Manager of Harrah’s Stateline casinos resigns |

Manager of Harrah’s Stateline casinos resigns

by Susan Wood, Appeal News Service

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe General Manager Joe Hasson has resigned after more than two years in the top job at Harrah’s three Stateline casinos.

Hasson, 46, of Reno, wants “to seek other opportunities,” casino spokesman John Packer said Sunday. Hasson’s last day was Friday.

His departure comes on the heels of allegations that Harrah’s dropped its beer distributor for its lack of lobbying support on a gross-receipts tax, once part of the $836 million tax plan the Nevada Legislature approved.

The levy was favored by the casino industry, which allegedly warned Capital Beverages in Carson City to take its side, or face economic retaliation. Distributor Kurt Brown, who was unavailable for comment over the weekend, supplied the Tahoe casinos with Budweiser. Harrah’s ended that contract in August.

Packer expressed doubt Hasson’s leaving coincided with any accusations of casino wrongdoing that the FBI is investigating.

“I can tell you with complete confidence (these allegations) had nothing to do with Joe leaving,” Packer said, adding the casino had not been contacted about the matter.

He attributed the casinos’ switch to Coors beer as a business decision. Corporate communications manager Gary Thompson, who works for Harrah’s Entertainment in Las Vegas, described the distributor switch the same way.

Packer said Hasson’s departure was not a total surprise.

“I’m a little surprised, but on the other hand, this company has so many properties that the (general managers) move around more than companies with (fewer),” he said.

Hasson, who was unreachable for comment, is on the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority board, told workers he plans to take time off and gave no definite prospects for his future.

Harrah’s assistant general manager Dave Hurst will take over for Hasson. i

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.