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Arnold M. Knightly

Black Gaming's troubles continue to mount

16 January 2009

MESQUITE, Nevada -- The future of Black Gaming and its closed Oasis property in Mesquite became more precarious on Thursday.

The Mesquite casino operator missed a $5.6 million interest payment on its debt load that could trigger a default on nearly $191 million in debt in 30 days, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Black Gaming has a 30-day grace period to make the payment or face a default on a $125 million loan, which would trigger a default on $66 million worth of notes that come due in 2013.

The filing, however, gave no update on the status of the Oasis, which closed its casino, restaurants and part of its 900-room hotel on Dec. 19 in a cost-saving move as an amendment to the bank agreement. The closures put 340 employees out of work.

Majority owner and top executive Randy Black Sr. has told city officials he isn't sure what he was going to do next about the company's financial situation, according to Mesquite Mayor Susan Holecheck.

The Oasis, however, can only hold its gaming license for 60 days and its liquor license for 90 days after closing unless Black Gaming receives an extension from City Council, Holecheck said.

Black Gaming is not on the Jan. 27 council agenda.

The company also owns the CasaBlanca Resort, Virgin River and the closed Mesquite Star 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15.