Table games boost St. Louis casino market
Missouri/Illinois (results) - Tim Bryant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Strong revenue gains at roulette, craps and other table games at three gambling halls saved the St. Louis casino industry from a dreary performance in June. Hollywood in Maryland Heights, River City in Lemay and LumiÃ¨re Place in St. Louis recorded double-digit table game revenue gains last month. As a result, overall market revenue grew by 0.5 percent to $79.6 million in June...Ameristar, in St. Charles, once again led the market in revenue with $20.2 million in winnings. Revenue at the area's smallest casino, the Alton Argosy, fell 7.9 percent to just over $4 million. [Missouri total gaming revenues were $133.8 million, up .2%; Illinois casino revenues $112 million, down 5%.]
$40 million casino finds glitzy niche in rural Iowa
Iowa (results) - William Petroski, Des Moines Register - Wild Rose Casinos plunked down a $40 million investment on a glitzy gambling complex here, and so far, its bet on rural Iowa is paying off. Since opening in mid-July last year, Wild Rose Jefferson has raked in nearly $27 million in gross casino revenue, with 471,000 admissions through June 30. The average gambler has left behind $57. [In June Iowa's 19 casinos' revenue was $113.7 million with 1,782, 922 admissions in June.]
Pennsylvania budget strategy dares lawsuit, bond downgrade
Pennsylvania (legislation) - Marc Levy, Associated Press - State government began operating Tuesday under a $31 billion election-year spending bill that nevertheless lacks the tax collections to sustain it for the entire fiscal...Closed-door revenue discussions had revolved around a $1.3 billion package that relies heavily on a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase and an expansion of casino-style gambling...the House and Senate do not see eye to eye on sprawling gambling legislation...The Wolf administration maintains that it is constitutional to allow the spending bill to become law and suggested that the state constitution makes the Legislature, not the governor, responsible for ensuring that spending bills are funded.
WV Lottery officials keeping eye on PA internet gambling bill
Pennsylvania/West Virginia (internet) - Phil Kabler, Gazette-Mail - West Virginia Lottery officials are closely monitoring legislation making its way through the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would significantly expand legalized gambling in that state...legislation, which would make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize internet gambling, would allow state casinos to operate satellite locations with up to 250 slot machines each and would allow slot machines in airport terminals. The bill passed the House of Representatives on June 28, on a 114-85 vote, and is pending in the Senate...Myers said, "There are certainly things we need to consider going forward. To stay competitive, we'll have to consider these, as well."
Editorial: No breaks for Rivers Casino on city slots taxes
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Imagine an unhappy player at Rivers Casino demanding to change the rules of a game. He'd be laughed, if not escorted, out of the building. Yet the casino's owner, Holdings Acquisition Co., is doing much the same thing in its lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to invalidate the minimum $10 million in slot machine taxes it annually has been required to pay to the city of Pittsburgh. What's more, the casino wants a refund of as much as $65 million it's paid the city over the past seven years. Does Rivers give refunds to players unhappy with the money they pumped into slots? No, it doesn't, and the casino doesn't deserve one, either.
Gaming Control Board could kill Lawrence Downs casino application
Pennsylvania (license) - Eric Poole, Beaver Times - A 12-year-long effort to bring casino gambling to Lawrence County could end Wednesday under a recommendation being brought to the state Gaming Control Board. The agenda for Wednesday's meeting includes testimony by enforcement counsel Cyrus Pitre, who will recommend that the board either reject or abandon Endeka Entertainment's casino license application now under consideration by the gaming board. The agenda also includes a possible vote on whether to accept Pitre's recommendation.
2018 Looms Large for Las Vegas
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Mike Heuer, CDC Gaming Reports - During the height of the Great Recession, most developments ground to a halt in the Las Vegas Valley, and many skeletons of stalled and dead projects marred the landscape. Local unemployment peaked at 16.1 percent during the worst of the recession, but it since has gone down drastically, reaching 6.1 percent in May...With record visitation levels and near 90 percent hotel occupancy rates year-round on the Las Vegas Strip, many of the recently vacated properties and projects have been revived and soon will cast a new shadow in the Mojave Desert.
