|Donald Trump has finally got his Nevada gaming license, almost two decades after he first showed an interest in the state. |
'We've been waiting a long time for you to join us in the dance,' said Gaming Commission member Augie Gurrola. 'Now we can let the music begin.'
Trump said his first Nevada investment might be property rather than gaming, but that eventually gaming will be part of his investments there.
He said he a Trump Tower condominium project in Las Vegas definitely interests him.
Trumpís application was approved unanimously by the commission. 'We are looking at different plans, and we have great plans for the state,' he said. 'We will be coming forward with them in the near future.'
Trump was not being drawn on who, if anybody, will be his partners in any Nevada gambling opportunities. As to whether his first investment in Nevada will involve New Frontier owner Phil Ruffin and his 40-acre site on the Strip, Trump said: 'I give that a chance, not a great chance,' he told the commission.
Regarding the Riviera casino, Trump said that was unlikely to be involved in his first investment.
Trump and his companies, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts and the THCR Holding Corp., were required to be licensed by Nevada gaming authorities subsequent to his purchase of 358,000 shares of Riviera parent Riviera Holdings Corp.
Trump has been linked with a move into Las Vegas as far back as 1986, when he reportedly tried to buy land at the southwest corner of Spring Mountain Road and the Strip from the Summa Corp., now known as The Howard Hughes Corp.
Trump's rival, Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, beat him to it, opening The Mirage there in 1989, followed by the adjacent Treasure Island four years later.
Trump said Thursday he now has a cordial relationship with Wynn.
'My relationship, as you know, has been very good with Steve,' he said. 'We speak often. He called me a few days ago, I called him a few weeks ago. I like his project very much.'
Trump operates a casino near Palm Springs with the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Luiseno Mission Indians. His gaming interests are mainly in Atlantic City, New Jersey, namely the Trump Plaza, Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal hotel-casinos in. He also has a hotel-casino in Indiana.
Altogether fitting, for the man who wrote The Art of the Deal.