States outsource casino policing to private firms

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 9:04 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — As more states embrace legalized gambling around the country, some are hiring private companies to draft regulations and vet casinos. At the same time, these companies work the other side of the fence, helping casinos enter new markets and lobbying for their interests.

States hoping to make money quickly from gambling have few options as speedy as using outside contractors, which allows them to get casinos up and running without having to train a cadre of staff regulators.

Letting companies with deep ties to the gambling industry decide how casinos are run — and who runs them — is a departure from how more established gambling states, including Nevada and New Jersey, do things.

Regulators in states that maintain control over their own rules say the move toward privatization is unnerving.

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