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October 1, 2014

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Gaming agents say they were blocked from observing game at Aria

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Justin M. Bowen

Visitors to the Aria at CityCenter walk through the casino floor Dec. 17, 2009.

The state Gaming Control Board today filed a complaint against MGM Resorts International for barring agents from one of its Las Vegas casinos.

The board asks that a fine and action be taken against the license of MGM Resorts, which owns and controls the Aria at CityCenter.

The complaint said two gaming agents on Oct. 25, 2013, were "observing" play on a roulette table in the high-limit room known as "Salon Prive."

They were 5 to 7 feet from the table and were approached by a casino supervisor who said that two players did not want to be watched.

The floor supervisor told the agents that observation of the roulette game was not welcome. "The Aria floor supervisor further informed the board agents, if needed, security would be called to stand between the board agents and the roulette table," said the complaint.

The gaming board said the Aria was sent two letters of similar violations in 2010, and the MGM Resorts promised corrective action would be taken.

In March 2013 a "show cause" letter was sent to Aria and MGM Resorts that additional violations were observed at Aria in October 2012. MGM Resorts responded in May 2013 that it was aware of the need to allow public access to gaming.

MGM Resorts again replied that steps would be taken to ensure that gaming at each of its properties would not be restricted.

The complaint said the actions at Aria were a violation of regulations and "constitute a failure to exercise discretion and sound judgment to prevent incidents which might reflect on the repute of the state of Nevada."

It said these acts are a "detriment to the development of the industry."

The fine could run from $25,000 to $250,000 for each of the two counts.

MGM Resorts has a chance to challenge the findings and it will be up to the parent Nevada Gaming Commission to take disciplinary action.

In many cases, casinos negotiate a settlement with the board and that is submitted to the commission.

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