With economic troubles across the United States (and around much of the world) over the last several years, the city of Las Vegas has been hit especially hard. A vacation to a hotel casino is a luxury, not a necessity.

And now, the Maloofs have had to take a major step with their famous Palms casino:

Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee reports:

The owners of the Sacramento Kings have surrendered controlling interest in their Las Vegas casino, in a deal that they say improves their finances considerably.

After months of negotiations, the Maloof family announced Tuesday that it has reached a “recapitalization” agreement with the Palms Casino’s main creditors, investment firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners.

Co-owner George Maloof said the deal erases the Palms’ debt but leaves the family, which built the trendy casino a decade ago, with less than 50 percent of the equity. That gives controlling interest to TPG and Green.

But Maloof, who enjoys a high profile in Las Vegas, said he will continue to run the Palms. He said “it’s not disappointing at all” that controlling interest has passed to the creditors.

The deal could have significant implications for the Kings at a crucial time in the team’s history. The Kings passed up an opportunity last month to move to Anaheim, agreeing to give Sacramento a last chance to build a new arena. City officials and the NBA expect the Maloofs to contribute to the project, but the amount remains to be seen…

Brian Gordon of Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas financial consulting firm, said several casinos have had to restructure their debts in the past year or so. Typically, the creditors wind up owning a stake in the casino, he said.

I’m a fan of the Palms. They have some of the best bars/clubs in Vegas.