What's Your Communications Compliance Policy?
November 2008

Compliance plans and advertising seem like strange bedfellows. After all, what advertisements can possibly cause gaming regulatory compliance issues? One Las Vegas casino found out when it attracted the unwanted attention of gaming regulators when it launched a risqué series of billboards. One showed cards, poker chips and a couple in a suggestive pose with the tagline “There’s always a temptation to cheat.” Another declared that the casino supported “your Monday night rights,” which included “large quantities of prescription stimulants” and “having wives in two states” with a message stating, “Tell your wives you are going; if they are hot, bring them along.”

Nevada’s gaming regulators decided that illicit sex, illegal drugs and casino cheating were over the top even by Vegas standards and brought a complaint alleging a violation of Nevada Gaming Regulation 5.011(4) and sanctioned the casino for a “failure to conduct advertising and public relations activities in accordance with decency, dignity, good taste, honesty and inoffensiveness…”The casino ultimately agreed to pay a fine of $300,000 and implement new compliance procedures to review future advertisements.

While the Nevada Gaming Commission ultimately decided to reject two of the three counts in the final decision because of First Amendment questions, such conflicts can strain relationships with the regulators and the community.

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