- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Cosmopolitan and SLS Las Vegas casinos are among the privately owned gambling companies that will now have one less regulatory hoop to jump through in Nevada.

Vegas Inc. reports that the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday approved new regulation that no longer requires the privately-held businesses to report earnings publicly.

The Cosmopolitan is owned by Blackstone Group. The SLS is owned by Stockbridge Capital. Such companies register with the Securities and Exchange Commission but the federal agency offers little scrutiny since the companies don’t have publically traded stock to oversee.

Likewise, the state gambling commission said the additional step of requiring those same companies to publicly report earnings in Nevada has become an unnecessary and expensive burden for both regulators and the casinos because trades aren’t involved.

The commission also said the companies are disadvantaged by reporting proprietary information when similar out-of-state competitors aren’t be subjected to it.

Nevada’s largest labor group has opposed the new regulation. The Culinary Union representing 57,000 Las Vegas casino workers said in a statement that it would “only exacerbate the ‘too-big-to-regulate’ problem in Nevada gaming by concealing more information from the public.”

The union has been pushing regulators to consider Deutsche Bank’s connections to an interest rate scandal. The bank has a stake in the local Station Casinos company and the union has feuded with Stations for years in a push to unionization its workers.

Tony Alamo, gaming commission chairman, insisted the policy change won’t affect overall regulatory oversight in Nevada. He said the privately held companies will still have to report the same level of financial information to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which allows the earnings to stay private. The board remains the first tier of gaming regulation in the state.

“You’re not gonna hide stuff from the (board),” Alamo said to Vegas Inc.

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Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com

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