Contract for Siren Gaming

Jun 4, 2002 12:35 PM

Tony Marnell, the man who built and successfully operated the Rio Suites Hotel/Casino before selling it to Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) a couple of years ago, is back in the casino business.

Well, almost.

After pocketing the $525 million he received from Harrah’s and reverting to his principal business of building things, Marnell provided the financing for a limited liability company called Siren Gaming with former Rio general manager John Lipkowitc as its president. The company began looking around for gaming investments.

Last week, it was announced that Siren Gaming had received a $30 million consulting agreement from the California-based San Pasqual Indian Tribe whose troubled relationship with its original partner, First Nation, impacted the performance of its Valley View Casino.

There still are matters that need to be settled before the Siren-San Pasqual partnership can move forward. The tribe’s creditors must agree to a restructuring of its debt; a lawsuit by First Nation alleging that Siren stole its contracted partner needs to be addressed, and settlement must be attained involving a $1 million suit from another Indian tribe.

Still, for Siren, it’s a beginning.

Other executives playing a role with Siren are: Ron Radcliffe, former CFO of Rio; Shawn Ellis, another Rio former executive, and Frank Giannosa who formerly guided the El Cortez Hotel/Casino in Downtown Las Vegas.