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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Vegas financial disaster
predicted years ago

InsideVegas by Steve Miller
November 10, 2009


Corporate isolationism vs. expansionism
Las Vegas Business Press
By Jeff Schweers
February 1, 1999

Miller thinks local casino companies should plow their profits back into the local economy, not invest it in developing other out-of-state markets that eventually could compete with Las Vegas for tourists. If they do, they should pay the same (and higher) gross gaming revenue taxes here that they have to pay in Biloxi, Atlantic City and Kansas City. Alex Yemenidjian, president and COO of MGM Grand Inc., the parent corporation for MGM Grand Detroit, calls (Steve) Miller's arguments "unrealistic and childish."

"Former Las Vegas Mayor" peddles title to highest bidder
Copyright The Twisted Badge ®
By Steve Miller

On March 14, 1997, the Detroit News reported that then-Las Vegas Mayor Jan Laverty Jones was in Detroit encouraging officials to consider the future of casinos in their city. After being introduced as "Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones," she was quoted in the Detroit News saying "You have all of the capacity to become a world-class city." She went on to tell Detroit City Council members and the press to "Foster an environment that gives casino operators the latitude they need to attract visitors from outside Detroit."

Some Nevada Casinos Could Be Big Losers
Los Angeles Times
February 23, 2000

"The company looks for strategic opportunities, and we think California is a great market," said Jan Jones, the former mayor of Las Vegas, who is now a Harrah's senior vice president. "The risk to stockholders of gaming companies entering the California market is minimal, she noted, compared with decisions to build $1-billion casinos in Las Vegas."

Missed opportunity for gaming
Las Vegas SUN
June 11, 2000
Columnist Jon Ralston

Jones also believes that her company's  investments in California tribal gaming, as well as those of others, will have absolutely no effect on the state economy.

Dubai World seen as suitable partner
State gaming commission to decide whether entity can work as ally with MGM Mirage

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nov. 06, 2008

Dubai World paid $80 a share for its stake in MGM Mirage and has watched MGM Mirage's stock price slip roughly 82 percent this year.. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Chief Financial Officer Maryam Sharaf file routine gaming license applications with the state. It was unlikely, however, the agency would conduct a full scale licensing investigation.

Dubai World deal with MGM Mirage OKd

By Richard N. Velotta
Wed, Nov. 5, 2008

The state Gaming Control Board today recommended approval of MGM Mirage's association with Dubai World, a government-owned megacorporation based in the United Arab Emirates... In addition to its 50 percent share of CityCenter, Dubai World owns a 10 percent stake in MGM Mirage.

Harrah's slashes costs amid slowdown
Casino giant reports net loss of $129.7 million for third quarter

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nov. 08, 2008

The world's largest casino company by revenue on Friday posted a third-quarter loss due to the gaming slowdown on the Strip, decreased visitor numbers across the company's 50 casinos and the closure of properties in the Gulf Coast because of hurricanes.
It was back in late 1990's when a humble Illinois Methodist minister came to town to try to convince Las Vegas casino moguls to reconsider their decision to spread gambling to other states and countries. He carefully advised casino owners that they were biting the hand that feeds them by creating competition to their own industry just over the state line.

Rev. Tom Grey asked me to coordinate his local press, and I gladly obliged because I also believe that spreading casinos all over the nation and world would someday come back to bite Vegas in the ass, and now it really has!

Rev. Grey and I manned the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion booth at the 1998 American Gaming Congress. We were not very popular, especially when I replaced Steve Wynn on a national commission's panel with Nevada State Senator Joe Neal who opposes the expansion of gambling outside Nevada.

"Today, Wynn must be even angrier knowing that Neal unofficially has been selected to replace him as a panelist at next week's high-profile National Gambling Impact Study Commission meeting in Las Vegas. Neal's selection was pushed by former City Councilman Steve Miller, the eyes and ears in Nevada for the Rev. Tom Grey, the industry's most outspoken national critic. In hindsight, Wynn must be wondering if he should have found a way to rework his schedule to accommodate the commission." Jeff German, Las Vegas Sun, November 3, 1998

Ten years later, the Strip looks like a ghost town and foreign opportunists are scrambling to pick up the spoils at bargain basement prices. Even Wynn's LV casinos have hit hard times.

"'We may not be politically correct,' Miller says. 'That's not our intent. Our intent is simply to tell the truth and hopefully slow down or curtail competition to our state's only industry outside our borders.'" - Las Vegas Sun, November 3, 1998

But no one was listening.

What frightens long time Las Vegans now is the possibility that foreign investors who do not have our nation's best interests in mind will take over Las Vegas. Last week, my worst fears came true when Dubai World bought most of the faltering MGM properties at ten cents on the dollar, and the timid Nevada Gaming Commission skipped doing a comprehensive investigation of the foreign principals in the deal.

It seems that bailing out our endangered casinos takes precedence over the law that requires gambling regulators to do their due diligence regarding investors -- a very sad and dangerous situation indeed!

The fear of this happening inspired me to pen the January 8, 2007, INSIDE VEGAS column, "Is Las Vegas showing them the way? Will Al Qaeda be welcome in Vegas if they gamble like Whales?"

I based the column on the extravagant behavior of "His Royal Highness," Shaikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa (left), the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain, a regular Vegas visitor who gambles millions of dollars each time he's here.

Now, over a dozen LV hotels are on the brink of closing, and it seems the only money available to bail them out is from the oil rich Middle East -- money that was extorted from hard working Americans through artificially inflated gasoline prices.

The situation has become so gross that neuvo riche oil barons are having a bidding war over yet-to-be finished condos in MGM's flag ship project named City Center on the Las Vegas Strip.

Condos that were to be sold at around one million dollars each are now on the auction block with so-called sultans reported to be out bidding each other to the tune of three or four times the asking price.

What a slap in the face to self made American entrepreneurs like Sheldon Adelson who got caught in the tide!

Our stolen petro dollars are coming back to roost, but in a way that should insult every hard working American citizen. When City Center is completed, I guarantee I will never step foot on the property.

But there might be a pseudo silver lining to this disaster. It's possible that some of the same people who want to blow America and our allies off the face of the earth, are now heavily invested in Sin City!

Never mind that most of our new investors purport to morally abhor gambling and all that surrounds it; they are seen here on a daily basis cavorting with prostitutes and gambling like there's no tomorrow, while their multiple wives wait in subservience behind the walls of their Middle Eastern palaces.

         MGM's Terry Lanni                                         Harrah's Jan Jones

The quasi silver lining? Why in the world would Arab extremists want to blow up Vegas when it's now their newest investment depository, and favorite playground?

The supposed leaders of our town who usually spend their time secluded in their Newport Beach enclave telling us how to run our state, are now back in town trying to fix the mess they created by spreading Nevada-made-wealth.

I just hope it's not too late.

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