Probe Highlights Responsible Gaming Issue
Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which prides itself for its work on
problem gambling issues, hasn’t yet offered comprehensive responsible
gaming training to some of the 930 employees at its Binion’s Horseshoe
property in downtown Las Vegas.
The lack of training was cited Thursday in discussions about an
alleged incident under investigation by the state Gaming Control Board.
Harrah’s spokesman Gary Thompson said Thursday that under normal
circumstances, company employees are given responsible gaming training
before they go to work on the casino floor.
"The problem is that this is one of the busiest times of the year for
us with the World Series of Poker under way," Thompson said.
He said employees who were hired back to work after the Horseshoe had
been shut down for 2 1/2 months were brought on board quickly when the
property reopened April 1 and employees were given basic training in
problem gambling issues.
He said the amount of training Harrah’s employees receive varies by
position, but that most workers receive about two hours of instruction.
Some of the Binion’s employees have not yet received that full two hours
Thompson cited that lack of training in an e-mail response to a Las
Vegas man who said Horseshoe employees allowed a blackjack player to
play while drunk.
Control Board chief enforcement officer Keith Copher confirmed that
the board is investigating an incident alleged to have occurred Tuesday
night at a blackjack table at the Horseshoe.
Enforcement officials routinely do not comment on details of
investigations in progress. But according to a witness who said he was
at the Horseshoe and called the Control Board with the complaint, a man
who had been drinking at the casino since at least 5:30 p.m. and was
visibly drunk between 8 and 9:30 p.m., was allowed to continue to play.
Al Rogers, a Las Vegas man who witnessed the incident, made the phone
call to the Control Board and also e-mailed an account to Harrah’s
"He was loud and unpleasant, sometimes throwing his cards, sometimes
walking away from the table mid-hand," Rogers said in an e-mail to
Harrah’s. "Eventually, his antics caused pit personnel to instruct
security guards to stand by the table to keep bystanders back. The other
players who were at the table left, and the drunk was playing alone at a
de facto private table. Amazingly, the cocktail waitress kept bringing
Rogers said at one point, the man was too drunk to pick up his cards.
"The assistant casino manager came over, picked up the cards and
played the patron’s hand for him," Rogers said.