Attorney General Laxalt and Nevada Gaming Control Board File Criminal Complaint Against Internet Gaming Operator

April 28, 2015

Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, in conjunction with investigatory partners at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, announced the filing of a criminal complaint against Bryan Micon, 36, of Las Vegas in a press conference this morning. Micon was charged with one count of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming website. A warrant for Micon’s arrest has been issued and remains active. The alleged violation was committed between March 2014 and February 2015. According to gaming regulatory authorities, this is the first state-level criminal prosecution of an illegal Internet poker website in Nevada’s history.

    The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint includes allegations that Micon operated an unlicensed interactive gaming website in Nevada. The website, known as “Seals with Clubs,” was allegedly an internet poker site that used Bitcoin as currency. Operating such a site in Nevada without a license is a violation of NRS 463.160, a category “B” felony, and punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment.

      “Defending Nevada’s worldwide reputation as the ‘Gold Standard of Gaming Integrity’ is a paramount concern to the tens of thousands of Nevadans employed by the industry and the 41 million tourists who visit the state each year,” said Laxalt. “Operating or otherwise conducting gaming in the state without a license is illegal, and this office will aggressively pursue individuals and companies who seek to circumvent gaming regulations.”

        As noted, the Micon investigation and prosecution sets an important precedent. Gaming regulatory authorities believe it to be the first state-level Internet gaming prosecution in Nevada’s history. It also marks the first instance of state-level criminal prosecution in Nevada of an illegal Internet poker site using Bitcoin as currency.

          A.G. Burnett, Chairman of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board stated, “The Nevada Gaming Control Board is pleased to work with the Office of the Attorney General to stop unlicensed gaming activities. Operating an interactive gaming website without a gaming license runs afoul of Nevada gaming law. The Board will continue to investigate those who do so, and will continue to turn over such cases to the attorney general for criminal prosecution.”

            Chairman Tony Alamo of the Nevada Gaming Commission added, “The Nevada gaming regulatory structure is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ throughout the world. The Micon prosecution is important because it makes clear that the Nevada Gaming Control Act and its rigorous licensing requirements will be strictly enforced. The unique facts of the case make this prosecution the first of its kind in the state of Nevada.”

              In general, a criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

                This case was investigated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, who is tasked with maintaining a strong gaming regulatory structure that protects Nevadans and businesses. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the Nevada Attorney General.

                  To view the criminal complaint, click here.  Anyone with information regarding this case wishing to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office may do so by clicking here.