Genting Group has narrowed its price target for finishing Resorts World Vegas. It will spend between $3 billion and $4 billion to complete the project (for which it has already paid $350 million for land). For a post-recession Vegas that’s a high price point. Look at the struggles endured by $4 billion Cosmopolitan. Ever discreet, MGM Resorts International keeps the returns on its $8.5 billion (at minimum) CityCenter very much on the QT. At one point, Genting was talking about a $7 billion Resorts World LV, which isn’t an investment — it’s suicide, especially on the North Strip. The silence and gloom shrouding the Echelon site are not to be taking for a sign of Genting having second thoughts, though. “The Genting folks take a longer-term view of their investments. They are not in any rush,” Wells Fargo Securities analyst Dennis Farrell told Howard Stutz. Certainly, the metrics of Vegas’ gradual recovery ought to be encouraging to Genting. A $2.65 billion grab bag of projects is rising to meet the incremental new demand.
He bombed on the Las Vegas Strip with Fontainebleau but Jeffrey Soffer is going to try again in Miami Beach. There’s an interesting clause in his new deal with Istithmar Hotels, explained thusly: “Given that the term ‘earnout’ refers to compensation on the back end of an acquisition, it appears that Soffer’s group bought out Dubai World’s 50 percent stake in the hotel and promised to given them residual payments should Florida legalize gambling.”
We know that the pressure to expand casino gambling is escalating in Tallahassee again and that Miami Beach is the most obvious location for more casinos. This might be the time for Genting to dust off its shelved Resorts World Miami, lest Soffer steal a march on any expansion.
Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh is hinting that he’ll bigfoot any casino deal set for Everett or Revere. “Both casinos are going to be within a couple of feet or maybe a yard of Boston, and I would argue that even though it might not be physically located inside of Boston, it’s three feet away, and we should be regarded as a host community,” he ranted. He probably can’t stop either project at this point, so this has to be looked upon as a money grab. But he still may try commit economic seppoku and kill Wynn Everett and Suffolk Downs alike. Boston appears to have elected a lunatic.
Add Colorado to the roster of states that are considering legalized i-poker. A new legislative push is expected in the new year and Pinnacle Entertainment is watching events with interest, as is MGM Resorts International, racking up big numbers with myVegas, one of the hottest-selling applications on the market. Indifferent response in Nevada to i-poker may cool Colorado solons’ ardor, though.
Congratulations to Foxwoods Resort Casino, which broke a 22-month drought in slot revenues, despite dramatically lower coin-in. Mohegan Sun was not so lucky, dropping 1% for the month.
Stat of the Day: “Saratoga’s harness track casino was the first one to open in New York, in January 2004. Before then the raceway had 125 jobs and raced 129 days with $2.9 million in purses. It now employs 630 people not counting 300 horse-related jobs, and races 170 days with $15 million in purses.”
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