Gaming regulators OK licensing for Caesars CEO despite new issues — PHOTOS

The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved the licensing of Caesars Entertainment President and CEO Mark Frissora on Thursday despite two new issues raised since the state Gaming Control Board’s favorable suitability hearing for him earlier this month.

Frissora, the former top executive for Hertz Global Holdings, spent more than an hour taking questions from commissioners about his departure from that company as well as two new concerns.

Commissioners questioned Frissora about two issues: a U.S. Bankruptcy Court-ordered report issued Tuesday that said Caesars and its private equity backers could be on the hook for $5 billion in damages; and a matter raised in a public-comment period about problems that former company executives have experienced with their pension funds.

Thomas Gallagher, former president and CEO of Park Place Entertainment, which formerly owned Caesars Palace and other Las Vegas properties, said about 50 former executives with Park Place, Harrah’s and Hilton Gaming, previous parent companies before Caesars Entertainment, have had difficulty receiving deferred compensation payments as a result of Caesars’ bankruptcy restructuring.

Gallagher said he has tried unsuccessfully to communicate with Caesars and its subsidiaries about the problem and decided to bring the matter to the commission knowing that Frissora was up for licensing.

Frissora said since his arrival to Caesars in July, he has been focused on the company’s operations and not the bankruptcy. He told the commission he would make sure those handling the bankruptcy would be in contact with people concerned with the deferred compensation issue.

“All of this occurred before I came on board,” Frissora said. “I will do what I can to help, make some calls. I’m focused on employees and customer satisfaction.”

Frissora said he has been working on refurbishing 4,800 Caesars Entertainment hotel rooms on the Strip and developing a four-year plan to develop property east of Bally’s, Paris and Planet Hollywood, all Caesars properties.

Commissioners concurred that the bankruptcy issue was not a part of the suitability hearing and ultimately voted to approve the licensing.

Frissora was the second major casino company CEO to appear before the commission Thursday.

Earlier, the board gave the green light to MGM Resorts International to form a real estate investment trust that will serve as a landlord to eight properties and a new entertainment venue.

Following a hearing at which MGM Chairman, President and CEO Jim Murren explained the formation of MGM Growth Properties, a REIT that will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the weeks ahead, commissioners voted 4-0 for approval.

Murren said the structural move is designed to increase the value of the companies through real estate investments and tax advantages.

MGM Growth Properties will oversee Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, the Monte Carlo, MGM Detroit, the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, the Gold Strike in Tunica, Mississippi, and the company’s new outdoor venue, The Park, north of New York-New York.

Customers and employees won’t see any difference in the day-to-day operations of MGM properties as a result of the new structure.

Murren gave the same presentation he made Wednesday to the state Gaming Control Board, which recommended approval of the REIT structure, which doesn’t have to be licensed.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta.

Business
Auto repair shortage affects Las Vegas
The auto repair industry is facing a national shortage of workers.
Franchising industry booming
Experts say Las Vegas is a hotbed for the franchise industry.
Africa Love owner talks about his store in Las Vegas
Mara Diakhate, owner of Africa Love, gift and decor store, talks about his store in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Developer gets approval to build homes at Bonnie Springs
The Clark County Planning Commission has approved a plan to build 20 homes on the site of Bonnie Springs Ranch. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing