Even though Max Baer Jr. is seeking his gaming license for a Beverly Hillbillies-themed casino in North Las Vegas, he isn't going to give up on his Carson City casino dream.
The former Hollywood star of "The Beverly Hillbillies," will appear before the Gaming Control Board on Wednesday seeking his unrestricted gaming license to operate The Beverly Hillbillies Gambler Casino.
Baer also owns the old Wal-Mart on South Carson Street, where he has wanted to develop his Jethro's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino. The development is opposed by other tenants in the shopping center, so the building has remained dark for almost two years.
Baer has a 10 percent stake in Johnny Maxx Inc., the company that will purchase the Gambler. Casino owner John Karras has a 90 percent share in the company. Karras will operate the 3,500-square-foot casino on North Las Vegas' East Lake Mead Boulevard.
Baer wants to be licensed now so when the time comes to open the Carson City casino, the process won't take as long or cost as much, he said Friday from his Lake Tahoe home.
"When I do a casino in Northern Nevada I know I have to go through gaming, so I figured why should I wait?" Baer asked. "If I can get licensed now then when I got to do a casino here I don't have to wait as long."
A gaming license is needed for each casino location. All casino owners must have background checks. The unrestricted license involves a much more in-depth check because all types of gaming are allowed in that location.
Baer said his background check started in April 2004. He doesn't anticipate any skeletons to come out of his closet during the open hearing.
Development of the planned Carson City casino has been delayed because of a dispute between Baer and the two other property owners within the Southgate Shopping Center. The shopping center rules prohibit the development of a casino. Baer bought the property because he believed the other two property owners in the center would amend the rules.
"I can guarantee you one thing," he said. "When we get this built I sincerely doubt anyone would not have heard about it."
If a time comes when Baer can open his Carson City casino, he will transfer the Beverly Hillbillies' name from the North Las Vegas casino onto 4209 S. Carson St.
But the chances of that are still looking pretty dim. Baer said he made several proposals to the Glenbrook Co., manager of the Southgate Shopping Center, and none were accepted.
"They've rejected a series of proposals," Baer said. "One was to buy them out, another was to lease it from them, another to pay them a fee to let us go forward. I tried to come up with every idea I could think of and they said no to everything."
Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean, who heads Glenbrook, has contended that the casino development is not wanted by primary anchor J.C. Penney, which is why she doesn't support Baer's casino in that location. J.C. Penney officials have also said that they prefer retail in that co-anchor position.
An official with the Gaming Control Board said that it's not unusual for someone to buy a percentage of a casino to get the licensing investigation conducted. When Baer gets into another project he will still have to fill out another application, but the investigation time is shorter.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.