Casino Industry biz bites - 11-25-08

Nov 25, 2008 5:04 PM

Casino industry news bites by Ray Poirier | MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) is participating with an Asian development company in the building of a casino in Vietnam. The Asian company will own the property while MGM will manage it when it is built.

Eldorado Resorts LLC of Reno, Nevada, has backed out of the deal to acquire Casino Aztar in Evansville, Indiana, from Tropicana Entertainment because it might be difficult to obtain financing for the $245 million purchase.

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. is closing its office in Memphis, Tennessee, leaving some 250 employees without jobs.

The new casino license holder in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chicago developer Neil Bluhm, says he will name his new casino Rivers Casino.

Bally’s Atlantic City, owned by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., must pay a record $157,600 fine for allowing an underage woman to gamble numerous times.

The Seminole Nation has expanded its Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida, to include such table games as blackjack and baccarat. The move defies a Florida Supreme Court ruling.

Directors of Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN) have declared an annual dividend of $0.50 per share to be paid on Jan. 21, 2009, to shareholders of record on Dec. 31.

Moody’s Rating Services had downgraded to negative the ratings on Fontainebleau LV debt. The downgrade affects nearly $2.5 billion of debt.

International Game Technology (IGT) says a work force reduction planned for the beginning of the new calendar year will cost up to $21 million. The charge will be taken in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has told a federal bankruptcy judge that Greektown Casino may not have enough cash to finish the development of a new hotel. The board said the casino could run out of money by the end of December.

Nevada’s unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in October, the highest level since early 1985.

Macau’s visitor arrivals in October jumped to 2.6 million, an 8% increase over last year.

The "go-shop" process of seeking a new buyer for Landry’s Restaurants Inc. (LNY) has ended, clearing the way for CEO Tilman Fertitta to take over the company.

Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets have upgraded the shares of Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) from "hold" to "buy."