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Audit: Nevada Gaming Board Effective

15 May 2003

by Cy Ryan

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- The state Gaming Control Board does a good job of collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in casino taxes but it needs to improve its control of the payments when they reach the office, a legislative audit says.

"Large deposits were not adequately safeguarded in the Carson City office, said the audit that was released Wednesday.

The legislative auditors said it was "common for the clerk (in the board's office) to take millions of dollars in checks to the bank without security assistance."

At other offices of the board, there is better security.

Joe Bertolone, chief of the administration division of the Control Board, said two people are now required to go to the bank in Carson City with deposits over $100,000.

"We never believed that this was necessary in the past because the deposits are almost always comprised of checks made out to the Gaming Control Board, and the checks are immediately endorsed during our collection process," Bertolone said. The deposits rarely include cash, he said.

The audit also said the Control Board should tighten its security in Carson City to the area where the checks are stored.

Bertolone said the board has tightened access to the filing cabinet where the checks are stored.

The legislative audit reviewed the performance of the board in auditing casinos and collecting taxes in 2002. It found the Control Board "has an effective process for the collection of gaming taxes and fees." It collected more than $711 million last fiscal year and its collection rate is more than 99 percent.

Since the last legislative audit, the board's audit division is conducting more frequent reviews of casino finances and there are indications there is a high level of compliance by casinos in following accounting rules and payment of taxes.

The audit said the board should make sure that clubs file their internal control reports timely and that there be periodic reviews of the board's audit division's policies to make sure they are current.

Since its last examination in 1995, the legislative auditors noted gross gaming revenue has increased 32 percent to $8.9 billion. But he said there has been an increase of only nine auditors on the board.

"The relatively small increase in staff compared to industry growth indicates the division has managed its staff efficiently," said the legislative auditors.

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