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January 2000
North America

31st January  Connecticut   Source: Press release
   
Foxwoods the worlds largest casino has installed facial recognition technology as part of its surveillance system. The product chosen for the task was from Biometrica systems Inc. and allows for the identification of individuals on site or at remote locations.
    The casino gets on average 40,000 visits per day and has around 6,000 slots and 350 table games.
 

27th - 28th January  Las Vegas  Source: ABC News/ Press releases


   The World record slot jackpot hit at the Desert Inn Las Vegas on the 27th, received a great deal of media attention. The jackpot of just under $35 million was won on IGT's Megabucks. The linked system is to be found in 157 Nevada casinos. The winner was Cynthia Jay a 37 year old cocktail waitress at the Monte Carlo.
    Remarkably, the Desert Inn celebrates its 50th birthday in April, it was the 5th hotel and casino to be built on the strip. Sun International are presently involved with purchasing the property that is perhaps best known as being the final headquarters for the reclusive Howard Hughes.
World's Biggest Slot Jackpot Won in Las Vegas
Woman Wins $34.9 Million in Vegas Slots Jackpot
 

26th- 28th January  Detroit  Source: Various


    The tragic suicide of off duty policeman Solomon Bell at the Detroit MotorCity casino will have wide scale future implications for security and safety of customers and staff at all US casinos.
    Before taking his life Sgt. Bell is thought to have lost between $15 and $20,000 at the Detroit MGM Grand and the 6 week old MotorCity. Management re-opened the high stake 4th floor of the facility after a clean up of the scene, a decision that has understandably come in for criticism. Both of the casinos had no metal detectors at the entrance. In Nevada none of the 400 or so casinos in operation presently have metal detectors.
Below are links to the story as covered in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.
Suicide at blackjack table
Gun-carrying bettors usually not a concern
MotorCity dealers saw trouble coming
 

27th January  Las Vegas   Source: LA Times


    The controversial issue of cartoon characters being used on gaming machines looks to have been settled. The Nevada Gaming Commission has voted 5-0 in favour of implementing tough regulations regarding the use of "Child friendly" themes.
    At the WGCE in September, IGT and other manufacturers had a selection of branded slots based upon cartoons such as the Pink Panther, South Park and Betty Boop. Themes that were created over 21 years ago such as the "Addams family" and "Munsters" will be permitted.
 

24th January  Connecticut   Source: Press Release


    The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, operators of the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut announced gross revenues of $202 million for the three months ending December 31st.
    Gross win per slot per day was $444. The table game and slot revenue split was $39.2 million (24%) and $121.4 million (76%) respectively. The Mohegan Sun website can be found at www.mohegansun.com
 

21st January  Detroit  Source: Detroit News


    The Mandalay Group had paid seven of the original local investors in the MotorCity casino $4.5 million for each 1% of their holding. Four Greektown investors are also contemplating selling their shares to the Marie Chippewa Tribe (who currently own 50%), due to licensing problems.
Ex-casino investors cash out for millions
 

20th January  Las Vegas   Source: Press release


    MGM Grand has once again reported record setting quarterly results. Here are some of the amazing statistics over the last 3 months of 1999. The newly opened MGM Detroit showed gross revenues of over $100 million (2,451 slots and 85 table games). The 5,000+ room MGM City of Entertainment had net revenues of $203 million. The average daily hotel rate was $111 on an occupancy level of 89% .
    New York - New York chipped in revenues of $50 million. The MGM Grand in Darwin, Australia produced $10.3 million and the Primm properties from the acquisition of Primadonna Resorts in March 1999, revenues of $54.4 million.
 

20th January  Reno, Nevada   Source: Press release


   IGT have released the companies first quarter results. After tax income was $26.3 million on gross revenues of $206.5 million. Sales of machines to international markets totalled 19,500 units and to the US 8,400.
    The company debuted a vast array of new, mainly branded video and reel machines at the WGCE in September. Video, multi coin, low denomination slots continue to show greater popularity with the American public. The successful Wheel of Fortune now being also supplied in $0.05 video format.
 