Site of failed boom-era tower complex remains on market
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Eli Segall, Las Vegas Sun - Jack Woodcock has sold houses, developed office buildings and owned retail properties. But over his four-decade real estate career, he's never owned anything as big or expensive as his 12-acre hole in the ground in the Las Vegas suburbs...A broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Woodcock owns the former Spanish View Tower development site in the southwest valley. He is trying to sell it for $18.9 million, after a planned sale to a Chinese development group recently fell through, he said.
No 'Brexit effect' on U.K. entries at World Series of Poker
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Ken Ritter, Associated Press - Fears of a "Brexit effect" hurting the World Series of Poker proved to be unfounded, a tournament official said Tuesday, after the Main Event in Las Vegas saw a big increase in the number of players from the United Kingdom. By the close of entries Monday, the marquee event in the ongoing 69-event poker tournament tallied 344 players from the U.K., up 23 percent from the 279 who played last year.
Mobile casino tournaments launch at 9 MGM resorts
Nevada (Las Vegas) - J.D. Morris, Vegas Inc. - MGM Resorts International announced today that it has launched a mobile platform through which customers at nine of its Las Vegas resorts will be able to gamble with real money in tournament games. On the platform, called easyPLAY Mobile Tournaments, customers will be able to win cash and other prizes in regular tournaments of casino games such as slots, bingo and video poker, in addition to free-to-play games. The platform was developed by Las Vegas-based mobile gaming company oneLIVE inc.
Judge turns down sale of Moulin Rouge
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Nicole Raz, Las Vegas Review-Journal - The Moulin Rouge is ripe yet again for another go at development. Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Tuesday denied the sale of the property to Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, citing infighting within the company as well as a better offer for the property from another buyer. Boris London, managing member of Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, said he is relieved by the judge's ruling and no longer will have anything do with Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC or the site.
Owner of Tahoe's Cal Neva Lodge files for bankruptcy
Nevada (Lake Tahoe) - Associated Press - The owner of the shuttered Cal Neva Lodge & Casino has filed for bankruptcy, jeopardizing plans once again plans to reopen the most historic resort on the shore of north Lake Tahoe. Criswell-Radovan purchased the property once owned by Frank Sinatra in 2013 with ambitious renovation plans...During its 1960-63 heyday when it was owned by Sinatra, the Cal Neva became one of the most famous resorts in the country. Frequent visitors included fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford, and stars like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.
Horseshoe adds continuous shuffle machines, stirring industry debate
Maryland (Baltimore) - Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun - Gambling novices might not notice the continuous shuffle machines sitting next to the green felt at three dozen Horseshoe Casino Baltimore blackjack tables...serious players have taken heed. Anything that might tilt the balance between dealers and players in such a popular casino card game is considered significant in the industry. In recent months, Horseshoe - joining many other casinos around the country - has introduced increasing numbers of continuous shuffle machines.
Treasure Island to get $86 million hotel expansion
Minnesota (Indian gaming) - Brian Todd, Post-Bulletin - Treasure Island Resort and Casino broke ground today on an $86 million expansion that will add two new hotel towers and a host of other amenities to the resort destination just north of Red Wing. The expansion will add approximately 184,000 square feet for two new hotel towers that will connect to the current Eagle tower..."We're almost 100 percent every day of the week," she said. "So when we opened the water park, it drew so many families and vacationers, it cemented the fact we needed to add more hotel rooms." The two new towers will add 300 guest rooms - 240 standard rooms and 60 suites - bringing the resort's total to 800 rooms.
New gaming contract could mean revenue for county
South Dakota (Indian gaming) - Hannah Koeller, Enterprise - Moody County Commission Chairman Jerry Doyle informed the other commissioners that he had heard from South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard about a new gaming contract for casinos in the state. Because a lot of the gaming contracts are up, new ones are being written to include some funds for the counties if the businesses increase the number of machines they currently have. The hearing for the compact between the State of South Dakota and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe will be held Thursday, July 21.
