Online Poker Report

NV Licensee Profile: Monarch Casino & Resort

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This is one of a series of profiles covering companies that hold a license to participate in Nevada’s online gambling market.

Monarch Casino and Resort operates the Atlantis Casino resort in Reno, Nevada.

As a non-Las Vegas property the company is one of the lesser-known entities to have received an operator license from the state, but the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the online gaming market is just the type of growth potential that Monarch Casino and Resort (a subsidiary of the Golden Road Motor inc corporation) is looking for.

Details and Timeline of Monarch’s Nevada License

Monarch Casino and Resort is one of ten licensed online poker operators in Nevada, allowing the company to offer online poker to Nevada residents and visitors under the guidelines set forth by the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Partnerships and Role in the Las Vegas market

Monarch Casino & Resort has yet to form a strategic partnership with a licensed service provider capable of supplying them with the software needed to launch an online poker site. Monarch has also decided not to take the more difficult (but more lucrative) path of developing their own software.

Monarch Company Overview

Monarch Casino dates back to 1972 when David Farahi and Isaac Poura bought the 142-room Golden Door Motel in Reno, Nevada. In 1986, a decade after Farahi bought out his business partner and brother-in-law and transferred ownership to his children, the now-family run Golden Road purchased a nearby parcel of land and applied for the property to become a casino. In 1987 the Golden Road added a mere 50 slot machines, but this was only the beginning. Over the years the property has been transformed from a motor lodge to a full-fledged resort-casino, with the company forming several strategic partnerships along the way, including a licensing agreement with Clarion Hotels during the 1990’s. In 1996 the company officially renamed the property as Atlantis Casino and Resort.

Golden Road was incorporated in 1993 by the Farahi family and the company was taken public. Two of the brothers, John and Bob Farahi, handle most of the day-to-day dealings, with the entire family owning some 50% of the entire company. The two brothers oversee virtually every aspect of the corporation, with John acting as the CEO and COO, with his brother Bob the President of Golden Road and Monarch Casinos. Monarch Casinos employs over 2,100 people, and has seen excellent growth over the past year, with employment up over 16%, sales up over 20%, and income up 57% according to Hoover Reports.

The crown jewel of Monarch Casino is the Atlantis Resort in Reno, Nevada. Atlantis accounts for over 50% of the company’s revenue with its 1,000 hotel rooms in three high-rise towers and over 50,000 square feet of gaming space. The Atlantis Casino features 38 table games and nearly 1,500 slot and video poker machines, as well as a sports book, Keno and a poker room. Atlantis also offers the full slate of high-end amenities including shopping, dining, spa and fitness facilities.

Monarch is a publicly traded company, appearing on the NASDAQ under MCRI. The company also owns the Riviera Blackhawk Casino in Denver, Colorado, giving them a strong presence in yet another state should online gaming ever be legalized in Colorado.

Monarch Casino: Power Players

Monarch Casino and Resort has a five member Board of Directors that oversees the operation of the company’s assets and day-to-day running of its properties.

  • Co-Chairman of the Board, CEO and COO: John Farahi: John Farahi has several major roles with the company, serving as the Co-Chairman of the Board, and as the Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since its inception in 1993. Even before this time John Farahi acted as the President, Director, and General Manager of Golden Road for a 20 year span.

  • Co-Chairman of the Board and President:  Bob Farahi: Along with his brother John Bob Farahi has served as the Co-Chairman of the Board of Monarch Casino since 1993. Bob also acts as the President of the company, and prior to 1993 Bob  Farahi was the Vice President and a Director of Golden Road.

  • Ronald R. Zideck: Ronald R. Zideck has been a member of the Board since March 2000.

  • Craig F. Sullivan: Craig F. Sullivan has been a member of the Board since September 1998.

  • Yvette Landau: Yvette Landau has been a member of the Board since June 2010.

Monarch’s Potential in other US markets

Considering the company’s Nevada roots it’s unlikely that Monarch Casino & Resorts will factor into other regulated markets unless laws change at the federal level or states begin partnering with Nevada.

External Links

*Resources: www.monarchcasino.com, http://www.answers.com/topic/monarch-casino-resort

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.