Gaming Control Board issues complaint against Sahara for lack of coronavirus safety measures

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued its first complaint against a major Las Vegas Strip resort amid the pandemic.

The complaint is against Sahara Las Vegas for not following the state’s orders when it comes to health and safety guidelines to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Gaming properties were permitted to reopen on June 4 after a more than two-month closure. In May, the Gaming Control Board issued updated health and safety policies with specific focus on protecting patrons and employees from contracting COVID-19.

According to the complaint, the Sahara had the following violations:

  • July 23 – The Sahara permitted a local trade group organization to hold a luncheon meeting in its Congo conference room and approximately 135 people attended. This violated the policy of limiting gatherings to 50 or less people.
  • June 16 – An agent from the gaming board saw four patrons standing together at a craps table, three were watching the game while one was playing. This violated the policy that prohibits groups from congregating around table games.
  • June 16 – An agent from the gaming board observed a patron standing between two other patrons playing blackjack. This violated the policy that prohibits groups from congregating around table games.
  • June 16 – An agent from the gaming board witnessed five people gathered around a person playing a slot machine. This violated the policy that prohibits groups from congregating around a gaming machine.

“The Board was given explicit authority to enforce provisions contained therein as necessary,” the complaint said.

A Sahara spokesperson released 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.”

Sahara Las Vegas spokesperson

The complaint said the allegations constitute reasonable cause for disciplinary action against the property. The Board recommended the Nevada Gaming Commission serve a copy of the complaint to the Sahara, fine the Sahara for each separate violation and take action against the Sahara’s licenses.

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