Three Rivers Casino expands nonsmoking area
Oregon (Indian gaming) - Jack Davis, Siuslaw News - Three Rivers Casino Resort will increase its nonsmoking gaming area to almost 12,000 square feet - about 40 percent of its total gaming floor - on July 29. The expansion will make the casino one of the largest nonsmoking gaming areas in Oregon.
Bonners Ferry casino now accepts Canadian money
Idaho (Indian gaming) - Taylor Viydo, KREM - The Kootenai River Inn and Casino recently installed slot machines that accept Canadian money. Casino officials said they are the only casino in the country that accepts dual currencies...The U.S. to Canadian exchange rate for currency is around 75 percent, according to the Bank of Canada. "It really puts a crimp on our Canadian guests coming down to the states and entertaining themselves," Casino general manager Tom Turpin said. So a few years ago, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho began looking at how to keep cashing in on the Canadians.
Documents indicate tribe misled voters on casino sites
Arizona (Indian gaming) - Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services - Officials of the Tohono O'odham Nation were discussing possible sites for a casino in Maricopa County even as tribes were telling voters in 2002 there would be no new tribal gaming in the Phoenix area if they approve a ballot measure. Documents the tribe was forced to disclose in a pending lawsuit show officials were already looking at land west of Phoenix before the vote over tribal gaming. And the hand-written minutes of the closed meeting also show there already was interest in moving close to Glendale where, while the land was more expensive, the profits from a casino would be greater.
Fasig-Tipton July: Figures decline in yearling season opener
Kentucky (racing) - Joe Nevills, Daily Racing Form - Tension around the sale grounds prior to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale regarding the tenuous state of the middle and lower markets came to fruition on Tuesday, with across-the board declines and a significantly higher buyback rate. The single-day auction saw 183 yearlings sold for revenues of $15,756,500, down 21 percent from the 2015 edition when 205 horses brought $20,005,000... buyback rate closed at 38 percent, marking a sizable jump from 29 percent.
Curlin Colt Lights up F-T Bid Board
Kentucky (racing) - Ron Mitchell, Blood-Horse News - A beautiful son of Curlin lit up the bid board at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale when he was purchased by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds for $475,000. The price was the highest of the sale at the time the colt went through the ring mid-afternoon July 12.
Donegal Moon RNA's at $1.6 Million at F-T
Kentucky (racing) - Myra Lewyn, Blood-Horse News - There was excitement at the Fasig-Tipton July selected sale of horses of racing age July 11 when grade III winner Donegal Moon was presented late in the evening, but the colt left the ring unsold after bidding reached $1.6 million.
Laurel adjusts stakes schedule, adds $150,000 in purses
Maryland (racing) - Jim Dunleavy, Daily Racing Form - Laurel Park will have seven major stakes days during its fall meeting. The Maryland Jockey Club has added five stakes to the schedule, increased the purses of three races, and decreased the value of three others. The total value of this year's stakes schedule is $3.25 million - not counting Maryland Million Day or Claiming Crown Preview Day - an increase of $150,000 from 2015
The Player should be just that in the Indiana Derby
Indiana (racing) - Brian Zipse, Horse Racing Nation - It's not often that you see a major player in a half-million-dollar race be one that has never attempted stakes company before, but then again The Player is not your typical racehorse. "He's a character," says Buff Bradley affectionately. "He sits in his stall like a dog." Bradley has plenty of reason to have a special feeling about the three-year-old son of Street Hero, who is eight days away from taking his shot in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand.
I'm a Chatterbox favored over five rivals in Delaware Handicap
Delaware (racing) - Jim Dunleavy, Daily Racing Form - I'm a Chatterbox, who won the Obeah Stakes last month, has a home-court advantage in the Delaware Handicap...on Saturday when she faces five rivals in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. I'm a Chatterbox has started only twice this season, tuning up for the $750,000 Del Cap with an 8 1/2-length victory in the Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park on June 11.