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Station eyes seamless slot network

Jan 28, 2003 6:08 AM

Building on its local market dominance, Station Casinos is considering a fully portable bonus system for slot players.

The new program would upgrade the popular Extra Play Cash (XPC) program to allow players to use the free points on their Boarding Pass cards at any Station casino — not just the property where the points were earned.

The network has been tested by state gaming regulators and officials flashed the green light last week for field testing.

But Station also issued a word of caution.

"We’re not sure when, where or even if we’re going to do this,’’ spokeswoman Lesley Pittman said. "It’s just something we’re looking at.’’

If implemented, the "Station Players Integrated Network" would be in place at: Boulder, Green Valley, Palace, Santa Fe, Sunset and Texas stations.

The players’ consensus: Go for it!

In other action, regulators:

”¡ Approved Station’s purchase of the Wildfire Casino on Rancho Drive.

Officers include Senior Vice Presidents Glenn Christenson and Scott Nielson; Stephen Cavallaro, president; and John James, general manager. Matt Olin, former slot director at the Speedway Casino, joins the team as director of operations.

Nielson had previously been an investor in Bauchman family property, formerly known as Ernie’s. Nielson said Stations plans "no significant changes" at the Wildfire . . . at least for now.

Station execs said several marketing and operations lessons they’ve learned at their Wild Wild West Casino at Tropicana and Industrial will help to ensure success at the Wildfire. Internal controls will be run through the Fiesta, Wildfire’s sister property up the street.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

”¡ Quizzed Station executives on their plans for the new Thunder Valley Station Casino outside Sacramento, Calif. Nielson said the firm is expecting gross gaming revenue to run between $300,000 to $400,000 in the first year.

Responding to questions from commission member Sue Wagner, Nielson said he sees little impact on Reno.

”¡ Approved the MonteLago Casino at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson. Opening is set for this spring, along with the debut of an adjoining 250-room Ritz Carlton hotel, a 65,000-square-foot Mediterranean Village retail center and 170 luxury condominiums.

Commissioner Art Marshall called the Cook Inlet property "a beautiful project.’’ It will be managed by Sybro LLC, a firmed headed by casino veteran Dan Reichartz

”¡ Issued unrestricted gaming licenses to Marvin and Erik Lipshultz at the Golden Palm casino. The father-son team plans a "top-to-bottom" replacement of the Howard Johnson property at the southeast corner of Tropicana and Industrial, said attorney Bill Curran. A South Beach (Florida) motif is on the drawing board.

”¡ Granted a temporary license to Tarra Lorraine Green-Jackson to oversee operations at the Ultra New Town Tavern, the only unrestricted gaming establishment in West Las Vegas. Green-Jackson is special administrator of the estate of Oscar Green Jr. The license will expire in September.

”¡ Received an update on interactive gaming. Having reviewed MGM Mirage’s Isle of Man project, gaming staffer Mark Warren reported that regulators are seeking further direction from the Nevada Legislature, and that a bill draft has been requested by an unidentified lawmaker.

At the federal level, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., recently announced that he will only support legislation that calls for an "outright ban" of Internet gaming.