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Gaming Guru

Cy Ryan
 

New Nevada Casino Regulator Seated

27 August 2004

CARSON CITY -- The state Gaming Commission took things out of order Thursday so its new commissioner John Moran could sit at the meeting.

Gov. Kenny Guinn announced the appointment of Moran to the Gaming Commission on June 25 to succeed Augie Gurrola. A spokesman for the governor said he did not know Moran had a state gaming license at that time.

Nevada law says "no person actively engaged or having a direct pecuniary interest in gaming activities shall be a member of the commission."

Moran has 10 percent interest in Green Horizons Group that has slot machines at five convenience stores in Henderson.

It wasn't until nearly a month after the announced appointment -- July 22 -- that Moran filed his application to sell his interest to Donald G. Andress.

The four members of the commission Thursday approved the Moran sale as among the first items and he then took his seat for the rest of the meeting.

In other developments:

· The MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas has gained approval from the Gaming Commission to renew a license for a private gaming salon to attract high-end gamblers. Bob Moon, chief of marketing for the resort, said Thursday his job will be to find business worldwide. He said the casino in the past did not go out and market the salon. Commissioner Arthur Marshall asked Moon how the regulation of these salons can be improved.

Moon said the regulation requires a $500,000 line of credit. That could be lowered to attract more players. And he said a second player, who may be a friend of the high-roller, is required to make a $500 bet. That could be reduced, he said. Since 9/11 there has been a downturn in customers from foreign nations. "It is more difficult to get a visa to come to America," Moon said.

The state in the past had worried about gambling in private rooms. But commissioners said with new technology and surveillance systems, there isn't any cheating. Marshall said many of the high-end players want privacy.

· The state Gaming Commission Thursday endorsed the application of International Game Technology to market a "Star Wars" themed slot machine. Ellen Whittemore, attorney for IGT, said the state regulations require applicants to prove these slot machines are not marketed to children. In this case, she said the "overwhelming evidence is the product is going to be marketed to adults."