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Las Vegas poker dealer’s license revoked after suspected theft

Updated February 22, 2018 - 5:55 pm

A poker dealer at Bellagio had his gaming employee registration revoked by the Nevada Gaming Commission after a hearing Thursday over accusations he stole $5 poker chips while working as a dealer at Bally’s.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to revoke the registration of Jesus Saucedo after an hourlong evidentiary hearing by the commission that included testimony by a Control Board agent and the viewing of surveillance videos. The complaint against Saucedo was signed by the state Gaming Control Board in October.

It was the first evidentiary hearing on an employee revocation by the commission in more than 10 years. The hearing was conducted because Saucedo continued to work at Bellagio after being caught sneaking tips into his toke box at Bally’s. He said he resigned at Bally’s shortly after he was caught and confronted following a June 17 incident.

At the hearing, agent A. Alan Vaughn served as a witness and told commissioners under questioning by Assistant Attorney General Michael Somps that Saucedo transferred a $5 poker chip from the casino rake — chips in play during a poker hand — to his toke box. Vaughn said Saucedo could be seen in the video curling his fingertips around the chip and moving it near the rake pile before sweeping into a box used to collect tips from players.

After the June 17 incident, Bally’s supervisors reviewed videotape of the incident and called regulators.

Other hands reviewed

Investigators then reviewed two other hands from that day’s play in which Saucedo was believed to have transferred $5 chips to his toke box.

Saucedo, who represented himself in the hearing, said that in the game in which he was caught, he accidentally moved the chip to his box. But on the others, he said, the chips actually were moved into the rake.

“My mistake was not following the proper procedure,” Saucedo told commissioners. “It was not my intent to steal from my previous employer.”

Commissioners agreed that moving the chip to the toke box was a deliberate action and that concealing the maneuver took practice.

“I think you cheated the game,” Commissioner John Moran Jr. said in the commission’s deliberations. “I think you cheated your employer and, consequently, you cheated yourself because I think you’re a very skilled and good employee except for the fact that you cheated. … I don’t think this was your first rodeo. I think you’ve been doing this a long time. I wish we had facts for that, but we don’t. But I don’t need anything else than your admission and what I saw on the affidavits. I’m going to believe what I saw.”

Suspended at Bellagio

Saucedo was suspended from his Bellagio position later Thursday, and because of the revocation, he will be terminated. There has been no indication he attempted to steal from Bellagio.

Saucedo can appeal the ruling to Clark County District Court and can apply for a rehearing of the revocation in a year. He didn’t indicate his plans.

The revocation was the second disciplinary action of the day.

Earlier, commissioners unanimously accepted a stipulated settlement in a complaint against Henderson’s Skyline Casino and fined its owner, Northumberland LMG Corp., $4,000.

The company was accused by the Control Board of continually failing to notify regulators about at least 19 employees who left their Skyline jobs since May 2016.

Northumberland President Jim Marsh admitted to the company’s failings in an appearance before commissioners.

“Guilty as charged, Mr. Chairman,” Marsh told Commission Chairman Tony Alamo, “and I apologize for it.”

Marsh said the lapse in filing the reports on time was a result of a manager who fell behind because of some personal problems.

The three-count complaint was filed by the Control Board earlier this month.

Klondike licensing

In other action, commissioners unanimously approved Brian Shapiro for licensing as a trustee for Nevada Gaming Partners LLC, operators of the Klondike Sunset, a 7,700-square-foot locals property that entered bankruptcy in October 2016, less than three months after its owner, Bruce Familian, was successfully licensed by the commission.

Shapiro told commissioners the Klondike Sunset has remained open but continues to lose money as the company works through the bankruptcy process.

The property is on the verge of being sold to a former owner, Carl Gudice, who also once owned the nearby Club Fortune Casino. Details of the planned acquisition were not disclosed, but Shapiro said he expects the deal to be finalized by March.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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