Casino Industry Insider news bites - 12-15-2009

Dec 15, 2009 3:18 AM
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier |

Beginning in May, 2010, all Michigan bars, restaurants and work places will be smoke free. Excluded from the ban are Michigan casinos.

Gambling revenue totals continue to plummet in Atlantic City. According to the Casino Control Commission, revenues in November fell 13.4% to $299.3 million.

An official finance report filed in Ohio indicates that casino supporters spent $47 million in their successful ballot campaign in November.

Joe and Karen De Francis, who sold the Maryland Jockey Club to bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECA) say they are prepared to be among the bidders for Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park when the tracks are auctioned next month.

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) has announced it will open the $392 million River City Casino in south St. Louis County, Missouri, in March, 2010, earlier than previously announced.

Gaming regulators in both Missouri and Illinois have announced that casino revenue for the month of November totaled $82.3 million, down from $83.3 million in the previous year.

An amended employment agreement for TJ Matthews, a director of and former president and CEO of International Game Technology, provides for a salary of $65,000 and continued medical benefits. The agreement terminates on March 31, 2011.

Scientific Games Corp. (SGMS) has entered into an agreement to provide scratch tickets to an Australian Lottery.

Former Gov. Michael Dukakis and former Atty. Gen. Scott Harshbarger have joined the opponents to casinos in Massachusetts.

Atlantic City is projecting that next year’s budget will be an estimated $35 million short of projected revenues.

Nevada Gold & Casinos Inc. (UWN) reported it narrowed its loss in the second quarter to $444,115 or $0.03 per share compared to last year’s loss of $1.6 million or $0.13 per share.

Operators of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina say they plan to introduce serving alcohol beverages on the casino floor beginning this week. For the past 11 years, alcohol has been banned from the casino floor.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Pennsylvania has been fined $10,000 for allowing two ineligible gamblers to play slot machines. One player was 18 years old where the legal age for gambling is 21 years old, and the other was a player who had self-excluded himself from casinos.

The Maryland state commission has approved a slots license for the Cordish Co. in Anne Arundel County. However, the County Council still has not voted on a measure approving the use of slots at the designated location.

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. says it will permanently close Bill’s Lake Tahoe Casino in Stateline, Nevada, on Jan. 4, 2010. A company memo reportedly indicates the reason for the closing is declining business over the last several years.