January 5, 2007

The News Stories of the Year

The Casino City Times, one of the sources we use for daily news on the Casino Industry has posted their list of news stories of the year. Clearly, it was a big year for the gaming industry.

Here are their top 5:

1) U.S. prohibits, others regulate Internet gambling

Congress took steps to prohibit Internet gambling in 2006 with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The law doesn't actually ban Internet gambling, but it does prohibit banks and financial institutions from processing transactions to Internet gambling companies. As a result, several large online operations, including PartyPoker, stopped accepting U.S. play in October.

Many in the Europe Union, meanwhile, have taken steps to regulate Internet gambling. The UK, Spain, and Italy all made moves toward regulations while France and Germany took stances similar to the U.S. -- passing legislation to make Internet gambling illegal.

Meanwhile, British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell led a conference of 30 nations that discussed the best way to govern Internet gambling (the U.S. did not participate). There was little agreement from the group, except in determining that prohibitions would do little more than drive the industry underground.

This story is here to stay for a while, and 2007 should provide plenty of interesting developments as the world attempts to cope with Internet gambling.

2) Harrah's sold

On Dec. 19, two private-equity firms purchased Harrah's Entertainment for $17.1 billion -- proving once again that land-based gaming is one of the world's most profitable industries.

While Internet poker struggles through regulation issues, land-based gaming is booming. Most of the major casino companies are expanding. And televised coverage of poker tournaments is at an all-time high, led firmly by the Harrah's owned WSOP.

Harrah's purchase price is worth more than the entire online gaming industry ($12 billion). And Harrah's employs more than 80,000 people in a network of 39 worldwide gaming destinations.

3) Harrah's New Orleans reopens post-Katrina

Harrah's New Orleans reopened on Feb. 20, just in time to welcome back more than 1,500 employees for the tourist-rich Mardi Gras celebrations.

Once a crown jewel of the Harrah's Entertainment operation, the New Orleans casino was forced to close its doors in August of 2005 after flood waters from Hurricane Katrina shut down most of the city.

There was a time when people questioned whether New Orleans could bounce back from the tragedy, but the reopening of employee-heavy venues like Harrah's and the Superdome ended some of the speculation and brought much needed revenue back to the city.

In May, the largest poker room in the South played host to a successful World Series of Poker Circuit Event, proving Harrah's New Orleans and the city itself was back to business as usual.

4) Sands opens online casino

Late in the year, the Las Vegas Sands stunned the international gambling world by announcing it was partnering with Cantor Gaming to open an online casino targeted at the European market.

Already perturbed by the UIGEA, Internet gambling companies are crying foul. While they risk arrest if they take U.S. players, the Sands – a U.S. company – can enter European and Asian markets freely. The Sands online casino will not accept U.S. players when it opens.

Other U.S. brick and mortar casinos have opened online casinos in the past (e.g., the MGM), but they have never found them to be profitable. Clearly, the atmosphere has clearly changed enough for the Sands to believe it's worth another try.

5) Macau

The former Portuguese colony grossed more gaming money than Las Vegas in third quarter, according to Francis Tam, Macau's Secretary of State of the Economy and Finance. It's the first time the tiny Asian territory surpassed in that category. And some experts have Macau beating Las Vegas, making Macau the largest gaming center in the world for that timeframe.

Macau gaming saw more than $6.25 billion in revenue in 2006, and some analysts expect that it will surpass Las Vegas – which drew just over $7 billion in gaming revenue in 2006 – this year.

Macau already has 24-casinos and is expanding rapidly. Construction is already underway for the $975 million MGM Macau. And with major gaming brands like The Sands and the Wynn Casinos focusing on Macau, it may be gambling's top destination for years to come.

Head over to the main story to see all of their lsit.

Russell Miner at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 2, 2007

No Pubilc Smoking In Nevada.. Unless You're Gambling of Course

cleanAir.jpg

Sounds like you will continue to be able to enjoy a smoke free environment when you eat, but not necessarily when you play.


"District Judge Douglas Herndon on Thursday upheld the state's anti-smoking law but threw out any criminal penalties associated with lighting up in the wrong places.

