Gamers pull the plug on shower for high rollers!

September 10, 2002 7:21 AM
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   Citing concerns about a high-roller “nap room,” regulators have shut off a private shower proposed for the international gaming salon at Caesars Palace.

   “I’m very nervous about this shower,’’ gaming control board member Bobby Siller told Park Place Entertainment execs. “It opens a Pandora’s Box.’’

   The control board, enforcing a legislative prohibition against “living quarters” in the exclusive gaming area, ruled that a shower was just too much. “When you’ve got an reclining chair, a TV and a shower, you basically have a Motel 6,’’ Siller said.

   Caesars President John Groom agreed to close off the shower while leaving a wash basin and commode intact. Another shower not directly connected to the private salon was approved.

   Sources told GamingToday that high-roller salons in other countries routinely provide creature comforts, such as showers, to accommodate the assorted “whims and eccentricities” of whales.

   If ratified by the Gaming Commission, Caesars will open four exclusive betting parlors at the rear of Palace Court by year-end. The 3,000-square-foot area, whose construction and technology tab ran $15 million, will feature more than 20 tables games-but no slots. By law, minimum bets are set at $500.

   MGM Grand received approval for its high-roller salons last month-sans showers.

   “We’re throwing everything we have at this,’’ Groom said. “There are new billionaires created in the Far East every day. It’s a new world of competition.’’

   Groom added that the multimillion-dollar upgrades at Caesars will continue over the next few years. “Park Place is spending $2 for every dollar it earns here. It’s a loss leader.’’

   In other action, the board:

   Recommended approval of a bridge loan for the Cannery Casino. The North Las Vegas casino, due to open in December, will receive funding through Vestin Mortgage, which will, in turn, receive a membership interest in the Rampart Casino. Bill Paulos operates both gaming properties. Partner Guy Hillyer said the financing arrangement will run through December 2003.

   Recommended approval of a Bally Gaming slot that will pay winners $1,000 a week. The so-called “cash for life” game requires operators to maintain cash reserves to cover the long-term obligations.

   Accepted, with prejudice, the withdrawal of a license application from Bruno Clemente Sciotto. Sciotta had applied to be race and sports book director at the old Showboat hotel-casino. The board noted that he had failed to disclose a series of civilian and military arrests in his past.

   Delayed action on Donald Julius Deseranno as an independent agent (junket host). Deseranno, who is not currently employed in the industry, reportedly had gambling problems and filed for bankruptcy. The board returned the matter to staff before making a determination on suitability.

   Heard continued testimony on work card revisions. Police agencies and civil liberties groups expressed concern about cost and privacy issues. New drafts will be discussed at future meetings as the board seeks to streamline the work card process. By law, regulators must implement revisions by Jan. 1