Caesars’ shell game; Setback in Japan

By David McKee ~ October 21st, 2014 @ 11:15 am 1 Comment »

“Extend and pretend.” Those are the words of gaming analyst Alan Woinski, describing the debt-management practices of Caesars Entertainment and CEO Gary Loveman: “they extended out the maturities and just put new debt on top of old debt, and the pretend part is pretending that someday they’d be able to pay it off.” The company has lost $853 million so far this year, yet continues to pursue an aggressive expansive strategy that would have you thinking its worst days were behind it. (Though they already caught up with it in Massachusetts and might do so in New York State.)

One of the ways this has been done is to segregate the new projects and better-performing assets into subsidiaries like Caesars Growth Partners (aka Little Loveman speaksCaesars), although some doubt that if debt takes down Big Caesars — Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. — Little Caesars will be able to escape the tsunami. Loveman is pretty blunt about it, too. “We two years ago created a subsidiary known as Caesars Growth Partners, created with the purpose of funding our growth for new projects like the Baltimore project that opened just a few weeks ago, and this one,” he told Continued >>

Gross injustice; Let the sports betting begin!

By David McKee ~ October 21st, 2014 @ 9:24 am No Comments »

If you work at Trump Taj Mahal, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the casino now stands a better chance of weathering a November trump-taj mahafinancial crisis, preserving your job. The bad news is you just lost your pension and health benefits. (And your paid meal breaks.) The Taj will be allowed to void its contract, ruled Judge Kevin Gross, making the casino a more appealing rescue vehicle for leading creditor Carl Icahn, now that worker compensation has been cut by 35%“We are proud of our efforts to keep the Taj Mahal open, to deliver our loyal customers a continued first-class gaming experience and to have the ability to save 3,000 jobs in a very difficult Atlantic City economy,” said Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO “Bedsprings Bob” Griffin. Needless to say, those sentiments were not shared by Unite-Here President Robert McDevitt, who promised picketing by the end of the week. Lamented waitress Valerie McMorris, a 24-year veteran of the casino, “With the stroke of a pen we’ve gone from middle-class jobs in this city to working poor.” Continued >>

A renaissance for Atlantic City?

By David McKee ~ October 17th, 2014 @ 2:29 pm No Comments »

If Gary Green set out to stir debate with his Casino Journal polemic on Atlantic City, he could hardly have succeeded better. For Green, the glass is
Chalfonte_Hotel_Atlantic_City_1905_Advertisementconsiderably more than half-full and the Boardwalk is “healthy, viable and sound.” In a poke at Glenn Straub, he writes, “we don’t need to turn casino towers into a student dorms.” As Green points out, Atlantic City is a $2.9 billion a year market, no longer a $5.2 billion. However, that trend is extremely unlikely to reverse and Green puts too little stock, I think, into that long slump. Green allows that “Despite grandiose dreams of attracting new market segments or cannibalizing adjacent casino jurisdictions, any Atlantic City investment must be viewed in this context.” He sees the last several years as “the decline phase of a normal business lifecycle, where there is often both economic peril and promise.”

He argues, ” This is a great time to Continued >>

JFK returns to Vegas, poker comes to Philly

By David McKee ~ October 17th, 2014 @ 1:26 pm No Comments »

TROPICANA VIEW 1B_LO 042010Tourist attractions just haven’t been clicking for the New Tropicana Las Vegas. But it’s trying again with “The JFK Exhibition,” announced today. Although John F. Kennedy‘s connections to Las Vegas were part of the seamy underside of Camelot, that only makes the intersection of content and format the more apt. For all we know, the hit on JFK could have emanated from a Vegas boardroom in the heyday of Meyer Lansky.

It’s hard not to think first of Kennedy’s assassination when one of the centerpieces of the exhibit, curated by JFK obsessive Jim Warlick, is a 70-foot Air Force One fuselage, tricked out as it would have been seen on Nov. 22, 1963. (Warlick has a whole museum of this stuff in Continued >>

Further Reading

Caesars’ shell game; Setback in Japan

Gross injustice; Let the sports betting begin!

A renaissance for Atlantic City?

JFK returns to Vegas, poker comes to Philly

Caesars flirts with Chapter 11; MGM sells relic

Wynn blocked in Boston?

Tying the knot in Vegas and other diversions

Packer’s complaint; Bally bloodbath

Atlantic City: Which way is up?; Sheldon Adelson, prophet

Steve Wynn, the early years

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