L.V. Sands eyes gaming
projects in Detroit, Pennsylvania

Jan 25, 2005 12:10 PM

Comments by an aide to a prominent Pennsylvania senator seems to boost the chances of Las Vegas Sands Inc. (LVS) of receiving a slots parlor license in Bethlehem. Christopher Craig, legal counsel to powerful state Sen. Vincent Fumo, said there was no doubt that a slot facility would be licensed for the Allentown-Bethlehem area.

"A facility in that market would be too lucrative to the commonwealth not to grant it a slots license. It would be like leaving money on the table," he told area newsmen.

The decision on licenses will be made by the seven-member Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Las Vegas Sands has joined with BethWorks Now to build a slots parlor on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant in South Bethlehem.

Also seeking a Bethlehem location license is a partnership involving a Bethlehem businessman and the operators of Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

On another front, officials of Las Vegas Sands have been discussing the possibility of building a new convention center, complete with a hotel/casino in downtown Detroit, Mich.

The facility would replace Cobo Center.

A casino license could pose a problem since state law limits the number of licenses for Detroit to three. However, with the merger of MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGG) and Mandalay Resort Group (MBG), each of which operates a Detroit casino, one license could become available since the merged company can only operate one facility.

Tahoe sale

Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR) will continue its relationship with Columbia Sussex, the Kentucky-based gaming company, by selling Caesars Tahoe Hotel/Casino to the firm for $45 million.

Earlier, Caesars said it had agreed to sell the riverboat, Bally’s Casino New Orleans, to Columbia Sussex for $24 million.

The Lake Tahoe plan was made possible when Park Cattle Co., the company that owns the land housing Caesars Tahoe, said it would not exercise an option to purchase the casino.

The Caesars’ sales are being made to prepare for its acquisition by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET).

Other recent sales announced by Harrah’s/Caesars included Harrah’s East Chicago, Harrah’s Tunica, Atlantic City Hilton and Bally’s Tunica Casino to privately-held Colony Capital for $1.2 billion.

THE INSIDER: A recovering economy was credited with a 4% increase in gaming revenues for the month of December in Colorado. Last year, the state recorded its first decline in its 13-year gaming history.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine after reporting to regulators that a minor had both gambled and consumed alcohol at the Venetian on April 3 of last year.

During its first year of operation, the Tennessee Lottery reported revenues of more than $863 million with $461 million paid to lottery winners and more than $246 million paid to fund scholarships for qualified college students.

Anheuser-Busch’s Micholob AmberBock has signed on as the official sponsor of the third season of the World Poker Tour.

American Wagering Inc. (BETM) said it has acquired Adline Gaming Inc., a provider of digital video technology.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma announced that the plan to pay for an Indianapolis Colts stadium by placing slot machines in downtown Indianapolis is "dead."

Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron plans to resign his post as an executive with Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECA). He says he is considering establishing a jockey school in Kentucky.