Fremont paying Nevada gaming fine of $300K; four companies to pay between $5K and $30K for COVID violations Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · September 24, 2020 at 7:35 am Nevada gaming regulators resolved five disciplinary actions Wednesday, including levying a $300,000 fine agreed to by the downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont resort after property officials admitted that security officers employed by the resort wrongly detained and accused a customer of theft. Four of the settlements, with fines ranging from $5,000 to $30,000, resolved complaints against gaming operators for violating the state’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and protocols. The Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to rule on the settlements Thursday. As for the Fremont, the Gaming Control Board released the stipulated settlement with the property, which is owned by Boyd Gaming Corp., the day after it released a four-count complaint that was originally filed on Sept. 16. Fremont officials and security officers are alleged to have provided inaccurate information on the incident to both Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and state gaming agents. The resolution was signed by Fremont General Manager Andre Filosi. In the settlement, the property did not admit to the allegations or characterizations set forth in the complaint but did “admit and acknowledge that the commission could determine, from the allegations set forth in the complaint, that violations of the Nevada Gaming Control Act or NGC Regulations occurred.” According to the complaint, gaming agents initiated an investigation in December regarding a November 24, 2019 incident in which Fremont security officers detained a female slot machine player after another customer accused her of stealing wagering credits. Neither the patrons nor the property’s security officers were named in the complaint. “Although there were ample avenues available to reconstruct the alleged events, Fremont personnel failed to pursue those avenues,” according to the complaint signed by the Gaming Control Board. “Instead, they performed a cursory, incomplete, and factually flawed investigation, wrongfully concluding that the accused patron had committed the alleged act and was guilty of misdemeanor theft. A proper investigation would have revealed that the claim against the patron was not valid.” The Control Board said the wrongly accused patron, in order to avoid being arrested for misdemeanor theft and taken to jail, “reluctantly and under protest” paid $202 to the female patron who made the allegation. A Boyd Gaming spokesman reserved comment until after Thursday’s Gaming Commission hearing. Gaming regulators had filed six disciplinary complaints since the end of June involving COVID-19 guidelines violations. Two of the matters are still pending against operators of the Sahara resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Reno’s Grand Sierra resort – both of which are owned by Los Angeles-based Meruelo Group. In the four settlements, violations ranged from non-enforcement of the requirement that customers wear facial coverings or masks inside gaming properties and a lack of following social distancing guidelines. Two restricted gaming locations agreed to fines for not turning off their bar top slot machines, as was required on July 10 when Gov. Steve Sisolak order all standalone bar tops in seven Nevada counties to close. Waldman Investments, which owns Bowl Incline in Lake Tahoe, will pay $5,000 for not disabling its bar top games on July 10. Slot machine route operator Century Gaming agreed to pay a $15,000 fine to settle a similar complaint involving the Cheers bar in Winnemucca. Hotel Nevada in Ely will pay a $10,000 fine after three employees and seven customers were seen not wearing face coverings while on the casino floor. The property’s general manager was informed of the violations by state gaming agents, but customers and employees were still seen to not comply with masking requirements. Owners of the C.O.D. Casino in Minden, who also owns Cactus Jack’s Senator Club and Jackpot Crossing, agreed to pay a $30,000 fine for mask violations. In the two undecided complaints, the Sahara was cited for four instances where the property violated state-mandated social distancing efforts designed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. A three-count complaint was filed against Grand Sierra over a lack of facial coverings. According to the Gaming Control Board, the Sahara allowed a local trade organization to hold a luncheon in the property’s conference center on July 23 that 135 people were reported to have attended, a violation of social distancing orders that capped group events at 50 or fewer individuals. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.