Panel Approves Recommendations for Requiring Nevada Casinos to File Regular Emergency Plans


A Nevada task force approved Friday a set of recommendations made in a previously compiled report that seek to update an obsolete state law and obligate local casinos to submit regular emergency plans, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Changes are discussed in the wake of the October 1 shooting, during which a heavily armed gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino into a crowd of concert-goers to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others.

The 14-member Nevada Resort Planning Task Force was assembled by the Nevada Division Emergency Management and includes emergency managers and casino security execs.

During its Friday meeting, the panel gave its support for proposed changes in an existing law that would strengthen it, require casino resorts to compile and file detailed emergency plans, and allow state gambling regulators to penalize casinos that have failed to submit their plans. The task force also approved a guide aiming to help resort executives compile their plans.

Under the proposed changes, Nevada’s casinos will have to submit or update their emergency plans by November 1 each year. The Emergency Management Division will be allowed to provide the state Gaming Control Board with a list of non-compliant resorts. The gaming regulator will then decide whether it should impose fines or even revoke a property’s license depending on the scale of its failures. The changes need to be approved by the Nevada Legislature.

Under a 2003 law, resorts must present a map or drawing of all their areas, accompanied by a description of each of these. Internal and external access routes drawing or descriptions, evacuation plan, the location of emergency equipment, and description of every existing public health hazard should also be provided by the properties, as per law.

Multiple Failures

The special task force was assembled in February, following an investigation by the Review-Journal that found the state Emergency Management Division had failed to review emergency plans for most of the resorts located across the Las Vegas Strip for the past five years.

It was also understood that many of the properties had not submitted their updated emergency plans to state regulators during the period.

Following the publication of the Review-Journal’s findings, state officials admitted that there have been failures in relation to their responsibilities to force casino properties across the state to submit their emergency plans under the 2003 law.

The approved recommendations are hoped to help the state improve the filing of plans procedure and monitor for failures in a more effective way. The Nevada Homeland Security Commission will next be presented with the recommendations. As mentioned above, these require approval from state lawmakers, as well, in order to be enforced and resorts to be watched closely for any potential breaches.

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