LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Millionaire California farmer John Anderson won state approval Thursday to acquire 41 percent of the Dunes Hotel on the Las Vegas 'strip' for $25 million.
Anderson, 41, was licensed as the majority owner of the financially troubled Las Vegas resort and is expected to increase his investment to 51 percent by acquiring additional stock held by the estate of the late Major Riddle. Anderson already holds an option to vote the Riddle stock.
The five-member Nevada Gaming Commission granted Anderson a Dunes Hotel gambling license by unanimous vote Thursday, following the recommendation a week ago of the three-member Nevada Gaming Control Board. He already is licensed as owner of the Maxim Hotel-casino in Las Vegas and the Station House in Tonopah, Nev.
As a condition of approval, Anderson must submit a new internal control system that details casino procedure to the gaming audit division within 30 days. The commission also said Kenneth Kidwell, president of Eureka Federal Savings and Loan of San Francisco, must be found suitable as the lead lender on an 18-month $25 million letter of credit obtained by Anderson to purchase 3,450,000 shares of Dunes stock.
Anderson told the commission he expects to get the Dunes Hotel in the black rapidly. The parent company of the hotel-casino lost $48.5 million last year.
'I think you might be surprised how fast we think we can get the operation in the black,' said Anderson, owner of Adco Farms in Davis, Calif. 'We think we have proven our success in the gaming business through the strength of our people.'
In buying the Dunes Hotels and Casinos Inc. stock, Anderson also is acquires the parent firm's Atlantic City property, which has been at a standstill several years. Anderson told the Nevada Gaming Commission he intended to finance, build and operate the New Jersey gaming property. He said development of the Atlantic City hotel-casino would be given high priority.
Anderson will take over as chairman of the board of the Dunes Hotel later this month, succeeding Morris Shenker. Shenker, 77, will remain on the board of directors and will continue management duties at the Dunes Hotel under terms of a four-year contact which pays him a salary of $300,000 a year.