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July 31, 2014

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Former Tropicana operator’s Tahoe license approved

Beyond the Sun

Nevada Gaming commissioners didn’t hide the fact that they were a little nervous about granting a license to LV Casino LLC to operate Lake Tahoe Horizon Casino.

After all, William Yung, a top executive with the company, had his gaming license revoked in New Jersey and frequently feuded with the Culinary Union during his operation of the Tropicana in Las Vegas. He also had regulatory scrapes in Indiana.

But the commission unanimously approved the license at its Oct. 15 meeting, comforted that Yung’s son, Joe, and not William would be the point man, that the company would be back before regulators in 2014 and that it is a relatively small property with only 200 slots and games.

Meeting in Carson City, commissioners grilled Yung for nearly an hour about what one described as an apparent lack of respect for the regulatory process.

Yung fell out of favor with New Jersey regulators when financial losses led to him cutting jobs at the Atlantic City Tropicana. He told Nevada commissioners that his company had started with more employees than most of the other Atlantic City casinos and that the arrival of slot-machine operations in neighboring Pennsylvania had a bigger effect on his operation than he had anticipated.

Two weeks earlier the state Gaming Control Board recommended approval of the license of the Lake Tahoe property, noting that New Jersey required a higher level of scrutiny than Nevada. Commissioners went along with the recommendation, noting that one of the conditions of approval is that the license expire March 31, 2014, meaning that the company would have to appear for its renewal.

Commissioners also pointed out that with only 200 slots and games, it’s a small operation — comparable to Las Vegas’ Wild Wild West and Wildfire casinos and smaller than the Westin Casuarina, which also is under Yung’s control.

In other business, the commission approved a key employee license for Mark Gore, vice president and casino general manager at the Hard Rock.

The Hard Rock and other properties have been under greater scrutiny recently because of behavior issues at pool parties and nightclubs.

The board also recommended a license for United Coin to operate a temporary casino on the site of Beaches at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive to preserve the grandfathered gaming license at that address.

Commissioners also approved two regulations that are introduced annually to determine the consumer price index revising gross gaming revenue thresholds for audits. This year’s regulations will list the increase in consumer prices for the 2008 calendar year as 4.1 percent.

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