Las Vegas Dive Bar Smuggle Inn Surrenders Gaming License for Selling Coke: Not the Cola Kind

Posted on: August 22, 2019, 10:16h. 

Last updated on: August 22, 2019, 10:41h.

A Las Vegas dive bar with the foretelling name of the Smuggle Inn is handing over its restricted gaming license to the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) after undercover detectives with Metro police were able to purchase cocaine on two different occasions at the tavern.

Las Vegas dive bar tavern gaming
Police say the Smuggle Inn Las Vegas dive bar offered up drinks, food, and cocaine. (Image: Tiki Central)

The Smuggle Inn, located at East Vegas Valley Drive and Maryland Parkway, has been a popular 24/7 hangout for area locals. But police discovered it’s also been used by cocaine users looking for a quick fix.

Metro says in December the agency was tipped off that several bartenders at the tavern were offering and selling cocaine to patrons. Police executed a search warrant in late December and found a third bartender in possession of 69.3 grams of cocaine, 5.7 grams of methamphetamine, and more than $6,000 in cash.

The bartender working the day of the search pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. The Smuggle Inn’s owner, Richard DiCandilo, struck a settlement deal that requires he hands over the property’s restricted gaming license. The establishment has also since shut its doors.

Drugs and Gaming Don’t Mix

Regulation 5.014 of the Nevada Gaming Control Act says that the “commission may revoke or suspend the gaming license or finding of suitability of a person who is convicted of a crime, even though the convicted person’s postconviction rights and remedies have not been fully exhausted, if the crime or conviction discredits or tends to discredit the State of Nevada or the gaming industry.”

The Smuggle Inn’s restricted gaming license allowed it to house up to 15 slot machines.

The tavern wasn’t exactly the most welcoming watering hole. Out front, potential guests needed to ring a doorbell and “smile for bartender.” The sign said it was “for your safety.” The establishment offered “fine food for the adventure,” and for some, what an adventure it was.

Though illegal on both the federal and state level, narcotic street drugs are lucrative business throughout Las Vegas. Dealers routinely try to infiltrate casinos and nightclubs to purvey illicit drugs.

And in Las Vegas, every night is, of course, party night.

Clubs of our size, you’re talking 3,000 to 5,000 people every time those doors open,” Wynn Las Vegas President of Security and Crisis Management Todd Fasulo told KTNV. “We don’t tolerate one single bit [those found with drugs].”

In 2013, the Palms was fined more than $1 million by the state after an undercover investigation found cocaine distribution was rampant at its Moon nightclub. In 2015, Mandalay Bay was fined $500,000 for similar offenses.

Something for Everyone

The Smuggle Inn was located in a strip mall that offered a little bit of everything.

Those not looking for a coke high could go on a spiritual journey by visiting one of the three ministry and worship centers located next door – Miracle Ministries International, Christian Missionary, and Living Hope Worship Center.

And for those who had enough, the Mission Treatment Center drug addiction rehabilitation was just steps away.