Regulators fine The Rio over cage cash mix-up

Feb 27, 2001 7:04 AM

Rio All-Suite Casino Resort, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET), has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to settle a complaint filed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board charging the property with making cash transactions in violation of Regulation 6a.

The agreement came at a Thursday meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission in Carson City.

According to the complaint, a Rio employee accepted a $4,200 deposit from a patron, believed to be a Gaming Board agent, and failed to return the same bills when the money was withdrawn, a violation of the regulation.

In addition to the fine, the Rio must employ an outside consultant within 30 days to make a "comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program" and report the results to regulators.

Commenting on the violations, Commissioner Augie Gurrolla said he felt that if the company had proper training sessions for their employees "this would not happen." A spokesman for the company replied that the employee involved had completed compliance instructions just two weeks earlier.

The monthly meeting was relatively brief because of a short agenda. During the meeting, Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander was asked about efforts being made in New Jersey to permit internet wagering. Neilander said that the proposed legislation would limit the wagering to intrastate. He said Nevada believes that the technology to properly police such wagering is still lacking.

Immediately following the meeting’s adjournment, Chairman Brian Sandoval departed for Massachusetts where he was to participate in a discussion about wagering on college sports, an activity that is opposed by the NCAA. Sandoval said he looked forward to an open neutral forum to take place at Harvard Law School, adding that he wanted to sing the praises of Nevada’s regulatory system.

Two prominent coaches declined to speak. However, the NCAA was expected to be well represented.

Palace Station christens Asian Pit

By: GT Staff

If you have a yen for Asian games, check out the new Asian Pit at Palace Station.

Located adjacent to Sound Trax, the Asian Pit celebrates its grand opening, Friday through Sunday with a $5,000 cash drawing and Pai Gow Poker tournament.

Within the pit are 10 table games, including six Pai Gow Poker, two blackjack and two Midi Baccarat tables.

For a dose of Asian luck, players can use the new $8 and $3 gaming chips that were recently put in to circulation by Palace Station.

Ten drawings for $500 each will be held on Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. The Pai Gow tourney ($50 entry fee) begins at 3 a.m., Monday morning. Six winners will share the entry fees.

"We welcome everyone to visit our new Asian Pit area, which received its name, Pit 8, because the number is considered lucky in Asian culture," said Jim Dickstein, Palace Station director of casino operations.

Four Queens deals big tourney

The Four Queens Hotel and Casino, which hasn’t hosted a big-time poker event since March 1998, is slated to hold a major poker tourney Sept. 5-23.

The Four Queens Classic is expected to bring 500 of the world’s top tourney players to the downtown property, plus about 250 cash game players.

The Classic should be a boon to the Las Vegas economy. Players often play in other card rooms.

Shuffle Master’s on a roll


In an upbeat conference with gaming analysts, institutional investors and media last week, Joe Lahti, chairman and CEO of Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) spoke glowingly of the company’s all-time record quarterly performance in the period that ended on Jan. 31.

"The growth and profitability in our core shuffler and table business continues to be strong and steady," he said as he reported that the revenue for the three-month period reached $11.2 million, a 32% increase over the same period a year ago.

Operating income increased 40% to $3.8 million and net income reached $2.5 million, a 44% jump over last year. Earnings per share were 21 cents, up from last year’s 16 cents a share.

Described as a "significant milestone," was the company’s have achieved a level of 7,000 shufflers, either installed or sold. Lahti noted that the company has placed "over 750 Kings (shufflers) through lease or sales." He also pointed out that the table game placements for Three Card Poker "stands at 353."

Gross margins, said Lahti, was 72% and he said he felt that the company would continue to stay above 70% for the immediate future.

Grand Prix-themed resort may still be built

Plans for another major Las Vegas Strip resort have been on hold since GamingToday broke the story two years ago. They have resurfaced.

The Grand Prix-themed high-rise might still be built on the site of the Algiers, next to the former Thunderbird/Silverbird/El Rancho that was demolished to make way for Turnberry’s 44-story, 2,050-room London-themed resort.

County planning commissioners approved Turnberry’s plans last Thursday as private consultants for Turnberry and the Algiers conceded that:

If Turnberry could build right up to its parcel’s side lines (zero setback), the Algiers project (if built) could be right up to its side lines, too.

Turnberry and Algiers projects would be set back the same distance from the Strip to make vehicle access lanes correspond.

Turnberry is building a complex of high-rise luxury condos on Paradise Road between the Las Vegas Hilton and the planned resort site. It got approval for the London-themed resort that will include a 90,000 square-foot casino, replicas of Big Ben and Tower Bridge, facades of the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. There will be outside dining and entertainment, described as a "changing of the guard."

Planning commissioners also approved plans for an 864-room addition to Caesars Palace. The 30-story tower will also have a 320,000 square-foot mall with stores and restaurants.

Commissioners delayed until March 8 approval of Dynasty, a $55 million, 600-room Oriental-themed resort at the Strip’s south end, near Warm Springs Road. Developer Howard Bulloch, who owns adjacent properties, wanted better traffic design and landscaping between his and Dynasty’s property.

Dynasty, in McCarran International Airport airspace, will be just four stories high with a 33,000 square-foot casino. It will copy Beijing’s Forbidden City, with a parking garage resembling China’s Great Wall.