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Steve Green

Northern Nevada casino companies seek Chapter 11

24 June 2009

NEVADA -- Several Northern Nevada casino companies controlled by businessman Harold Holder Sr. have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The companies seeking protection Friday in the Bankruptcy Court for Nevada were:

--The Holder Group Elko LLC, operator of casinos with slot machines and table games called the Commercial Casino in Elko, the nearby Stockmen's Casino Hotel in Elko; and the Scoreboard Casino in Spring Creek.

--The Holder Group El Capitan Inc., operator of a casino with slot machines and table games in Hawthorne called the El Capitan.

--The Silver Club, formerly operating casino slot machines and table games in Sparks at the Silver Club. The debtor intends to reopen certain operations at that casino, court papers said.

--Parker's Model T Inc., operating casino slot machines and table games at Parker's Model T in Winnemucca.

Court papers say the casinos have a common secured lender, Northern Nevada Asset Holdings, which is owed $32.75 million. The debtors generally listed assets and liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million apiece.

The bankruptcy filings came after the Holder companies defaulted on the Northern Nevada Asset Holdings note and the lender moved in Washoe County District Court to have a receiver appointed to run the properties, the Associated Press reported.

"This is the best move we could make to make sure five of the six properties stay open and our employees stay on the job while Holder Hospitality Group restructures its debt," Holder spokesman Tom Clark told the Associated Press. "We don't see the other five properties closing any time soon."

Clark said the casinos and the associated hotel operation in Elko employ about 550 people.

He said the recession produced a "perfect storm" as it reduced revenue at the properties and made it difficult to sell assets because, even as buyers were found, they were unable to gain financing.

The court filings listed dozens of creditors, ranging from local small-town vendors to big utilities and gaming suppliers based in Las Vegas, Reno and around the country.

Among the creditors are NV Energy, Southwest Gas Corp. and Young Electric Sign Co.; along with slot machine and table game suppliers International Game Technology, Bally Gaming, Konami, WMS, Aristocrat and Shuffle Master.

The Holder companies didn't list how much these creditors are owed.