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Gaming Guru

Cy Ryan
 

Vegas Bar Pays Gambling Fine

22 October 2004

CARSON CITY -- Peter Eliades, owner of the Olympic Garden topless bar in Las Vegas, has agreed to pay a $113,000 fine on allegations he violated gaming regulations. He also agreed to get out of the slot machine business.

The state Gaming Commission on Thursday accepted a settlement between Eliades and the state Gaming Control Board over claims that Eliades sold 50 percent of his business and the new partner never applied for a state gaming license.

In addition, Eliades paid $12,000 to cover the cost of the investigation and legal efforts of the board in processing the complaint.

Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Carvalho, who represented the board, said the settlement also included a provision that if Eliades ever receives another gaming license, it would automatically be revoked if he were found guilty of one violation.

Commission Chairman Peter Bernhard said the settlement was "realistic."

Eliades, in the settlement, did not admit nor deny the allegation but said the control board could meet its burden of proof that there was a violation.

Richard Wright, attorney for Eliades, delivered two checks to the commission to pay the fine and costs. He said this settlement clears away all issues with gaming regulators.

Eliades has 13 slot machines in the bar top of the club. Golden Route Operations, a slot route operator, will take over the machines and be the licensee at the club. Brad Patterson, president of Golden Route, said he intends to sign a seven-year contract to lease space at Olympic Garden to run the slot machines.

The owners must work with law enforcement to conduct undercover investigations to ensure that prostitution does not occur in the club. If a dancer or other employee is caught soliciting, they are to be immediately dismissed, under a condition on the gaming license.

The primary business of Olympic Garden is a strip club. In July 2002 a company called OG-LA LLC, whose principals were David Talla, Peter Feinstein and Rex Licklider, entered into an agreement to buy 50 percent of the operation for $15 million.

Eliades and his new partners applied for and received a tavern liquor license from the city, a new tax identification from IRS, a new permit from the state Department of Taxation and a new account number from the state Employment Security Division. But they never filed an application for a state gaming license.

Eliades did admit to one count of the complaint in that he failed to inform the control board of any change in ownership of the property.

Eliades, through his lawyer Wright, maintained the new partners had agreed not to have anything to do with the gaming until they were licensed. And the new partners agreed that Eliades would operate the club in the interim. Eliades maintained he had retained all the winnings from the 13 slot machines in the bar.

Eliades had previously been disciplined by the board when he transferred his sole proprietorship interest in the club to a corporation where he would be the sole shareholder. He failed to obtain a gaming license in this transaction.

The property on which Olympic Garden is built is owned by the Eliades Family Trust. In October 2002, it entered into a new lease with Eliades and his partners for an annual rent of $1 per year for the first three years and then $600,000 per year after that. Starting in the fourth year there would be a 3 percent cost of living increase every other year.