By Kate Lowenhar-Fisher, Jennifer Gaynor and Greg Gemignani

Nevada is the world’s preeminent gaming destination. Not by chance, but by being a leader in gaming and entertainment innovations. Nevada was the first state in the nation to legalize gaming in 1931, the first to introduce the world to the “casino-resort” with the Mirage in 1989, and, more recently, the first state to license and regulate Internet gaming. Now Nevada legislators have given regulators the green light to allow for the state to take a leadership position in the new world of “hybrid” games.

What is a “hybrid” game? For those who follow gaming law, you know there are two types of games, skill games and games of chance. Then there are those games that fall somewhere on the spectrum between “pure skill” games and “pure chance” games. A “hybrid” game would be one where, by definition, the outcome will be determined by a combination of skill and chance – and possibly other factors (or “identifiers”), including frequency of play, use of other casino services or amenities, and use in combination with other technologies, such as social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

The idea is to draw in a new generation of customers who relate to electronic skill-based game play and would be drawn to features such as bonus rounds that reward the skill of a player, integration of the games with their social media accounts, interactive networked game play, and the use of electronic commerce transactions.

Senate Bill 9 calls for the Nevada Gaming Commission to draft regulations allowing the development of such technology for gaming devices. The bill includes a policy directive and enhanced rulemaking authority to make it clear that Nevada’s gaming regulators have the authority to both develop technical standards for such hybrid games and to allow incorporation of other technologies into gaming devices.