Legislative inaction be damned, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is going ahead with Internet poker. It’s already got a free play site but plans to go live with the real deal perhaps as early as next week. Isn’t that unconstitutional? Maybe not. The Iipay Nation cites its sovereign status and its own constitution to justify its action. It also points to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act‘s permission of Class II games sans compact and poker is about as far from a house game as one can get. (The Iipay Nation no longer operates a physical casino.)
While the tribe could wait for the introduction of online-gambling legislation in December, it is not so inclined. “The current proposed legislation excludes all but the wealthiest gaming tribes from engaging in state-regulated online gaming. Smaller or remotely located tribes, like Santa Ysabel, would not be able to meet the financial prerequisites for participation in online gaming as currently proposed, in spite of their years of experience conducting and regulating brick-and-mortar Class II and Class III gaming,” said Santa Ysabel Interactive spokesman Dave Vialpando last month. We don’t think the State of California will take the Iipay Nation’s dare lying down, so brace yourself for the sound of a collision. Continued >>
Is Sam Nazarian becoming a legend in his own mind? You have to wonder when you read that he’s had a statue of himself erected in the front of SLS Las Vegas. Sure, Bob Stupak did the same thing at Stratosphere, but Stupak was a notorious eccentric while Nazarian is supposed to represent a new breed of businessman.
SLS is, more by necessity than choice, pursuing a bifurcated marketing strategy at its Strip hotel. On the one hand, it is taking the global view, appealing to what Nazarian calls his “tribe” — currently shaking its collective booty down at Hyde in Bellagio. “Our database has 5 million names, and the average age of our customer is 38 years old and they travel … And there are members of the tribe who are the affluent. To us, that tribe is in place as much in Hong Kong as it is in New York as it is in Las Vegas,” he says.
The other prong of the approach is to Continued >>
Once safely closed — and rid of those pesky employees — Revel could find itself a valuable commodity again. Salaries really are at the crux of the issue. Current ownership is losing $2 million a week and that “black hole” is keeping potential buyers away. ‘To entice acceptable bids,’ it was necessary to close the casino-hotel. We’ll see if anyone emerges from the undergrowth by Sept. 2, the latest date for the oft-postponed bankruptcy auction.