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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Boyd Gaming board member resigns

18 July 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- A member of the Boyd Gaming Corp. board of directors resigned from his position with the casino operator last week, six days before his own privately held company pleaded guilty in federal court to felony immigration charges.

Luther Mack, a five-year member of Boyd Gaming's board, owns 11 Northern Nevada McDonald's restaurants through his privately held Mack Associates. Mack had also been a 14-year member of the Nevada Athletic Commission, serving for a time as chairman.

Boyd Gaming spokesman Rob Stillwell said the company did not have any official comment on Mack. The company announced Mack's departure in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that also included changes to some of Boyd's corporate bylaws dealing with shareholder rights.

Stillwell said the company still had six outside board members and five company insiders, so Mack would not have to be replaced.

If Mack hadn't resigned, the company could have faced gaming regulatory issues.

"With his resignation, we would view this matter as closed relative to Boyd," Gaming Control Board member Mark Clayton said Thursday.

Mack's company pleaded guilty as a corporation to two felony charges including conspiracy and aiding and abetting, and agreed to pay $1 million in fines.

The case stems from the arrests last September of 56 people in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raids at restaurants in Reno, Sparks and Fernley, and at franchise offices in Reno.

Mack Associates directors Joe Gillespie of Sparks and former Vice President Jimmy Moore pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Vegas to one charge each.

Authorities accused the company of employing illegal immigrants by giving them names and Social Security numbers belonging to others.

In addition to his duties with Boyd Gaming, Mack had served on the Washoe County Airport Authority board and was chairman of the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation. Mack was also of member of Gov. Jim Gibbons' transition team and is president and owner of KRXI-TV in Reno.