A stipulation for settlement agreement with Golden Route Operations LLC, the largest slot route operator in Nevada, was unanimously approved recently by the state’s Gaming Commission which fined the company $75,000 for reportedly providing slot machines to a sports bar in Reno that did not possess a gaming license.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a stipulation was signed by representatives of Golden Route Operations LLC and Sartini Gaming LLC admitting to two counts of a complaint that was issued by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on November 20 and reportedly approved by the commission on Thursday, Dec. 21.
Formed by the merger of Blake Sartini’s Golden Gaming and Lakes Entertainment in January 2015, Golden Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: GDEN) is the largest slot machine route and tavern operator in Nevada. The company operates approximately 16,000 gaming devices, 114 table games and owns eight casino resorts, with seven in Nevada, including the Stratosphere, and one in Maryland. Through its distributed gaming business in Nevada and Montana, Golden Entertainment operates video gaming devices at nearly 1,000 locations and owns nearly 60 traditional taverns in Nevada through the PT’s Pub, Sean Patrick and Sierra Gold.
According to the report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Golden provided Floyd’s Fireside with slot machines. The Reno bar was reportedly in the process of changing ownership. The gaming license was, according to the complaint, held by Thomas H. Floyd Enterprises Inc., which on June 15, 2016, sold the business to Colt Family LLC. However, a gaming license wasn’t received by Colt until Feb. 9, 2017, according to the report.
Operation of the slot machines reportedly continued by Golden after the change in ownership but before the new owners possessed a gaming license. The Control Board, by way of Deputy Attorney General Thomas Michela’s complaint, reportedly said that Golden should have known that the transaction had been completed via public filings.
Count two of the complaint reportedly accused Golden of violating gaming regulations by not updating written procedures that would prevent the installation of gaming devices at a specific location until such time as certain items were verified.
In a settlement agreement in October 2013, Golden was reportedly directed to update its written procedures, however, when investigators reportedly checked in March this year, a checklist was produced by company officials. According to the news agency, it wasn’t clear whether or not procedures in the checklist were set at the time of the transaction at Floyd’s Fireside.
Along with the $75,000 fine, Golden is required via the settlement stipulation to update its verification procedures, which includes a provision that a review of its space lease agreements of its customers be conducted every five years.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal report, Golden’s attorney, Michael Alonzo, said that the company’s new procedures “are hard-wired into the system,” while Sean Higgins, Golden’s compliance officer, said that new steps and personnel are now in place in order to prevent further occurrences.