Panel OKs tribe’s casino plan

Jun 11, 2002 9:59 AM

An Alaska Indian tribe moved a step closer to operating the casino at Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas when state regulators approved registration of Cook Inlet Region Inc. as a holding company.

Allaying concerns from the Gaming Control Board, representatives for the tribe outlined a system that would withhold casino revenue from "unsuitable" shareholders. The 7,000-member tribe agreed to either withhold gaming disbursements or require ineligible stakeholders to transfer their shares to relatives.

"We’ve built a brick house. We don’t want a cardboard backdoor,’’ board member Bobby Siller said as the panel recommended approval of the plan to the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Lakeside Gaming Investors Inc., a joint venture of Cook Inlet and veteran gamers Dan Reichartz and Dan Scott, will apply to be the licensee at the Ritz, which is due to open early next year.

Cook Inlet has a 47 percent interest in the Village at MonteLago. The privately held company already has a 50 percent stake in the Hyatt Regency but does not share in the gaming profits.

The Gaming Commission will weigh final approval on June 20.

In other news:

”¡ Orrin Edidin was approved as chief operating officer, executive vice president, secretary and general counsel at WMS Industries and its subsidiaries. He was named president, secretary, treasurer and director of WMS Gaming of Nevada.

When asked about slot platform problems that have dogged the company, Edidin reported that "significant progress has been made in the past five months." He said Mississippi has accepted new software that is currently being tested in Nevada, and he expects that a joint product with Sierra Design Group to be unveiled next year.

”¡ Park Place Entertainment filed its request to open a high-limit gaming salon at Caesars Palace.

MGM Mirage, which controls about half of the Strip’s high-end gaming market, filed a similar request in April for a salon at the MGM Grand.

The new private casinos will permit gamblers with at least $500,000 in cash or credit to place minimum table or slot wagers of $500. Each room must have a video feed to gaming control headquarters and casinos must notify regulators when the salons are open.

Sources say the Gaming Commission could issue approval as early as July.