Quote of the Day

“This is Senator Lou D’Allesandro’s (D) 19th attempt to legalize casino gaming in the state, and each successive bill’s annual defeat in the House has become something of a New Hampshire tradition, a bit like Rochester Fair but less fun.” — Casino.org on the dim prospects for casino legalization in the ever-prim Granite State.

Posted in New Hampshire, Politics | Leave a comment

Conservatives diss Adelson; Penn loses court battle

If Attorney General Jeff Sessions goes ahead with a ban on Internet gambling, he could be in for a world of hurt. Never mind the states with online casinos. He’d be messing with the states that have online lotteries, a huge revenue source they won’t forego easily. This latter group includes Minnesota, Georgia, New York and Illinois … red and blue states alike. The Conservative Political Action Conference was polled on the issue and 91% of attendees came down against the ban, Sheldon Adelson‘s pet project. Said Institute for Liberty President Andrew Langer, “Conservatives see RAWA [Adelson-pushed legislation] for what it is — one of the worst forms of crony capitalism in Congress today. [Restoring America’s Wire Act] is nothing short of an effort by one of the richest men in the world to ban a form of competition for his brick and mortar casino empire—and everyone knows it. Worse yet, he is even willing to trample on the Constitution to do it.”

Unfortunately for Adelson, not only are his fellow conservatives wise to his attempt to abrogate the Tenth Amendment, Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Donald Trump, Florida, Genting, Internet gambling, Iowa, Penn National, Pennsylvania, Politics, Regulation, Sheldon Adelson, Taxes | 1 Comment

Big bounce in Louisiana; Poker and booze go better together

Compared with a flood-plagued March of 2015, business was booming  at Louisiana casinos, up 10%, especially Baton Rouge (+20.5%), although New Orleans was flat. JP Morgan analyst Joseph Greff is predicting less salubrious results in April, blaming the Easter Bunny, among other factors. Last month saw very fewer poor performers, led by Harrah’s New Orleans ($22 million, -9%), Boyd Gaming‘s Evangeline Downs ($7 million, -6%) and Diamond Jack’s in Shreveport/Bossier City ($4 million, -9.5%). Boyd also had a poor month at Amelia Belle ($4 million, -6%) and good ones at Treasure Chest ($10 million, +10%) and Sam’s Town Shreveport ($7.5 million, +8.5%). Boyd’s breakout performer was Delta Downs, up 26% to $17 million. Caesars Entertainment also had a very, very good March at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, up 29.5% to $4 million.

Lake Charles dominated the Pelican State both in total gross ($80 million on the nose) and percentage improvement. Golden Nugget shot up 23.5% to $25 million while Pinnacle Entertainment‘s L’Auberge du Lac grossed $27 million (up 9%). Even Continue reading

Posted in Boyd Gaming, Churchill Downs, Economy, Eldorado Resorts, Foxwoods, Genting, GLPI, Harrah's, IGT, Internet gambling, Isle of Capri, Louisiana, Massachusetts, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun, Pinnacle Entertainment, Politics, Regulation, South Korea, Taxes, Tilman Fertitta, Tourism, Tribal, Tropicana Entertainment, Wall Street | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“They passed Keno and they passed the online buying of lottery tickets so they must like gambling.” — ever-optimistic New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (D) on the Granite State’s Legislature, where the House of Representatives has voted down casinos 19 times.

Posted in Internet gambling, New Hampshire, Politics | Leave a comment

Adelson buys Trump; Caesars, MGM stiff players

We always knew Sheldon Adelson was fundamentally shameless — remember when he would gush with praise of Red China? — and this photo of him cuddling up to sometime anti-Semite Steve Bannon just proves it. What’s newsworthy, though, is why Adelson may have been rather frosted at the White House for omitting any mention of Jews from its International Holocaust Remembrance Day proclamation, a move that was blasted in the pages of Adelson’s Haaretz newspaper (a periodical that Adelson supposedly examines with a fine-tooth comb).

