Argosy saved … for now

By David McKee ~ July 21st, 2014 @ 11:08 am No Comments »

Not only has the Iowa Supreme Court not ruled on Judge Elizabeth Ovrom‘s ruling to close Argosy Sioux City, it hasn’t decided whether penn-national-gamingor not to hear the case. However, it still has kept the Penn National Gaming riverboat on life support. It could just be a matter of days — or one of months. All depends on whether the high court chooses to hear Penn’s appeal of the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission‘s closing order. Considering that it has been allowed to keep the Argosy open for a year unlicensed under a clause called “operation of law,” Penn’s fate could have been far worse than its current predicament would indicate.

* Kudos to the surveillance staff at Sands Bethlehem. They spotted and helped Pennsylvania state police arrest alleged casino cheat Jubreal Chahine, wanted by Continued >>

Thinking the unthinkable

By David McKee ~ July 21st, 2014 @ 10:22 am No Comments »

Could Nevada casino floors go genuinely smoke-free? That’s the idea floated by Deutsche Bank analyst Andrew Zarnett. Although Nevada
smokingvoters have exempted casino floors from smoking bans, Zarnett thinks that state of affairs could change by 2016 or so, at the casino industry’s behest. He cites the example of Macao, which — mirabile dictu — is going smoke-free in October? It’s one of those “Only Nixon could go to China” moments (to borrow a famous Vulcan saying) that will increase pressure on Big Gaming by clean-air advocates. At present, there’s no better way to pick up some second-hand fumes than, say, traveling one of Palazzo‘s ludicrous “smoke-free corrdiors” — as though smoke respects an invisible line in the sky.

There’s peril in the idea, of course. Illinois‘ gaming revenues dove 21% in 2007 (a boom year elsewhere) when a smoking ban was imposed. Delaware‘s 2002 ban was followed by Continued >>

Strange doings in Alabama

By David McKee ~ July 18th, 2014 @ 12:04 pm No Comments »

Flag_of_Alabama.svgContinuing its persecution of the Poarch Creek Band of Indians, the State of Alabama is taking them to federal appeals court. And it looks like state Attorney General Luther Strange might have a leg to stand on. He’s citing the Carcieri v. Salazar, which prevents the Department of Interior from taking land into trust for gambling purposes for tribes recognized after 1934. The Poarch Creek Indians weren’t recognized until 50 years later.

The other prong of Strange’s argument regards the Class II machines used by the tribe and devolves into an “Is so!” “Is not!” argument with Continued >>

Prosperity in Detroit? You bet; Penn’s persistence

By David McKee ~ July 18th, 2014 @ 11:18 am No Comments »


Those busy boffins at the American Gaming Association have been crunching data from Detroit and come up with some interesting statistics. The three Motown casinos are a bit lighter in the workforce (down 4%), having lost or laid off 350 employees out of nearly 8,000. The remainder — between tips, benefits and salary — took home $401 million last year. Not surprisingly, gaming was one of the 10 largest employers in the market, as the casinos continued to be durable earners — the fourth-best gambling market in the country. Of course, some casinos are more durable than others: MGM Grand Detroit made a $156 million profit while Greektown Casino lost $31 million.

Collectively, the casinos employed more Detroiters than did Continued >>

Further Reading

Argosy saved … for now

Thinking the unthinkable

Strange doings in Alabama

Prosperity in Detroit? You bet; Penn’s persistence

Marrandino returns; Crime and casinos

Reversal in Phoenix; Flame out

Paradox at Sands

Take my casino, please; Nail-biter in Iowa

Russian roulette in Boston

Goodbye IGT, hello Gtech

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