Your guess is as good as ours. The former frontman of Palms Casino Resort has completely disappeared from the public eye in recent years. This leaves many wondering what has happened to the casino mogul and his receding hairline.
Get in the FACTZ time machine and let’s go back to 2008, which by our accounts was the beginning of the end–the opening of Palms Place—the condo-hotel tower adjacent to the very popular Palms. Opening at the worst time possible, the bottom was falling out of the housing market as Las Vegas plunged into the great recession. A mess of debt, Maloof soon lost control of his dreamship.
Prior to that it had been the best of times for Maloof, who oversaw the Palms since its opening in 2001. In that seven-year period of time, the off-Strip Palms became the center of debauchery in Vegas—starring in a season of MTV’s the Real World and hosting the Video Music Awards, as well as acting as the stage for the world’s only Playboy Club and its frolicking bunnies. There was nowhere hotter than Palms.
Maloof and his cronies took full advantage of this heyday. That squad included Michael Morton, head of food and beverage operator NINE Group, partner Scott DeGraff, and Jon Gray, Palms front-desk assistant-turned-personal-assistant-turned-vice-president, who was the Ray Donovan, fixing the path of destruction plowed by the often intoxicated Maloof. But we will get into those lawsuits later.
In 2010, former Nine Group art director Leslie Culler sued Morton for sexual harassment after brushing off advances directed toward her by Morton and other male executives.
By 2011, Morton was out and then Maloof lost control of the casino-hostel and his title as president, going from an 85 percent stake in the resort to a 2 percent stake due to major debt issues. DeGraff, estranged from childhood best friend Morton, committed suicide in Aspen.
In 2013, Palms received a $1 million fine from the Nevada Gaming Commission for turning a blind eye to prostitution and drugs in its venues—an undercover cop bought cocaine, Ecstasy and Percocet at Moon and Rain nightclubs from venue staff. The complaint included 17-counts and the investigation was conducted by both Las Vegas police and gaming board officers. By September of 2013, Nine Group was completely out.
In 2016, Station Casino bought the Palms from the Maloof family for a little over $300 million and then pumped $690 million into its renovation.
When it officially opened in 2019, after an unofficial first opening in 2018, it was all eyes on Kaos Nightclub, a short-lived doomed venture that ended up taking down some of the city’s top executives including Gray and Wynn’s Alex Cordova in a DJ skimming scandal.
As luck would have it, KAOS is now the stuff of legend and potentially a future Netflix series.
Cursed much? Don’t tell that to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians who snapped up Palms for a cool $650 million, throwing open the gull-wing door on its almost-new Ferrari in spring 2022.
But the question remains? Where is DB Maloof?