Station Casinos Files for Bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Station Casinos filed for bankruptcy in Nevada on Tuesday, becoming another gambling operator felled by the recession.

The company, which operates casinos catering to Las Vegas residents rather than tourists, had been seeking for months to restructure its debt.

As part of an agreement with senior secured lenders, none of the company’s casino operating units or affiliates were included in the Chapter 11 filings, the company said in a statement.

Station also said that an agreement with senior secured lenders permits it to borrow as much as $150 million from one of its nonoperating subsidiaries, subject to court approval.

Station, which was taken private in a 2007 leveraged buyout, said it is continuing to talk with lenders and debtholders regarding a possible reorganization.

Casino operators have strained to make debt payments as recession-strapped consumers cut back on gambling.

Station, which has 18 casinos and resorts, was taken private in a $5.4 billion deal by its founding family, the Fertittas, and Los Angeles-based private equity firm Colony Capital.

The U.S. economy turned sour shortly after the deal, with Las Vegas hurt badly by the downturn in housing prices and upturn in unemployment.

Station’s bankruptcy filing follows those of casino operators Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc (TRMPQ.PK), based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the Las Vegas Tropicana.

(Reporting by Deena Beasley, Karen Jacobs; editing by Leslie Gevirtz)