Harrah’s criminal charges and Tropicana license revocation – are honest government officials finally waking up?

Virginia Valentine

In the same week that Clark County filed seventeen criminal charges against Harrah’s employees or contractors in the remodeling scandal, New Jersey regulators refused to renew the Tropicana’s gaming license. Congratulations to Clark County Manager Virginia Valentine and the members of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission for doing the right thing, despite undoubtedly heavy political pressure to sweep it all under the rug.

I think both are major events. In the past, casinos have usually gotten a “free pass” when shown to have engaged in various types of wrongdoing. A slap on the wrist, or no penalty at all, just being told “don’t do it again,” has been the norm. It has taken civil action by the aggrieved parties to see any semblance of justice meted out.

Have the many successful civil suits against casinos for patron abuse had any effect on the overall view held by the authorities? Have the people in government who are honorable and not in the pockets of the casino industry begun to see that not everyone thinks casinos should control the government and get away with whatever they want? Or am I being too optimistic — these two cases are isolated events, and it’ll otherwise be business as usual, especially in cases of abuse of patrons?

Criminal citations set in Harrah’s remodeling


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