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Palms agrees to pay $100,000 to settle complaint

The Palms has agreed to pay a $75,000 fine to the Nevada Gaming Commission for not properly overseeing a pair of poker tournaments held by third-party organizers who did not register with state gaming regulators in late 2007.

The resort will pay another $25,000 to the state Gaming Control Board to cover the cost of the investigation.

Additionally, the resort paid $450,416 in unpaid prize money from one of the tournaments, which was organized by the United States Poker League, because checks from the tournament’s organizer bounced.

“By allowing the …. poker tournament(s) to proceed without adequate planning and follow-up, the Palms failed to exercise the proper discretion and sound judgment to prevent a situation that might reflect negatively on the reputation of the State of Nevada and its gaming industry,” the five-count, 12-page complaint brought by the state attorney general’s office Nov. 6 said.

Even though the Palms was not a party in either tournament, it is responsible for all activities in its casino, according to state gaming law.

Palms owner George Maloof said the resort notified regulators as soon as the problems were discovered and paid off the unawarded prize money in December 2007 for the United States Poker League tournament.

“We didn’t wait for the board’s resolution,” Maloof said. “We’re real proactive. From the moment we found out these people weren’t paid we acted.”

He said the resort has taken steps to make sure future events are properly registered with regulators.

The first incident arose from an Aug. 12, 2007, unlicensed poker tournament organized by Michael Eakman & Associates to benefit the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada.

The organizer was contracted to receive 75 percent of the profits, but failed to register with the control board. Michael Eakman & Associates took four months to pay the Jewish Community Center its 25 percent share, according to the attorney general’s complaint.

Attempts to reach Eakman on Wednesday were not successful.

The United States Poker League event was held at the Palms Oct. 20-23, 2007.

Contact information for the poker league was not available.

Maloof said no action by the resort has been taken against any of the organizers, but “we’re going to do what’s right in pursuing them.”

 

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

 

 

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