Underage Gambler Was Overlooked by Security, Wait Staff, and Casino Dealers

The Venetian agreed Thursday to pay a $10,000 fine to Nevada gaming regulators in conjunction with a 2004 episode where a 19-year-old patron gambled and was served alcohol at the Strip resort.

A cashiers' cage employee caught the gambler when he tried to exchange casino chips for currency. Venetian officials reported the incident to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which filed a two-count complaint against the property.

The property didn't dispute the findings.

"This matter was self-reported," The Venetian spokesman Ron Reese said. "Once we caught the case internally, we alerted gaming authorities."

The incident took place on April 3 when the 19-year-old male customer played a table game for more than an hour.

During the time he came into contact with six Venetian employees, none of whom asked to see his identification. Three Venetian dealers dealt the gambler cards while a cocktail waitress served him alcoholic beverages. A security guard and a floor person attended to a chip fill at the table while the 19-year-old gambled.

When he attempted to exchange his casino chips for currency, a cashier requested identification and realized he was underage.

It is violation under Nevada regulations to allow a person under age 21 to either gamble or drink alcohol in a licensed gaming establishment.

Carol Wetzel, The Venetian's assistant general counsel, told the Nevada Gaming Commission the property made changes to its internal policy following the incident and that the employees who come in contact with the underage gambler were given, "verbal coaching."

Wetzel said the property's policy is to check the identification of any casino patron who appears to be under the age of 30.

"The Venetian has a stringent policy related to underage gaming and the policy was strongly reiterated to the responsible operating department's team members," said Venetian President Rob Goldstein.

A deputy attorney general told the commission that the amount of the fine was in line with other cases with similar circumstances.