City approves hotel room appeal, court fee increase
Entrepreneurs will have until Aug. 1 to apply for a Carson City unlimited gaming license without the strings of 100 hotel rooms or perhaps a golf course attached.
City supervisors approved Thursday an appeals process to recent legislation which requires 100 hotel rooms as a prerequisite to an unlimited gaming license in the capital. The appeals process paved the way for “those who were unwittingly affected by the passage of this,” Mayor Ray Masayko said, to obtain a gaming license with an equivalent economic benefit to hotel rooms.
Items in the appeals rules that could qualify as equivalent to hotel rooms include parking garages, golf courses, convention center, museum or amusement park.
“We’re just trying to create something that makes a little more sense going forward and doesn’t constrain the people coming forward to make an equivalency case,” Masayko said. “I will reluctantly hold for this because the good outweighs the bad.”
Masayko voted against the original gaming ordinance, and lobbied for a second draft of the appeals process to make it as lenient as possible. Supervisor Richard Staub abstained from the 4-0 vote.
Supervisors who originally endorsed the hotel room idea proposed by Treasurer Al Kramer said it would attract first-class hotel/casino properties to Carson City by restricting the ability of competitors to “siphon” business with low-startup slot arcades. Critics, however, said the new rule, backed by the Carson City Gaming Association, was simply a way to protect existing casinos from competition.
In other action, Carson supervisors also approved a hike in justice and district court fees, the proceeds from which should help pay legal fees of victims of domestic violence.
Masayko asked if Court Appointed Special Advocates, a state-mandated program which provides children in the foster care system a volunteer advocate, could share in the funding which would just go to the Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans.
“The kids are the fallout of domestic violence,” he said. “I’m not sure we need to be so single focused. Obviously, I would like to see the umbrella spread out a little there.”
The Legislature last year passed Assembly Bill 239, which allows a $5 fee on top of answer or appearance fees when filing in district or justice court as well as a $25 fee to modify or adjust final district court orders in divorce or child custody matters .
Supervisors were dismayed by numbers that showed of 8,841 state-wide cases of domestic violence reported by a state network of domestic violence groups last fall, 2,171 were in Carson City. VARN provides attorney’s free to victims of domestic violence as well as other people who have no way to afford representation in the legal system.
Supervisors approved the court fees, but asked that city leaders meet with officials before the next reading of the ordinance to discuss the sharing of funds.