20th January  Paradise Island, Bahamas Source: Press release


    Sun International releasing its 4th quarter results detailed the effects of Hurricane Floyd on business at the companies Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. Damage from Floyd resulted in a $12 million payout from insurers under a "business interruption" clause. The company has the management contract for the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. In Atlantic City, Sun operates the Resorts Hotel & Casino.
    The completion of the purchase and licensing of the Desert Inn in Las Vegas is not expected until the second half of 2000. On the Web the companies US and Bahamian interests plus corporate news may be found at www.sunint.com. African and South African Hotel and Casino interests are located at www.sun-international.com
 

19th January  New York/Las Vegas  Source: Reuters


    Financial analysts are generally in a bullish mood for the coming year on US gaming companies. Reuters has a report containing upbeat statements from Robertson Stephens senior gaming analyst Harry Curtis and from Bear Stearns Jason Ader.
    The major Las Vegas Strip properties apparently did well over the Christmas and New Year period and have strong bookings for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. Both Mirage and MGM Grand are expected to achieve earnings targets.
 

19th January  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


    Mikohn Gaming Corp. a company that a few years ago was best known for signage design and manufacturing has announced that two of its trademarked progressive table games have been approved by US state commissions. Monopoly Poker Edition has been approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission and Wild Aruba Stud Poker by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
    The company also has what is described as its first "Electronic Pit" installed at the Grand Casino, Biloxi. This is a linking of 8 Progressive Blackjack tables, two Monopoly and two Tre'Card Stud. The games are linked to a display containing three progressive jackpots.
 

18th January  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


    The spring Western Gaming Congress has been postponed by organizers Gem Communications. The show was originally scheduled to run alongside the Bingo World conference at the Las Vegas Hilton 29 - 30th March. The company will now be concentrating on their Atlantic City show, the Mid Atlantic Gaming & Entertainment Congress and Expo in April
 

18th January  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


    Harrah's Entertainment that was in mid 1999 voted by Casino Player readers as having the best Hotel and Casino in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas has also been listed as one of the Forbes Platinum 400 companies.
    Harrah's is the only gaming company to make the list, which is a refined version of the Market Guide database of over 1,600 companies that have annual sales in excess of $750 million. The company has also been recently listed among the Top 500 Most Innovative Companies by Information Week Magazine.
 

16th January  Chicago  Source: Chicago Sun Times


    The Sun-Times carried a story speculating that Park Place Entertainment's, currently the worlds largest casino company could be looking for opportunities in the Chicago area. Illinois is currently rated No. 4 in the US by gaming revenues.
    Park Place was originally formed in 1998 when Hilton Hotels Corp. sold its casino business. Recent purchases made by the company under Chief Executive Arthur Goldberg include Grand Casinos, based in Mississippi for $835 million and the newly completed purchase of Caesar's World for $3 billion from Starwood Hotels & Resorts World-wide Inc.
 

14th January  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


   Paul-Son Gaming Corp. the Las Vegas based gaming equipment manufacturer have unveiled their second quarter results to Nov. 30th. The company has reported a net loss of $1.13 million on revenues of $4.9 million. The poor results being blamed on the absence of new casino openings during the period. Also announced was the acquisition of a patent and equipment for the more efficient and cost-effective production of synthetic table layouts.
 

14th January  San Diego  Source: Press release


    Vancouver based casino operator International Thunderbird Gaming Corp. have announced that they have signed a letter of intent with the Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians in California for the financing, construction, and operation of a "turn-key" gaming facility on reservation land approximately 60 miles east of San Diego. The deal is subject to the passing in State elections of Proposition 1A on March 7, 2000.
Full Story
 

13th January  Washington  Source: Excite/Dow Jones


    Illinois and Missouri December casino revenues have been released by their respective Gaming Commissions. Illinois gaming revenues(win) continue to surge ahead due to the change in the law that allows the 9 riverboats to engage in dockside gaming. The gross win for the month was $124 million on 1.5 million admissions. The same figures for 1998 were $98 million win on 1.1 million admissions.
    In Missouri the gaming win from the 10 riverboats in operation was $78 million on 4.1 million admissions. The same totals for 1998 were $73 million win on 3.3 million admissions.
Full figures Illinois, Missouri
 

13th January  Atlantic City  Source: Yahoo/AP


    The 12 Atlantic City casinos recorded a highest ever gross win of $4.1 billion in 1999 according to figures from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Slots contributed $2.9 billion and tables $1.2 billion a percentage split of 70/30. Casinos have now been legal in Atlantic city for 21 years. The figures show a modest increase from 1998's win of $4 billion.
 

