Bodines Plan to Move Casino Still A Possibility

by Kyle Miller

Bodines CasinoBodines has plans to move a gaming license from the Horseshoe to a new casino and opposition has now been thwarted.

Obtaining a gaming license can be tricky. Operators of gaming venues have to work hard to meet certain criteria before being allowed to operate via a gaming license. In Nevada, casino gaming has taken place legally for decades with gaming venues holding licenses for many years. Bodines is one such company that has obtained a gaming license and held on to it for many years. The company has plans to move their grandfathered gaming license from their Horseshoe venue to a new casino. However, this plan has faced opposition.

Carson Nugget, Gold Dust West and the Casino Fandango all challenged the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Carson City Board of Supervisors in an attempt to stop the plans of Bodine to move their gaming venue to north Carson City. This effort was stopped on Friday as District Judge James Wilson decided to refuse to issue an order that would have not allowed the casino to move.

The Main Point of Contention

The main point of contention is the fact that without the grandfathered license, Bodines would be subject to building a hotel or motel with a minimum of 100 guest rooms to be able to run a non-restricted casino in the area of Carson City.  The requirement for the guest rooms was put in place back in 2002 but does not apply to those who have grandfathered gaming licenses, a license that predates the ordinance. This includes the Horseshoe Casino, a gaming venue that shut down almost two years ago.

Sev Carlson is the lawyer for Bodines that told Judge Wilson that for the grandfathered license to be kept, the gaming control board said that the company had to open for business at the Horseshoe for at least 8 hours on Friday, this was the day after they were given the city and state gaming licenses. By demanding an order to shut the casino down on Friday, the opponents are effectively trying to lock the project up by running out the clock.

Carlson has argued that Bodines has done everything they have been asked to do by the city and the state in order to transfer the old license legally. The company has worked with several groups including the staff of the city, the planning commission, the Gaming Control Board, the Board of Supervisors and the Nevada Gaming Commission in order to be approved.

Carlson says that the problem is the other casinos do not want the competition. David McElhinney, an attorney for the opposing casinos, says that the problem is that they want a level playing field. The casinos feel that Bodines should have to build a hotel with at least 100 rooms for guests in order to move the gaming license. The casinos are concerned about the image of Carson City as well as the gaming reputation.

Judges Remarks

When hearing the plea by the opposition, Judge Wilson stated that the argument of the opposed is that the city did wrong by allowing Bodines to open and the venues would rather he shut down the casino instead of taking action against the city for their decision. Wilson ruled in favor of Bodines, citing that the company applied for gaming licenses in the city and state and were granted approval by both. If there is an error, according to the judge, the error lies within the city or state and not Bodines. The court ruled that Bodines was not operating illegally.