Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

There was a news story a few days ago indicating that Nevada regulators had decided to levy a fine against Planet Hollywood for incidents at the Privé nightclub including underage drinking and other offenses.

Today, an article in the Sun that compares the $500,000 fine with other agencies.

Update: The gaming commission approved the fine, as expected. In addition though, Clark County has denied the liquor license application for Privé. I'm not really sure how they can survive without booze.

The Sun weighs in:


Read archived comments (12 so far)
July 15, 2009 9:54 AM Posted by Phil

When the mob was around, one thing they never stood for was that kind of activity in their hotels. They ran a class operation and if you acted as the article describes they'd find a nice hole for you out in the desert where nobody was around.

Now you can go down the list of both individual owners and corporate owners who turn a blind eye to this activity. The police dept. and mayor who both have to know this stuff goes on everyday in these clubs and what do they do....nothing. Why Captain Obvious? Money. As long as the circle of cash keeps flowing we'll all turn our back to it. Club owners, who never seem to be squeaky clean guys, always seem to have stories surrounding them, most of the bad, and now Las Vegas is in bed with them, literally. I think if Vegas residents truly knew what goes on in these clubs the overwhelming majority would want them shut down, if they knew their children attended them in the midst of that type of atmosphere they would be in shock.

There is nothing wrong with going dancing, having a few drinks, letting go and having a good time, thats what Vegas is, but people "discreetly" having sex, doing drugs or dealing...etc. in clubs is crossing the line. This story first broke with a fine at the Hard Rock back 9 years ago or so, but you would almost expect that stuff to happen at the Hard Rock, but now its has creeped into the mainstream hotels and thats whats disturbing.

I feel that many of our current casino owners need new revenue streams badly in this economy and they found their cash cow but with it they know they're playing with fire. I don't know how long they can keep blowing into the balloon before it bursts, until it does it appears they'll keep inflating it.

July 15, 2009 11:37 AM Posted by parchedearth

The only suprising thing to me was the claims of sexual assault by club employees. I'm not sure how sexual assault is defined under NV law, since this varies wildly by state. It might simply be a few pats on the butt or groping, but actual rape would be a major concern deserving of this fine.

My guess is the regulators felt it was just getting totally out of control. I have heard they line the ambulances up outside the clubs. Personally, I think they should get rid of the bottle requirement.

I also wonder if the IRS investigation of club doormen tips affected the fine in any way.

July 15, 2009 11:54 AM Posted by jinx

I have to say, I'm impressed by the gaming control board here, definitely a strong message. While I think the clubs bring a side to Vegas that's needed, I would definitely say that you can tell things get out of hands at times. Which cannot be good for the overall casino environment. On top of this I definitely believe there is a ton more prostitution on the strip then I've seen say 5 years ago. While I don't have a problem with it, the aggressiveness of some of the girls has got to be a negative for a large part of the tourist base thats out in the city. Again my opinion is subjective and certainly not quantifiable, but it's about as honest as I can be.

July 15, 2009 12:26 PM Posted by David McKee

Simply fining casinos isn't going to get the message across. Perhaps if regulators pull a Jersey-style shockeroo and yank somebody's license, the powers that be will start to pay attention. Still, I agree they're on the right track and high time, too. (As for the Mob, from what I've learned over the years, this town's still got plenty of execs who imagine that they're some kind of "made men" and behave accordingly.)

July 15, 2009 4:55 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

One of the most striking thinkg I picked up from reading the Parry Thomas book "Quiet Kingmaker" is that the mob always skimmed all the money they possibly could from the Casinos, usually leaving nothing for economic developement in the city, and the Casinos were always in some kind of cash flow crisis. Except for Moe Dalitz at the Desert Inn, everyone else on the Strip went busted and either sold out or were bailed out many times over.
Having said that, I think these nightclubs are exactly the kind of business the mob would be in if they still were running Las Vegas. Make no mistake, I am NOT saying the mob is running these clubs, in any way, shape or form. But a high cash business based on drunkeness and lust is right up their alley.

July 16, 2009 10:25 AM Posted by jinx

Good point David, definitely agree that pulling a license maybe the only message that does come across. At least the fine seems significant enough to maybe make others think it could happen. I do find it interesting that it's the PH property that was fined for this though, they wouldn't be able to tell me that it doesn't happen in all of the other mega-clubs to certain degrees. Interesting that it's one of the bit players on the strip that gets fined though.

JeffinOKC good points as well.

July 22, 2009 7:47 PM Posted by detroit1051

Chapter 2: Warning to casinos beyond clubs.

July 23, 2009 3:51 PM Posted by mike_ch

Update: Prive is going to have to close:

July 24, 2009 5:15 AM Posted by detroit1051

Opium Group, the corporate owners of Prive, moved Club Opium from South Beach to Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL because of noise and other complaints at the Miami Beach venue. The new location is open at least until 5 AM and being on reservation land, makes them accountable only to the tribe.
The name Opium doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

July 24, 2009 10:34 AM Posted by GregoryZephyr

You know, this closure triggered a thought. Maybe this is sort of the end of an era. Often, when "eras" end the people experiencing it don't entirely realize it until much later. This could be a great way to end a movie about the decadence of the past decade. Much like the end of The Untouchables with the end of Prohibition or Casino with the end of Mob rule. It just seems to me that this event could easily mark a change from the $500 bottle service craziness. Even though not all clubs are closed and there will always be drunken young guys and wild women, it feels a little like the party is over. (Maybe I'll get started writing the screenplay.)

July 24, 2009 11:10 PM Posted by mike_ch

I think the economy caused that more than this.

This kind of thing happens once or twice a decade. Venetian has quietly had this kind of problem here and there, and at least one club (C2K) was shut down for turning into a drug den.

As the LVCVA and it's allies in Hollywood continue to play up the "what the hell happened last night?" vibe when presenting Vegas to the world, this kind of thing will continue. When one of the most popular movies of the moment is The Hangover at the same time that the radio is playing Waking Up In Vegas on heavy rotation, is it any surprise that people here are acting like buffoons?

July 27, 2009 12:22 AM Posted by Nami Dalufin

I think they should face it because they allow those things happen, sometimes people don't care for other things around them and what important to them is just to earn money without thinking that they doing is not right.