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December 20, 2014

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Gaming:

Searchlight casino, Las Vegas tavern hit with Gaming Control Board complaints

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has resolved complaints against two casinos in Clark County that have violated regulations in the past.

The Searchlight Nugget Casino, owned by Verlie May Doing, has agreed to pay a $12,000 fine to resolve the 27-count complaint that alleges it failed to keep adequate slot machine counts and did not maintain security on the money collected.

Ultra New Town Tavern owner Tarra Lorraine Green Jackson also signed a stipulation that the Las Vegas bar will correct violations by Sept. 24 or its license will be suspended.

The board, in an order signed by Senior Deputy Attorney General John Michela, said complaints were filed against the Nugget in 2009 and 2011 for some of the same violations that are in the new action.

The most recent complaint said there were numerous violations in counting slot machine revenue and in the bookkeeping. For instance, a review of the July 2011 report revealed the coin-in amount was $2,299,808, but the report on the tax return was $67,924 less. The count room at the casino was also unlocked and unsecured in July 2012.

Slot machines added to the floor of the Nugget were not properly reported to authorities, and the amount of slot machine win was left unattended in a dumbwaiter on June 27, 2012, and was not independently verified, the complaint alleges.

The board also said a slot machine door key and currency drop box release key were lost in March 2012, but no investigation was ever conducted.

In addition to the $12,000 fine — which must be paid by Dec. 26 — the casino must hire a slot route operator to handle the cash and records from slot machine win.

The complaint against New Town Tavern, also drafted by Michela, says it has a “long history of prior regulatory violations.”

The new allegations say the casino surveillance system was below standard and was not fixed, monthly financial statements have not been submitted to the board since December 2010 and employee reports were not filed with regulators.

The 13-count complaint said more than $13,000 in tokens and chips had been placed in the vault and has not been counted since November 2012. And bankroll calculations were deficient by $2,883 on Nov. 1, 2012, and by $13,512 on Nov. 2, 2012.

The signed stipulation says the violations will be corrected by Sept. 24 or Board Chairman A.G. Burnett has the authority to suspend the business's license. If the license is suspended, Burnett will have the authority to reinstate the license when the violations are cured. But if the violations are not corrected by March 26, 2014, Jackson will surrender the license.

The stipulation must be approved by the state Gaming Commission.

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