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Dotty's Loses Round In Court: What's Clark County's Next Move?

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By Larry & Teddy Page (Flickr: Dotty's Gaming & Spirits) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Dotty’s are now almost as common in the Nevada landscape as McDonald’s.

But Dotty’s doesn’t peddle fries and Big Macs. They offer out-of-the-way places for people to play slot machines.

But since 2011, Dotty’s has been under legal attack by Clark County. For many, the reasons are less than clear.

One thing very clear, however, was the recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. The court ruled that county ordinances applied to Dotty’s and similar slot parlors in 2014 were constitutional.

Under the rules, the taverns were required to add full kitchens and place more than half of their slot machines into a bar top. If a tavern could not meet the county's new rules, they would have to show that revenue from slot machines accounted for 50 percent or less of their overall revenue. 

Steve Sisolak, chairman of the Clark County Commission, has held a seat front and center to this fight.

He told KNPR's State of Nevada that the court simple agreed with the county about the rules for slot parlors.

"It said we do have a right to restrict the locations, the type of business that is run," he explained. "We gave adequate notice to the parties that were involved, which was one of their contentions, and that we gave alternatives to what was allowed."

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Sisolak said the main issue is the intent of the limited gaming licenses the taverns had. He and the other commissioners didn't think the businesses were following that intent by generating most of their revenue through slot machines. 

Sisolak dismissed the idea that the real force behind the regulations is Station Casinos, which wants to keep slot machine players at its properties. He said it was something he noticed in his area of the city. 

"I was aware of it and I saw it in jurisdiction," he said, "There were a bunch of them starting to pop up all over the place. And I had gone into them and seen what the were and said 'Wait a minute this is not what I view a tavern as.'"

Sisolak agrees with a commissioner with the gaming commission that said but for slot machines Dotty's wouldn't exist, unlike a bar with slot machines that would operate even without the machines.

 

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Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission chairman, District A

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