Police Use Underage Volunteers to Bust Businesses

LAS VEGAS -- More than a dozen businesses sold alcohol to underage volunteers during a check by Henderson police officers this weekend, the police department said Monday.

According to the police, officers from the Community Relations Unit worked with the underage volunteers, sending them into 59 businesses to buy alcohol.

In 44 of the businesses, the clerks refused to sell alcohol to the volunteers, but clerks in 15 businesses did, the police said.

Among the businesses that failed were the Race & Sports Bar at the M Resort and Casino, two PT's Gold taverns, a Dotty's casino, Eldorado Casino and a Jackpot Joanie's.

The clerks were cited for serving an underage person and face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. This was the first time those businesses failed the check, the police said.

Places like the Republic Kitchen and Bar are on the front lines of the battle according to one of the businesses managing partners Jeff Kovatch.

Kovatch's restaurant was the hit by one of the undercover stings last year and passed with flying colors and received a certificate showing they didn't fall for the police ploy.

"They sent in two underage kids who ordered a beer at the bar and our bartender obviously asked for ID's," Kovatch said. "We're ultimately responsible, so when we train all of our bartenders we are very specific and if anyone remotely looks under 35, that's the number we use."

If they fail a second or third time, the businesses owners could lose their license to operate.


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