Gaming on the boil in Pennsylvania, less so in Illinois, Alabama

Gaming expansion is being introduced in the Illinois Legislature again and it has a pretty familiar look: a city-owned casino (the only one) in IllinoisChicago, four casinos scattered around the state, including one in Rockford, plus a pair of smaller (600-slot) satellite casinos, one in Decatur and the other potentially as far south as Cairo. Racinos, however, are out of the picture. The Chicago casino would get to keep all its revenue for seven years, as a means of satisfying growing pension obligations. However, lawmakers don’t have much time to get this done, since they adjourn on Sunday.

Luckily for existing operators, Continue reading

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Good April for Vegas; Frankie the Fish and Sister Sandra

Baccarat play on the Las Vegas Strip improved by double-digit numbers for the second month in a row, up 14% in April, contributing to montecarlo1an 8% upward surge on the Strip. Baccarat revenues rose 5%, while all other table games improved 4% despite a smaller increase in action, and slot revenue shot up 11% although coin-in only grew very modestly. “Overall, we continue to think that LV Strip can generate low to mid-single [room revenue] and visitation growth, though the market will/should continue to experience volatility in baccarat play given a likely slowdown in Chinese players,” wrote J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff.

Downtown Vegas enjoyed Continue reading

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Caesars pays some, denies others; Adelson’s blunderbuss bill

Who knew that Gary Loveman was a creditor of Caesars Entertainment? His compensation package has been identified as Loveman tiredamong those adversely affected by Caesars Entertainment Operating Co.’s bankruptcy. The Chapter 11 proceeding has impacted five deferred-compensation plans, two of which will resume payouts since they overlap between Caesars and CEOC. “Based on a review of plans and related documents, we determined Caesars Entertainment is likely to be jointly liable with CEOC for certain deferred compensation liabilities. As a result, we recorded and disclosed the liability and resumed the related payments that had been discontinued,” said Teneo Strategy‘s Steven Cohen.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board had made the well-intentioned but Continue reading

Posted in Cantor Gaming, GLPI, Harrah's, Illinois, International, Politics, Racinos, Regulation, Sheldon Adelson, Technology | Leave a comment

Straub faces reality; Chinese players prefer Vegas

Reality continues to sink in at Revel, where Glenn Straub has thrown in the towel on reopening this summer — raising the prospect of a grand-revel_0323reopening in the cold-weather months. Not very auspicious, that. Labor Day is the target date for getting the amenities back online and even that is a tentative date. Unable to get electrical power from other sources, Straub will continue his shotgun wedding with ACR Energy Partners for the foreseeable future. “They’re putting roadblocks up,” he complained.

Meanwhile, Straub finds himself in the middle of a legal wrangle between Continue reading

Posted in Atlantic City, Genting, Glenn Straub, Hard Rock International, Harrah's, Macau, MGM Mirage, Revel, Taxes, The Strip, Tourism, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Wall Street | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

galaxyworldMacaoRendering“I will never say there are too many tables.” — Galaxy Entertainment Vice Chairman Francis Lui, asked whether the 150-table government allocation for Galaxy Macau Phase Two was sufficient. The casino has the capacity for 500 tables.

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Phua case collapses; Bwin wooed ardently

Well, that’s it. With the exclusion of evidence gathered from all three Caesars Palace VIP villas used by Paul Phua, the federal government’s Caesars-restartscase against the poker pro collapses ignominiously. U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon had already tossed all the goodies that the FBI had scooped up from Phua’s main villa, allegedly the nerve center of a renegade sports book operation. Now he has also excluded what was found in two ancillary villas, including “an array of computers and television monitors set up to handle the action.”

David Chesnoff and fellow Phua attorneys argued successfully Continue reading

Posted in Bally Technologies, Harrah's, International, Internet gambling, Massachusetts, Penn National, Problem gambling, Racinos, Regulation, Scientific Games, Shuffle Master, Sports, Uncategorized, WMS Industries | Leave a comment

Atlantic City rings the cash register; Adelson loses (again)

Operating profits in Atlantic City don’t tell the whole story: The Showboat was notoriously in the black when Caesars resorts-atlantic-cityEntertainment closed it but the company said it was running at a loss … thanks to interest payments with which CEO Gary Loveman had burdened it. Still, Atlantic City is coming off a very profitable April, up from $39 million last year to $81 million, with Borgata alone contributing $38.5 million worth of good news. “We aggressively reached out [to orphaned players] and the customer base found Borgata to be a nice home,” said President Joe Lupo.

