Casino industry news bites for the week of May 12

May 12, 2009 5:09 PM
The Insider by Ray Poirier |

Looks like the people of Ohio like both casinos and medicinal marijuana. A recent poll showed 60% in favor of casinos and 73% saying doctors should be able to prescribe marijuana.

Fitch ratings on Monday downgraded the senior unsecured debt of MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) to a "C" rating from the previous "CC" rating.

City planners in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seem satisfied that the $3.5 million that Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) plans to spend on road improvements will offset traffic problems near its planned new casino.

April revenue figures in Detroit, Michigan, show that MGM Grand Detroit was down 5.6%, MotorCity Casino fell 5.3% and Greektown was relatively flat with last year’s numbers.

Despite legislative pressure for a complete smoking ban at the two tribal casinos in Connecticut, Gov. Jodi Rell has reached an agreement with the tribes that would curtail some of the smoking at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort.

Ameristar Casinos Inc. (ASCA) says it plans to offer $500 million of senior unsecured notes to raise enough cash to retire some of its existing loans.

For the fourth consecutive month, slots revenue at the Hollywood Slots facility in Bangor, Maine, has increased. Gross revenues for the month of April reached $55.2 million.

In Nevada, casinos reported an 11.6% decline in revenues for the month of March. Total revenue reached $918 million compared to last year’s $1.04 billion.

Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) has been awarded the contract to install a comprehensive operating system at the new Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center Hotel & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

PokerTek Inc. (PTEK) announced it had installed its PokerPro tables at the Mountain View Casino in Pahrump, Nevada.

The President Casino in St. Louis, Missouri, reopened last week after the floodwaters of the Mississippi River receded.

Robert Norton has been appointed chief operating officer of MTG Gaming Group Inc. (MNTG). He previously was an executive with Isle of Capri Inc. (ISLE).

Developers of a slots facility in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area believed they finally have found a spot that will be approved. Gaming officials are expected to review plans for a 1,700 machine slots facility in the city’s Fishtown/Northern Liberties neighborhood.

Fans at Sunland Park in New Mexico, a track owned by former Las Vegas gaming executive Stan Fulton, cleaned up on this year’s Kentucky Derby, according to track officials. A lot of people were attracted by the 50-1 odds offered on Mine That Bird, the gelding whose previous start was in the Sunland Derby, a race in which he finished fourth.