Complaint could cost Station Casinos

LAS VEGAS - Station Casinos Inc. could face up to $600,000 in fines and sanctions on its state gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Commission over a campaign flier sent out by one of its executives.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a six-count complaint against the neighborhood casino gaming company with the commission Monday over an anonymous flier mailed out earlier this year discrediting Clark County Commissioner Lance Malone.

''The totality of the circumstances'' led to the complaint, said Jeff Rodefer, a senior deputy Nevada attorney general who filed the complaint for the control board. State law says Station Casinos has 20 days to file an answer with the gaming commission, either admitting or denying the allegations.

''After that, the parties try to come to some kind of agreement as to how the complaint should be settled,'' Rodefer said.

''The theme of the complaint is a lack of institutional knowledge and control over their executive vice president.''

Station Casinos officials admitted in a statement that the company was in error and said it wants to work with the board to resolve the issue.

''Our actions in this one political campaign are not indicative of the operational integrity which guides Station Casinos,'' the statement read.

Station Casinos is a leader in the neighborhood casino niche. It owns and operates Boulder, Sunset, Texas and Palace stations, Wild Wild West and a half interest Henderson's Barley's brewery and casino. The properties cater to residents by offering good gambling odds, reasonable restaurants, movie theaters and child care.

The company, which posted record second-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share with cash flow of $71.3 million, has announced plans to purchase Santa Fe and Fiesta hotel-casinos.

The flier was created by Station Casinos Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Mark Brown and political consultant Tom Skancke and mailed to 39,000 residents in Malone's northwest Las Vegas district, Rodefer said. The flier was in response to Malone's support of a neighborhood casino project Station Casinos opposed.

''The flier contained misleading information as to who the contributors to Lance Malone's re-election campaign were,'' said Rodefer, explaining Malone filed a lawsuit in an attempt to discover who was responsible for the flier.

The complaint alleges that Brown also threatened Malone, trying to persuade him to withdraw from seeking re-election.

''Then he (Brown) lied to his superiors at Station Casinos,'' said Rodefer, referring to Brown's repeated denials that he was responsible for the flier.

Malone said in written statement Tuesday that Brown ''engaged in a reprehensible series of acts, which in the words of the Gaming Control Board, were designed to get me to 'back off.' Malone said Brown ''decided to confess only after the FBI confronted him with the fact that they had his threats to me on tape.''

Brown and Skancke did not return phone calls Tuesday. Neither did Steve Ducharme, gaming commission chairman.

State law says the resolution of a disciplinary matter can be a monetary fine, suspension of a gaming license, revocation, conditions placed upon it or all of those penalties, Rodefer said.

The complaint carries a maximum fine of $100,000 per count. While the company faces the loss of its state gaming license, Rodefer said that would be unlikely.


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