UPDATE JULY 5: The Nevada Gaming Control Board has confirmed that it is investigating the reason behind the closing of "Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas."
UPDATE JULY 2: The long-running show "Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas" at The LINQ hotel-casino closed abruptly June 30 because of a question regarding money collected by the show for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Frank Marino, who is the star of the show, has said for years that proceeds from T-shirts and DVDs sold at the show would benefit the charity.
Marino denied in a voicemail to a Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes that he knew anything about the issue and said he planned to bring "Divas" back to a Las Vegas stage.
The following statement was received from Caesars Entertainment on Tuesday morning:
Caesars Entertainment holds itself to the highest standards and given the non-payment of donations to Make a Wish by Divas, we determined that a relationship with this show was no longer suitable. Upon discovering and fully investigating this issue, we immediately took all appropriate actions in response. Caesars enjoyed a long, mutually successful relationship with the Divas production team, which it hoped would have continued for many more years, and the show’s cancellation is due solely to these circumstances.
Frank Marino sent this statement shortly:
As some are aware, I have historically given a portion of the proceeds from the sales of certain Divas Las Vegas merchandise to the Make a Wish Foundation as well as incorporating them into special events like my Celebrity Roast held at the Stratosphere Hotel in which all of the proceeds and donations were given to them personally.
I’m saddened to say that due to my own negligence, Make a Wish has not received a check from me for sometime.
I am personally embarrassed and ashamed. I take full responsibility and am sincerely apologetic for this situation.
I have confirmed the figure which I would have customarily donated to them from a percentage of my merchandise sales and have offered to substantially increase that many times over.
Make a Wish is an important charity and my favorite in the world because it lifts the hearts and spirits of children desperately in need of joy, comfort, and compassion. I hope my mistake will not prevent others from donating generously to this organization and I pray that I will be able to work with them for many years to come.
Numerous other false allegations have been circulated, they are inaccurate; Divas agreed with Caesars to terminate the production which had been performed 7 days a week.
I personally want to state that Caesars Entertainment and the Divas Las Vegas show has always maintained a very positive and professional working relationship. I also want to go on record and state that the last 8 years of performing at the LINQ Hotel has been nothing less than a wonderful and amazing experience for both myself and my cast. Caesars is a great organization and it was my honor to provide the Divas Show at the LINQ for so many years.
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada also released a statement.
While we were very disappointed to learn about this situation, our understanding is that things will be made right. We are so grateful for the many corporations and individuals in our community who support our kids by helping us grant life-changing wishes. This situation will not deter us from our mission of helping as many children as possible.
The longest running headliner on the Las Vegas Strip has ended his run at the LINQ hotel-casino.
"Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas" had a run of more than 30 years in the city. The star of the show, Frank Marino, says that Caesars Entertainment and "Divas" decided on a mutual separation.
The show featured an all-star cast of female impersonators. Last Tuesday was the final performance.
Frank is no stranger to 13 Action News, as he's made frequent appearances on our Live at Midday show over the past 11 years to provide recaps and commentary on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." He assures us and his fans that he's looking forward to returning to 13 Action News next season.