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Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Pays $650,000 Fine for Drug Violations

Dec 31, 2010
Author: Susan Arnold
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Pays $650,000 Fine for Drug Violations

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has agreed to a $650,000 settlement after complaints that employees were selling drugs to hotel visitors. In addition, they were accused of allowing patrons to utilize private bathrooms in a nightclub for using drugs and having sex.

The complaint came from Nevada gambling regulators, after undercover agents were able to purchase ecstasy and cocaine from hosts and security guards at the Hard Rock. Most of the activity was centered in two nightclubs: Vanity, and Body English, which is now closed.

As part of the settlement, the Hard Rock did not have to admit nor deny the charges leveled against them. However, they did acknowledge that the Gaming Control Board likely would have been able to prove their case if a regulatory hearing had been scheduled.

Neither the complaints nor the settlement publically identified any of the employees involved in the incidents. However, the Hard Rock has said that all employees responsible have been fired, and that random drug tests have been instituted for all workers in the casino and hotel. A new operator has also been brought in to manage the casino’s nightclubs.

The settlement charged the hotel-casino $500,000 in fines. In addition, the Hard Rock was forced to pay the $150,000 in costs for the undercover operation.

According to the Hard Rock Hotel’s chief executive officer, Joseph Magliarditi, the changes made show that the hotel takes these issues seriously, and that the problems that were occurring should be resolved.

"We remain committed to conducting our operations in accordance with all gaming regulatory requirements," Magliarditi said.

In total, undercover agents were able to cite at least seven different instances of misconduct among employees at the hotel. In one case, an undercover police officer bribed a security guard with $80 to allow him to smoke marijuana in a bathroom. In another, a host arranged the sale of 7.2 grams of cocaine in exchange for part of the proceeds from the sale.

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