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Richard N. Velotta

Sale of Gold Strike to Herbst-owned company gains preliminary OK

10 April 2015

State gaming regulators have recommended approval of the sale of the 300-room Gold Strike Hotel & Gambling Hall in Jean, south of Las Vegas, to a company owned by the Herbst family.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend approval of the transfer of a gaming license from MGM Resorts International to JETT Gaming, a slot machine route operator created in 2009 and owned by Terrible Herbst CEO Jerry Herbst and his son, Tim Herbst.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider final approval of the transfer on April 23.

MGM announced the sale of the property for an undisclosed price in October.

Tim Herbst, who also manages Jean Ventures, a property development company, told Control Board members that the company is looking to develop a portion of the 167 acres the company owns on both sides of Interstate 15 into a truck stop.

JETT Gaming operates slot machines in 131 locations, including Terrible Herbst convenience stores. The company also owns two small Nevada casinos.

Herbst and his brothers operated Herbst Gaming until the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganized in 2010. The company is now known as Affinity Gaming.

Jerry Herbst created JETT Gaming and reacquired the slot machine routes associated with Terrible Herbst convenience stores.

As part of Wednesday’s action, the board also recommended approval of two restricted licenses at convenience stores on the site 11 miles north of the California border. The licenses would allow seven slot machines at the Gold Strike Auto and Truck Plaza and seven at the Nevada Landing Shell station.

In other business Wednesday, the board extended waivers from gaming regulations for several companies with interactive gaming system licenses and recommended approval of the suitability of the manager of PlayLV Gaming Investments on management of the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas.

Waivers were extended for online poker licenses for companies associated with Boyd Interactive Gaming, MGM Resorts Online, GNLV Corp. (Golden Nugget) Z4Poker LLC and Reno’s Grand Siena LLC, doing business as the Siena Hotel Spa Casino.

Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett said companies with interactive gaming licenses are “watching and waiting” for online markets to develop.

State regulations impose a six-month time limitation to proceed with operations once a license is approved. For Boyd, MGM, Golden Nugget and Z4Gaming, it was the fifth waiver approved by the board and the third for Siena.

Board members also found Jonathan Jossel, manager of JRJ Gaming, suitable to operate the Plaza.

Jossel told the board the Plaza just completed its best first quarter in the eight years he has been involved with the property and that it outperformed downtown rivals in January and February.

He said the company is on track after battling through a series of road construction closures and traffic diversions on Main Street in front of the property.