Vegas Sands faces $2m Fine for Gambling Violations

The Nevada Gaming Control Board announced that the Las Vegas Sands Corporation has two pending gambling violations. And if found guilty of the violations, Sands faces a $2 million fine from the Gaming Control Board.

The violations center around millions dollars that Sands received from both a high roller and a Chinese consulate in a basketball deal. The Gaming Control Board says that the casino corporation failed to fully account for either of these big dealings and will review the matter on May 19.

Ron Reese, a spokesman for Sands, neither admits to the violations nor denies them. “The company cooperated fully with the Nevada Gaming Control Board and looks forward to a resolution of this matter,” Reese said.

In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found that Sands didn’t properly account for huge transactions with Chinese businessmen and high rollers over the last decade.

One instance of this involved the company buying a professional Chinese basketball team that would wear their Venetian Macao logo. This seems pretty standard, but the problem is that they haven’t explained where all $7 million of the transaction fee went.

Another finding is that Sands didn’t property report everything from a $61 million real estate deal, which involves the company trying to build a resort on China’s Hengqin Island.

According to the Washington Times, Sands is already on the hook to pay a $9 million civil penalty for their murky Chinese dealings. They could also pay an additional $2 million to Nevada over the aforementioned Chinese high roller.

Speaking of which, the complaint states that Zhenli Ye Gon was a regular at the Venetian Macao from 2005 to 2007. Labeled as the “largest all cash upfront gambler ever,” his Mexico City home was eventually raided in ’07, where authorities found $207 million in cash.

The problem on Sands’ part is that they never flagged or questioned any of Ye Gon’s transactions until April 2007. They also failed to account for how he was transferring large amounts of money from Mexico and has lost more than $90 million at their casino.

Of this amount, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. gave back $47 million of Ye Gon’s losses to the US treasury. However, based on the current fines that they’re facing, they could be forking over additional money in the near future.