COLUMN: Steve Miller
Las Vegas Tribune
October 14, 1999

"Sacramento Station Hotel and Casino"

In the February 1, 1999, Las Vegas Business Press article "Corporate isolationism vs. expansionism," writer Jeff Schweers stated "(Steve) 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."

Mr. Schweers was referring to my answer to a question regarding the MGM and Circus Circus investing in Detroit.

In response to my statement in the Business Press, Alex Yemenidjian, president and COO of MGM Grand Inc., the parent corporation for MGM Grand Detroit, called my argument "unrealistic and childish."

Now another Las Vegas based gambling company is about to pour hundreds of millions of Nevada-made-dollars into a far more sinister scheme, this time located at northern Nevada's front door! Station Casinos is planning a $100 + million dollar hotel and casino in partnership with a California Native American group on I-80 -- the road to Reno.

The local citizens in communities near the proposed casino are up in arms! According to Roseville, California Mayor Harry Crabb, they do not want a casino in their back yards and they are begging for help to stop the project in its tracks.

Miller to the rescue!

In February 1992 the esteemed members of the Nevada Resort Association commissioned the public relations firm of Burson-Marsteller to prepare a counter-attack to proponents of a similar gambling proposal in the San Bernardino County town of Adalanto.

This counter-attack resulted in a nasty lawsuit that was reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal July 7, 1995, article "Backers of gaming initiative sue Bank of America."

At that time, Las Vegas gamers considered the proposal to be too close to Las Vegas and all of the stops were pulled out to squelch the "outsiders" who proposed building the casino from succeeding. Of course the proponents were not entrenched Las Vegas "insiders" as is the case with Station Casinos.

The measure eventually failed but the $30 million lawsuit filed by authors of the initiative went on. The suit contended that BancAmerica Corp. and Burson-Marsteller conspired to strangle the measure by freezing the money that initiative backers had deposited to buy advertising to promote the measure.

Prior to the lawsuit, the then-NRA board including Chairman Chuck Ruthe and board member Michael Gaughan issued a Memorandum on February 13, 1992, to "NRA Members and All Nevada Gaming Executives," Subject: "Emergency Meeting On Proposed Expansion of Gaming."

The meeting was held at 2:00 PM, February 24, 1992, at the Stardust Convention Center.

According to my NRA source who was present at that meeting, the report that the NRA paid Burson-Marsteller $235,000 to produce was read into the record and approved. The goal of the report entitled "Recommendations Re: Adalanto Gaming Initiative" was "To build a broadbased coalition and base of public, political and media support to fight the Adalanto initiative should it qualify."

On Page 2, the report went on to say: "Educate the media, public and influences about the link between the Adelanto initiative and statewide Indian Gaming." "Increase awareness of the dangers of statewide legalized casino gambling." "Discourage potential contributors/neutralize supporters." "Generate widespread animosity throughout the state towards the concept of legalized gambling in California casinos, and the related 'evils.' "

Then came the bombshell! On Page 8, under the heading "Potential messages," Number 3, it stated: "While legalized gaming may contribute to California's coffers, it will bring with it all the things that follow -- increased crime, prostitution, laundering drug money, etc."

Paragraph Number 5, Page 8, then said: " Legalized gambling will increase the cost of local and state law enforcement and social services without providing adequate revenue to service the needs."

Because of the gravity of such words coming from the Nevada Resort Association's highly paid public relations firm and the NRA paying $235,000 to produce the report in the early 1990s, I decided this week to assist the NRA in getting the most Bang for their Buck!

I sent a copy of this secret document to Mayor Crabb of Roseville, California along with copies to the other opponents of Station Casino's Sacramento scheme.

For redistributing their report, I'm sure the NRA will have nicer things to say about me than just calling me "unrealistic and childish."

I know the folks up in Reno along with all other concerned Nevada taxpayers will be watching this matter very closely because we Nevadans have the most to lose if Station Casinos succeed on California I-80!