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May 2000
North America

31st May  Las Vegas  Source: Press release
   
The Gaming Manufacturers Association that as one of its goals seeks to promote unified standards in the communication and manufacture of gaming equipment has announced that Station Casinos has become a Platinum member. The organization was incorporated in May 1998 and now has 38 members. Other Platinum member operators include Harrah's, Mandalay Group and Park Place Entertainments.
 

31st May  Las Vegas  Source: AP/Press release


   Approvals have been gained from all parties concerned and Kirk Kirkorian's MGMGrand acquisition of Mirage Resorts appears now to be a completely done deal. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted 5-0 in favour of the merger that values Mirage Resorts at $21 a share and has a total worth of $6.4 billion - the biggest consolidation of casino assets ever.
   Steve Wynn did own 23% of Mirage and is now set to develop the Desert Inn which he purchased from Starwood Hotels for $270 million. The Bellagio's art collection assembled by Mr Wynn would appear to be embarking on the short journey northwards shortly.
* 86 days form offer to completion. The squabbles over domain names will probably take longer!.
 

31st May  Antigua  Source: Press release


   Paramount Trading based in Antiqua has announced the launch of Blackjack.com. Following the purchase of the domain for $460,000 the site is now under Beta testing with seven different game varieties. As well as American rules there is also the European version where the dealer takes only one card on the original deal.
    The site is presently in play for free mode and players may also earn $25 by reporting software bugs (undocumented features - as programmers would say) to the company.
 

30th May  Reno  Source: Press release



    The 11th International Conference on Gambling & Risk-Taking is being held at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas 12th to 16th June. Over 200 speakers from 16 countries are scheduled to participate in 97 different sessions.
    Among the many topics to be covered are spread of Internet gaming and government efforts around the world to legislate it. Bookmaking, and the ever thorny issue of problem gambling. The conference is organized by the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno
International experts debate world's gaming industry at major Las Vegas conference June 12-16th
 

30th May  Source: Gaming Investments


   The Morning Gaming Report is a subscription newsletter for investors in the US casino industry. Authored by Frank Fantini at GamingInvestments.com we reproduce part of the edition from May 30th.
    With the incorporation of Mirage under the MGMGrand umbrella on Wednesday 70% of the business in Atlantic City will be controlled by three companies. In Las Vegas MGM, Park Place and Mandalay Group will also control 70% of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Gaming Morning Report 30th May - Time of transition
 

24th May  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


   Over 500 gaming executives and management are expected to attend the Casino Ops conference in Las Vegas June 12 - 13th. Jointly organized by The UNLV's International Gaming Institute and Casino Journal Publishing Group with assistance from the Casino Management Association. The 2000 event is scheduled to have over 100 speakers.
    The conference and seminars are designed to give members of middle and lower management in gaming operations a well-rounded overview of how a successful casino functions.
 

23rd May  Arizona  Source: Press releases


   Atronic Americas LLC. owned by the European Gauselmann Group has made three announcements recently. Joe Bailo and Grant Thorburn being promoted to Vice President of Sales and Regional Vice President of Sales. The companies I.C. Money with an Arctic theme has been approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
    Finally that game testing company Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has pronounced that several of the companies slot models have been deemed suitable for a variety of gaming markets in the US.
 

22nd May  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


    Shuffle Master Inc. has reported record revenues of $9.6 million for the quarter ended April 30th. The installed number of shuffling machines now stands at over 2,500. The companies Table game department coming on strong and  now having almost 900 leased games that include Let it Ride® and Three Card Poker®.
    On the shuffler front, the ACE™ single deck machine traditionally used on games like Caribbean Stud has now been joined by the Multi deck KING™ that is finding a place on the corner of Blackjack tables.
 

22nd May  Jackson, MS  Source: Sun Herald


   The University of Southern Mississippi is coming to the conclusion of a year long study into the states casino industry - presently the third largest gaming market in the US. The results will be eagerly awaited by operators who at the moment pay 12% taxes on gross revenues (8% state & 4% local) and legislators who are looking for ways to raise more funds for a teacher pay increase. The report is expected to be released at the end of June.
Casinos hope study helps keep taxes low
 

20th May  Las Vegas  Source: Press release


    Las Vegas based Coinless Systems Inc. that manufactures barcode ticket verification equipment for video and spinning reel slots has signed a sales and distribution agreement with Gaming Systems International.
    As part of the deal,  CSI's patented TickeTrak® that prints secure tickets that can be redeemed at the machine or cashier will be incorporated into GSI's GAMBIT™ Resort Management System. There is an increasing interest in coinless gaming from operators who are keen to reduce overheads and increase security. The drawback to such systems in competitive environments is ensuring public acceptance prior to the full changeover.
 

