to the LET and NASCAR will maintain an exemption if at least two races are held in a year. The LET will now be applied to outdoor events when an admission fee is assessed.