It’s a dark day when you find yourself in agreement with Donald Trump, but such is the case with the famous Atlantic City boarding house owned by Vera Coking. Eight years ago, when he wanted to expand Trump Plaza, The Donald offered $1.9 million at least — more, he claims. When that didn’t work, he sicced the Casino Reinvestment & Development Authority on Ms. Coking. They went the eminent-domain route, offering $251,000. Ms. Coking’s position was eminently reasonable: It was her property and she didn’t want to sell it. She even was taken to court and emerged victorious.
However, by taking a completely admirable — if impractical — position, Ms. Coking has cost herself a big payday. Her boarding house is finally going on auction, with a starting price of $199,000. Its owner might be lucky to get that much. It has already gone from $5 million to $1 million to a fifth of that amount. “It’s mostly pawnshops, cash-for-gold places, a bar, a couple of liquor stores. We did get a call from some Chinese investors, and one guy wants to do a pharmacy,” Auction Advisors‘ Oren Klein reports of the potential buyers. However, neither Continued >>
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 or 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 >>
Could Nevada casino floors go genuinely smoke-free? That’s the idea floated by Deutsche Bank analyst Andrew Zarnett. Although Nevada
voters 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 >>