19th May  Las Vegas  Source: Poker Search


    Winner of the 2000 World Series of Poker is Chris Ferguson who picks up the $1.5 million first prize. Going into day four of the $10,000 "No Limit" competition he had a commanding chip lead over his opponents. Second prize and almost $900,000 went to Thomas (T.J.) Cloutier who was in sixth place at the beginning of play. 512 players began the premier event creating a total prize pool of $5.12 million. Winners were paid down to the 145th position ($15,000)
 

18th May  Atlantic City  Source: Dow Jones


     April statistics from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission show that revenues were up almost 6% to $366.8 million over April 1999. The big surprise is that table games win jumped 12.7% to $105.5 million. Slots win was $261.2 million or 71% of the total. At the two casinos with the greatest revenues - Park Place & Taj Mahal, table game win was 33% and 39% respectively.
    It will be interesting to see if this slight revival in table games fortunes continues.
N.J. Casinos April Gaming Revenue $366.8M Vs $346.2M
 

18th May  Las Vegas   Source: Conjelco/Poker Search


World Series of Poker
  The climax to the 31st World Series is the $10,000 entry "No Limit" Texas Hold' Em competition. The $1.5 million first prize and the title of World Champion will be won today at Binions Horseshoe in Las Vegas.
    Of the record 512 entries for the event (a total prize pool of $5.12 million) there are now 6 players left at the final table. Play will commence at 12 o'clock midday Pacific time
Chip leader going into the last day is Chris Ferguson with $2,853,000 this is around $600,000 more than the other 5 players combined. Check out who the winner is at Conjelco and Poker Search who have covered the entire competition.
http://www.conjelco.com/wsop/event25.html
http://www.binions.com
 

18th May  Chicago   Source: Press release


    WMS Industries Inc. parent company of slot manufacturer WMS Gaming has announced that Donna B. More has been appointed to the Board of Directors. Orrin J. Edidin will also take over as Executive Vice president as well as Secretary and General Counsel for the company and its subsidiaries.
WMS Industries Names Donna B. More to Its Board of Directors
 

17th May  Illinois   Source: Dow Jones


   Statistics from the Illinois Gaming Board for April show revenues for the nine riverboats in the state steaming ahead 31.6% to $141 million . Admissions for the month were 1.6 million or an average per boat per day of 5,900. Gross gaming win per pax per day standing at $88. The riverboats in the state have shown significant increases in revenue since the requirement to physically cruise was removed in June 1999.
 

17th May  New Orleans   Source: Press release


   The New Orleans casino that is owned by JCC Holdings and managed by Harrah's New Orleans Management Company had a gaming win of $19 million in April according to figures from the Louisiana Gaming Board. In a press release from JCC, the minimum payment of $100 million annually that is due to the state of Louisiana means the company is in effect paying an annual tax on win of 45%, a rate that is 5 times higher than competing casinos on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
    The property that opened in October 1999 has 100,000 square feet of gaming floor and employs in the region of 3,000 people.
 

15th May  Las Vegas   Source: Press release


   Casino Journal Publishing Group Inc. that offers a broad spectrum of products and services to the gaming Industry has recorded gross revenues of $3.4 million for the quarter ended 31st March a 15% increase over the same period in 1999. Advertising revenue was up, income from gaming shows stable but subscription revenues were down.
    Among the titles in the company portfolio are Casino Player and Strictly Slots for the consumer, with National Gaming Summary and Casino Journal for the trade. Shows include the Southern Gaming Summit and the American Gaming, Lodging and Leisure Summit in partnership with Bear Stearns Inc.
 

12th May  Nevada   Source: Dow Jones/NGCB


   The Nevada Gaming Control Board have released March results for the states casinos. They show that gaming win rose almost 12% to $836.4 million. The Las Vegas Strip saw results leap 17% to $414 million while downtown Las Vegas recorded a modest 2% increase to $61.7 million.
    For Reno and South Lake Tahoe gaming win was up 8% to $70.7 and $26.8 million respectively. During April Nevada State also collected $64,633,870 in percentage fee taxes.
Nevada Casinos March Gaming Win Up 11.9% To $846.6M
 

12th May  Atlantic City   Source: Press release


   Trump Casinos & Hotels have reported first quarter results almost unchanged from the same period in 1999. Net revenues for the period being $316.5 million and pre EBDITA of almost $54 million. For the Taj Mahal with 143 Tables and 4,521 slots win per day was $189 and $3,234 respectively. Table hold was 16.7% and contributed 35% of the total gaming revenues.
    At the Trump Indiana on Lake Michigan table hold was 17.1%. Total win was $33 million with table revenue at 23% and slots 77%
 

11th May  Atlantic City   Source: Bergen Record/AP


   Financier Carl Icahn has made his plans known to the New Jersey Gaming Control Board as to what he would do with the bankrupt Sands Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Icahn who also wishes to operate the Claridge is fighting a battle for control of the casino with Park Place who already have three casinos in AC. 
    Vendors who are owed $6.7 million will also vote on who they prefer to take over.
 

