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I-Team: David and Goliath Battle Brewing on Boulder Strip | News

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I-Team: David and Goliath Battle Brewing on Boulder Strip
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I-Team: David and Goliath Battle Brewing on Boulder Strip

An 84-year-old landowner hopes to renovate and reopen an old casino along the Boulder Strip, but he finds himself facing a lawsuit from the large Station Casinos chain.

Owner, Bob McMackin, says he has a plan for the Roadhouse Casino. Station Casinos’ closest casino is Sunset Station, which is two miles away. The gaming giant says it is unfair that the city of Henderson is allowing McMackin to move forward. It is suing them both.

"I have too much invested. I have millions invested in this place. It is my dream. I have to have something to pass on to my kids," McMackin said.

The Roadhouse Casino opened in 1995. It has closed multiple times over the last decade and has been empty for four years. The city of Henderson let McMackin keep the Roadhouse's gaming license as long as he ran the slots one day a year. The city kept renewing his license year after year.

Now, McMackin has gathered outside investors and drew up plans to restore the casino.

“We are prepared to put close to $2 million into it within three months. It was going to be a rush job. Then, the lawsuit popped up," McMackin said.

The Station Casinos lawsuit alleges McMackin did not keep up his side of the bargain to keep his license current. If there was one slip up, Station Casinos contends the old gaming license is void and McMackin should be forced to play by the current code. It also alleges he is not leaving the Roadhouse for his family. They say he is planning to flip the property to secret outside investors. McMackin says he will not reveal who his investors are before the lawsuit works its way through the court system. The company is suing the city because it says it gave favorable treatment to McMackin. The city has declined comment to 8 News NOW.

Station Casinos’ attorney gave this statement:

"No one out there would make the type of investment the legislature says is necessary if other people could compete against you and don't have to do the same outlay. If you could go out there and now start opening up slot joints, don't have to make the investments in the rooms, don't have to make the investment in the restaurants, don't have to make the investment in all the resort amenities that the statute says that Station Casinos has to do, or Boyd Gaming has to do or MGM has to do and you can start putting up a building with slot machines in it, or even table games, all without having to do all those other things, you would have a huge competitive advantage.”

The company adds they are stopping a precedent that would allow an unchecked spread of gambling. The casino giant’s argument against The Roadhouse is similar to one used by the Nevada Resort Association against Dotty’s Gaming and Spirits. The NRA opposed what it called "unfair competition coming from illegal slot parlors" spreading across the state. The association won that battle. Dotty's was forced to change its entire business model.

McMackin says 55 full-time jobs and nearly $2 million in projected benefit to Henderson's economy are on the line.

“I just do not understand why they are trying to hurt, trying to beat up on an 84-year-old man," McMackin said.

The case is expected to go to trial in March.

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