Giuliani Security signs on
with Singapore license bidder

Sep 19, 2006 5:32 AM

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may be an unannounced presidential candidate but in the meantime he has to take care of business, his security business.

Monday, Las Vegas-based Eight Wonder, one of four bidders vying for Singapore’s second casino license announced that it had signed Giuliani Security & Safety LLC to serve as security planner and adviser in the company’s bid to build a casino resort on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

Heading the Eighth Wonder gaming firm is casino designer Mark Advent.

Also competing for the license are Malaysian-controlled Genting International PLC, which has Universal Studios as a partner, the joint venture of Kerzner International Ltd. (KZL) and Singapore’s CapitaLand Ltd., and a team involving Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Keppel Land Ltd. of Singapore.

The first Singapore gaming complex license was awarded to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS).

Prompted by the success being enjoyed by the Chinese enclave of Macau, Singapore reversed its decades-old ban on casino gambling last year and said it will allow two casino-resorts in a bid to remake itself into a more lively tourist destination.

Although he has indicated he won’t make a final decision on whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination for the 2008 election until later, Giuliani is following the path of most candidates by making periodic visits to hot political markets. He plans to visit New Hampshire this week, following last week’s visit by another Republican hopeful, Sen. John McCain

Eyeing a Fortune

Gamblers looking for a potential blockbuster in the gaming industry have focused quite a bit this year on an obscure company called FortuNet (FNET), whose previous claim to fame was an electronic bingo card.

Last January, the company went public with its shares trading at $9 each. But, that only lasted until May when Nevada’s gaming regulators approved wireless gaming after reviewing an application from Cantor G&W. The FortuNet shares skyrocketed to $24.51 per share.

That’s because FortuNet has been working on a wireless gaming device as well.

However, since nothing was happening with the company, FNET’s shares kept dropping until they reached a low of around $7.

At the Nevada Gaming Control Board meeting earlier this month, FortuNet’s mobile gaming system was approved with the action now headed to the Nevada Gaming Commission to make it official.

Within the next two trading days, the share price shot up to $18 before falling back to the $12-$13 level. Now traders are awaiting further regulatory action. Without it, who knows?

New hires

Eric Hausler, a gaming analyst with Bear Stearns Co., has resigned to join Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. (TRMP) as senior vice president of development.

His responsibility, said James Perry, president and CEO, will be to expand the Trump brand both nationally and internationally.

While at Bear Stearns, Hausler was managing director of Fixed Income Research focusing on high yield and investment grade bonds issued by gaming, lodging and leisure sector companies.

At Ameristar Casinos Inc. (ASCA), Jerome Klint was appointed to the position of vice president, construction.

Klint is leaving the development division of Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECA) where he was involved in that company’s construction projects at its racing facilities in Florida.

Joining Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) as vice president of community reinvestment and social responsibility is Thom Reilly, former manager of Clark County in Nevada.

Reilly will oversee the activities of Harrah’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that donates to charities in the communities in which Harrah’s operates.

THE INSIDER: John Giovenco, well-known gaming executive who was CEO of the Las Vegas Hilton when he retired in 1993, has shown his support for Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK), a company on whose board of directors he serves, by acquiring 30,000 shares on the open market at prices in the $25 to $25.50 range.

The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a measure to legalize casino gambling in Nebraska cannot be place on the November ballot. The measure was sponsored by Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD).

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) has bought a 35-acre tract in Baton Rouge, La., that may be used as the site for a riverboat casino.

American Wagering Inc. (BETM) notified the SEC that it had sold 75 race/sports kiosks to PDS Gaming Corporation in a sales/lease back transaction for $600,000. BETM will pay PDS $19,836 per month over the 36 months of the lease agreement.

Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) has signed 13 separate contracts to install a touch-screen table management and player-tracking system.

Wyoming Entertainment LLC has purchased Wyoming Downs from Eric Nelson, a Las Vegas businessman.

The zoning commission of Ledyard, Conn., has approved a plan for a new resort to be built by the Mashantucket Pequot Indians, operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino.

The former Grand Casino in Gulfport, Miss., has been re-opened by its new owners, Mississippi residents Rick Carter and Terry Green. The new name is the Island View Casino.

PokerTek Inc. (PTEK) announced Monday is had received regulatory approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board to distribute the company’s automated poker table to Michigan casinos.

Analysts at William Blair have initiated coverage of International Game Technology (IGT) with an "outperform" rating.

Gaming revenue in Nevada during the month of July rose 8.4% to $1.04 billion from $958.5 million a year ago. Boosting the revenue was a healthy 10% increase in gaming win at the Las Vegas Strip casinos.

Analysts at Mirriman Curhan Ford Co. downgraded the shares of Multimedia Games Inc. (MGAM) from "buy" to "neutral."

Debt rating services Moody’s and Standard & Poor have raised their ratings on Wynn Las Vegas LLC after the company banked $900 million for the sale of subconcession rights in Macau.

William Blair brokerage analysts have initiated coverage of shares of Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) with an "outperform" rating.

Gaming Partners International Corporation (GPIC) has retained KCSA Worldwide of New York City to implement a comprehensive communications campaign.

L’Auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino, owned by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) has broken grown on a $370 million Texas Hill County-themed resort in Lake Charles, La.

Fulfilling a promise made to the voters prior to the successful action on a proposal to permit Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. to install slot machines, the track’s owner, Charles (don’t call me Charley) Cella has donated $1 million to a foundation that supports scholarships and care for senior citizens.