Greenspun looking for bigger slice of the pie?

Jan 6, 2009 5:01 PM
Gaming Insider by Phil Hevener |

What’s the chance Brian Greenspun will grab what looks like passing opportunity and take a much more significant position in Station Casinos where he is now a passive partner?

The answer depends on whether Greenspun, who is best known for his newspaper and property development interests, has been persuaded by the poor economy and the problems of those around him to go in search of once-in-a-lifetime bargains that might now be available.

Greenspun’s appetite for being a casino owner first became apparent years ago when he and a prospective partner were eyeing the Aladdin. He has since become a quiet 50 percent partner in two Station projects, Green Valley Ranch and the just-opened Aliante Station Casino & Hotel. He also has 5 percent of the Maloof family’s Palms.

Overseeing all this for Greenspun is former senior Harrah’s executive Tony Santo who has been something of an invisible man since going to work for the Greenspuns. Harrah’s acquired Santo’s talents when it bought Caesars World, which included the Hilton properties where Santo labored for a number of years. As Harrah’s went through some managerial consolidation, Santo became a man without job … but not for long.

The presence of a talent such as Santo merely as an overseer of Station operations on Greenspun’s behalf suggests the latter has bigger things in mind, whatever those things might be.

Whether the time is right to flex that ambition remains to be seen, but there has never been a time when his Station partners seemed more in need of cash than they do now.

Greenspun did not respond to a request for comment.