Casino files for bankruptcy in South Dakota city

Markets Associated Press

A hotel and casino in the western part of South Dakota has filed for bankruptcy protection just two months after actor-director Kevin Costner shuttered the doors on his area casino.

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The Celebrity Hotel and Casino filed documents seeking protection from creditors last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Dakota. The hotel is owned by Rolling Hills Farms Investments Inc., the Rapid City Journal reported .

The Celebrity isn't in danger of imminent closure and the owners are going through a period of reorganization, said Ken Gienger, who has managed the property since 1998.

"Reorganization is the conversation I've had with the owner," Gienger said. "Our goal is to continue to improve and come out with the best result that is possible. It might be good, it might be bad, but it will work out."

Court documents show the hotel-casino had total assets of nearly $6.4 million, with more than $3.5 million owed on two loans from First Interstate Bank.

The property's website characterizes itself as a Hollywood-themed hotel and casino with more than 75 displays of celebrity memorabilia. Gienger said the property has two dozen employees, 90 slot machines and 22 hotel rooms.

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The Celebrity's bankruptcy filing and Costner's closing of the Midnight Star may indicate an emerging trend in the gaming industry, said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association.

"Obviously we have had a five-year period of reduced revenues for Deadwood gaming, which we've tried to signal the alarm bells about," Rodman said. "Any industry that has that period of decline in revenues is going to feel the negative impacts. We've seen it mainly impacting Main Street of Deadwood more than other properties.

Rodman said a committee is being developed specifically to look at the issues with gambling revenues and ways to address them. He said Deadwood is still seeing $100 million a year in casino revenues.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com