Caesars on the defensive

By David McKee ~ January 27th, 2015 @ 3:05 pm No Comments »

It’s Chicken Little time at Caesars Entertainment, where the company is sketching gloom-and-doom scenarios unless the court system goes along with its preferred Loveman speakstimeline for a prepackaged bankruptcy. “If you go to the earlier filing day, you likely jettison the [restructuring support agreement],” said a Caesars attorney, referring to the Jan. 12 involuntary bankruptcy filing being pushed by junior bondholders. “Aren’t you sort of manufacturing a restructuring agreement that in fact has holes all through it as a basis for venue,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross asked him. Caesars also had to ‘fess up that its Chicago filing was being conducted under the auspices of an affiliate, Des Plaines Development, that is perfectly solvent.

In Wilmington, Gross is weighing arguments as to whether Continued >>

Hard Rock back to A.C.?; Today Massachusetts, tomorrow Vermont?

By David McKee ~ January 27th, 2015 @ 2:18 pm No Comments »

New investment in Atlantic City has yet to materialize, yet the New Jersey Casino Control Commission‘s holding of a hearing for Hard Rock International is
Hard Rock International Press Conferenceencouraging. It’s a purely theoretical exercise, a determination of suitability. Its goal, however, is for the Seminole Tribe to “act quickly if an appropriate investment opportunity arises.” And those opportunities could indeed arise should, for instance, Curtis Bashaw seek a gaming-experienced partner for his Chelsea Hotel, to which he’d like to add gambling. Also, hiring Hard Rock to run his Revel casino would be the least-daffy thing Glenn Straub has done so far.

But Hard Rock has already had a look at Revel and passed on it. So it may be going back to Plan A: Continued >>

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 >>

Further Reading

Caesars on the defensive

Hard Rock back to A.C.?; Today Massachusetts, tomorrow Vermont?

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

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