Bars, taverns prepare to fight over future of slots

LAS VEGAS -- Bars and taverns across the valley are gearing up for a fight this week. New rules could drastically reduce the number of slot machines at your neighborhood bar.

Steiners is known as a "Nevada-style pub." "I come here quite often," says Jack Cantella. "It's my watering hole." 

But what could happen inside pubs like Steiners has a lot of businesses worried -- and co-owner Roger Sachs said he's on top of what's happening in his industry.

"The concern is what's going on with the Clark County Commission right now," said Sachs. 

The county put a three-month ban in March on new gaming bars from opening while they clarify some details.

"They're pretty much standing in a cue waiting for the moratorium to pass to get to the final definition of what a 'tavern' is," said Sachs.

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said he knows what Steiners is. "[Steiners is] a tavern. They've got great food, [and] a full kitchen."

But he puts Dotty's in a different category. "Technically what [Dotty's is] is a slot parlor."

Commissioners will address a host of other issues, too. "An awful lot of the bars that you're calling taverns have become far too dependent on gaming," Sisolak says. 

Word spread among some full-service tavern owners their allowed 15 machines could be cut down to five. That could mean layoffs and force some bars to have "last call" forever.

"Nobody has told them they're going to lose ten machines," Sisolak told 8 News NOW. 

As the county goes back to the drawing board, Sachs says he doesn't want established bars to be "drowned" with new regulations. "Everybody should be grandfathered in," he said. "And nobody should be retroactively hurt."

On Wednesday afternoon, some stakeholders will meet with county officials to voice their concerns. Commissioners are expected to take up the changes in May. Ultimately, Sisolak said some of these unresolved issues will have to be settled by the Nevada Gaming Commission.


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