State OKs Bodine's casino partnership

The state Gaming Commission gave final approval Thursday to a partnership involving a longtime Reno casino family in the new $20 million Bodine's casino in south Carson City, near the Douglas County line.

The Carano family has partnered with Mike Pegram of Paradise Valley, Ariz., in Silver Bullet of Nevada LLC, which purchased the three-acre Bodine's site for $4.8 million last year from Southern California developer Kevin Coleman.

The Caranos owns the Eldorado hotel-casino and are partners in the Silver Legacy hotel-casino, both in Reno.

Gregg Carano told the commission that Bodine's, which is nearing completion, is in a prime location with more than 50,000 cars driving by the location daily. He added that it should draw locals from the Carson City-Carson Valley area and also attract people from nearby Lake Tahoe.

In other action, decades after he lost a gambling license for involvement in a blackjack cheating scam, Angelo Stamis won approval to oversee casino operations at his family's club in North Las Vegas.

"I'm going to prove I'm going to do everything right," Stamis, 73, said after the commission, voted unanimously to license him as assistant general manager at Jerry's Nugget.

Stamis described the cheating scam, caught on videotape at Caesars Palace in 1975, as "really a tragedy in my life which I created myself." He said he wasn't the scam organizer, and since that time has had no contact with several others involved in it.

The cheaters, working with a dealer, managed to slip prearranged or "cooler" card decks onto a blackjack table at Caesars. Once the decks were in play, they had a good idea of what cards were being dealt next and were able to bet accordingly.

Gaming Commission Chairman Bill Bernhard said regulators generally wouldn't relicense someone for such a serious offense, but in Stamis' case he had returned to Jerry's Nugget and worked for years in food and beverage operations with no problems.

Stamis was first licensed as a key employee at the club in the 1960s. In 1980, the Gaming Commission allowed him to serve as manager of the Jerry's Nugget restaurant. By 1988, he had become the casino's food and beverage manager, but was still blocked from involvement in casino operations.

The commission's unanimous vote followed a 2-1 vote by the state Gaming Control Board to recommend relicensing.


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