Smokers who violate the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act can still face a $100 civil fine for each infraction, Herndon said.

Supporters of the law, which voters passed last month, hailed the decision.

"It's a victory because exposure to secondhand smoke will be eliminated now. That's a victory for everybody," said Stephen Minagil, a lawyer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

Technically, Herndon's ruling applies only to the businesses that sued to block the law, including PT's Pub and Village Pub and the more than 200 members of the Nevada Tavern Owners Association, but authorities in Southern Nevada and much of the state had been waiting for Herndon's decision before gearing up enforcement.

Thursday's ruling won't become official until the judge signs a written order, which could take up to two weeks.

The law bans smoking in restaurants, grocery stores, bars that serve food and most other indoor gathering places that are open to children. Casino gaming floors, strip bars and standalone bars are exempt."


Read the rest over at the Casino City Times

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December 28, 2006

Vegas on TV on Sunday

Digital technology still can't transport a shrimp cocktail or a beer in a football cup to television viewers across the nation.

But on Sunday it will come closer than ever to bringing the experience of Las Vegas' Fremont Street to nearly 16 million American households. For the first time the lights and sights of downtown Las Vegas will be the backdrop for a continuous, live, nationally televised New Year's Eve concert party.

On Wednesday production crews were hanging light trusses and standing barricades in the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall in preparation for the event, dubbed America's Party.

"The canopy is going to make this one so spectacular," said Bart Peters, executive in charge of production for CDUSA, the company producing the party.

The company typically holds single televised concerts with about 300 audience members in its 14,000 square foot studio in Los Angeles. The event Sunday is expected to draw more than 15,000 people, include six bands on two stages, and incorporate the four blocks of Fremont Street as well as the overhead canopy of lights.

"That is our whole thing with music, to make you feel as if you're the one at the concert," Peters said.

Although Fremont Street is the home base for the event, which will be televised from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on DirecTV, it will also include jumps to New York; Austin, Texas; and Denver to capture celebrations there.

It will also incorporate live video from the event with graphics fed onto the overhead LED canopy.


Read the whole story at the Casino City Times

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December 13, 2006

Employee Walk out Coming to Foxwods?

It seems that some employees are hopping mad at their treatment by the Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Connecticut's Channel 8 has mentioned the site, albeit briefly, and the site seems to have some serious traction with current and former employees.

Time will tell if New Year's Day at the Woods is actually affected, or if this is just empty complaining. A quick "WHOIS" shows that the anonymous source who made the website, was at least smart enough not to register the site with their own name:

[whois.namesecure.com] Registrant: mad at mad at 20 mad foxwoods, CT 06339 US

Registrar: NameSecure.com
Domain: MADATFOXWOODS.COM
Created on 12-02-2006
Expires on 12-02-2007

Administrative Contact:
mad at
Phone: 8603123232
E-mail: madatfoxwoods@yahoo.com

Technical Contact:
Namesecure Inc.
Phone: 570-708-8418
E-mail: support@namesecure.com

Name Servers:
DNS1.NAMESECURE.COM 64.62.166.88
DNS2.NAMESECURE.COM 64.62.166.76

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December 3, 2006

Would You Like Fries With That?

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"Carl’s Jr. recently made waves when it partnered with the Palms Casino Resort to debut the $6,000 Combo Meal, offered exclusively on the Vegas hot spot’s room service menu.

The combo meal earned notoriety via a commercial that ran in all Carl’s Jr. markets and featured Palms owners, the Maloof brothers – Joe, Gavin, George Jr. and Phil, – enjoying good company, good wine, and delicious Carl’s Jr. fare. The 30-second commercial, set at the Palms Mint High Limit Lounge and scored to Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” revealed that a 24-year-old bottle of French Bordeaux is the perfect complement to the Original Six Dollar Burger™ from Carl’s Jr. "

A Kick in the Head indeed! Read the whole story at QSR Online

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November 26, 2006

No Slots for DC


It looks like the only gambling that will be happening in D.C., is on what bills are going to make it through congress.
The Casino City Times had this post:

As reported by the Washington Post: "The D.C. Court of Appeals yesterday blocked a bid to bring slot machines to the District, saying only Congress can authorize such gambling in Washington.

