The state gambling regulator in Nevada is reportedly investigating allegations that giant casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation allowed high-stakes Chinese players to bet millions of dollars using other people’s names.
According to a report from the Reuters news service citing Las Vegas Sands Corporation spokesperson Ron Reese, the Nevada Gaming Control Board “has made inquiries related to this matter and we’ve responded in a timely and transparent matter, as we always do”.
Reuters reported that the allegations concerning Las Vegas Sands Corporation first surfaced last year after prosecutors in Clark County brought charges against a pair of women over accusations that they had failed to repay around $6.4 million they owed in gambling debts to The Palazzo and The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
In their defense, attorneys working for the Chinese nationals, Jeffrey Setness and Kevin Rosenberg, asserted that the two were actually local housekeepers that had been recruited as “shills” in exchange for a few thousand dollars each and convinced to take out millions of dollars in credit using their own names with the cooperation of personnel at Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The lawyers explained that the women would then sit near the actual players, allowing them to use their chips and gamble millions of dollars without a paper trail.
The report from Reuters stated that Las Vegas Sands Corporation had earlier declared that the company had no clear evidence that any of its employees had asked the women to take out credit in other people’s names. However, the pair’s counter-allegations, which were made during preliminary hearings in Las Vegas Justice Court, were reportedly enough to convince local prosecutors drop the charges.
Reuters declared that the Nevada Gaming Control Board is now investigating those allegations and whether the use of fronts violates the western state’s bookkeeping regulations and broad “decency” requirements.
In an investigation published last month, Reuters detailed that it uncovered some Las Vegas casinos seeking to attract wealthy Chinese baccarat players by allowing select high-stakes competitors to gamble through “front men” that sign the credit paperwork.
The news service reported that recent years have seen state and federal authorities more closely scrutinize the practices of some Las Vegas casinos that allow gamblers to play without leaving a paper trail. It detailed that Las Vegas Sands Corporation paid around $47 million in 2013 to settle a United States Department Of Justice investigation that had allegedly discovered that a suspected Chinese-Mexican drug trafficker had been allowed to lose more than $84 million at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.