Nevada Gaming Commission Receives Proposed Sexual Harassment Policy Changes

Posted on: November 15, 2018, 06:27h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2018, 06:27h.

The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) is in receipt of proposed changes to state gaming regulations that strengthen safeguards to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct at casinos.

Nevada Gaming Commission sexual misconduct
The Nevada Gaming Control Board wants to require casinos to complete an annual checklist that assures the state they’re properly working to stop sexual harassment. (Image: Regina Garcia Cano/AP)

After holding a public hearing on Wednesday that was attended by Governor Brian Sandoval (R), the Nevada Gaming Control Board signed off on amendments to Regulation 5. They include requiring casinos to annually complete a 16-point checklist to verify that the gaming licensee has “plans, policies, procedures and training” in place to “meet the minimum standards set by the board.”

The compliance and review section of Regulation 5 — Operation of Gaming Establishments and Businesses — is amended to require gaming license holders to maintain written policies and procedures to prevent, report, and investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.

If approved by the NGC, Sandoval says the new regulations will place more responsibility on the employer, not the employee, to both prevent, and respond to, claims of sexual wrongdoings.

NGCB Chair Becky Harris, the first female to oversee the agency who was appointed earlier this year, said there’s no timetable as to when the Nevada Gaming Commission might review the proposals.

Strengthening Policies

The NGCB began reviewing its gaming policies as they relate to sexual harassment prevention after numerous allegations emerged that Steve Wynn had acted inappropriately with his female employees throughout his career.

A Wall Street Journal bombshell brought forward claims that the billionaire forced himself on salon and spa workers, and made a $7.5 million payment to a manicurist to keep quiet. Wynn continues to deny the allegations.

During earlier hearings on the regulations, female casino union members told the NGCB that they’re routinely subjected to sexual harassment. And it’s not just rowdy patrons.

Xstal Campbell, a former dancing bartender at The D, said a manager harassed her for a year. When she went to HR, the company asked whether she might have elicited her superior’s misconduct.

Women in Las Vegas are not safe when it comes to sexual harassment,” Campbell told the board. “We are not protected by anyone.”

Some casino operators expressed views that the 16-point checklist isn’t needed, as gaming companies are already required to enforce policies against sexual misconduct under federal and state laws.

Leading the Way

Sandoval, a former chairman of the NGC, said that “while the vast majority of the requirements being considered today should already be in practice in most licensed gaming establishments and businesses, I believe adopting the proposed amendments will make it clear that Nevadans will not stand for harassment.”

The outgoing governor, who will be replaced in January by Governor-elect Steve Sisolak (D), added that Nevada “has the opportunity to lead in the vitally important realm of sexual harassment prevention and reporting.”

If the sexual misconduct regulatory policies are adapted by the NGC, gaming business licensees found in violation will face stiff penalties. They include substantial fines, and for habitual offenders, license revocation.

“Sexual harassment continues to be one of the most frequent complaints raised in the workplace,” Harris said earlier this year. “An anti-sexual harassment policy is a key component to sexual harassment prevention.”