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Thirty Albertson’s grocery stores would get new licenses for 15 slot machines in each store under one of those only-in-Nevada scenarios.

Longtime Nevadans are used to seeing a bank of slot machines in grocery stores. But newcomers or visitors occasionally seem surprised when they see spinning reels of fruit symbols so close to actual produce.

On Wednesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended approval of Albertsons licensing with Jett Gaming LLC, doing business as Terrible’s Gaming, as the slot-route operator that would service the 450 machines. Because changing route providers was the only difference on the licenses the 30 stores previously had, the proposal was considered a routine consent item and quickly approved with a unanimous vote.

Final approval of licensing is expected to be considered by the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 22.

Appearances by representatives of the Boise, Idaho-based supermarket chain were waived. The company did not respond to inquiries about why the change was made.

Albertsons negotiated the agreement with Jett as its slot-route operator. But because there’s a new route provider for that operation, Albertson’s was required to provide all its schematic illustrations showing the technology used to protect against illegal play, including customers under the legal gambling age of 21.

The Albertsons request is for 30 separate “restricted” licenses, meaning that the operator is restricted to offering a maximum of 15 machines per location. Slot-route operations are common among convenience stores, restaurants, taverns and grocery stores in which a licensed expert company is contracted to service slot machines in multiple locations.

Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick said customers won’t see any difference in the way the Albertsons slot machines are operated.

In other business, the Control Board also recommended approval of the annual horse racing dates in eastern Nevada.

Board members unanimously approved races to be conducted by Agriculture District No. 13 in Ely Aug. 18-20, and by the Elko County Fair Board in Elko Aug. 25 through Sept. 4.

Horse races in eastern Nevada feature thoroughbreds and quarter horses and are well-attended county fair events. Parimutuel wagering is permitted on the races and there normally are six to 10 races a day.

The Ely races have been run since 1934, formed by area ranchers as a diversion from the Great Depression.

The Elko County Fair has been providing quarter horse and thoroughbred racing since 1920 and is the longest-running meet in the state.

The signature race for the meet is the Intermountain Futurity, for 2-year-old quarter horses, run on Labor Day. The Nevada Blackjack Challenge, which pits local stables against each other for local bragging rights for the coming year, also is run on Labor Day.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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