By Kate Lowenhar-Fisher, Jennifer Gaynor and Greg Gemignani

The Nevada Legislature has amended the state’s consumer reporting laws to remove restrictions on the information a credit reporting agency may report to gaming operators. With the passage of Senate Bill 409, a credit reporting agency is no longer prohibited from reporting to gaming licensees information about a job applicant regarding bankruptcies older than ten years, other civil judgments older than seven years, and criminal convictions older than seven years.

Sponsored by former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Senator Mark Lipparelli, SB409 is aimed at allowing gaming operators to conduct more thorough background checks on prospective employees.

Federal law (15 U.S.C. § 1681c) prohibits a credit reporting agency from disclosing in an individual’s credit report information related to a bankruptcy filing that is more than ten years old and certain other negative credit information, including reports of a civil judgment or criminal proceeding that is more than seven years old. Nevada Revised Statutes 598C.150 contained similar prohibitions.

However, the federal law provides for certain exceptions, including an exception for a credit report prepared in connection with the employment of an individual whose salary will be greater than $75,000.

Senate Bill 409 creates a similar exception in Nevada state law for a credit report prepared for a gaming licensee in connection with a person who is seeking employment with the licensee or employment in a position connected directly with the licensee’s operations.

The bill also removes the prohibition against disclosing a record of conviction of a crime which is more than seven years old, meaning that there is no limitation of time for which such a record may be disclosed.

These changes are effective upon bill passage, which means that those seeking positions in Nevada’s gaming industry should be aware that this information will be made available to their prospective employer and take extra care to proactively disclose all bankruptcies, civil judgments, and criminal proceedings, no matter the age of the event.