"Unanimously reversing a ruling by a D.C. Superior Court judge, a three-judge panel of the District's highest court said Congress long ago banned the use of 'gambling devices' in the District.

"The court said that prohibition precluded a referendum on slots that had been sought by entrepreneur Shawn A. Scott…"

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November 22, 2006

BAM!

emeril.jpg

Looks like Emeril is doing his part to help rebuild the gulf coast, by building a new restaurant in a gulf coast casino. That should help kick it up a notch!

As reported by the Sun Herald: "Emeril Lagasse unveiled artist renderings Monday afternoon of what his signature New Orleans Fish House on the Gulf Coast will look like when it opens next summer at the Island View Casino in Gulfport.

"...He currently has nine restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Miami. Gulfport was chosen for the 10th because Lagasse wants to take part in the rebuilding of the Coast and he was impressed with the Island View's development plans.

"As a gesture toward rebuilding efforts, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation awarded $25,000 to the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, a children's museum that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina but is back open..."


From the Casino City Times

Visit Emeril's Website at Emeril's.com

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November 18, 2006

Vegas to Stop Handing Out Escort Service Pamplets?

handouts

Whats the world coming to?
A night were you can't walk down the strip, and get handed about a thousand escort service pamphlets with naked ladies on them, is no night we'd care to see!

From the Las Vegas Sun:


City officials have responded to a federal appeals court ruling by passing a new law aimed at curbing peddling, panhandling and pamphleteers at a downtown casino pedestrian mall.

City officials said two ordinances passed Wednesday restricting behavior at the Fremont Street Experience were tailored to comply with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision last month declaring a similar city law from 1997 unconstitutional.

A top American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada official said the city was just inviting a new lawsuit.

"The new ordinance is as unconstitutional as the old ordinance," said Gary Peck, ACLU executive director in Las Vegas. He characterized the city position as: "Free speech is bad for business, and because it's bad for business, we're going to outlaw it."

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November 13, 2006

No Rhode Island Casino

Map_of_USA_highlighting_Rhode_Island.png

Well it seems the state of Rhode Island decided not to build a casino after all. And from the sounds of it, it was a nasty and close race. With the major division in voters seeming to lie along economic lines. Well, at least there is still Foxwoods and Mohegan.

PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island – As reported by the Providence Journal: "The dividing line over the casino vote in this former mill city runs clear through a funky new East Avenue eatery called Jac's Wraps. The sandwich shop, which serves fresh vegetable wraps and fruit smoothies, sits at the intersection of the casino debate.

"To the west are neighborhoods filled with working-class people such as the store's owner, Ameth Alzate. A 41-year-old Columbian-born immigrant who lives just over the city line, in Central Falls, Alzate sounded crestfallen yesterday over the state's rejection, by nearly 63 percent of voters, of the casino amendment.

" It's 3,800 jobs out the window," Alzate said, standing behind the counter wearing an apron and New York Yankees baseball cap.

"…But just a few blocks east, in Pawtucket's upscale Oak Hill neighborhood, residents such as Marisa Garber couldn't be more pleased with the vote's outcome. 'I don't think we need to have that element in Rhode Island,' said Garber, a 40-year old mother of three.

"…If ever there was a vote in Rhode Island that split the state — and this city — along class lines, the casino may be it.

"…In Rhode Island, the casino's promoters lobbied heavily in the inner cities, promising 3,800 new jobs and property-tax relief. The pitch went over best in the state's poorest communities.

"Central Falls, the smallest and poorest, went the most strongly in favor of a casino, with nearly 66 percent of voters approving the referendum. The only other communities where the casino amendment garnered slightly more than half of the votes in favor were West Warwick, Providence and Pawtucket — communities with significant populations of low-income residents.

"In Pawtucket, where homes in Oak Hill are priced as high as $600,000 less than a mile from aging triple-deckers, voters split right down the middle.

"…The economic fault lines in Pawtucket are apparent in tallies from the city's polling places…"


From the Casino City Times

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November 11, 2006

Casino Snob Holiday Buying Guide

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means is a chance for us to bring the world of Casinos into a loved one's life! We've got a handle on the holidays and some great ideas for gifts you can get even the most difficult to buy for on your list. So grab that holiday list, and prepare to shop till you drop as we present to you the Casino Snob Holiday Buying Guide!

