Think the mob is dead in Vegas? Think again. Caesars Entertainment dropped the Gansevoort Hotel Group as a partner in its $185 million hotel project taking over the former Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon. An investigation by the notoriously thorough Massachusetts Gaming Commission found suspected mob ties with one of Gansevoort's investors.
Caesars was attempting to partner with the Suffolk Downs horse track in East Boston. A probe by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission found that Gansevoort investor Arik Kislin "was identified in German court filings as allegedly having ties to organized crime in Russia," according to a 2012 report in the New York Post.
Caesars chairman Gary Loveman says the company would end its relationship with Gansevoort to satisfy Massachusetts regulators.
According to Caesars' latest quarterly report, the company secured $185 million in financing to fund the complete renovation of Bill's into a boutique lifestyle hotel that includes a dayclub and nightclub from Victor Drai. The renovation was to include a complete remodeling of the guest rooms, the casino floor and common areas, the addition of a second-floor restaurant from Giada De Laurentiis and the construction of a 65,000-square-foot rooftop pool and dayclub and nightclub.
Caesars owns the property and planned to manage the casino, hotel and food and beverage operations, and the dayclub and nightclub were leased to Drai. Bill's closed in early February 2013 with an anticipated opening in April 2014.
What this means for the future of the site is unclear.
UPDATED: 10:41 a.m. Sunday
Robin Leach tweets that Caesars execs say Giada De Laurentiis' first restaurant and Drai's nightclub and dayclub will move forward without Gansevoort involvement.
· Caesars Drops Gansevoort Deal After Massachusetts Probe [Bloomberg Businessweek]
· All Coverage of Gansevoort [~ELV~]