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Gaming Guru

Tim O'Reiley

Jerry's Nugget seeking bankruptcy protection

14 August 2012

LAS VEGAS -- Jerry's Nugget casino, a fixture in North Las Vegas for nearly five decades, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday after talks to restructure its debt fell through.

In March, main lender U.S. Bank filed suit in Clark County District Court asking to install a receiver after Jerry's Nugget defaulted on a loan that now stands at $3.6 million. When the lawsuit was filed, Joseph Stamis, then reported as the Jerry's Nugget CEO, said a deal had been worked out that would lead to the lawsuit's dismissal. However, talks continued for several months without progress. A hearing was set for today on the receivership, but the bankruptcy filing halts that county court action.

In bankruptcy court papers, Jeremy Stamis is now listed as the company president and his brother, Joseph, as secretary and treasurer.

"Our best efforts at structuring a deal outside of court have failed," said Joseph Stamis, in a prepared statement. "It is now in the best interest of the company, our employees and our customers to utilize the bankruptcy process to reach more tradition refinancing terms, while maintaining the company's normal operations."

The bankruptcy petition lists both assets and liabilities as greater than $10 million but gives no exact amounts.

The casino was opened in 1964 by Jerry, George and Angelo Stamis and has remained under family control since. After expansions and renovations over the years, it has 630 machines and nine table games on the 24,500-square-foot casino floor, and recently reopened a 150-seat bingo room. Locals also particularly favor the Uncle Angelo's Bakery at the property.

According to a court statement by Jeremy Stamis, the business has current value of at least $8 million, including 12.4 acres owned by the company or a related entity.

In addition to the U.S. Bank debt, it owes $728,000 to CRE Loan Services and $944,000 to CM Capital.

Because of claims on the cash and assets, Jerry's Nugget will ask for a quick hearing to gain continued access to the cash flow from operations in order to make payrolls, pay suppliers and cover other basic needs but no date has been set.