A story — first reported by 360newslasvegas.com on the day before primary election day — about how Nevada Democratic Rep. Susie Lee pushed for federal pandemic loans for small casinos, resulting in her husband’s company getting two such loans worth $5.3 million, doesn’t seem to be getting much traction in the rest of the Nevada media.
The account reports, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lee’s husband Daniel Lee, the CEO of Full House Resorts, used the funds to rehire several hundred employees at two of his casinos, the Rising Star Casino Resort in Indiana and Bronco Billy’s Casino in Colorado, but not at its casinos in Nevada.
The story does quote a Lee spokesperson as saying, “She had no influence over the decision to file the application, and she had no influence over whether or not that application was approved or denied. The conditions and details under which Full House Resorts received its PPP loan are entirely between Full House Resorts and regulators.”
Without the change in loan eligibility, there would have been no such loans.
On primary election day, The Daily Beast reported that Lee and her husband’s finances were hard hit by the coronavirus shutdown of casinos.
The online media reports that Full House laid off or furloughed nearly its entire staff and its stock price fell by more than 83 percent, from $3.59 per share to just $0.53. According to Rep. Lee’s personal financial disclosure filing covering 2018 through early 2019, the couple owned millions of dollars in Full House stock and stock options.
Since the loans, the stock is now priced at $1.80.