Golden, Scientific on the move

By David McKee ~ January 26th, 2015 @ 1:39 pm No Comments »

Golden Gaming continues to absorb its competitors. Its latest acquisition is Lakes Entertainment, one of the most venerable names in Midwestern gambling. Golden will pay a Sartini37% premium to purchase Lakes at $9.57 a share. While 64% of shareholders will be Lakes ones, the power shift is decisively in Golden’s favor. The latter’s Blake Sartini (right) becomes CEO and chairman of the merged, publicly traded company, Golden Entertainment (and receives 7.8 million shares of stock), while longtime Lakes CEO Lyle Berman moves down to board member and consultant. A similar arrangement will be made for Lakes CFO Tim Cope.

The merger brings Golden’s already-considerable slot inventory to 9,250 one-armed bandits in over 600 locations, virtually all in Nevada. It also puts Golden in the driver’s seat of Maryland‘s Rocky Gap Casino, giving it an East Coast presence for the first time. Golden is projecting $348 million in revenue this year. There’s some addition-by-subtraction in the deal: Golden will divest 10% interests in Horseshoe Cleveland and Horseshoe Cincinnati. It will also unload a pair of horse tracks, one in Ohio and one in Kentucky, for a mere $750,000.

* Scientific Games is very much in Continued >>

Where will the Caesars fight be fought?

By David McKee ~ January 26th, 2015 @ 12:52 pm No Comments »

In the battle between Caesars Entertainment and its dissident creditors, the opening route — the choice of venue — may be the decisive one. As noted previously, Caesars wants Gary_loveman_Cropped_fmtthe case heard in Chicago and not in Wilmington, even though it is a Delaware-incorporated company. Dissidents point out that Delaware is practically in CEO Gary Loveman‘s back yard of Wellesley, Massachusetts. For its part, Caesars has proffered a variety of excuses … Chicago is closer to Las Vegas, there are more Caesars casinos around it, its law firm is headquartered there, etc.

And then there’s this: “Federal courts in Chicago apply a looser standard when deciding whether to release company affiliates, owners or insiders from liability related to a bankruptcy. Such third-party releases are harder Continued >>

Possible Pennsylvania cutback?; Prudes pressured Walker

By David McKee ~ January 26th, 2015 @ 11:38 am No Comments »

Once casinos move to fill a vacuum, it’s difficult to push them back. But that’s what Pennsylvania state Rep. Will Talman (R) is trying to do. He’s proposing a bill to close Pennsylvania 064Keystone State casinos nightly between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. As justification, he cites existing laws which require non-casino bars to close between those hours. Casino bars can stay open — they just can’t serve alcohol during that period. Considering that, last year, the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee recommended 24-hour liquor sales in Pennsylvania casinos, I’d give the monied interests the upper hand over Talman. The latter is certainly shooting dice with the state budget by suggesting that casinos close down for one-sixth of their operating hours. Ideology would seem to have gotten the upper hand with him over fiscal sense.

* Speaking of ideology, 11th-hour political pressure on Continued >>

Adelson gives himself promotion; Making Macao family friendly

By David McKee ~ January 23rd, 2015 @ 4:16 pm No Comments »

With Edward Tracy retiring and Rob Goldstein only undertaking the presidency of Sands China on an interim basis, Sheldon Adelson has named himself CEO of Sands Sheldon AChina in addition to Las Vegas Sands. This is viewed as a positive move, centralizing the chain of command that connects Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore. “Business strategy has always been decided by Mr. Adelson all this while, so in terms of strategy, I wouldn’t expect any change,” offered BNP Paribas analyst Goh Shengyong.

Between them, Macao and Singapore represent 88% of Sands’ revenue and Adelson assumes the reins in China at a time of crisis, as casino revenues continue to slide. The government’s anti-graft campaign hasn’t gone away as Adelson predicted it would, and high rollers continue to keep a low profile. With its mass-market orientation, Sands China can say it’s insulated but it’d be kidding itself.

* Casino crisis or not, the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase ranked Macao #1 in the world for Continued >>

Further Reading

Golden, Scientific on the move

Where will the Caesars fight be fought?

Possible Pennsylvania cutback?; Prudes pressured Walker

Adelson gives himself promotion; Making Macao family friendly

Stir crazy in Massachusetts

Possible rescue for Delaware tracks; New boss in Atlantic City

Walker finally acts; Pessimistic about Japan

The man who couldn’t make up his mind

Straub wins again; Delaware, racinos at an impasse

Mohegan Sun ambushes Wynn

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