Casino Industry Insider news bites - 03-24-09

Mar 24, 2009 4:03 PM
The Insider by Ray Poirier |

A New Jersey state senator has filed a lawsuit that seeks to permit sports betting in all 50 states, rather than just the four states currently permitted by a law passed in 1992.

A Canadian businessman has bounced checks worth a total of $5 million at Green Valley Ranch Station Casino in Henderson, Nevada, according to county officials. The man was identified as Semion Kronenfeld, who said his business interests were in Toronto, Canada.

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has charged that a letter from Sen. Harry Reid to the White House seeking clarification of stimulus bill language involving casinos is a "thinly veiled attempt to intimidate the White House into using stimulus funds to bail out Las Vegas casinos."

The Cal Neva Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe will be sold at auction on April 8. The property gained fame years ago when it was owned by Frank Sinatra and attracted a number of Hollywood personalities.

Four large labor unions have teamed up to form the Gaming Workers’ Council in order to unionize casinos across the country. Not included was the Culinary Union which represents most Las Vegas casino workers.

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) says it has resolved its patent dispute with Elixir Gaming Technologies Inc.

Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECA) has asked a bankruptcy judge to approve the auction sale of Remington Park in Oklahoma. If approved the auction will take place on July 30.

Officials of Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) are assessing the fire damage at the Empress Casino in Joliet, Illinois. The Saturday fire reportedly was caused by a welder’s torch in an adjoining pavilion that is undergoing a $50 million renovation.

February gaming revenues in Mississippi were down $34.7 million when compared to the revenues reported in February, 2008. Also down for the month were the casinos in Louisiana. The February total reportedly was 5.9% less than the previous year.

Colorado revenues in February, however, were nearly comparable to a year earlier. In the most recent month, the state revenues totaled $57.3 million, just $600,000 less than last year.

Michael Leven, the new chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) assumed his new post almost immediately rather than on April 1 as initially announced.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Houston, Pennsylvania, will open its $175 million permanent slot machine casino on April 15. The new facility will have 3,700 machines, about double the size of the temporary casino.

The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians will pay $6.9 million to the San Diego State University to change the name of the Cox Arena to Viejas Arena.

PokerPro, the dealer-less poker table produced by PokerTek, Inc. (PTEK), has been approved by Nevada regulators.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell says he hopes to have sports betting up and running in his state this fall before the beginning of the new NFL season. He included sports betting revenue in his proposed budget.

Jeffrey Jacobs says the $7.9 million investment made by Jacobs Entertainment in MTR Gaming Group Inc. (MNTG) has been marked down in value to $1.36 million.

South Dakota has banned smoking in all indoor public places including bars, restaurants and gambling facilities.