It has been revealed that Adelson gave $5 million toward Donald Trump‘s $107 million inauguration (a figure that gives me relief that such things are privately funded) and probably expected greater deference from the Trump administration after being so “george” Continue reading

Posted in Donald Trump, Harrah's, Internet gambling, MGM Mirage, Sheldon Adelson, The Strip | Leave a comment

Sure sign of the Apocalypse

Johnny Cash has been made into a slot theme. Is nothing sacred?

Posted in Scientific Games | 1 Comment

Prospects and pitfalls in Connecticut; Roulette makes a comeback

Could the East Windsor satellite casino be a Machiavellian plot to extract the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegan Tribe from their obligations to the State of Connecticut? Probably not but state Attorney General George Jepsen has already opined that the existing compact could be broken in court by an expansion, even one by the Pequots and Mohegans. If an expansion bill passes out of the General Assembly — a fading prospect this session — a lawsuit by MGM Resorts International appears inevitable. For the time being, the two tribes are guaranteeing the continuation of the compact that grants the state 25% of slot revenue.

The latest development in this saga is the introduction of a third bill, one that would up taxes on the satellite casino to Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Foxwoods, Massachusetts, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun, Penn National, Politics, Sheldon Adelson | 1 Comment

Saturation in Ohio; Japan: Go big or go home

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) leveled the playing field when he allowed third-party racinos to join the juiced-in Penn National Gaming and Caesars Entertainment casinos in the Buckeye State. The question now is how level a playing field is a good thing. KeyBanc Capital Markets exec Jay Masurekar takes a gloomy view, saying, “Ohio has been doing pretty well but I don’t think it requires 11 properties. One or two may drop off at some point — there are winners and losers in any market.” If we picked one casino to “drop off,” it would be low-grossing Belterra Park, a Pinnacle Entertainment property that is intractably stuck in last place.

Detroit and Toledo appear to have fought to a standoff but Pennsylvania casinos continue to pose a threat, some contend. The most secure position is enjoyed by Continue reading

Posted in Detroit, Economy, Genting, GLPI, Hard Rock International, Harrah's, International, Internet gambling, Iowa, Japan, New York, Ohio, Penn National, Pennsylvania, Pinnacle Entertainment, Technology, Wall Street | Leave a comment

Bellagio is burning; Parking valets stiffed

Remember the Monte Carlo fire and how it was fueled by construction foam? It was much the same story last night when the south “arm” of Bellagio caught on fire, a blaze which raged for 25 minutes. “You can smell that sulfur,” said one onlooker. Because the fire was in a fiendishly inaccessible spot, firefighters had to use a deck cannon to hose it down. Some witnesses faulted the fire department’s response time, which seemed tardy even though there’s a substation at Cosmopolitan. In a way, though, the situation could have been far worse, as high winds were prevalent when the blaze erupted around 10:45 p.m. Given the flammability of the styrofoam-based material that comprises so many casino façades, we should Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Cosmopolitan, Cretins, Economy, Harrah's, MGM Mirage, Monte Carlo fire, Planet Hollywood, Technology, The Strip, Tribal | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“As a Republican, [Attorney General Jeff Sessions] should also favor letting people and the states that represent them make their own decisions and be very cautious about setting a dangerous anti-federalism precedent, not just for online gambling, but for any number of other politically disfavored activities. The decisions made now about online gambling will impact all sorts of issues for years to come.” — Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow Michelle Minton on Sheldon Adelson‘s push to outlaw Internet gambling.

Posted in Internet gambling, Politics, Sheldon Adelson | Leave a comment

Surveying Indian Country

In Massachusetts, the disputed Aquinnah Wampanoag casino is “on” again, following a federal appeals court’s reversal of a lower court ruling that nixed the project. The appellate court found that, in the words of The Associated Press, “the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe exercises sufficient government powers on its lands to be considered a sovereign tribal nation that can conduct limited gambling under federal law without seeking local approvals.” There was no immediate response from Martha’s Vineyard or from state Attorney General Maura Healey, as both retreated to lick their wounds ponder their options.

