The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ("NSUARB" or "Board") is the final stage in the appeal process for applicants for registration under the Gaming Control Act, which requires that casino employees and suppliers, among others, hold a registration certificate in order to supply services or obtain employment in the gaming industry. These adjudicative functions were assigned to the Board in April 2000. Previously, they had been performed from 1995 to 2000 by the former Board of the Alcohol and Gaming Authority (AGA).
Application for registration is made to the Alcohol and Gaming Division of the Department of Labour and Workforce Development (the "AGD") and applicants go through a form of security clearance as part of the process of obtaining a registration certificate. Registration decisions can be made by designated officials at the AGD, where there is provision for an internal appeal process. The final stage in the appeal process is a hearing before the Board. Registrants wishing to appeal to the Board must contact the Clerk of the Board to initiate this process. The process involves a formal hearing before the Board at which time both the applicant and the AGD present evidence for the Board's consideration. The Clerk advises the parties of the time, date and location of hearings and acts as the Board's contact person if there are any questions concerning process or procedure. Although not required, parties are usually represented by legal counsel at hearings.
The Board also hears disciplinary matters involving licensees/registrants who are charged by the AGD Investigation and Enforcement with infractions of the Gaming Control Act and/or the Casino Regulations. Both the AGD and the licensee/registrant are usually represented by legal counsel at such hearings. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the Board has a range of disciplinary options, including the power to dismiss the charge, order suspension of registration certificates or license for a stipulated period of time, impose conditions on the continuation of the registration certificate or license, impose a monetary fine, impose a combination of sanctions, or cancel the registration certificate or license.
In addition, the Board holds hearings on reinstatement applications by individuals who have chosen to bar themselves from entry to the casinos. Persons wishing to be re-admitted to the casinos must make application to the AGD and an investigation is conducted by AGD staff. At the conclusion of the investigation, a hearing before the Board is scheduled by the Clerk. At the hearing, AGD staff and the applicant provide evidence to the Board. The information filed in respect of these applications is considered confidential and, as such, the hearings are not ordinarily open to the public.
The Gaming Control Act and the Casino Regulations can be accessed through the Statutes, Rules & Regulations page.
Also, decisions of the Board can be accessed through the Decision Archive.