The only money-losers were Continue reading

Posted in Atlantic City, Boyd Gaming, Dennis Gomes, Economy, Genting, Harrah's, Macau, Melco Crown Entertainment, Mississippi, Mohegan Sun, Sheldon Adelson, Stanley Ho, Steve Wynn, Trump Entertainment Resorts | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“You can go to any country club in Alabama on Saturday night and get into a high-stakes poker game … You let the tribes operate gambling and people perceive that Indians and money are incompatible.” — Poarch Band of Creek Indians Chairman Eddie Tullis, on the hypocrisy of Cotton State policy.

Posted in Alabama, Tribal | Leave a comment

Louisiana’s bonny April; Nevada Gold now with 100% more Nevada

Golden Nugget Lake Charles continues to be the outboard engine that speeds up Louisiana gaming revenues. The Pelican State was up Louisiana_Flag4% last month — but 13% when Tilman Fertitta‘s casino is added to the tally. It even made inroads upon L’Auberge du Lac, shaving 4% from what that Pinnacle Entertainment property made last year. L’Auberge, however, continued to dominate the market in sheer dollars: $31 million to Golden Nugget’s $18 million. Nearby Isle Grand Palais made a modest gain, while Boyd Gaming‘s Delta Downs was up 3%.

Boyd had the best month of any Continue reading

Posted in Boyd Gaming, Churchill Downs, Genting, GLPI, Harrah's, Isle of Capri, Louisiana, Macau, MGM Mirage, Pinnacle Entertainment, Racinos, Slot routes, South Dakota, South Korea, Stanley Ho, Tilman Fertitta, Tropicana Entertainment | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“There are actual reports posted as to where the ATMs were that cards were used by Kansas residents … at liquor stores, cigarette shops, strip joints. Casinos was another.” — state Sen. Caryn Tyson (R), justifying the state’s crackdown on welfare recipients.

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New York’s big score; Tribe wins in California

Various law enforcement agencies are richer to the tune of $9.6 million after nailing an offshore betting ring that extended all the way to PanamaPanama. The case started humbly enough, with some Albany County jail officers found to be involved with the illegal Internet gambling sites. Joined by other constabularies, the Albany County Sheriff’s Department worked its way up the food chain. The FBI‘s Boston, Miami and Oklahoma branches became involved, conducting literally tens of thousands of wiretaps, not to mention monitoring other forms of electronic communication.

Since the skein began to unravel when Albany officers intercepted Continue reading

Posted in California, Florida, International, Internet gambling, New York, Oklahoma, Penn National, Regulation, Technology, Tribal | Leave a comment

Sheldon steps in it; Tomato King to the rescue

Las Vegas Sands‘ CEO Sheldon Adelson’s pet piece of legislation, “Restoring America’s Wire Act” turns out to have a raft of unintended Sheldon-Adelsonconsequences, several of which would kneecap the casino industry. For one, it would ban mobile gambling, which is a headline amenity at — you guessed it — Venetian and Palazzo, last known to be owned by one Sheldon Gary Adelson. Local attorney Greg Gemignani also found that RAWA could interfere with server-based gaming. Howard Stutz has the full analysis but suffice it to say it would be very costly for Continue reading

Posted in International, Penn National, Pennsylvania, Politics, Racinos, Regulation, Sheldon Adelson, Sports, Technology, Tomato King Procacci | Leave a comment

Penn “upbeat” about future; Connecticut tribes closer to new casino

Penn National Gaming CEO Tim Wilmott recently broke bread with J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff, who found Penn Penn logomanagement “positive and primarily focused on PENN’s robust development pipeline,” which it thinks will produce improved cash flow even before the Tropicana Las Vegas is added to the equation. “Additionally, regional gaming trends can be described as more encouraging than not and our review of April trends and May’s comparison would suggest that they are likely Continue reading

Posted in Alex Yemenidjian, California, Florida, Foxwoods, Hard Rock International, Harrah's, Massachusetts, Mohegan Sun, Penn National, Racinos, Rhode Island, Station Casinos, The Strip, Tribal, Wall Street | Leave a comment

MGM rebellion quashed; No ‘Net poker for Mississippi

lionJonathan Litt‘s battle for control of MGM Resorts International‘s destiny is over almost before it was begun. His Land & Buildings firm has dropped its slate of candidates for the MGM board of directors, after failing to gain traction with major shareholders like Kirk Kerkorian and John Paulson. As for Litt’s vision of $55/share MGM stock, Union Gaming analyst Chris Jones dismissed it as Pollyanna thinking.

