Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 | 1:52 p.m.
Gambling in downtown Las Vegas has been in a slump but brothers Derek and Gregory Stevens are betting business will pick up. The state Gaming Commission Thursday gave final approval to the brothers to buy Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casino from the estate of Don Barden, who died several months ago.
Downtown Las Vegas has had only three months higher gross gaming revenues in the last year.
Derek Stevens told the commission that Fitzgeralds has "great potential as long as there is new capital." The new owners plan to renovate and upgrade the hotel-casino.
Derek Stevens will have 78 percent through a trust and Gregory Stevens will have the remaining 22 percent. All assets and liabilities will go to the brothers.
The sales price was not disclosed.
Derek Stevens said negotiations to buy the property were under way several months before Barden's death.
Derek Stevens will be the manager in Desert Rock Enterprises II, the company that officially will own Fitzgeralds.
The brothers also own two-thirds of the Golden Gate casino in downtown Las Vegas. Derek Stevens said they would begin upgrading that property in a couple of weeks and that there will be some cross-marketing in promoting the two casinos.
Commission Chairman Peter Bernhard called Barden a gaming pioneer who "did not earn as much money as he thought he would."