Rehab Under InvestigationSeptember 17, 2009 By: Bryan Bass
After a weekend bust that ended with eight partiers at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s legendary pool party Rehab behind bars, state regulators have turned their attention from the embattled and temporarily operating Prive Nightclub to the hard-rocking property on Paradise Road. The undercover operation targeted illicit activities at resort pools and arrested seven people for alleged narcotics-related offenses and the eighth for soliciting prostitution.
The Hard Rock certainly isn’t the only Strip property under close scrutiny as part of a widening effort to crack down on illicit activities at nightclub venues and resort pools, but after the bust, the Nevada State Gaming Control Board announced it would examine more aspects of the Rehab pool operation, including its policies and procedures, to determine if this was an isolated incident or occurs frequently, according to chief enforcement officer Jerry Markling.
After the incident, the Hard Rock released a statement noting the resort has “a zero-tolerance policy regarding these alleged activities. Hard Rock has worked with Metro in the past to develop security procedures for our pool party and will continue to fully cooperate with Metro going forward." They also noted that the poolside bacchanalia hosted almost 6,000 guests that day and that the eight people arrested represent a microscopic minority.
This all follows the busy summer of Prive-gate, which served as a warning from the Gaming Control Board, which said as many as nine other clubs or pool venues were also being investigated. After effectively closing the topless Sapphire Pool at The Rio, a venture co-branded with the property and Sapphire, the world’s largest gentlemen’s club, and Metro’s weekend bust at Rehab, we can assume those two pool venues were among the nine referred to by Gaming Control. However, Markling was quick to point out that not being on their list doesn’t mean much: "We're reactionary as much as we are proactive. If we get complaints, we respond to those, and we try to alleviate receiving complaints by being proactive," he told local reporter Arnold Knightly.