In the casino world it’s pretty much unheard-of for a company to hang a “for sale” sign on itself without a suitor in view. Patti Hart did it successfully at International Game Technology, earlier this year. Now Full House Resorts is trying to lure a buyer. Since Full House stock has 55% since the start of the year, this might be a target of opportunity for companies in growth mode, like Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc.
Buyers would have to swallow one bitter pill, namely that flagship casino Rising Star Riverboat is getting pummeled by rival casinos and racinos closer to Cincinnati. Full House’s other occupants are Continued >>
“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 Caesars), 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 >>
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 financial 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 >>