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Vegas casino pursuing former Lightning owner over loan

Jan 20, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

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Former Tampa Bay Lightning owner and bedhead enthusiast Len Barrie is being sued by Las Vegas casino Bellagio over a loan that, with interest, has reached more than $2 million.

Via Victoria’s Times Colonist:

According to the statement of claim, over the course of three days in May 2008 Barrie negotiated credit at the casino, and provided the casino with 11 “negotiable credit instruments” totalling $1.5 million US to guarantee the loan.

The statement of claim says Barrie agreed to pay 18 per cent interest per annum on the line of credit he was extended at the Bellagio, and further goes on to say Barrie paid back $420,000 US, reducing his debt to $1.08 million.

The Bellagio, citing breach of contract, took court action in March 2011 to collect the $1.08 million after the credit instruments Barrie provided were returned “dishonoured.”

Barrie, meanwhile, is disputing the amount he owes.

“We have a little dispute and we will have to see how this finishes,” he told the Times Colonist. “We don’t agree with the amount. We’ve already paid $400,000, [and] we think the amount should be smaller.

“And when we settle on the amount, we’ll get it paid and will move on.”

It’s not reported whether the funds were used for gambling/buffet purposes or if some of them went towards the purchase of the Lightning. The club was sold to Barrie’s investment group in June of 2008, one month after Bellagio says the loan was negotiated.

  1. solador78 - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Too bad for Len Barrie that he couldn’t pay back the sportsbook with Lightning losses this year.

  2. sunking1 - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Barrie’s a clown. He came into the Lightning ownership with a “I’m the smartest guy in the room” attitude. His lasting legacy as a owner is that both he a Koules are viewed as the most inept owners in recent NHL history.

    The only good thing that came from his tenure (and I consider this payback for making the Lightning a laughingstock franchise during his ownership) is that we were able to draft Stamkos.

    Karma works both ways. For Barrie, he is hounded by creditors he has bilked. For the Bolts, we have the great fortune to have Stamkos on our team and see him play every game.

  3. rinkman1 - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Mullet + Movie Mogul + Snake Oil Salesman = An NHL team in chaos. Thank the lord that Melrose, Koules and Barrie are no longer in Tampa Bay.

    Tell me again why did Bettman allow the sale of the franchise to Barrie and Koules in the first place. I hope the League has beefed up their due diligence process because of the movie mogul and snake oil salesman.

    Anyone want to buy this elixar I have that will make your sister an NHL 50 goal scorer? Bettman you out there?

    • elvispocomo - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Because Bettman will do anything he can to keep teams in failing markets. I’m not trying to call out Tampa as a failing market, but Bettman certainly has no qualms about taking excessive steps when it would seem the smart thing would be to do the opposite.

      Do you think if Barrie and Koules (or someone similar) offered to buy the Coyotes with the promise of keeping them in Phoenix, he wouldn’t jump regardless of any potential for problems?

  4. rca26 - Jan 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    This guy is why this season isn’t that depressing to Lightning fans. Yeah, it sucks to regress so much after last year’s dream season, but at least there’s a real owner in place and good leadership throughout the organization, so there’s hope.

    Stamkos gets all the credit (and deservedly so), but without Vinik (and Leiweke and Yzerman) we wouldn’t have a reason to stay excited for the future of our Bolts.

  5. lsxphotog - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    This guy is just filled with bad decisions, isn’t he?

  6. hibackhand - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    looks like he spent it all on hair products and hookers.

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