Clooney, partners reap
profit on real estate sale

Jun 6, 2006 5:54 AM

Actor George Clooney and his Related Las Vegas partners in the scrapped Las Ramblas project only had to check out the neighbors to find a buyer for the site of the real estate.

Edge Group, developers of the adjacent W Las Vegas condominium hotel near the Hard Rock Hotel/Casino on Harmon Avenue, paid $202 million for the 25 acre property, more than double the amount paid by the Related Las Vegas group.

Among the partners with Related Las Vegas and Clooney were nightclub owner-developer Rande Gerber and the Centra Properties. The plan was to build a $3 billion 4,400 unit condo-hotel project.

The partnership told the Associated Press on Monday that it planned to return condominium reservation deposits to potential buyers.

Edge Group said that since it now has some 50 acres for development it planned to build an upscale, boutique hotel-casino complex that would connect it with W Las Vegas resort, a venture that it is sharing with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT).

Major contract

Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) has announced that it has received a contract from the operating group of Lincoln Greyhound Park to install its Player Tracking Solution, Bally Power Bonusing and other upgrades in its 4,752 video lottery terminals.

The Rhode Island dog track/slots emporium is operated by the BLB Investors, LLC, a three-way partnership involving Kerzner International Inc. (KZL), Starwood Capital Group (HOT) and Waterford Development Group. The facility was purchased from British-based Wembley Ltd. last year.

In the midst of a major expansion, Lincoln Park plans to upgrade its players’ club and its marketing capabilities.

Execs retire

Two Las Vegas gaming executives, who played major roles in the development and growth of Connecticut’s Indian casinos, have tendered their resignations.

Bill Vellardo, who was a second generation executive with Caesars Palace, has advised Mohegan Tribal Chairman Bruce Bozsum that he will leave his chief executive’s post at the Mohegan Sun to return to Las Vegas. He had been at the tribal facility for the past dozen years.

Also returning to Las Vegas is Bill Sherlock, who left his post of six years as CEO of New York New York Hotel/Casino, to take the reins of the Foxwoods Resort for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.

Sherlock’s successor will be John O’Brien, who has been executive vice president and CFO at Foxwoods since joining the company nine years ago from the Hilton Hotel chain.

Chairman Bozsum has named Mitchel Etess to become CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Authority.

THE INSIDER: Canterbury Park Corporation (ECP) has declared a special cash dividend of $0.25 per share to be paid July 14 to shareholders of record on June 23.

Joseph Monaly has notified Ameristar Casinos Inc. (ASCA) that he is retiring from the company’s board of directors as of June 19.

Gaming Partners International Corporation (GPIC) has added a two-story building and related real estate to its European administrative and sales facility in Beaune, France.

South African casino operator Sun International says it will not be a bidder for the second gaming license to be issued later this year by Singapore.

Hong Kong-based Melco International Development Ltd. raised $156 million by selling company shares. The money is to be used to build a casino, with partner Australia’s Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd., in Macau.

The property exchange between Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) has been arranged. Pinnacle gets what’s left of hurricane damaged Harrah’s Lake Charles, La., casino complex, while Harrah’s will take over what’s left of Casino Magic in Biloxi, Miss.

The hedge fund, Liberation Investment Group LLC, has threatened a proxy fight for control of Multimedia Games Inc. (MGAM) unless "meaningful progress" is made soon by the company to increase shareholder value.

Gaming analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets, have raised their rating of Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) from hold to buy.

Tioga Downs racetrack in New York has been granted a provisional operating license, according to part-owner Nevada Gold & Casinos Inc. (UWN).