11th May  New Orleans   Source: Press release


   JCC Holding Company that operates the New Orleans casino has released statistics showing the economic impact of the casino on the local area and Louisiana as a whole. The study authored by Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc. shows that the casino is likely to have 6.67 million visitors in 2000 with around a third coming from out of state.
    Whilst in Louisiana visitor spending at other businesses, hotels and restaurants etc. is likely to be $100 million. A similar amount is due to the New Orleans parish in direct taxes from the casino each year. The casino employs in the order of 3,000 people.
Harrah's New Orleans Casino Operations Providing Strong Recurring Impact to State Economy
 

11th May  Baton Rouge   Source: Various


   Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards was found quilty of racketeering charges in relation to illegal payments made to secure riverboat licenses in the state. The evidence against him was overwhelming including testimony from Former San Francisco 49'ers owner Eddie DeBartello that he handed over $400,000 in cash at SF airport to find out that his application was unanimously passed the next day. Tape recordings, tax records and evidence from former friends all helped to secure the guilty verdict. 72 year old Edwards served four terms as Governor and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
After dozens of probes, high-roller Edwin Edwards convicted
http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/fc/US/Edwin_Edwards/
 

10th May  Las Vegas   Source: Press release


   Mikohn Gaming Corp. following on from the success of Monopoly® and more recently Yahtzee®, has entered into an agreement to license Battleship® from Hasbro. Battleship All Aboard® will be based on the famous naval combat board game that first made its debut in 1967. During bonus rounds players will have the ability to sink ships to gain additional payouts. The game will be in 5 reel video format and allow play up to 90 nickels per spin.
 

8th May  Mississippi   Source: Biloxi Sun Herald


   The Sun Herald had news on the purchase of the two Casino Magic properties by racetrack operator Penn National Gaming from Pinnacle Entertainment.
    Also an interesting story on a court decision overturning a Mississippi Gaming Commission ruling that a sequential Royal Flush hit at the Treasure Bay Casino did qualify for an additional $249,000 jackpot bonus.
Two casinos will be same in name only
 

8th May  Las Vegas   Source: Press release


   The Aladdin Hotel and Casino now under construction and expected to open in August has placed casino chip orders with Paul-Son Gaming. Paul-Son also announced that Aladdin was part of orders totalling $1.1 million from three new openings the Hollywood Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, Belterra, Indiana and Suncoast, Las Vegas.
 

8th May  Detroit   Source: Detroit News


    The Detroit News on 3rd May detailed the principals of Millennium Management Group who are proposing to buy the 40% of the property that is for sale. The opening has been delayed by the Michigan Gaming Commission over problems with licensing. Managing Director is William Paulos who was formerly senior vice-president of Circus Circus Enterprises Inc. and more recently with Crown Melbourne and Primadonna resorts. The other main shareholder is the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Indian Tribe that owns 50%.
Millennium staffed with casino veterans
Greektown may stay shut for year 4th May Detroit News
 

5th May  Las Vegas    Source: Press release


   Alliance Gaming have revealed 2000 first quarter revenues decreasing by 7% to $117.5 million compared with the first quarter of 1999. Total sales from the Bally Gaming & Systems subsidiary for the same period were 1,180 units compared with 4,450. 230 machines were sold into Nevada and Atlantic City, 400 Internationaly and 550 to the riverboat market. Net loss for the Alliance group totaled $9.1 million or $0.89 per share.
 

4th May  Las Vegas  Source: Reuters


   The collection of artwork that presently graces the Bellagio and other Mirage Resorts properties will be almost certainly going with Steve Wynn when he departs. A judge in Clark County, Nevada has ruled that he may buy them at under market value from new owners MGM Grand. The $4.4 billion deal for Mirage ($6.5 including debt) assuming regulator approval, is expected to be completed sometime in the summer.
 

3rd May  New Jersey  Source: Press release


   There was a time in gaming when a teflon roulette ball was considered "high tech". The march of technology onto the gaming floor now means that staff don't just have to be aware of the players bets but also not to trip over the cables. Michael Pollock's Gaming Industry Observer and AQS2* Advanced Quantitative Strategic Solutions, LLC are teaming up to offer a one day seminar in June dedicated to the rapid changes and challenges that are affecting casino gaming operations world-wide.
 

1st May  New York State  Source: Press release


   The proposed casino in the Catskill mountains is set to change its location with the impending purchase by Park Place Entertainment of the 1,400 acre Kutsher's Resort Hotel. Park Place will manage the casino on behalf of the St Regis Mohawk Indians for seven years. Construction work is expected to create 2,000 jobs and include a casino with a 160,000 gaming floor and a championship golf course.
    Park Place is the worlds largest gaming company formed from a spin off of Hiltons casino interests and has a total of 28 casinos and 2 million square feet of gaming floor.
 

1st May  Bahamas  Source: Press release


   Sun International that perhaps may go private shortly, has released quarterly results for the companies Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island and its north American operations. Atlantis had total revenues of $139 million with the casino contributing 46%. The hotel had an 85% occupancy during the quarter with average room rates of $286 per night.
    The Management contract for the Mohegan Sun is now over but 5% of gross revenues from the property will be due to the company for a period of 15 years.