Vegas club operator plans regulatory compliance |

Vegas club operator plans regulatory compliance

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – More than two years after a raid by Internal Revenue Service agents, Las Vegas Strip nightclub operator Pure Management Group has launched a regulatory compliance program to keep it out of trouble with state and county regulators.

In a release issued this week, the operator of clubs including Pure at Caesars Palace, LAX at Luxor and Christian Audigier at Treasure Island said its plan was developed with “assistance, cooperation and guidance” from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Nevada gambling regulators have called for their license-holding casino companies to ensure lessees comply with state regulations and liquor laws.

Pure had no immediate comment on the status of the IRS probe, which became public when agents in February 2008 searched Pure nightclub and interviewed tip earners at LAX about whether employees properly reported unadvertised admission fees and tips received from clubgoers. Agents later confiscated computers from the offices of the club operator.

Pure chief executive Ned Collett, who was chief operating officer when the searches occurred, left the company and then was hired back as the top executive.

In the release announcing the compliance program, he said the management company was committed to “preventing unlawful activities and maintaining seamless coordination with our gaming property partners.”

The release said Pure consulted on creation of the compliance committee with MGM Mirage executives and Jerry Markling, Gaming Control Board chief enforcement officer.

It said committee members including Collett, Greenberg Traurig attorney Michael Bonner and Jess Ravich, managing partner and head of debt capital markets for international investment bank Houlihan Lokey, planned to meet quarterly.

The committee is expected to make recommendations to Pure board members, and maintain communications with the Control Board and the Clark County Department of Business License.

The plan calls for coordination between Pure security management with security at resort properties.

Casino companies have become more aggressive in forming independent compliance committees to satisfy regulators. The Pure committee is unusual in that it is a casino lessee.

In addition to the Pure raid by the IRS, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined operators of Planet Hollywood for activities at the Prive nightclub, and other law enforcement officials have conducted investigations of activities at clubs and pools.