September 22, 2004 in Business

Casino-bar complex to open downtown

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A casino, bar and restaurant complex is making plans to move in next door to the Big Easy concert house in downtown Spokane.

Marilyn’s on Monroe and the Rat Pack Lounge will be located at 900 W. Sprague and will feature a casino card room with two full-service bars and a “quaint” restaurant, Manager Don Parkins said in a news release e-mailed to The Spokesman-Review. The company applied for a gaming license in July under the name Celebrity Casino LLC. If approved, it would allow house-banked poker games like blackjack, and punch-board pull tab games.

The license application shows a floor plan that would take up most of the first floor and part of the second floor of the empty building on the west end of the block bounded by Sprague, First, Monroe and Lincoln. The floor plan shows a restaurant and bar on the south side of the ground floor, with the gaming tables on the north side. It shows offices on the second floor.

Parkins’ e-mail said Marilyn’s décor and style would be devoted to the famous actress and to the Rat Pack, the group of actors and singers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. A “press release party” will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the venue to announce the company’s plans.

Digideal, a Spokane-based company that creates products for the gaming industry, is a partner in the venture, state documents show.

“This is Mike’s vision,” Parkins said of Digideal President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Kuhn. Parkins declined to elaborate, pending the press event.

Digideal’s Web site says the company is a Nevada corporation located in Spokane that invents, designs and sells products to the gaming industry. It says Digideal’s primary technology is a digital card table operated by a live dealer. The table allows casinos to customize rules and retrieve a game’s statistical history, while reducing training time for dealers and eliminating cheating.

The partners in Celebrity Casino LLC are listed in state documents as Kuhn, Haig Kelegian Jr. and Mark Kelegian, both of California. Parkins said in an e-mail that Digideal’s Los Angeles-area partners would be here for the press event.

Haig Kelegian, who owns California casinos, also applied for the liquor license for the building, The Spokesman-Review reported in July. Kelegian and his partners own Oceans Eleven casino in Oceanside, Calif., and the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, news reports said. The Bicycle Casino was called “one of the leading poker clubs in the state” by the Los Angeles Times.

Aside from the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center, the buildings on the block are all owned by Western United Life Assurance Co. WULA Vice President Scott Cordell said he could not comment on the casino plans because the lease agreement has not been finalized.

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