The Bear Growls: New Jersey regulators fail to stop 6 to 5 ripoff; Nevada regulators embarrass us again
New Jersey regulators, who used to pride themselves in not being casino puppets like their colleagues in Nevada, blew a big chance. They could have simply said NO to the 6 to 5 ripoff “blackjack” which is now in Atlantic City casinos. But they caved in to pressure from the greedy casino bosses, and agreed to allow this disease to infect the casinos in their state. This is the same commission that once shut down a major casino for 24 hours for violating regulations, but ordered it to pay its employees for the day. Contrast that with the petty fine Nevada regulators gave the Venetian for cheating patrons. But it looks like New Jersey regulators have taken lessons from Nevada — whatever the casinos want, the casinos get, the public be damned. Sad.
In what’s become a tired old story, the Nevada Gaming Commission has embarrassed us again. Let’s take a look at what they’ve been up to lately: Hassling the Hard Rock about some silly billboards. Untold thousands of dollars of taxpayer money has been wasted on stupid hearings, with more to come, even though the Commission finally dismissed some of the silliness on Friday. The Commission fined MGM Mirage $5 million for not sending in some forms. It fined Station Casinos more than $2 million for not sending in some forms. But it fined Venetian only $1 million for cheating patrons in phony, rigged drawings. What? Yes, that’s right. The fines for not sending in forms are bigger than the fine for cheating patrons! That says a lot about the priorities of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It’s way past time for Governor Guinn to clean house on the Gaming Control Board and the Gaming Commission, and appoint some regulators who have integrity.