Argosy Sioux City: 2003-2014

By David McKee ~ July 30th, 2014 @ 11:01 am No Comments »

Better get to Argosy Sioux City by 4:59 p.m. if you want to lay down one final bet. The casino will be closing permanently at 5 p.m., in Argosy Bellecompliance with an Iowa Supreme Court order. The Supremes declined to hear Penn National Gaming‘s appeal of an Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission edict that the casino — which was in noncompliance with a law requiring a local nonprofit partner — be closed. So the slot and roulette wheels will stop spinning, and the dice will no longer bounce across the green felt.

Penn is being pretty “george” to its employees, who will obtain $464,000 in bonuses and $1.7 million in severance pay: “Hourly workers employed for at least a year are eligible for one week’s pay for every year of service, penn-national-gamingup to 52 weeks, while salaried employees can receive two weeks’ pay for every year, according to the court documents.” Since the workforce is becoming unemployed because their workplace went out of business, they’ll also qualify for 39 weeks unemployment from the state. The top 10 “key employees” will split a pot of $286,635 in “close bonuses.” (What a concept: Close a business, collect a bonus!) Continued >>

Wynn: Most happy fella

By David McKee ~ July 30th, 2014 @ 10:15 am No Comments »

We’ve gotten to inured to headlines that say such-and-such a quarter was “rescued by Macao” that I did a double-take today. The lead item on a newsletter was “Wynn Resorts Q2 results boosted by Las Vegas.” It’s Steve-Wynn-201198-1-402nice that the Strip is something other than an afterthought, even if Steve Wynn greeted the news with apparent ingratitude. Atypical Las Vegas Strip levels of staying and dining (up 12.5% from Q213) helped propel earnings 57% upward. “I never had a $50 million in July [in Las Vegas] in my business career, 40 odd years in gaming,” said an apparently astonished Wynn. In spite of all this success, Wynn still managed to miss Wall Street‘s demanding revenue expectations, even if profit overshot analysts’ target. The culprit was a soft June in Macao, where World Cup betting fever sapped casino revenues. Even so, Wynn’s Macanese casinos managed a small quarterly increase of 3%.

The oldest part of Wynn Macau is currently seeing a $60 million renovation, to give the company Continued >>

Wall Street: Viva Las Vegas

By David McKee ~ July 29th, 2014 @ 3:41 pm No Comments »

cards-casino“Results could be lackluster, even if more states allow casinos, as is the case in Ohio, which we estimate cannibalized roughly one-third of its revenues from surrounding states.”  So wrote Fitch Ratings Service analyst Michael Paladino, assessing the gaming industry’s national prospects. They’re not good — but there’s a silver lining. Demand in Las Vegas continues to grow — heck, the North Strip is coming back to life — even as regional markets tank. They’re forecast to decline as much as 5% over the next year and a half.

These numbers are putting some truth into the cliche that regional, ‘convenience’ casinos can never compete with Continued >>

Flake-ing out over tribal gambling

By David McKee ~ July 29th, 2014 @ 2:46 pm No Comments »

It must be nice to have two U.S. senators at your beck and call. That’s the case for tribal opponents of the Tohono O’odham Nation casino proposal. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) are introducing a United_States_Capitol_west_frontbill that would make it illegal for a tribe (read: Tohono O’odham) to have a casino on land not contiguous with a pre-existing reservation. You might expect to ask what the tribe is expected to do with the once-arable land that was literally wiped out by Painted Rock Dam on a regular basis. In 1986, Congress allowed the Tohono O’odham to sell the ruined 9,800 acres and seek land elsewhere.

“Elsewhere” turned out to be a chunk of acreage that juts into Glendale. Other tribes didn’t see it coming because the Tohono O’odham used a front — Rainier Resources — to compile Continued >>

Further Reading

Argosy Sioux City: 2003-2014

Wynn: Most happy fella

Wall Street: Viva Las Vegas

Flake-ing out over tribal gambling

Hawkeye State showdown

Would you let this man rob your casino?

Enormous changes at the last minute

Pinnacle pestered; Penn profits; Pokies pilloried

Regulators to Walsh: Not so fast, friend

Great month for the Strip, for Louisiana not so much

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