Casino fined for 'pattern' of underage gambling

LAS VEGAS — This tourist city has for years prided itself as a destination for the entire family — from Daddy and Mommy on down to little Junior.

But Caesars seems to have taken the concept a bit too far. It was busted last week for what many might consider the unthinkable: kids on the casino floor — gasp! — placing bets.

The Caesars Entertainment Corp. agreed to pay the state of Nevada a $100,000 fine to settle underage gambling charges, and the state's Gaming Control Board warns that the outfit may face a stiffer penalty if any hanky-panky poker or slot machine incidents happen again.

"This is not an isolated incident, but a pattern of abuse," Nevada Gaming Commissioner Randolph Townsend said Thursday as the regulatory panel voted to accept the settlement with Caesars over multiple charges of gambling and alcohol consumption by underage customers at several of the company's resorts on the Strip between 2010 and May of this year.

He warned that the casino was getting off easy. This time. Board members say a paltry $100,000 is certainly not enough to send a message to the fantastically wealthy industry. But the settlement, negotiated by Nevada Deputy Attorney General John Michela, was based on history and precedent.

"If it happens again, I want a seven-figure settlement or else we will litigate it," Townsend said.

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