Has tribal gaming peaked?

By David McKee ~ July 24th, 2014 @ 11:28 am No Comments »

WashburnThat’s the import of remarks by Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn, testifying before a Senate committee. Not only have revenues plateaued in the $26 billion-$28 billion range, they’ve essentially been the same since 2007. Meanwhile, private-sector gambling is outstripping tribal revenue growth, hitting $38 million last year.

“No great economic resource lasts forever,” summarized Washburn, head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a member of the Chickasaw Tribe of Oklahoma — which has more than a few gaming irons in the fire. He admitted to a certain bias: “Commercial gaming goes to enrich Continued >>

Glimmers of hope on the Boardwalk

By David McKee ~ July 24th, 2014 @ 10:15 am No Comments »

Every morning, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (R) rides his bicycle along the Boardwalk. This morning, Guardian must have felt he was carrying a heavier burden than usual. Although Hizzoner has maintained that Atlantic City will come out on the other side of a series of casino closings stronger than before, that didn’t play with Moody’s Investor Service. Blowing off arguments that the Atlantic City market needs to downsize in order to survive, Moody’s lowered the Boardwalk’s credit rating to junk level, Baa2 or “speculative.”

Wrote Moody’s analysts Vito Galluccio and Julie Beglin“These [weakened fundamentals] result from ongoing casino revenue declines, expected near-term casino closures, and the impact of sizable casino tax appeals, all of which has stemmed from increased competition from casinos in neighboring states.” The prospective unemployment that will result from the Showboat, Trump Plaza and Revel closings is truly staggering: According to Bloomberg, 6,248 Atlantic citizens will be going on the dole.  Continued >>

Adelson goes soft on Communism; Wynn befriends oysters

By David McKee ~ July 23rd, 2014 @ 3:21 pm 1 Comment »

Sheldon Adelson may play the tough guy at home but he’s a pushover in Macao. Rather than anger his Communist overlords, Adelson apologized for a labor march that just so happened to be held outside Venetian Macao. The protest was organized to call for 10% pay raises and more promotions of dealers to supervisors.

Venetian Macao foyer“Some people at Sands China are working as dealer supervisors but only getting dealer salaries. Our issue is only with Sands,” said organizer Kelvin Leong. The protest group, Forefront of the Macao Gaming, appears to have marshaled considerably more than the 200 protesters estimated by police (such wild discrepancies in reporting are nothing new). However, its demands rang a bit hollow since it didn’t have Sands China membership numbers and nobody knew if Adelson employees were actually participating in the protest or signed a 5,000-signatory petition that was delivered to Sands management.

Since employers in Macao can be sanctioned by their bosses without having any legal recourse, Sands workers would do well to Continued >>

Megaflop at the Trop

By David McKee ~ July 23rd, 2014 @ 12:29 pm No Comments »

Whatever the hold Mamma Mia! exerted over Las Vegas audiences, it’s gone — and so will be the show, closing Aug. 3 after an abortive, three-month run. It doesn’t figure: A previous incarnation at Mandalay Bay (which Mandalay Resort Group and later MGM Resorts International were able to market to multiple properties) lasted for six-plus years. The version which (re)opened at the Tropicana Las Vegas was lacking some of the bells and whistles — and some of the dialogue — of the Mandalay Bay version, making it look a bit tatty and cheap.

True, Mamma Mia! must be a bit of hard sell when anybody can go down to Redbox and rent the DVD. But that’s not the whole story. It’s Continued >>

Further Reading

Has tribal gaming peaked?

Glimmers of hope on the Boardwalk

Adelson goes soft on Communism; Wynn befriends oysters

Megaflop at the Trop

Gaming industry gets mixed notices

Forced to gamble?; SugarHouse goes big

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

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