Is Brittany in George’s palm?

Jul 29, 2003 7:25 AM

GEORGE SAYS IT’S JUST FRIENDSHIP: The Palms’ dashing young owner, George Maloof, has been enjoying the limelight, ever since his hip and trendy casino-hotel opened a year and a half ago. Since then there have been many stories about the city’s most eligible bachelor, as well as tenuous links to Hollywood starlets.

The latest rumor surfaced during a Fox news feature, which implied a romantic liaison with sexy pop diva Brittany Spears.

On camera, George said he and the blossoming megastar were just friends.

Well, we wanted to know for sure, so our pipe tracked down George at a local watering hole

that takes its name from a resort town in Arizona.

"So, George," our pipe asked, "what about this Brittany thing?"

With a beverage in hand and blondes close by, George again proclaimed his innocence. "No, it’s just a friendship. She’s a nice girl."

George added, our pipe recalled, that he didn’t see the Fox piece. "I don’t like to watch things about me," he reportedly told our eager-eared pipe.


CALIFORNIA GAMING IN GRAY AREA! Not that California Governor Gray Davis doesn’t already have enough problems, what with a recall effort that could dump him from office. But now Davis has the state’s Indian tribes on his case.

The tribes are outraged that Davis has failed to sign compacts identical to the ones that opened the door to Native American gaming for 61 tribes.

Davis has said he won’t approve any new compacts ””Âí­ which could number as many as 35 ”” because the state isn’t getting enough revenue from the old ones!

Of course, the tribes that already have casinos don’t want to pay more. So there’s the stand-off. And, now Davis has a total of 96 Indian tribes clamoring for his scalp.

It’s likely, however, that Davis won’t have to resolve the problem. There could be a new governor in office by November.


TRIBAL CASINOS TO GO NATIVE? Native Americans have formed some odd alliances in setting up casinos on their reservations. But are they ready to get in bed with Heidi Fleiss?

The former Hollywood madam says she’s been talking with Indian leaders about opening some sexy casinos. So far, Fleiss helped hatch a brothel in Australia, but she says she’s not talking about prostitution here. Instead of coming to Nevada, where hooking is legal, she wants to open gambling-and-showgirls resorts in Palm Springs, and in the Black Hills of North Dakota.

She declines to name her major financial backers. But, she asserts, "The tribal leaders are all excited about this."

If they are, it’s not about Heidi’s business experience. She admits that she’s a convicted felon, who did time for pandering, tax evasion and money laundering.


TOP CHEFS ATTRACT HIGH ROLLERS: The fact that Las Vegas Strip hotels have attracted some of the world’s best players by featuring top-rated restaurants operated by the industry’s biggest names hasn’t escaped the eyes of Sol Kerzner, the South African gaming guru.

Recently, he announced that Chicago’s own Charlie Trotter has agreed to set up a restaurant called "C" at the Kerzner International Ltd. (KZN) property in Los Cabos Mexico.

Kerzner, whose jewel is the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, has the Dune Restaurant operated by Jean-Georges Vongerichten at his Bahamas casino and Alain Ducasses Spoon at his hotel on the island of Mauritius.


TIME TO PACK IT IN: What a fabulous run Las Vegan Irwin Molasky and his son have had following the illustrious career of their sensational sprinter Kona Gold. But after the nine-year-old gelding raced unsuccessfully on Saturday at Del Mar, co-owner and trainer Bruce Headley announced that Kona Gold’s career was over.

And what a career it was!

During the seven years that the trio campaigned the son of Java Gold, they had their pictures taken in the winner’s circle 14 times from 30 starts. The horse also finished second on seven occasions and third twice while piling up earnings of nearly $2.3 million.

But, all Las Vegas horseplayers will remember Kona Gold’s greatest moment. That was at Churchill Downs in 2000, when Kona Gold set a track record of 1:07.77 for six furlongs in winning the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Such memories last a lifetime.


AND, ON A SOUR NOTE: Once again, racing did itself harm when Congress Park won the first race at Saratoga on Saturday. At the start of the race, he was 8-1 on the mutuels board but when he crossed the finish line, the odds had dropped to 5-1.

Then, to add insult to injury, the track hung up a win price of $10.80, or $1.20 less than the 5-1 should have paid. Track officials said the early drop in price was due to late money from simulcast outlets. The second adjustment was made when one horse was declared a non-starter because of the action of an assistant starter in the gate.

It’s tough enough to pick winners, complain the punters, but watching bottom drop out of the price is hard to swallow.