Power play in Vegas; Positive talk in Pennsylvania

By David McKee ~ July 22nd, 2014 @ 4:31 pm No Comments »

Jason Ader, a former hot-shot casino industry analyst turned wealthy hedge fund managerLas Vegas Sands and Bwin shareholder, and all-around string-puller Jason Ader is committing 350 million of (other people’s) dollars to bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Las Vegas. Much of the investment would be realized through the EB-5 visa program. (How many Chinese can an MLS team support?) A goodly chunk of the rest would be raised through taxpayer subsidies. “We would be looking for a tax concession. The question is how much? It would need a subsidy,” Ader told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Ader has offered to chip in some of his own capital, though it’s unclear at this point how much.

Trouble is, Las Vegas has already signed off on a development deal between Cordish Cos. and and Findlay Sports & Entertainment. The Findlay plan is scheduled to be announced on Aug. 6. On one point Mayor Carolyn Goodman is in sync with Ader: Continued >>

Caesars gains a hot tub, Biloxi loses a casino

By David McKee ~ July 22nd, 2014 @ 2:25 pm No Comments »

7_21_14_d_nobu_tub_kabik-116You live in Las Vegas long enough, you think you’ve seen everything. Then somebody uses a helicopter to airlift a big-ass jacuzzi (technically an “onsen tub”) onto the terrace of the Nobu Tower at Caesars Palace, where it will grace the high-roller Nobu Villa. The tub was evidently too cumbrous for a crane — or maybe Caesars Entertainment just wanted to make a statement. No expense spared! Color me impresssed

* In what we’re assured is not the start of a trend, Biloxi‘s newest casino, Margaritaville, is taking a night train to the Big Adios. Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey was in PR damage-control mode“I think it probably was more of an instance that, coming out of the gate, they struggled a little bit to find their niche. All along the Gulf Coast, there are hotels going up, hotel renovations,” he said. Continued >>

Boardwalk despair; Comings and goings on the Strip

By David McKee ~ July 22nd, 2014 @ 1:23 pm No Comments »

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 trump deskgoing 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 AdvisorsOren Klein reports of the potential buyers. However, neither  Continued >>

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 >>

Further Reading

Power play in Vegas; Positive talk in Pennsylvania

Caesars gains a hot tub, Biloxi loses a casino

Boardwalk despair; Comings and goings on the Strip

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

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