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Can a Felon Get a Nevada Gaming License?

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As a felon, you face a big challenge in finding a job. If you have experience working in a casino, you might consider getting a Nevada gaming license.

The issue is whether or not a felon can get a Nevada gaming license.

Let’s examine this question.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

  • What Is a Nevada Gaming License?
  • How to Get a Nevada Gaming License
  • Background Check?
  • Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?
  • An Opportunity for Felons?
  • Steps to Take


What Is a Nevada Gaming License?

So you think you want to work in the gaming industry in Nevada? If you do, you will likely need a Nevada gaming license.

Casinos and other gambling establishments in Nevada must be licensed and controlled to protect the public health, safety, morals, good order, and general welfare of the people of Nevada. 

The aim is to keep the gaming industry free from crime and other negative influences. 

What does a gaming license allow you to do? A gaming license permits you to work in a casino in a regular job as well as serve in a higher level capacity and even to own and operate a casino.

While not all of these will obviously apply, there are different types of gaming licenses available.

Let’s look at these.

First are gaming licenses for employees who work in basic jobs in a casino. Next are for those employees who have more responsibility. The licenses required for these positions are sometimes called work cards.

These two categories may be most likely to apply for felons wanting to work in the gaming field.

Higher levels of a gaming license also exist.

There is what is known as a restricted gaming license. It is called restricted because it pertains to gaming establishments that have a maximum of 15 slot machines.

A non-restricted gaming license is required for owners of casinos and places with more than 15 slot machines. It is required by any owner who holds at least 10% of the company. 

Officers of this type of company, including the president, CEO, accounting officer, and secretary must also have a non-restricted gaming license.

How to Get a Nevada Gaming License

If you want a Nevada gaming license, you must complete the Multi-Jurisdiction Personal History disclosure form that is used in many gaming jurisdictions in the United States. 

This form focuses on your personal history and includes information in various areas.

The amount of information that is required will increase with the degree of responsibility you have in your position as mentioned above.

You must also register with the Nevada State Gaming Board to be considered for a license. For any position and type of license, you must complete an application and be fingerprinted. The licensing process is typically simple, involving a brief application, a fingerprint card, and a fee. 

A restricted gaming license for working in or managing an establishment with 15 slot machines or less requires an application, fingerprints, and a background check.

For a non-restricted license, a more substantial investigation beyond the criminal record review will be done. It will delve into your financial records among other things.

The application is then sent to the Nevada State Gaming Board that reviews all information. This team of investigators includes background and financial agents. 

You will be required to meet with the board as part of the review of your application. Once it has been reviewed, the board will make a ruling.

Background Check?

Of course there is a background check. This is because the gambling industry is notorious for financial fraud, filled with gangsters and others with an unsavory reputation.

It is important to note that any felony conviction in the past five years will result in a denial of a gaming license application.

For employees at the basic level, the background investigation will likely focus on felony convictions within the past seven years.

For a restricted gaming license, they will look at your criminal history. They will also consider whether or not you have a valid Social Security Number and if you have any outstanding child support payments.

The higher the level the more thorough the background check and investigation you must undergo.

The check for a non-restricted license is a rather comprehensive background check that will look for a variety of information, not just your felony record.

The most in-depth investigation is done for those who want to own or operate a gaming establishment that has 15 or more slot machines.

If you want to obtain a restricted or non-restricted license, the investigation will look at your criminal history along with essential information.

The background investigation will review civil lawsuits and criminal charges for at least the last 10 years. The background information investigation will check all aspects of your police record. 

The board will review your education to determine if you have completed the education that you indicate that you have on your application.

Schools and universities are contacted to verify education. They will also verify your military record if any, along with marital information.

In addition, your business and personal assets and business methods will be reviewed. 

They will investigate through various agencies in an attempt to achieve a comprehensive review of you and your life’s accomplishments and challenges. It will involve character references also.

It will look at any licenses that have been voided or suspended for any wrongdoing.

All existing records along with any information that has been erased or expunged is fair game when it concerns this type of investigation. 

The second part of the background check for a non-restricted license requires financial information, including: 

  • Amount and source of financial investment 
  • Tax information
  • Bankruptcy disclosures
  • Salary information
  • Statement of assets and liabilities

The Nevada State Gaming Board is serious about keeping out any undesirable or untrustworthy individuals.

Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?

Yes, as you can imagine, crimes of a more serious nature, especially those involving fraud, embezzlement, or theft, particularly from a casino will get you eliminated from obtaining a Nevada gaming license.

Also, crimes of a sexual nature or violent crimes, those offenses against persons, will not make you look good.

Many other felonies will be considered by the board, and you may have a chance to obtain that gaming license.

If you want to get a restricted or non-restricted gaming license in hopes of owning or managing a gaming establishment, any crime within the past five years will nix that opportunity.

The length of time since your conviction along with your rehabilitation efforts can cast you in a more favorable light.

This may be important if yours was a drug offense, as this type of crime can work against you in being viewed as reliable.

An Opportunity for Felons?

If you have made it through all of that and still have an interest in a Nevada gaming license, you could have a chance.

After all, there is no federal or state law preventing you as a felon from owning a business, including a gaming business. 

Whether or not your past crime would disqualify you from owning a business depends on the company you want to own, your crime, and how long it’s been since your conviction.

Because of the degree of importance the Nevada State Gaming Board places on maintaining the honesty and integrity of the gaming industry, passing their intense scrutiny should put you in a good spot to proceed.

Of course, it’s important to be honest when owning a business and applying for a Nevada gaming license. If you don’t disclose a felony, but it’s discovered on a background check, this would be fraud, which is punishable. 

It’s a crime to falsify any application which could result in your being sent back to prison. In order to be successful in owning a business and getting a gaming license, it is essential for you to be honest about your background. 

You already may tend to be viewed as dishonest, untrustworthy, and not wanting to follow directions from authority figures.

Steps to Take

Any doubts you may have going into this can be addressed by running a background check on yourself. This would allow you to know exactly what the Gaming Board would see.

Then you could be prepared to answer any questions about your record. Better to be prepared as you know.

You could have your record expunged to give yourself the chance to begin with a clean record and to succeed in getting a gaming license. 

Expunging a criminal record allows you to honestly state on an application that you haven’t been convicted of a crime.

All of this is a significant challenge to face, but it might be worth it if your goal is to get a Nevada gaming license to work in a gaming establishment or to perhaps own or manage one.

You can have the opportunity you need to move forward and make a difference in your future.

Don’t let the past drag you down. You’ve made many mistakes that put you into prison in the first place.

You don’t have to be defined by your mistakes. Be defined by how you recover from them. That’s the way to an honest life. You’ll be so glad you went that route.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get a Nevada gaming license with a felony? What was that like, and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

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