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Behind the scenes of Las Vegas casinos: how much do licenses cost in Nevada?


Las Vegas receives millions of tourists every year. And the state of Nevada receives millions of dollars in treasury revenues. How the gambling business of Nevada works - Gamingpost.net learned from the lawyer Yuri Porokhnavets, who lives and works in the USA. How much does it cost to open a casino in Nevada and what taxes do you have to pay? Read in an exclusive interview.
  • Interview
  • 2021-04-06 10:37:23
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Behind the scenes of Las Vegas casinos: how much do licenses cost in Nevada?

Las Vegas receives millions of tourists every year. And the state of Nevada receives millions of dollars in treasury revenues. How the gambling business of Nevada works - Gamingpost.net learned from the lawyer Yuri Porokhnavets, who lives and works in the USA. How much does it cost to open a casino in Nevada and what taxes do you have to pay? Read in an exclusive interview.

Yuri, how did the history of the US gambling state begin?

In Nevada, the gambling business was legalized in 1930. We all know perfectly well about the 30s in America: the Great Depression, the dominance of crime, the mafia. Nevada was a poor state. But when this law was passed and the gambling business began to be legalized, we can say that it was he who raised the state to a higher level.

What taxes are paid by the gambling business in Nevada now?

In Nevada, the income tax is 6.25%. In principle, this is not a lot. In New York, for example, 10%. There is also a tax on winnings, it is withheld by the casino when paying the player's fee, and this is about 25% of any winnings. Interest rates on winnings may also differ depending on the winnings, for example, the tax rate on lottery winnings was 37% of the amount won. There are two organizations here that regulate issues directly related to the gambling business - the Gambling Commission and the State Council for the Control of Gambling. The State Control Council issues and regulates licenses. There are two types of gambling licenses - limited and unlimited.

What do you need to get a license in Nevada?

To obtain a license, you need to go through a very lengthy bureaucratic procedure. Served about 11 different forms. For a limited license, an entrepreneur can fill out and submit the forms himself. For unlimited, as a rule, they use the services of a gambling lawyer. The application fee for any license is $150. The fee for consideration of the application is paid separately. For a limited license, that's $550. It costs $70 per hour to review an unlimited license application. Typically, a simple consideration draws a round sum of 30 thousand dollars. The guys work for a long time, scrupulously study all the documents, send requests to organizations, receive confirmations, and so on. If a comprehensive review of the documents submitted by the enterprise is carried out, then such a review (in the United States it is called an investigation) may even cost more than $1 million.

If the regulator decides to issue a license, what fees will the operator have to pay?

If an operator is licensed to operate a gambling business, they must pay fees and taxes, which are regulated by the state. Limited license annual tax is $250 per slot machine. There is also a quarterly fee. It ranges from $81 to $1,815 for each car. As for unlimited licenses, the annual fee is also $250 per car. And the quarterly fee is only $20 per car. But there is one caveat: in a limited license, the provision of services can be suspended, respectively, the payment for the license is suspended. It is paid in proportion to the time when the machine made a profit. And in an unlimited license, this is not possible. The operator still pays $20 quarterly, and it doesn't matter if the machines are working or not. Licenses for gaming tables are paid separately. In an unlimited license, an annual license costs from $100 to $16,000 per table. The quarterly fee ranges from $12.5 and can go off the scale for $20,300, there were such cases. All fees are calculated individually, it all depends on the location and the number of tables.

Can everyone apply for a license? What is needed for this?

Anyone can apply for licenses. It takes into account the amount of area for slot machines versus the amount of area for the main business. For example, a person has the main business - a restaurant, cafe or gas station. And he wants to put five machines on some square. Investments in slot machines are taken into account. That is, the commission checks the balance of the enterprise, how many people will invest in the main business, in the purchase of gasoline, for example, and how much they will invest in vending machines. Even the time spent running the slot machines is taken into account compared to the time spent running the main business. The commission also considers where the gambling establishments are located. Distance from schools is taken into account. It's the most important. Because children are potential players who can take money from their parents and lose.

Does the main business have to be connected with a casino?

If the business is a hotel, it makes it easier to obtain a license. If it is not a hotel, then the commission already takes everything into account and considers it. It may be that the license is not issued. If there is a Chinese diner three by four meters, no one will issue a license there, because there is physically nowhere to put a vending machine.

How do you feel about the legalization of gambling in Ukraine?

I have a positive attitude towards the legalization of gambling in Ukraine. All business in Ukraine should have been let go, not squeezed, - then the economic indicators would have increased. And the gambling business as well. The only thing is that the cost of licenses in Ukraine is exorbitant, it simply cuts off the internal investor from the opportunity to do this business. I would attract economists, scientists who would develop a special formula. And according to this formula, the license rate would be floating. For example, if the economic indicators in the country improved, the license rate would increase, and in the opposite case, if the economic indicators deteriorated, the license rate would also decrease. I believe that this is important for business, and people will be able to continue doing business even in times of crisis.

How do foreign investors treat the cost of licenses in the capital of Ukraine?

For a foreign investor, $2.5 million is a lifting amount; large corporations can easily pay this money. However, here in the United States and around the world, investment risk assessment is carried out very scrupulously and for a long time. Experts will turn everything inside out absolutely, and only then will they make an investment decision. Keep in mind that foreign investors will not run with a suitcase of money or ask for a license. They have where to do business all over the world. On the contrary, they should be lured to Ukraine by something, and not set numerous licenses. Also, the standard of living in the country plays a very important role, and, unfortunately, it is rather low in Ukraine.

Can the Nevada model be applied to the Ukrainian gambling market?

The US model is very easily applicable in Ukraine. Completely all. Starting from the social model, that is, social assistance, employment, retirement benefits. And ending with the fiscal system. Everything can be applied in Ukraine. It is even possible to apply the state model, which has already proven its worth over the long years of operation in the United States of America. Indeed, everything is applicable, everything can be changed and everything will work.

The interview especially for gamingpost.net

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