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House of Blues fined $500K by Gaming Commission

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Updated: 3/20 4:12 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The Nevada Gaming Commission levied a $500,000 fine today against the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay for five counts of prostitution and the sale of illegal drugs.

The move was the result of a 2012 Las Vegas Metro police investigation of the restaurant and bar on the top floor of the strip megaresort.

Undercover Metro officers purchased the illegal substances from a host at the House of Blues Foundation room. An officer was offered sexual relations with a prostitute in a private room.

Six House of Blues employees have been fired in connection with the incidents, according to gaming lawyer Ellen Whittemore, who represents MGM Resorts International, which owns and operates Mandalay Bay.

Similar incidents have occurred in recent years at the Palms, the Hard Rock and Planet Hollywood, all of which prompted sizable fines from the Gaming Commission, which regulates Nevada’s casino industry.

“Do we start talking about closure or timeouts on these properties?” asked commission member Dr. Tony Alamo.

Mandalay Bay president and chief operating officer Chuck Bolling said he and his management team “immediately went into pro-active action” when they learned of the investigation and have a “zero-tolerance” policy for such violations.

The property’s parent company, MGM Resorts International, now has the authority to conduct background checks on all employees at The House of Blues, which also changed its general manager.

Gaming Commission chairman Pete Bernhard said he is “not naive” enough to believe that today’s fine will halt prostitution and the sale of drugs at Las Vegas hotel-casinos, but he said he’s hopeful the move will levy pressure on industry executives to ensure that state and local laws are followed.
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