The evils of bingo; Wynn’s Aqueduct exit

oasis-hotelAmerica’s sixth-largest casino is in rural Alabama and it commands hotel prices comparable to CityCenter. Its 6,400 Class II devices mean that VictoryLand (above) is one gargantuan e-bingo hall. Due to the state’s patchwork set of laws, e-bingo is legal in Alabama except where it isn’t. Gov. Bob Riley, a former beneficiary of Jack Abramoff‘s sleazy dealings, is trying to leverage county-specific court rulings into a statewide fatwa.

Ron SparksRiley opponents on both sides of next year’s gubernatorial race — including Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks (left)– are moving toward the position that Alabama should legitimize, tax and regulate e-bingo or at least put it to a vote of the people. Would-be Riley successor Judge Roy “Ten Commandments” Moore is all for exorcising this demonic bingo from the state, so the governor’s got one of the best minds of the Dark Ages in his corner, at least.

Did Harrah’s Entertainment sabotage two riverboats on Lake Charles? So claims the plaintiff in an antitrust suit. The U.S. Court of Appeals, fifth circuit, was unpersuaded and heaved the case overboard.

Speaking of Harrah’s, a dog track it covets in Rhode Island has gone to ’round-the-clock casino gambling. The locals aren’t going to like this one little bit but once lawmakers predicated their budget on squeezing another few million out of Twin River, the fix was in. The expanded schedule, of course, makes Twin Rivers’ license that much more desirable.

One Isle less. A former Isle of Capri casino in the Bahamas changes hands this week, closing yet another chapter in Isle’s ill-fated courtship of the international casino market.

Singapore’s casinos are still months from opening but that’s not stopping the government. It’s already working hard to discourage casino patronage. All the more reason for boundless optimism, no?

Steve Wynn’s abrupt departure from the bidding over Aqueduct Park may have less to do with the $200 million upfront fee than with irascibility brought on by neighborhood activists and gubernatorial whims. It’s a net loss for New York, as Wynn Resorts was one of the most financially shipshape applicants and the candidate least likely to stint on quality.

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