11th January  Las Vegas/Sydney  Source: Press release


    Harrah's Entertainment have announced that the sale of its interests in the Sydney Star City casino have been completed and that after taxes and expenses the sale has realized $200 million. The take-over bid from Melbourne based Tabcorp Holdings Ltd  was originally made in April 1999. Since that time the terms of the deal were revised before being approved by the Star City board and shareholders.
    With the Sydney 2000 Olympic games now on the horizon Tabcorp should have no shortage of potential punters through the doors. It would appear to be an extremely attractive purchase.
 

10th January  Canada  Source: CGN


    Canadian Gaming News have announced further details of the upcoming 4th Canadian Gaming Summit and Exhibition in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the 9th to 11th May. As well as the suppliers exhibition there will also be the Canadian Gaming Industry Awards Dinner, policy workshops and luncheons with keynote speakers.
    Surprising for many is the fact that Canada now has 66 gaming properties and a total of 71,238 slots and 1,854 table games. CGN is a monthly bulletin published and edited by Ivan Sack specializing in the latest industry news and developments. Further details may be found at www.canadiangaming.com
 

6th January  Toronto  Source: Yahoo/Canadian Corporate News


    Clairvest Group Inc. a Toronto based merchant bank has increased its equity stake in privately owned Gateway Casinos Inc. of Vancouver. The additional investment of C$24 million means that Clairvest now owns 28% of the company.
    Gateway operates three casinos in the Vancouver area and one in Edmonton, Alberta with a combined total of 120 table games, 724 slots and around 1000 employees.
 

6th January  Las Vegas  Source: Yahoo/AP


    A man has jumped to his death from the 1,149 ft Stratosphere tower. The 24 year old first climbed over two fences one 5 ft and the other 10 ft in height before jumping and initially bouncing off the observation area. No one on the ground was injured.
 

6th January  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


    The adoption of a single standard in communication and technical development among gaming machine manufacturers has been boosted after the recruitment by the Gaming Manufacturers Association of a full time Technical Director.
    Daniel J. Colgrove has been appointed by GAMMA after a spending 15 years as a Senior Engineer at IBM.
 

5th January  St. Louis   Source: Press release


   The July 1999 decision to allow Illinois riverboats  to open for gaming without physically cruising has dented the operating results of President Casinos Inc. The company has 2 riverboats located on the western side of the Mississippi, in Davenport, Iowa and in St Louis, Missouri. President's third riverboat is located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Revenues for the third quarter were static at around $50 million.
 

4th January  Biloxi, Miss.   Source: Press release


    Casino Resource Corp. has announced that it will soon change its name to BounceBackTechnolgies.com. This follows the purchase of Raw Data Inc. and what is described as a change of direction by the company. On the sales block is likely to be the companies North Africa operation Casino Caraibe located in Sousse, Tunisia.
 

4th January  Atlantic City   Source: Press release


    Casino Journal Publishing Group have announced that the 2000 edition of the "Gaming Sector - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" report is now available. This is the 6th such annual report and has comprehensive analysis of 23 publicly traded gaming companies.
    The publication also has an analysis of the Internet gaming market and predictions for the future for this quickly growing, but controversial sector of the gaming industry. Further details of the report that retails for $49.95 can be gained from the companies web site www.casinocenter.com
 

3rd January  Las Vegas   Source: Reuters


    The burgeoning Las Vegas population and the needs to fund Education and highway projects could mean Nevada's casinos will have to pay more in taxes in the future.
    Democratic state senator Joe Neal is set begin a signature petition to raise taxes on casinos that have gross revenues of more than $1 million per month from 6.25% to 11.25%. The proposals would raise in the order of $388 million if passed in 2001 by the state Legislature.