Mohegan Sun Pays $60,000 Fine For Opening Night COVID-19 Violations

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 25, 2021
Virgin Hotel Opening Day Fines

This week Mohegan Sun was ordered to pay the largest fine for a single property for a COVID-19 protocol violation. The $60,000 fine was for a violation during the opening night celebration of the Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on March 25.

There were numerous violations during the opening night celebration. The scene shared most often was of actor Mario Lopez rolling dice at the craps table without a mask. Images of the event were shared on social media by the hotel and casino. Both since removed photos of the violations from their respective Twitter accounts.

Lopez wasn’t the only celebrity on hand mingling at the party without a mask. A review of the opening night celebration at the Las Vegas Review-Journal showed multiple other maskless guests including Matt James from The Bachelor” and Chrisell Stause of Selling Sunset and Dancing with the Stars. Stause was also seen playing craps without a mask.

Going maskless was just one violation. Guests at the well-attended party did not adhere to the social distancing restrictions that were in place at the time of the event.

Mohegan Sun agrees to pay fine

Earlier this month the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) charged the casino with numerous violations of its health safety protocols during the opening night celebration. The recommendation for the fine was approved and levied by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) this week.

During a meeting on June 9, Mohegan Sun CEO Ray Pineault apologized for the violation saying:

“As the lead(er) of the organization, I take full responsibility for the lapse in judgment and failure on the part of our team to uphold the standards of the Gaming Control Board on the date in question. Nothing is more important to me and our organization than the safety and security of our team, guests, and the community, and I recognize there is no excuse for this behavior. We take the concerns and violations that were raised very seriously and after becoming aware of the incidents, we took immediate remedial action.”

Pineault added, “We’ve agreed to settle involving our Nevada property stemming from the incidents that occurred on the night of our opening.”

COVID-19 restrictions are no longer in place for Clark County casinos as of June 1. Mohegan Sun Casino inside Virgin Hotels Las Vegas remains fully operational.

Since the initial “opening” event in March, there was an officially official grand opening weekend in early June. This time Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, was in attendance. After all, a Virgin business can’t truly be open without his appearance.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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