Gaming panel grills casino software company exec before rejecting application

Nevada Gaming Board/Commission Commissioner John Moran, Jr. makes a comment during proceedings as Owl bar and restaurant owner Stephan Galdau meets once more before them to appeal the denial of being licensed on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

The Nevada Gaming Commission grilled executives and attorneys of gaming software company Table Trac on Thursday, accusing an executive and an attorney representing the company of ignoring the instructions the commission gave at an earlier meeting.

After a contentious hearing, the commission voted to reject the application of Brian Hinchley to be licensed as CEO and CFO of Table Trac, a company that creates and sells casino management software.

The hearing was the culmination of at least three other meetings for the application before the commission and the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the other arm of Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure.

Commissioner John Moran asked why Hinchley sent emails and edited documents for Table Trac after the commission expressly directed Hinchley not to have any involvement with gaming in Nevada while the application process was underway.

Both Hinchley and his attorney said Hinchley was only involved in an administrative manner, forwarding emails and documents, and did not substantially edit them and was not working with Table Trac’s customers.

In addition, the commissioners said they were concerned that Table Trac had altered emails before submitting them to the board for the investigation surrounding Hinchley’s application.

Table Trac’s attorney said that emails were edited only because the files would have been too large to send to the commission. Commissioner Randolph Townsend noted that Table Trac could have worked with the board to submit the emails and should not have determined themselves that the files were too large.

The commission’s questioning of Table Trac was marked by strong and sometimes confrontational questions. Moran, grilling Table Trac’s attorney, asked, “Why didn’t you do what we told you to do and get this thing sorted out?”

When the attorney explained that Hinchley was transferred to the Minnesota offices of Table Trac, Moran replied that “I’m not interested in his travel arrangements. What did you do to tell him he’s not to have any involvement in Nevada gaming?”

The commission rejected Hinchley’s application. Rejecting an application is a new option, passed into law by the Nevada Legislature earlier this year.

Previously the commission could only approve or deny an application. Someone whose application has been denied can’t work for a licensed gaming company or any company that does business with a gaming licensee.

This is because Nevada’s gaming law prevents licensed companies from associating with anyone who has been denied a license. Because Hinchley was rejected rather than denied, he won’t face that problem and can apply again for a license.

In other business, the Nevada Gaming Commission:

• Approved Japanese company Sega Sammy and its subsidiary Sega Sammy Creations (along with several key executives) for a license as a gaming machine manufacturer and distributor in Nevada. Sega Sammy was created when video game company Sega merged with Sammy, another Japanese company in the pachinko business in 2004.

Through a translator, Sega Sammy CEO Hajime Satomi explained that the gaming company has long planned to enter the Nevada market because his company considers the state to be the heart of the gaming industry.

• Approved the purchase of Nevada gaming manufacturer Ainsworth Gaming by Austrian company Novomatic AG. The company bills itself as one of the largest high-tech gaming-tech companies worldwide. It manufactures slot machines and other gaming technology — for sports betting and lotteries — in countries across Western and Eastern Europe.

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