Nevada regulators recommend skill-based casino games developer for one-year license
GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes’ suitability will now be considered by the Gaming Commission on Feb. 18
he Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended the CEO of GameCo, a Las Vegas company specializing in skill-based video game slot machines, for a one-year license to continue operating in the state.
On Wednesday, Board members questioned GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes to determine his suitability to hold a license, as reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal. Licensing as a manager and key executive with the one-year restriction will be considered by the Nevada Gaming Commission on February 18 and, if approved, Graboyes would have to return for reconsideration in a year.
The executive was first licensed in February 2019 with a two-year restriction after board members questioned his treatment of tax liabilities years ago and his failure to report lawsuits and liens resulting from those liabilities during his licensing suitability investigation.
Board members were satisfied that Graboyes properly handled the tax, lawsuit and liens matters, but a new issue surfaced. He was accused in a social media post of taking intellectual property from Toledo, Ohio-based Beyond Gaming for GameCo when Graboyes worked with Beyond as a consultant. In a statement earlier in the meeting, Beyond Vice President Justin Yamek accused Graboyes of driving Beyond into bankruptcy and taking the company’s software assets. Graboyes has denied the allegations, and no lawsuits have been filed.
Since GameCo received the license in Nevada, it has developed video game titles that encourage young players to move to casino versions of the same game to boost revenue. Among GameCo’s titles are Call of Duty, Nothin’ But Net, Steve Aoki’s Neon Dream and Terminator 2. All have a skill-based component to them that give players an opportunity to win more money if they play the game strategically.
Graboyes said his next project will be to establish an esportsbook in Colorado that would enable gamblers to wager on the outcomes of video game tournaments and matches. He said development of the project has been slowed because of the rush to establish traditional sportsbooks first in Colorado, which only recently approved and started up legalized sports betting.
During the testimony Wednesday, Control Board Chairman Brin Gibson said he was “excited to see this concept of video game gambling on the casino floor.”