Northern Nevada casino Boomtown may have to pay $40,000 fine

The operator of a Northern Nevada casino has settled a state Gaming Control Board complaint that it illegally operated an unlicensed interactive gaming system by linking to websites based in Curacao.

A representatives of BCH Gaming Reno, doing business as Boomtown Reno in Verdi, agreed to pay a $40,000 fine after the company was caught providing links on its internet site to 15 websites, 11 of which offered options allowing visitors to wager money on various casino games.

In a stipulation signed May 11 by Control Board members and Boomtown Reno CEO Robert Medeiros, the company admitted to the violations and agreed to waive a public hearing on the charge as well as pay the fine.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider approving the settlement when it meets Thursday.

The two-count Control Board complaint alleges that between March and August 2017, Boomtown’s website contained links that said, “Play Online” and “Play Even When Away.”

A board agent contacted Boomtown Aug. 17, 2017, about the links and determined that they directed players to Affiliate Edge and Deck Media, both operated from the Dutch Caribbean island nation of Curacao in apparent violation of state regulations and the federal Wire Act.

Boomtown, through a company called Evo Advertising Inc., received a check for $1,621 from Affiliate Edge. Boomtown’s account statements with Affiliate Edge show gambling activity by persons it referred to Affiliate Edge gambling sites through the links. Those statements also show commissions due to Boomtown.

Monetary deposits also were shown with Deck Media from people Boomtown referred.

Boomtown executives first explored offering online games in October 2016.

It wasn’t until March and April of 2017 that a Boomtown customer contacted the Control Board about the legality of the sites.

“It appears Boomtown ceded complete control concerning links to online gaming on its website to one employee of Boomtown: its graphic and web designer,” the Control Board complaint said. “It appears this person had little, if any, understanding of gaming laws. It further appears Boomtown exercised little, if any, oversight concerning this employee’s actions with regard to placing links to online gaming on Boomtown’s website.”

State regulations allow online gaming within the state’s borders if licensed and the state recently signed agreements that enable poker play in Nevada with residents of Delaware and New Jersey.

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

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