Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa had a billboard on the Atlantic City Expressway for a while that beckoned gamblers with the words, “Pa. and A.C.’s loosest slots in 2013.”… Borgata’s hold of 8.3 percent for the first nine months of 2013 compares to an average of 9 percent for the entire Atlantic City market… the average hold percentage for the Pennsylvania market was a little more than 10 percent… In Atlantic City, casinos have had billboard wars for years trumpeting their payout percentages. The shackles were removed in 2000, when New Jersey gambling regulators stopped banning casinos from advertising their odds and payout rates.
Monthly Archives: November 2013
Michael Albanese, a former manager at the Palms race and sports book, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday in a betting scheme authorities say defrauded the resort of more than $800,000. Albanese, 41, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He also has agreed to make restitution to the Palms. U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey is to sentence Albanese, who is free on his own recognizance, on March 24. “He’s a good guy who got mixed up in some bad stuff,” his attorney Robert Langford said Wednesday.
For three months, someone has been dropping dye bombs into Marty Martin’s dirty laundry. Martin is the guy in charge of laundering thousands of pounds of sheets and towels soiled in Strip hotels. The culprit’s identity remains a mystery, but the message is clear. Martin says the vandalism is payback for his success. His company has taken a significant amount of business away from competitors. It’s the kind of corporate sabotage one might expect in a casino or nightclub. But insiders say such treachery has played out in Las Vegas laundry rooms for years. “It’s a dirty business,” said Martin.
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren was in a pretty good mood Thursday, even after his company reported a $31.9 million third-quarter loss. The reason: The company’s finances are headed in the right direction, with a 22 percent increase in revenue in Macau, a new resort planned there for 2016, improving trends on the Strip and a 2014 convention calendar that already is 88 percent full. Murren even extended an offer to the Boston Red Sox, winners of the World Series, to come to the Bellagio to lose a little – facial hair, that is… “Andrew Pascal is our partner, and he’s a technological genius. He, MGM and some other investors formed MyVegas. The Facebook site has been very successful. It has been growing in usage and is a great acquisition tool for us as people redeem virtual values for real bricks-and-mortar value here. The big excitement for us and for him is the mobile app that is being launched next week. That’s the present and the future of these kinds of games.”
The legal feud between Wynn Resorts Ltd. and former largest shareholder Kazuo Okada went into hibernation for another six months on Thursday amid concerns about the safety of witnesses in a parallel criminal inquiry by federal prosecutors… After reading a confidential summary of the criminal inquiry prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice, Gonzalez concluded, “Reluctantly, I am forced to grant the U.S. government’s motion because of the personal safety issues disclosed” in the document that remained under seal.
The Nevada Supreme Court said in a unanimous decision on Thursday that tip sharing by casino dealers with employees of higher rank is permitted under state law. The decision reversed a lower court ruling that found that a policy implemented by casino owner Steve Wynn requiring hundreds of dealers to share tips with supervisors did not comply with Nevada law. Clark County District Court Judge Kenneth Cory ruled in 2011 that Michael Tanchek, Nevada’s labor commissioner at the time, erred in 2010 when he found the Wynn tip-pooling policy did not violate state law. The Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Michael Douglas, sends the case back to district court to review the Labor Commissioner’s decision regarding the validity of Wynn’s tip-pooling policy as it relates to two other provisions of Nevada law. The two items relate to the minimum wage and rebates, but the question of whether tip pooling is allowed is now settled.
One fewer weekend day in September than last September translated into a 1.6 percent decline in visitation for the month… reported 3.3 million visitors in September compared with 3.35 million a year earlier… Room occupancy was off slightly, but the average daily room rate was up 1.1 percent to $113.75 for the month. Strip room rates went up 1.5 percent to $123.72 while downtown Las Vegas room rates climbed 7.4 percent to $72.88. Citywide room occupancy was off 1.2 percentage points to 85.6 percent for the month. Convention attendance was up 1.1 percent to 368,593 with the number of conventions and meetings up 6.1 percent to 1,999 for the month. With one quarter remaining in the year, visitation for 2013 is down 0.2 percent to 30 million.
Boyd Gaming is giving more bonuses to penny slot players. The company today announced a plan to launch a new line of its Penny Lane slot series. The rollout carries the tagline, “More bonuses, more often.” An update of the penny slot bonuses will go live Nov. 1 at Boyd’s four Las Vegas properties: the Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast and Sam’s Town. The launch also includes Penny Lane’s downtown debut at the California, Fremont and Main Street Station. The Penny Lane update adds extra bonuses to the games. Some games include a horse race or NASCAR race, during which players can continuing spinning for other bonuses.
Construction in downtown Las Vegas and weak performance in Boyd Gaming Corp.’s Midwestern and Southern properties accounted for third quarter losses, the company reported Thursday… In Las Vegas locals casinos, which include The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast and Sam’s Town, Boyd reported a third-quarter net revenue of $140.3 million, up 1.1 percent from 138.8 million last year. Downtown, at the California Hotel, Fremont and Main Street Station, Boyd reported $52.7 million third quarter revenues, down from $53.5 million one year ago. Company officials attributed losses to construction and road work in the area, which reduced visitation… Revenues for properties in the Midwest and South were down $18.2 million this quarter with $214.8 million, compared to $233 million in the third quarter of last year.
Baccarat helped boost Strip gaming revenues to a second-straight monthly double-digit increase during September, but analysts told investors not to read too much into the results. The house again played lucky… . “We view the headline as somewhat misleading, given the result was aided by luckier house play,” Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski told investors. “Strip baccarat volumes continue to prove resilient. The positive baccarat volume performance was offset by generally underwhelming slot volumes.”… Wieczynski said the Strip is well-positioned to build on visitation trends and a momentum for gross gaming revenues. “While the Strip’s recovery appears to be in full swing, we believe an encouraging 2014 group and convention outlook and strong events calendar could accelerate the improving trends,” he said.