- Dotty’s, taverns and gaming: The issue that will not die (5-17-2011)
- Dotty’s sues Clark County Commission in federal court, says ordinance designed to put it out of business (5-17-2011)
- Is Dotty’s a tavern? Amid battle, big casinos say no (3-29-2011)
- Ralston: Gamers and taverns and Dotty’s, oh my (3-11-2011)
- County to hold separate meetings for liquor, gaming licenses (1-18-2011)
- County puts moratorium on new tavern licenses (12-22-2010)
VEGAS INC Coverage
The Nevada Resort Association on Thursday petitioned the Nevada Gaming Commission to outlaw the so-called Dotty’s business model — gaming taverns that look more like miniature casinos than traditional bars.
The commission, which regulates gaming and is the chief arbiter on gaming policy in Nevada, plans to consider that and any competing ideas on how to change longstanding rules governing taverns with slot machines at a meeting next month. The public also can weigh in, commissioners said. The commission would decide on whether to change the regulations in July.
The resort association’s petition is similar to one adopted by the Clark County Commission last month. It would require that taverns with gambling machines have kitchens that serve food at least 12 hours a day, restaurants seating at least 25 people and bars with seating and where drinks are served. At least half of a tavern’s slot machines would be required to be embedded into the bartop.
“Slot arcades” like Dotty’s “have no other real purpose than to operate the slot machines,” the association petition reads. “Nevada has long prohibited this business model, because it does not enhance employment, capital investment, job opportunities and tax revenue to the extent as those operating a primary business to which the slot machine operations are merely incidental.”
The resort association, which represents many of the big casino chains in Las Vegas, began objecting to Dotty’s taverns and others like it last year.
Critics have called the opposition a boldfaced move by the taverns’ primary opponent, Station Casinos, to muscle out smaller competitors in a tough economy. The county ordinance prompted a lawsuit against the county and county commission from the owner of the Dotty’s chain, which claims its due process rights were violated.
Nevada regulators already have approved hundreds of Dotty’s and similar taverns over the years. They have recently acknowledged the need to revisit the tavern regulations, which are muddy and have been subject to debate in years past.
The association says its action stems from a proliferation of “slot arcades” after the passage of the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act in 2006, which outlawed smoking in bars that serve meals and led many bars to preserve customers’ right to smoke by ditching food. Such bars, they argue, violate state regulations requiring that gambling be “incidental” to a bar’s business.
“Nevada has long emphasized the state’s public policy that the ability to conduct gaming is a privilege and not a right,” according to the petition. “To obtain and exercise that privilege, licenses are granted to those who are willing to make the necessary capital investment that creates jobs and generates tax revenue for the benefit of the state.”