The proposed Aquinnah casino would forego table games in favor of 300 VLTs — if Continue reading

Posted in Florida, Foxwoods, Hard Rock International, Maryland, Mohegan Sun, Politics, Seminole Tribe, Taxes, Tribal | Leave a comment

Atlantic City runs the table; Next, the “Osaka Strip”?

It’ll take a lot more than an extra weekend day to account for a 7% spike in Atlantic City‘s gaming revenue. When you subtract the corpse of Trump Taj Mahal from the body count, the year over year comparison is an increase of 15%. Holy roulette wheel, Batman! Borgata was responsible for $60 million of the $200 million gross, with 3% more slot handle driving 6% higher win. That’s nothing in comparison to the 27% moonshot in table revenue, the more remarkable for having been achieved in a month that saw 30% less wagering.

Citywide, table revenue was up 15.5% on 10% more wagering, while a slot win improvement of 3% was driven by Continue reading

Posted in Atlantic City, Dan Gilbert, Detroit, Hard Rock International, Harrah's, Internet gambling, Japan, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars, Problem gambling, Sports, Tilman Fertitta, Wall Street | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“For years the tribes have carried the burden of bringing gaming to the state and they’ve come close and have never got it and right now out-of-state corporations have claimed a monopoly here in the state, and I’m glad for the jobs they provide but there’s room in the market for tribal gaming.” — Maine state Rep. Benjamin Collings (D), on a bill he’s sponsoring to permit federally recognized tribes to operate casinos in the state. Penn National Gaming testified in opposition.

Posted in Maine, Pennsylvania, Politics, Tribal | Leave a comment

Governors to Sessions: Butt out!

If Attorney General Jeff Sessions was thinking about re-reinterpreting the Federal Wire Act, he might want to think again. The National Governors Association composed a letter to Sessions in which it said, “States are best equipped to enforce and regulate online gaming.” They didn’t bury the lead, either. The first sentence of the letter says, “The nation’s governors are concerned with legislative or administrative actions that would ban online Internet gaming and Internet lottery sales.” Whilst acknowledging differences of opinion on gambling among various and sundry governors, the letter went on to say, “we agree that decisions at the federal level that affect state regulatory authority should not be made unilaterally without state input.  A strong, cooperative relationship between the states and federal government is vital to best serve the interests of all citizens.”

The missive concluded, “The nation’s governors stand ready to Continue reading

Posted in Internet gambling, Iowa, Minnesota, Politics, Tribal | Leave a comment

The Cathedral of St. Al Davis

The eternal flame in honor of St. Al is just too much.

* Could South Carolina rush in where Georgia has hesitated? The Palmetto State has costly infrastructure problems and Gov. Henry McMaster (R) has indicated he would veto Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Georgia, Planet Hollywood, Politics, South Carolina, Sports, Technology, The Strip | 1 Comment

Warm spring in the Midwest; Vegas Vic gets political

Don’t believe anyone who says the economy is bad: Casino takings are up all across the Midwest. The biggest gain was in Ohio, where casino win rose 7%, even though players continue to blow off Jack Cleveland ($18 million, -8%). Statewide leader Hard Rock Rocksino grossed $21.5 million, up 6%. Close behind was Hollywood Columbus, up 9% for $21 million. Hollywood Toledo ($18 million) was flat, while Jack Cincinnati rose 9%, to $18.5 million. Out at the raciness business was just as good with Hollywood Dayton ($9.5 million) registering an eye-popping 21% gain. Hollywood Mahoning Valley ($10 million) was up 13.5%, while Eldorado ResortsScioto Downs gained 9% for a $15 million gross.

