Tuscany GM to cut tiesto
tribal online gaming

May 13, 2003 7:22 AM

After being grilled by a state gaming official, an applicant for a management position at the recently-opened Tuscany Hotel & Casino pledged to divest his interest in an Internet gaming website operated by a Canadian Indian tribe.

The State Gaming Control Board recommended last week that Bruce Jeffrey Fraser receive a key employee license to serve as general manager of Tuscany, following Fraser’s assurances that he’d get out of his investment in propoker.com, a gaming website owned by an Indian tribe in Quebec.

Board Member Scott Scherer questioned why Fraser had made an investment in a business involved with online wagering, which is not legal in the United States.

Scherer said he understood that propoker.com did not accept credit cards from people living in the United States who try to gamble on the site. But he noted that Quebec police officials believe that the tribe is operating the Internet gaming site illegally.

Scherer wanted to know if Fraser had investigated whether what the tribal jurisdiction was doing was legal or not before making the investment.

"Did you use due diligence?" Scherer asked.

Fraser admitted that he had not done so. He said he made the investment, in a company called Eric Myson, Inc., to help out a friend who had been experiencing cash flow problems.

Scherer said he was concerned about Fraser’s interest and encouraged him "to take a closer look at it."

Fraser replied that he was in the process of divesting.

The $100 million Tuscany opened in January at 255 E. Flamingo Road, across from the Howard Hughes Center. The hotel-casino has 716 rooms and 60,000 square feet of casino area.

Chairman Dennis Neilander asked Fraser how the Tuscany was doing.

Fraser said that the hotel’s average daily room rate was $78. But the hotel was experiencing a softness in occupancy during mid-week, consistent with the rest of the Las Vegas hotel industry at the moment, he added.

To help remedy the situation, Tuscany just opened 35,000 square feet of meeting space to attract more mid-week convention business, Fraser said.