It’s a measure of how lucrative nightclubs are that casino companies are willing to run the attendant risks. (Put another way, by contrast to nightclubs, casinos look as staid as banks.) Case in point, MGM Resorts International‘s half-million-dollar settlement with the Nevada Gaming Control Board over repeated instances of drug dealing and prostitution at House of Blues‘ Foundation Room. In response to a two-month NGCB undercover investigation, MGM sacked several Foundation Room employees and acceded to the hefty fine. (Rick Velotta has the salacious details.) The company also struck a posture of high dudgeon, stating, “The intolerable activities discovered by investigators are obviously completely contrary to the type of luxury resort our company strives to run.”
Judging by the frequency and freedom with which Continued >>
Both Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment have weighed in at the J.P. Morgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum. Penn engaged in a three-bucket division of its casinos. “The first bucket comprises properties in markets where there has been no new competition, which are trending with the general [growth gaming revenue of the market, which is well understood to be soft of late,” wrote analyst Joseph Greff. “At these properties, the focus remains on controlling costs and maintaining margins. The second bucket comprises properties still working through cannibalization (Lawrenceburg, Columbus, and Charles Town), while the third comprises properties for which it expects growth (Toledo, and the recently renovated Hollywood St. Louis).”
Despite its difficulties in Ohio, Penn continues to push forward with two racinos, demonstrating almost masochistic Continued >>
Las Vegas‘ premier casino companies have been showing their wares at the J.P. Morgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum. Among the pilgrims was Wynn Resorts CFO Matt Maddox, who reported that Wynncore is increasing revenue per available room in the 8%-9% range and has an optimal amount of conventioneers (20%) in its current guest mix. Wynn believes it can extract $800 million to $1 billion (Really?) a year from the Boston market, and thinks ROI will be strong despite the 25% tax rate. It also hopes to steer its lucrative international players — two thirds of the customer base — to Boston.
In Macao, Wynn will be reinvesting in Wynncore Macau, even as Wynn Palace moves forward, so that the two properties can be competitive with each other. The company sees no problems getting the construction labor it needs. It’s bullish on Japan, predicting casino legalization in May or June.
Representatives of Las Vegas Sands said their company would have Continued >>