The Step-by-Step Process for Obtaining a Field Trial in Nevada as a Game Inventor

Nevada is seen as the gold standard in gaming, which is true for table game inventors as well.

Getting a year-long placement in a Las Vegas casino makes it much easier to sell your game for placement in other casinos across the USA. But before that can happen the inventor needs to get a Field Trial in partnership with the host casino and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

All Field Trial evaluation requests and investigations are handled by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The following steps outline the strict requirements to present the application for submission of a new game. Pre-work and attention to detail will ensure the application is accepted for evaluation. Any deviation from the requirements and the application may be rejected.

An applicant must include the following items for the submission of a new game:

Nevada Gaming Control Board

Evaluation Requirements

  1. A letter requesting game approval
  2. One copy each of the table layout and the player betting position; to include game instruction and pay table information, if applicable. (The layout must be submitted as it will appear in the casinos.)
  3. Rules of play, with specific examples of game outcome (win/lose/tie)
  4. Dealing procedures
  5. A proposed payout schedule
  6. Items 1–5 must be submitted on a CD-ROM in Word or PDF Format
  7. A copy of the rack card that will be available to players during the field trial
  8. Sample(s) of new or modified gaming accessories or apparatuses (cards, dice, shakers, ties, etc.) associated with the proposed game variation/modification.
  9. A mathematical certification from a Nevada Independent Test Laboratory
    • Must use a Registered Independent Testing Laboratory
  10. A copy of the filing receipt from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in reference to the new game patent
  11. A letter from a Non-Restricted Group I licensee (Field Trial Host Casino), agreeing to display and monitor the new game’s field trial.
    • Need to secure a casino willing to conduct a Field Trial
  12. A notarized document that contains the following statements:
    • That the requester agrees, if a field trial is approved, the casino conducting the field trial will receive 100% of the revenue produced by the game, during the course of the field trial
    • That the requester agrees to pay all costs for shipment, inspection, and incidental costs documented by the Gaming Control Board (GCB) in connection with the examination and evaluation of the new game
    • That at least one working model is available or will be available immediately, should the game be approved for field trial
    • Of the applicant’s and developer’s intentions as to how a profit is expected to be made from the submitted game, when/if the game is approved for play in Nevada
  13. A Personal History Record completed by all applicants
  14. “Request to Release Information,” “Release and Indemnity of All Claims,” and “Affidavit of Full Disclosure” forms notarized and signed by the applicant(s) and developer(s)
  15. Percentage of the new game’s ownership with reference to the applicant’s/developer’s company/corporation
  16. Three thousand dollars ($3,000) in the form of a check or cashier’s check made payable to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The account created by this deposit is used to pay investigative costs, as listed below. Additional deposits may be requested during the course of the investigation. Final satisfaction of all expenses incurred by the Gaming Control Board must be paid before the game is approved.
    • Enforcement Division investigative hours bill at $135 per hour
    • Technology Division bills at $150 per hour for completing the game evaluation
  17. A list of names, with telephone numbers, with whom the GCB may discuss aspects of the game.

Submit the package of all 17 items to the Enforcement Division of the Gaming Control Board. After the package has been reviewed for completeness, the statistical evaluation will be forwarded to the Technology Division for analysis and verification. Failure to submit all items will result in a denial of the application and the submitted packet will be returned.

If the field trial is administratively approved by the Gaming Control Board, both the applicant and the casino will be notified in writing. The field trial must start within 30 days from the receipt of this notification and once the game submittal is approved for field trial, no changes (including but not limited to changes in the table layout and rules) may be made to the game during the course of the field trial without prior written permission.

The game field trial will be conducted for a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly evaluate the game’s suitability; a period lasting generally 45-180 days. It’s important for the inventor to push for the maximum number of days they can possibly get. The more days in the Field Trial, the bigger sample size obtained, which is better for the inventor.

The Board will also consider conducting simultaneous trials at multiple locations in order to obtain comparable data in a shorter time frame. Only one field trial table per casino is permitted at each location unless otherwise approved by the Gaming Control Board. For example, if a game is on field trial at a licensee in Las Vegas as well as at a licensee in Reno, only one table is permitted at each location. Additionally, the Board will take into consideration game approvals and play statistics from other jurisdictions if contact information is provided, and game information meets Nevada standards.

The casino will be responsible for submitting statistical data to the Gaming Control Board during the field trial. Failure to submit complete and accurate data in a timely manner may result in termination of the field trial or in a delay of the new game approval process. The game must be videotaped during the entire field trial.

This statistical data is vital for table game inventors if they want to place their game in multiple casinos. As the inventor, be sure to get a copy of these numbers since this is the information that will be used when pitching for placement.

Upon completion of the field trial, the Enforcement Division will prepare a Request for Final Approval report and submit it to the Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission. The applicant and a representative of the field trial casino will receive written notification requiring their presence at the Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission meetings.

In most cases, the new game is approved after the Field Trial and can be placed in any casino in Nevada. Each state has its own Gaming Control Board that require applications and fees from the inventor. It’s good to be aware that each board is run differently, so call the office and verify the steps needed to get approved in that state.

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