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.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like