Litt couldn’t resist taking a victory lap anyway, issuing a self-congratulatory statement that read, in part:  Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Internet gambling, MGM Mirage, Mississippi, Sheldon Adelson, Sports, Steve Wynn, Taxes, The Strip, Wall Street | Leave a comment

Ghosts of projects past; Alabama rethinks gambling

With so much Las Vegas Strip acreage either in flux (Tropicana Las Vegas, Hooters Casino Hotel) or newly on the market (“Project Jackpot”), CBRE Las Vegas has been moved to unleash Las Ramblas60.5 acres on Harmon Avenue that were the graveyard of three victims of the condo bubble. The centerpiece is the land optioned for a George Clooney-planned resort called Las Ramblas, which “called for 11 towers encompassing a 4,400 room luxury hotel, condominium residences, a spa and health club, nightclubs and a casino.” That pipe dream burnt out in 2006, right on the verge of groundbreaking. Next door was another bust-o-rama, Continue reading

Posted in Alabama, Hard Rock Hotel, history, Hooters, Penn National, Planet Hollywood, Racinos, Taxes, The Strip, Tribal | 1 Comment

Loveman’s best decision; New face at Bellagio

Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman‘s decision to pull out of the troubled Baha Mar metaresort may represent one of the best judgment calls he ever made. The $3 billion BahaMar_Vert_TM_RENDERED GOLD_4CBahamas resort has missed three deadlines to open and has received the rather dubious governmental assurance that it’s “too big to fail.” (Rule of thumb: Those enterprises which are too big to fail generally do just that.) “It can’t sit there idle it must eventually open,” said a desperate minister of state. Whistling past the graveyard, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said that when Baha Mar eventually opens, “the same enthusiasm will be there because of what it represents. It will require a tremendous amount of marketing, and a lot of events centred around the opening, but it will be outstanding.”

In the meantime, Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Genting, Harry Reid, International, Macau, MGM Mirage, Sam Nazarian, South Korea, The Strip | 1 Comment

Massachusetts: And then there were two

Last Thursday, casino boosters from Somerset were expected to show up a Massachusetts Gaming Commission hearing and ask for yet another delay to get Crosbytheir act together. Instead, they surprised the MGC and the rest of us by simply pulling out of the running. Crossroads Massachusetts never had a firm plan and, worse yet, didn’t have the money it needed. “Nothing surprises me in this business. We never know who is in or out until the last minute,”said an unfazed MGC Chairman Stephen Crosby.

The MGC also gave provisional permission for KG Urban Enterprises to move towards a June referendum, provided that Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

Wisconsin state sealWisconsin cannot have it both ways. The state must entirely prohibit poker within its borders if it wants to prevent the [Ho-Chunk] Nation or any other Indian tribe from offering poker on the tribe’s sovereign lands. When the state decriminalized hosting poker for taverns, it could no longer deny that game to tribes as a matter of federal law.” — U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Diane Wood, handing a victory to the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Ho-Chunk tribe, and a defeat to Wisconsin’s attempts to strip the tribe of its video poker machines.

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Behind the Showboat sale; Cosmo comeback

During its crusade to drive Stockton University out of the Showboat, the CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Robert Griffin airily informed Stockton Showboat_Atlantic_Cityrepresentatives that they should buy Trump Plaza instead — puncturing TER’s public posture that college kids should be kept far away from its casinos. Turns out that Showboat wasn’t Stockton’s first choice on the Boardwalk: It tried to buy the Atlantic Club from TJM Properties at a steep markup. Stockton would have paid $23 million for what TJM got for $13.5 million.

Fortunately, someone at Stockton was minding the mint. Numbers were run and Continue reading

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New life for the Trop?; Paragon’s latest trophy

David G. Schwartz muses on the brave, new world at the Tropicana Las Vegas — soon with 100% more Penn National Gaming. He assesses it as a win for both parties. trop-picPenn gets a foothold at a strategic crossroads on the Las Vegas Strip. The Trop gets hooked up to Penn’s player database. When it comes to incentivizing players, Penn never before had a pot of gold at the end of its rainbow. Not even M Resort counts. Once it finds a nightclub formula that works (as Schwartz points out, Onex Corp. had three swings and struck out), maybe it can work on the entertainment, which currently consists of secondhand goods like Raiding the Rock Vault … well named, since the Trop purloined it right out from under Westgate Las Vegas‘ nose.

(Speaking of Westgate, it’s fallen to Continue reading

Posted in Alex Yemenidjian, Baseball, Colony Capital, Columbia Sussex, Donald Trump, Entertainment, Hard Rock Hotel, history, M Resort, MGM Mirage, Penn National, Riviera, Sahara, Sheldon Adelson, Singapore, Station Casinos, The Strip, Transportation, Westgate LV | Leave a comment