|Indicted auditor Arthur Andersen LLP is preparing to defend its corner against being banished from the New Jersey casino industry, and if the industry isn’t exactly standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the company, there are at least some reservations being expressed at the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s (DGE) call for a temporary prohibitory order. |
The DGE is requesting that the Casino Control Commission temporarily prohibit casinos from doing business with Andersen. One Andersen client has called the order ‘overly broad’, while another says it would need until at least May 15 to cut its ties to Andersen. The order temporarily prohibits not just casinos from doing business with Andersen, but also their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, as well as license applicants.
If the DGE gets its way, the commission order would affect Atlantic City’s three Trump casinos, two Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. casinos and Sands Casino Hotel, as well as Boyd Gaming Corp. and MGM Mirage’s Borgata casino hotel, which is under construction.
Andersen replied on Monday with a letter to commission Chairman James Hurley, arguing that the DGE is punishing a 35,000-employee company for the actions which are unrelated to its casino work. The letter pointed out that Andersen faces no charges in New Jersey, and that there are no accusations of improper business practices with respect to its casino work.
Boyd Gaming argued that the commission would be overreaching its remit by prohibiting the company from using Andersen to conduct internal audits at its casinos in Nevada, Louisiana and Mississippi. Sands Casino Hotel is not contesting the DGE’s request, but is asking the commission to consider the ‘hardship’ of having to quickly change auditors.