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Nevada gaming regulators come to bar owner’s rescue

You might call it a bar rescue.

Nevada gaming regulators aided the owner of a small tavern in one of those only-in-Nevada licensing trevails that come up every once in awhile.

Debbie Richardson, director of compliance for Century Gaming Technologies, was on the Nevada Gaming Control Board restricted license agenda Thursday with Michael Crandall, a senior vice president of the Siegel Group, operators of a strip mall at 501 E. Twain Ave. that was establishing a space lease agreement.

The owner of Maddy’s On Twain had closed down the bar, which was going to be resurrected as Twain Tavern.

The only problem was that, because the bar had been closed, it was subject to a new license unless the previous license and its conditions for operation could be grandfathered in. That meant opening the bar for a day to let the public play slot machines at that specific location.

Century Gaming Technologies, affiliated with United Coin Machine Co., is one of the state’s go-to businesses for grandfathering old licenses back to life.

Crandall, distracted by COVID-19 issues, lost track of the deadline but eventually determined that action by regulators needed to be completed by May 7.

With assistance from sympathetic Control Board agents, Richardson and Crandall managed to get on the Control Board’s May 6 agenda and the Nevada Gaming Commission agreed to a special meeting just on the Twain Tavern issue.

Had the license lapsed, it appeared there were no remedies for the bar and the 15 slot machines that would be placed inside it because the new rules for licensing would require additional space — and there is no room for Twain Tavern to expand — or to include food service requiring a major retrofit of the building. Without the grandfathered license, gaming at the tavern would be lost forever.

Control Board Chairman Brin Gibson acknowledged the matter and said no request like that had ever been brought to the board — “and I assure you, there won’t be anything like this in the future.” He scolded Crandall for missing the deadline. Crandall apologized profusely.

It only took the three-member board seven minutes to go through details of the request and vote unanimously to recommend its approval to the commission.

About two hours later, after the Control Board completed its agenda, the five-member commission met and took even less time to reach the same conclusion.

The upshot is that the closed tavern will be allowed to open for a portion of the day Friday, put the slot machines into operation, then close everything up again, thus fulfilling the requirements of the grandfathered license.

Someday soon, the Twain Tavern will open for business and no one will remember just how close it came to losing its gaming license.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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