Former Cleveland Indians owner OK'd to run Reno casino

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Richard Jacobs, whose business ventures have included hotels, office buildings, malls, casinos and the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was licensed Wednesday to own a Reno hotel-casino.

The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved Jacobs' $26.5 million acquisition of the slots-only Gold Dust West - after praising him for investing in a Nevada market that's threatened by Indian gambling in neighboring California.

Stephen Roark, president of Jacobs' Black Hawk Gaming & Development Co., said many properties in Nevada and other states were checked out before the Gold Dust deal was made.

Roark said the decision to buy the club was based on the price, location and Black Hawk's goal of expanding its casino ventures from Black Hawk, Colo., to another jurisdiction.

''I guess it's like finding a house,'' he added. ''You know it when you see it.''

Asked about expanding from slots to table games at the Gold Dust, Roark said that's an option but nothing is scheduled immediately. ''We believe in crawling, then walking and then running,'' he added.

Roark also said profits from the Reno venture would be pumped back into the 4.6-acre property, and some upgrading is being discussed.

At an earlier state Gaming Control Board meeting, Jeff Jacobs, Richard Jacobs' son and Black Hawk board chairman, said the company is considering plans for a tower with 200 to 300 rooms.

The Gaming Commission also approved Marvin Lipschultz as head of the slots-only Golden Palm Casino, doing business at Howard Johnson's in Las Vegas, after Lipschultz outlined expansion plans that include a 24-story hotel and time-share project.

Lipschultz said the property had been ''out of favor with bankers'' over the years, but he's turned around hotel and restaurant operations and figures he can do the same with the casino.

Lipschultz also said he's negotiating with the Rissler Gaming Trust to buy the property.


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