Gambling regulators chastise MGM Resorts and Aria
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada gambling regulators says the Aria hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip blocked its agents from watching a high-stakes roulette table.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a two-count complaint against Aria and part-owner MGM Resorts International on Friday.
The complaint said two state agents who had not identified themselves were watching high rollers play roulette last October when a supervisor told them that the players did not want to be watched and threatened to call security.
The agents were standing about 6 feet away. One asked if the games were not open to the public, and the agent was told that "observation of the roulette wheel was not welcome."
State law requires all gambling to be open to the public.
The complaint says regulators previously encountered similar issues at Aria. Regulators warned MGM to make games accessible in 2010 and 2013, and the company responded with new policies.
The Gaming Board typically warns casinos about all but the most egregious issues before bringing a formal complaint. The theory is that companies may be more responsive to efforts to work behind the scenes, and public complaints have the potential to damage the industry.
The matter will be discussed at a future meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission. The casino could be fined as much as $500,000.
MGM spokesman Gordon Absher said that the Aria employee in question did not follow company procedures.
"Aria is committed to the highest level of regulatory compliance and looks forward to resolving this matter in the near future. We expect to present this matter to the Gaming Commission, and we trust that this process will produce a fair result," he said in a statement.
Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier