Meeting Dial-in #: 669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 940 1500 8238
Public Hearing and Action Items Unrelated to Planning and Zoning: 10.2
Sparks Municipal Code (SMC) 5.24.075 currently requires that all gaming employees in the City of Sparks have work permits issued by Sparks Police Department (SPD). SPD is to conduct a criminal background check and otherwise investigate the person seeking a work permit (applicant) to ensure that the applicant has not been convicted of certain crimes or is otherwise unqualified to work in the gaming industry. SMC 5.24.076; SMC 5.24.077; SMC 5.22.010.
Similarly, SMC 5.28.240 currently requires bartenders in the City to have work permits. Bartenders' work permits are not available to persons who have been convicted of certain crimes. SMC 5.22.010. In addition, a bartender's work permit is tied to a specific location and expires ten days after a person changes jobs. SMC 5.28.240.
The City's fee for a work permit is $25.00 plus a $27.00 fingerprint fee. In fiscal year 2018, the City collected $9,800.00 in alcohol work permit fees. In fiscal year 2019, the City collected $14,850.00 in alcohol work permit fees. As of June 5, 2020, the City collected $9,325.00 in alcohol work permit fees during fiscal year 2020.
Gaming employees are heavily regulated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (Board). For example, gaming employees must register with the Board, the Board conducts criminal background checks, and gaming employees must notify the Board if they change jobs. NRS 463.335. Further, gaming employees must certify they are not delinquent on child support payments, and a gaming employee's registration is subject to suspension or revocation by the Board if the employee is arrested for or convicted of certain crimes or otherwise determined by the Board to have violated registration requirements. See, e.g., NRS 463.3351; NRS 463.3352; NRS 463.336 et seq.
Given this heavy regulation by the State, the City's work permit requirements for gaming employees are redundant, and the City has not enforced those requirements for several years. Therefore, repealing work permit requirements for gaming employees would bring the language of SMC Chapter 5.24 in line with current practice.
State law also requires bartenders to complete an alcoholic beverage awareness program and have alcohol education cards issued by the State of Nevada. NRS 369.630. The alcoholic beverage awareness program includes education on the effects of alcohol, ways to identify intoxicated persons, laws regarding alcoholic beverages, and methods of preventing fights and sales to minors. NRS 369.625. While State law does not require bartenders to have criminal background checks, the alcoholic beverage industry as a whole is heavily regulated by the State.
As discussed above, the fee for an alcohol work permit is $25.00 plus the $27.00 fingerprint fee. These fees do not cover the costs of reviewing work permit applications and issuing work permits. By eliminating the work permit requirement, the City will forgo approximately $14,500.00 in application fee revenue in fiscal year 2021, but the City will avoid using staff time and materials to process those applications and issue work permits.
In addition, proactive enforcement of the work permit requirements is not a high priority, so compliant businesses and bartenders must deal with this added hurdle while noncompliant businesses and bartenders are unlikely to face any consequences.
Bartenders' work permits are also tied to specific locations, making it more difficult for bartenders to change jobs or work at multiple establishments. As Sparks's economy recovers from business closures due to COVID-19, staff recommends removing barriers to employment where possible. The bartender work permit requirements present an opportunity to remove such a barrier with few anticipated negative impacts.
For these reasons, staff recommends the City Council approve Bill No. 2774.
1. Council may approve Bill No. 2774 as written
2. Council may amend Bill No. 2774 and approve it with amendments
3. Council may reject Bill No. 2774 in its entirety, leaving the work permit requirements in place
I move to adopt Bill No. 2774, an ordinance amending Sparks Municipal Code Chapters 5.22, 5.24, and 5.28 to repeal requirements that gaming employees and bartenders obtain work permits, and providing other matters properly related thereto.
Bill 2774 Redlines.pdf