George Maloof, owner of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, is diving into the music business. In addition to <A HREF="http://www.billboard.com/bb/biz/newsroom/business_finance/article_display.jsp?v

George Maloof, owner of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, is diving into the music business. In addition to opening a state-of-the-art recording studio -- the first of its kind to be put in a hotel and casino -- he and his family have inked a deal with Interscope Records to start their own label, Maloof Music.

Maloof has been working closely with Interscope A&M Geffen chairman Jimmy Iovine and head of sales and marketing Steve Berman, as well as with Eminem's label, Shady Records. Maloof says they are putting together a marketing and business plan for two acts -- one hip-hop and one rock.

With its dance clubs and overall casino sound system, the Palms offers an enticing marketing and promotion vehicle for a record label because airplay in the casino is guaranteed.

"I just have a huge passion for music," Maloof says. "I love concerts. I love the pop culture and how music relates to everything we do. It has such a huge influence on our culture; I just get a kick out of it."

The new 8,000-square-foot, multiroom recording studio -- on which construction has not yet begun -- is the brainchild of Maloof and TV producer/manager Larry Rudolph and is part of a general expansion of the resort.

"I just thought it would be interesting to have artists that want to come to Las Vegas, hang out and screw around in the recording studio," Maloof says.

Since its inception 3 1/2 years ago, the Palms Casino has become a music hot spot, hosting performances by such acts as No Doubt, Pink, Korn and a surprise show by Britney Spears.

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