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Cy Ryan

Vegas Businessman Receives License

27 August 2004

CARSON CITY -- Las Vegas businessman Andrew Donner has been granted a state casino license for the Lady Luck, but the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission expressed concerns that Donner may be "cutting corners" in following rules.

Donner, who moved to Las Vegas 10 years ago and has 16 licenses for slot machines in taverns, will hold 70 percent of the gaming operations in the downtown casino and he says he is in negotiations to buy the 758-room hotel.

The board Thursday unanimously approved his application, but not before Chairman Peter Bernhard expressed some concerns.

Bernhard said that Donner had taken his wife to Europe on a vacation but then tried to write off 50 percent of the trip as a business expense. Donner said he later amended the tax return to only 25 percent.

Donner said he uses his personal time to better his business acumen.

Bernhard questioned "Are you looking for every way to cut a corner to save a nickel or a dime?" He said most people know that taking their wife to Europe is not a business expense.

Donner said he has changed his behavior and is very conservative. He said he has spent $75,000 on meals in the past year that could be classified as a business deduction but he has never taken them.