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December 1999
North America

30th December  Las Vegas   Source: Press release
   
In what was perhaps the last important casino news of the millennium. Park Place announced that the acquisition of Caesars was now officially completed. The company that was formerly the casino division of the Hilton Hotel group now owns or has an interest in 29 properties. Brand names in the Park Place portfolio including Bally's, Caesars, Flamingo, Grand and Hilton.
   Total gaming floor area at a reported 2 million sq ft. equates to approximately 27 soccer pitches.
 

29th December  Las Vegas   Source: PR Newswire


    Mikohn Gaming Inc. has announced that it has come to a settlement with Shuffle Master Inc. with respect to patent litigation between the two companies. Progressive Games Inc. a subsidiary of Mikohn had claimed that aspects of the progressive bonus on Let it Ride and Bahama Bonus table games had infringed upon its patents.
    The agreement, that appears at face value to be extremely complex looks set to ensure some future co-operation between the two companies.
 

28th December  Missouri   Source: Dow Jones/Excite


    The 11 Missouri Riverboats posted a combined win of $77.5 million in November. This was a 6% increase on 1998's results. Total attendance's for the month were just under 4 million, an average of approximately 12,000 per ship per day.
    The results released by the Missouri Gaming Commission when analysed also show that gaming win averaged $19.50 per passenger day. Casino Aztar had the highest revenues at $28 per passenger day, unfortunately it has the lowest daily attendance of the 11 at an average of 2,200. Harrah's Maryland Heights had the highest daily attendance at over 18,800 and a win of $19 per passenger.
 

27th December  Texas   Source: Press release


    Multimedia Games Inc. have announced that they have entered into an agreement with Williams Gaming Inc. to modify slots and video games in the Williams range for class III Native Indian gaming in Wahington State.
    The deal, which covers more than 90 different games is contingent upon Williams receiving regulatory approval by the State authorities.
 

26th December  Las Vegas   Source: AP/Canoe Canada


    The Associated Press carried an interesting story concerning the now high tech war that casinos are fighting against cheats. In Las Vegas itself, according to the article the authorities arrest 600 persons on suspicion of cheating each year.
    Facial recognition technology that is being increasingly used by police forces around the world to monitor sports events and city centres is now also being employed by casinos. The albums of old grainy black and white photographs (the "Griffin") that still have to be consulted to identify a suspect are now being replaced by software that can search though an image database of known casino cheats for a match.
    With the transfer of a screen grab from the casinos surveillance system the correct identification may also be made from a remote location. This is a useful tool for many small surveillance units that enables then to continue to monitor the games in progress.
High-Tech raises the odds against casino cheats (new window)
 

26th December  Colorado   Source: Dow Jones/Excite


    The 48 Colorado casinos in the three permitted areas of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek posted a November win of $47.2 million. This is a 17% increase over November 1998 when a win of $40.3 million was recorded.
    There are 212 tables and around 13,534 slots in the state. Because of the low stake regulations on table game play per position revenues per day range from a lowly $175 in Central City to $413 in Black Hawk.
 

21th December  Las Vegas   Source: Press release


    Paul-son Gaming Corp. the Las Vegas based casino equipment supplier has released preliminary second quarter results. The company expects to show a loss for the quarter due to lower revenues and tax deferrals. Lower revenues being attributed to a lack of new casino openings in the quarter. The company manufactures its tables, casino furniture and dice in San Luis, Mexico.
 

20th December  Mississippi   Source: ABC Newswire


     The Isle of Capri in Mississippi, the states newest casino has laid of an unspecified number of personnel. The company blames over staffing at opening as well as slower than expected business.
 

16th December  Las Vegas   Source: Press release


    Shuffle Master Inc. has announced year end results along with details of the companies present operations. There are presently 2,257 leased shuffling machines in operation. On the table games front the two copyrighted games of Three Card Poker and Let it Ride have 188 and 424 tables placed respectively.
    New products in the company portfolio include the ACE and KING shuffling machines as well as the Three Stooges reel slot that debuted at the WGCE in September.
 

15th December  Connecticut   Source: Press release


    Foxwoods (www.foxwoods.com) continues to deliver some staggering gaming results. The resort has released slot win for November at $58.8 million some 6% higher than in 1998. A payment of $14.7 million (25%) was made to the State of Connecticut.
    The property one of two Indian casinos in the state has a total of 6,000 slots and 350 table games. In a separate release it was also announced that the resort that draws most of its clientelle from New York had also received their 1 millionth bus passenger for 1999.
 

15th December  Detroit   Source: ABC-NewsWire


Motor City open for Gambling
 

14th December  Detroit   Source: Press release


    Mandalay Resort Group have announed that the Motor City Casino has been licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The new casino, the second of the proposed three for the Detroit metropolitan area will have 2,600 slots and 136 table games. The company that was formerly known as Circus Circus, has a 53% interest in the new opening.
 

13th December  San Diego   Source: Press release


    Canada's Int.Thunderbird Gaming Corp. have announced that they have received a $3.25 million dollars settlement from a Canadian Tribe. The company is now looking for further opportunities in the State leading up to the March ballot on Proposition 1A.
    The company has also signed a letter of intent to open a casino in the 5 Star Hotel InterContinental in the city of Guayana, Venezuela. The size of the casino will be 7,850 sg ft on an initial 10 year lease.
Thunderbird Update
 

13th December  Illinois   Source: Dow Jones/Illinois Gaming Board


    The change in the law in Illinois that has allowed the 9 Riverboats to engage in dockside gaming instead of physically cruising continues to have a dramatic effect on results. Admissions for the month were 1.5 million, up 37% on November 1998. This is a daily average of 5,500 per vessel. Gross gaming win being $124 million an increase of 28% over the previous November.
 

10th December  California & Mississippi   Source: Press releases


    Hollywood Park Inc have announced that they are selling their Casino Magic Bay St Louis and Boomtown Biloxi casinos to Penn National Gaming Inc. for $195 million cash. The sale will be subject to the approval of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
    Both casinos are permanently located barges on the Mississippi river with adjoining facilities. Combined gaming floor statistics for the two casinos being 73,000 sq ft with 2,440 slots and 77 table games.
 

10th December  Reno, Nevada   Source: Press releases


    WMS Gaming Inc. and International Gaming Technology have both released statements that the Patent lawsuits between the two companies have been resolved. The suits by IGT against Williams revolved around IGT's Telnaes patent for virtual reel technology.
    As part of the agreed settlement Williams has agreed to pay IGT $28 million and refrain from manufacture of certain models that infringe the patent.
 

2nd December  New Mexico   Source: Albuquerque Journal/AP


    New Mexico State Treasurer Michael Montoya has released records detailing revenues from 7 of the 11 tribal casinos operating in the state. The New Mexico Gaming Control Board had previously kept records secret.
    Under current compacts tribes pay 16% of net revenues from gaming to the state. Records released are from different time periods in 1997/98 and 1999
 

1st December  Detroit   Source: Detroit News


    The MGM Detroit has opened its Art Deco parking garage, complete with 125 surveillance cameras, coat rooms and climate controlled walkways.
    The $30 million structure can house 2,200 vehicles, giving the facility a total of 3,300 on site free spaces. The average daily casino attendance since opening has averaged 13,300.
 

1st December  Atlantic City   Source: Associated Press


    Players International Inc. has according to newspaper reports agreed to pay a $7 million fine to the Louisiana Gambling Control Board. It follows investigations of illicit payments to family and friends of former Governor of Louisiana Edwin Edwards in order to obtain casino licenses in Lake Charles.
    Players is currently the target of Harrah's Entertainment who have tabelled a bid of $425 million for the company.