Theres one thing a casino snob loves, and thats playing anytime, anywhere. Check out these home-casino items that would look great jammed in an oversize stocking, or wrapped up for giving!

caribbeanStudPokerLayout.jpg
We begin with a selection of Felt Tops. These are sure to warm the heart of any home gamer. And if you're a regular reader of the site, you may even be able to win a few from the house when they host their first game. And what could be nicer in the holidays than taking it from the house.
Here we have a Caribbean Stud Poker felt top. The opposite side also has a Texas Hold'Em trainer, though we've never had use for that side.

blackJackFelt.jpg
For those who prefer the Blackjack world, we can reccommend this Black Jack Felt Top. Its got all you need to hit or stay from the comfort of your parlor. Does anyone even have a parlor anymore?

Baccarat At Home!
As we've discussed before, Baccarat is so easy, even a drunken monkey can play it. And the best part is, folks think its sophisticated, so help them look like the coolest gamers around, and get them this Baccarat Mat.


Craps Layout
And of course, what home casino would be complete without a sweet craps setup. You're loved one can shoot the bones all night, and if you're extra nice, you can play the stick person.

So, you get the felt tops all right, but what about the other accessories they'll need? No problem. Here is a set of essentials that every home gamer will want.


Kem
First and foremost, any card game will need cards. And the best cards around are Kem cards. A solid set of Kem Cards will last you for a very very long time. They are more expensive than regular cards, and thats because of the quality of them. We've raved about these cards before, and we stick by 'em.


blackjackShoe
Now that you have picked up the cards, you may want to also pick up an 6 deck shoe. This will help you deal those cards in the slickest way possible. Its ideal for blackjack dealing, but its also handy for any card-dealing game your loved one may want to play. The kids even like to play go fish with it.

fiveDice.jpg
That may take care of the card players, but what about those craps accessories? Not to worry!
First off, we have the dice themselves. Now sure, any dice will do in a craps game. But if you want to let your casino snob show their casino style, then you have no choice but to get some profesional craps dice. You can grab a small set of five, or if you have a whole army of snobs (or one really forgetful one), you can pony up and get the brick of 400!

diceBowl.jpg
And now that you have all those dice, you'l want to get your snob the wooden bowl to hold them in! This bowl looks attractive on the table, and helps keep the spare dice separate from the dice that are in play.


crapsStick.jpg
Finally for that craps lovin' casino snob, the best of all craps accessories, the stick. They can run around and beat things like its a riding crop, or they can just handle the dice like a pro, and keep their home game cooking into the wee hours. And because size DOES matter (the size of the table silly!) you can choose from a selection of sticks including 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48. For the record, we reccommend the 42, but only because its the answer to life, the universe and everything.

slotMachine.jpg
But what if your snob's thing is slots? No worries! You can start with a sweet selection of slot machines. They range in price, and style. Included in this group are the Welcome to Las Vegas Skill Stop SLOT Machine, the Fru Full Skill Stop SLOT Machine, and the God Game Skill Stop SLOT Machine. You can even get a personalized version of the Welcome to Las Vegas model! Throw in a pack of tokens for your skill slot machine, and your slot lovin snob is as happy as a pig in mud!


Video Poker Machine
If they are someone you REALLY like. And if they do have just everything, then why not give them the real deal. This is a multi game video poker and slot machine. Just imagine your snob and their pals huddled around this baby cheering on as the bings abd boops whail on. Hmm.. Now that we think about it.You may want to get a set of earmuffs while you're at it, so you can sleep at night.


If you still need more ideas, why not check out the following articles. They have some books that may interest your casino snob, and help them improve their game when they head to the casino for fun.

All About Blackjack
All About Baccarat
All About Craps
How to Win at Hold'Em
Discoveries in Blackjack


We hope we've set you on the right track for your holiday gift giving extravaganza. If you are looking for other gift ideas, you can always browse the rest of the blogpire, listen to our podcast, and see what other ideas spring to mind!

Russell Miner at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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