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Inside Gaming: Las Vegas Club Shutters After Being Sold, a NY iPoker Hearing & More

Las Vegas Club


  • This week’s Inside Gaming takes a look at the closing of one of Vegas' oldest downtown casinos, the Las Vegas Club.

  • An online poker hearing in New York is scheduled for September with plenty of stakeholders expected to attend.

This week’s Inside Gaming we take a look at the closing of one of Vegas' oldest downtown casinos, an online poker hearing in New York, and three Vegas casino companies seeking to change power companies.

Las Vegas Club Sold to Owners of the D and Golden Gate; Ceases Operations

One of Las Vegas' oldest downtown casinos closed its doors on August 19. The Las Vegas Club, which opened in 1930 and a year later became the first gambling establishment to install a neon sign, was sold to Derek and Greg Stevens, brothers who also own downtown's The D and Golden Gate.

The final day of operation saw a mix of locals and tourists stop by to bid farewell.

"The employees here made the place," gambling writer John Mehaffey told VegasINC. "The more time went on, the more appreciative they were of the people who still came here. They took care of the regulars for sure."

The Las Vegas Club was originally located on the south side of Fremont Street, but moved to the corner of Fremont and Main Street in 1949. The Stevens Bros. have not revealed their plans for the property, but what is known is that they didn't purchase the Las Vegas Club name or brand, meaning whatever takes it's place will be new to the downtown area.

"It’s emotional," said PlayLV CEO Jonathan Jossel, who had been operating the Las Vegas Club. "It’s not the biggest sendoff, but it happened so quickly, there wasn’t time to do much."

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MGM and Caesars to Be Invited to New York's September Online Poker Hearing

According to Gambling Compliance, a hearing to discuss the pros and cons of licensed and regulated online poker is coming to New York in September. What's more, State Senator John Bonacic, chairman of the state Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, intends to numerous stakeholders, including casinos like MGM and Caesars.

Others expected to attend the meetings are representatives from the state's racetracks, off-track betting shops, and Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas.

"I’m bringing in Caesars and MGM plus all of my casinos, racinos and OTBs," Bonacic told GamblingCompliance. "We are going to have a discussion on the pros and cons of moving the legislation."

Sen. Bonacic introduced the poker-only S. 5302 bill back in May. That bill seeks to license online poker and revise the state’s gaming code language. If passed, the bill would allow up to ten Internet poker licenses, with the state slated to take 15 percent of a site’s gross gaming revenue in taxes.

However, given the lackluster poker-only numbers coming out of Nevada and Delaware, many expect the aforementioned stakeholders to push for the inclusion of online casino games, which currently account for more than 80 percent of New Jersey's monthly online gaming revenue. Of course that would prove a hard sell to the legislature, which tends to lean conservative when it comes to gambling expansion matters.

The September hearing is expected to be more exploratory than anything, meaning anything that comes of it likely won't happen until 2016.

"If you reside in the Empire State, be sure to let your state lawmakers know you want them to support this bill," the PPA urges.

Casinos Would Have to Pay $131 Million to Leave Nevada Power Company

If MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. want to change utility providers, they'll have to pay $131 million to do so. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, those three companies have applications pending with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to exit Nevada Power as a customer.

The article explains MGM Resorts would have to pay $90 million to exit, while Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. would need to pay $16.7 million and $24 million respectively.

As the LVRJ explains, "Exit fees are meant to protect remaining customers for the investments made by Nevada Power in recent years to provide electricity to the companies as part of its customer base."

In other words, if large companies exit, it could result in higher rates for average utility customers. The commission isn't expected to rule on the applications for several weeks.

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