Narrow race in Massachusetts; Boffo biz in Alabama

By David McKee ~ September 2nd, 2014 @ 2:33 pm No Comments »

No state that has ever approved casino gambling has repealed it in over 80 years. That being said, casinos are polling weakly in massachusetts-quarterMassachusetts — with support hovering at 50% — and the opposition is getting cocky. A perversely worded ballot question (you vote “yes” for repeal, “no” for casinos) is adding to the free-for-all atmosphere.

To hear casino opponents tell it, a win in Massachusetts could lead to repeals elsewhere. “If Massachusetts votes to repeal casinos, this could represent a turning of the tide. But even if the casinos win, the fact that they’re even having this vote says to the industry that maybe they should think twice about how many casinos they’re opening,” says Boston College gaming expert Richard McGowan.

Some are unimpressed. Penn National Gaming is proceeding Continued >>

Big Apple, smaller bites; Checkmate on the Strip

By David McKee ~ September 2nd, 2014 @ 1:30 pm No Comments »

Mitchell_Etess“There will never be another Mohegan Sun. That’s the way the market has shifted.” So says Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Grossinger Etess on the smaller, economy-sized casinos he and his fellows will have to build in New York State, if they have the winning bids. The conundrum is to build a resort that has enough curb appeal and amenities to win the competitive battle — but inexpensive to assure that your investment is recouped. It’s a phenomenon that’s been dubbed “the Goldilocks zone.”

Etess knows whereof he speaks. Revenue continues to fall at Mohegan Sun and he’s proposing to spend Continued >>

Archon under fire again

By David McKee ~ September 2nd, 2014 @ 11:52 am No Comments »

Sue Lowden is back in the news, not for her political activities but as secretary and public face of Archon Gaming, whose 27 acres atop Sue Lowdenthe Strip are a hot property again, following the opening of SLS Las Vegas. Dissident investor and frequent thorn in the Lowdens’ side Esplanade Capital has made a purchase that ought to be the dream of a lifetime for an Archon shareholder: $21.65 a share — a 21% premium. That’s a fat price for Archon’s slim portfolio of assets, headlined by flagship Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall in Laughlin.

Taking its offer public, Esplanade fired off an open letter to the Lowdens. “ I was afforded the opportunity to speak with the Board of Directors … and reiterate our view that the Company should publicly commit to a sales process with a level playing field. While disappointed, I am not surprised that this demand and my follow-up since have been rebuffed,” writes Esplanade President Shawn W. Kravetz. Continued >>

Showboat, 1987-2014; Paris, 1999-????

By David McKee ~ September 2nd, 2014 @ 10:56 am 1 Comment »

Showboat_Atlantic_CityIn the end, the Showboat Atlantic City had a good run of it, lasting almost three decades on the Boardwalk. It succumbed, in part, to wounds inflicted by owner Caesars Entertainment, which cut into its customer base by building Harrah’s Philadelphia and, toward the end, shifting its priority to a New York State casino. A few years of that attitude and, the next thing you know, Showboat security is yelling, “Go home! We’re closed” at taxi drivers.

As 27-year Showboat veteran Arnoldo Leggi said between card tricks, “I opened this place, and now I’m going to close it. I’m not feeling Continued >>

Further Reading

Narrow race in Massachusetts; Boffo biz in Alabama

Big Apple, smaller bites; Checkmate on the Strip

Archon under fire again

Showboat, 1987-2014; Paris, 1999-????

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