Los Angeles entrepreneur Sam Nazarian jumped a key hurdle on the way to getting a gaming license for his new casino in Las Vegas.
Members of the Nevada Gaming Control Board voted 2 to 1 on Wednesday to recommend that Nazarian be granted a temporary one-year permit for the casino at the SLS Las Vegas, which opened in August.
Under the conditions of the permit, Nazarian is to have no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the casino. The resort was built on the bones of the old Sahara Hotel and Casino, once the playground for Dean Martin and other Rat Pack members.
During the hearing, the board heard about alleged efforts to extort money from Nazarian as well as drug use by the nightclub mogul, according to published reports. As part of conditions of the license, the board recommended that Nazarian submit to random drug tests.
The Nevada Gaming Commission is scheduled to vote Dec. 18 on the control board's recommendation.
For now, the president of SLS Las Vegas, Scott Kreeger, oversees day-to-day operations and reports to Terry Fancher, executive manager of the hotel's majority owner, Stockbridge Real Estate.