International edition
September 18, 2020

Over alleged COVID-19 breaches

Nevada regulators files complaint against Sahara

Nevada regulators files complaint against Sahara
The complaint alleges Sahara "failed to meet standards to hold a gaming license and to exercise discretion and sound judgement to prevent an incident or incidents that might reflect on repute of the State of Nevada."
United States | 08/06/2020

According to the complaint, the Las Vegas casino-hotel allowed a trade show organization to hold a 135-person luncheon on the property on July 23, violating Gov. Steve Sisolak's directive of gatherings no more than 50 people. The complaint is asking the Nevada Gaming Commission to fine Sahara "a monetary sum" for the violations and that the commission take action against Sahara's licenses. 

T

he Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a complaint Monday alleging north Strip property Sahara had breached the state's coronavirus-related policies.

The complaint says that on July 23, the casino-hotel in Las Vegas allowed a trade show organization to hold a 135-person luncheon, and action that violates Gov. Steve Sisolak's directive of gatherings no more than 50 people. The board received information on the luncheon held in the Congo Conference Room a week after it took place, FOX 5 reports.

A member of the board spoke with Sahara's Vice President of Hotel Sales who said he was given the go-ahead for the luncheon by the Chief Financial Officer of the property, as well as the Vice President of Government Affairs, who allegedly told the sales VP they had verbal approval from the NGCB.

The VP later stated there "may have been a misunderstanding."

While Sahara said the luncheon was arranged to allow for social distancing, NGCB said video showed people gathering outside of the room. 

The complaint alleges Sahara failed to meet standards to hold a gaming license, failed to exercise "discretion and sound judgement to prevent an incident or incidents that might reflect on repute of the State of Nevada," failed to comply with state law and failed to operate "with proper standards of custom, decorum, and decency."

In addition to that, the NGCB's compliance team saw patrons gathered around a craps table but not playing on June 16, another instance of this at a blackjack table on the same day, as well as five patrons gathering around a player on a slot machine.

"Such violations constitute an unsuitable method of operation and provide the basis for disciplinary action," the complaint says. 

The complaint is asking the Nevada Gaming Commission to fine Sahara "a monetary sum" for the violations and that the commission take action against Sahara's licenses. 

Sahara responded with the following statement:

"We take our duties as a licensed gaming operator very seriously and work continuously to adhere to the health and safety standards set forth by the Governor and Nevada Gaming Commission. As stated in the Nevada Gaming Control Board filing, we acknowledged and immediately corrected conditions related to State-mandated social distancing protocols inside the resort identified shortly after reopening in June. Prior to that, we worked with health experts to develop our own stringent health and sanitation protocols through our SAHARA Cares program. We routinely review these protocols with team members to ensure compliance across the resort. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests and team members and we will continue to work cooperatively with government agencies to ensure we meet these high standards."

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