Isle of Capri, Boyd Gaming feud over Louisiana track

May 8, 2001 9:15 AM

Two major gaming companies are locking horns over the purchase of a Louisiana racetrack that intends to install slot machines.

Isle of Capri (ISLE), operator of a riverboat casino in Lake Charles, has complained about the purchase of Delta Downs Racetrack by Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming (BYD). Boyd said it would pay between $115 and $125 million for the track with the intention of taking over a slot machine parlor at the track.

Isle of Capri asked the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to scrutinize the sale because of the potential harm it would do to its recently acquired two-boat facility in Lake Charles. The company also operates riverboats in Bossier City and West Lake.

The Delta Downs property, when converted, would become the closest gaming facility to the Texas border.

A spokesman for the regulators said it was premature for the board to review the sale since approval will first come from the state’s Racing Commission. However, the spokesman said the board would look at Isle of Capri’s petition at its meeting on May 15.

Boyd Gaming is not expected to have any problem in being granted a gaming license since they already operate a riverboat casino near New Orleans.

Rewarding employees

As the largest employer in the southern part of Connecticut, Foxwoods Resort Casino takes its role seriously, and to underscore that point recently announced a $1 million rewards program for its employees.

According to the program announcement, each hourly non-supervisory employee with a minimum of 90 days’ service will participate in the Performance Reward Program, which will partially match employees’ 401(k) contributions. The amount will be determined by performance, length of service and average hours worked.

"The longer an employee stays with Foxwoods," said Bill Sherlock, casino president and CEO, "the bigger the bonus they will receive."

THE INSIDER: Hollywood Casino (HWWC) in Shreveport, La., will soon be laying off some 300 employees in a move the company has called a "strategic restructuring." Earlier this year, Isle of Capri Casino in Bossier City laid off about 200 employees.

Mikohn Gaming Corporation (MIKN) will release its first quarter financial results on Thursday.

Park Place Entertainment (PPE) has sold $350 million in 10-year senior subordinated notes with the assistance of Bank of America Securities and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. PPE says it will use the proceeds to pay down existing debt.

Also, PPE Senior Vice President Thomas Brosig filed to sell 40,000 shares, valued at $402,000.

Insiders at Harrah’s Entertainment filled to sell about 650,000 shares of the company’s stock. Phil Satre, chairman and CEO, filed to sell 101,144 shares for $3.6 million. Colin Reed, who resigned two weeks ago as chief financial officer, filed to sell 546,188 shares for $18.6 million.

Greektown Casino in Detroit has been voted "best" casino in a poll of readers of the Detroit Free Press. Greektown competes with MGM Grand Casino (MGG) and MotorCity Casino, operated by Mandalay Resort Group (MBG).

The 8th Annual Southern Gaming Summit will be held Wednesday and Thursday in Biloxi, Miss.

MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGG) acquired the Primm Valley casino properties from Gary Primm’s company a couple of years ago but failed to include a convenience store that sits on the California side of the property. That was rectified last week when the company announced it had acquired the 3,200-square-foot property from Primm.

The store is the largest seller of California lottery tickets, with more than $6.2 million in annual sales.

Reports out of Iowa indicate that first-quarter revenues for Ameristar’s Council Bluffs casino declined by 7.6 percent to $29 million.