Other racinos doing well were Dan Gilbert‘s Thistledown, grossing $10.5 million on an Continue reading

Posted in Affinity Gaming, Ameristar, Animals, Archon Corp., Boyd Gaming, California, Dan Gilbert, Downtown, Eldorado Resorts, Full House Resorts, Harrah's, Indiana, Isle of Capri, Law enforcement, Majestic Star, Missouri, Ohio, Penn National, Pinnacle Entertainment, PokerStars, Politics, Racinos, Tropicana Entertainment, Wayne F. Newton | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“When we first announced ‘Britney: Piece of Me’ four years ago, we were certain that Britney’s residency would revolutionize the entertainment landscape in Las Vegas, and are thrilled at how successful the show has been. Caesars Entertainment has always led the evolution of Las Vegas entertainment. Britney’s emergence in this market paved the way for other artists to make Las Vegas their home and as a result, the top entertainment destination in the world. We look forward to working together with Britney again in the future.” — Caesars Entertainment Senior Vice President of Marketing & Entertainment Jason Gastwirth, dislocating an arm in order to pat himself on the back. (And as for “revolutionizing” Las Vegas Strip entertainment, did they ever hear of Celine Dion, mayhap?) The former Mrs. Kevin Federline has announced that she’s wrapping up her Planet Hollywood gig.

Posted in Entertainment, Harrah's, Planet Hollywood, The Strip | Leave a comment

Exit Trump, enter Hard Rock; Casinos in Cuba again?

Hard Rock International is putting its money where its mouth is, judging from the preview it gave of the Hard Rocked Trump Taj Mahal. The most obvious changes will be on the exterior, where all the tiki-tacky Trump theming will be removed — no more minarets. But the rethinking will extend to the casino floor. “The narrowness and all the current obstructions will be gone. We’ll completely redesign the casino floor to create a true entertainment destination, not just a gambling destination,” Allen said. Also rethought will be all the hotel rooms. The latter will be eviscerated and redone from scratch.

The remaking of the Taj has already got Atlantic Citizens more excited than the old Trump look did. “Let’s get the people Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Atlantic City, Columbia Sussex, Donald Trump, Economy, Entertainment, Foxwoods, Hard Rock International, International, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun, Penn National, Politics, Sports, Taxes, The Strip, Tourism, Trump Entertainment Resorts | 1 Comment

Quote of the Day

“The survey showed that 69 percent of people gambled while on their trip to Las Vegas, down 18 percent from 1996 when 87 percent of tourists said they gambled. Those gamblers were playing an average of 1.9 hours a day in 2016, down from 4.1 hours in 1996.” — results of a Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority study, which found tourists gambling less but spending more — and in more varied ways — as Millennials eclipsed Generating X as the hot demographic and Baby Boomers waned considerably.

Posted in Economy, LVCVA, Tourism | Leave a comment

Temporary relief for Illinois; CityCenter for sale?

As a huge gambling expansion works its way through the Legislature, casino owners in Illinois must feel like condemned men awaiting the execution. At any rate, it behooves them to gather roses while yet they may. Fortunately, gamblers felt like playing last month, propelling revenues up 3%. There were 2% fewer patrons but they spent 5.5% more. Penn National Gaming‘s Hollywood Aurora rocketed 18.5% upward ($12 million), while its Argosy Belle was flat ($4.5 million) and its Empress Joliet rose 3%, to $11 million. Boyd Gaming was not so fortunate, as long-suffering Par A Dice fell 8.5% to $7.5 million, well below analyst expectations. GLPI‘s Casino Queen in East St. Louis was up just a bit (1%) for a $10 million take.

Jumer’s Casino Rock Island was one of the few revenue-negative properties, dropping a percentage point to gross $6.5 million. Neil Bluhm‘s Rivers Casino posted a competition-crushing Continue reading

Posted in Boyd Gaming, California, CityCenter, GLPI, Harrah's, Illinois, Macau, MGM Mirage, Mississippi, Neil Bluhm, Penn National, Regulation, South Korea, Sports, Taxes, The Crown 18, Wall Street | 1 Comment