Black Hawk Gaming gives Jacobs extension for buyout

Dec 4, 2001 8:50 AM

Jeffrey Jacobs, one-time principal in the Boardwalk Hotel/Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, and CEO of Colonial Downs Holdings Inc., has been given an extension until April 1, 2002, to find the financing to complete his proposal to take Black Hawk Gaming & Development Inc. (BHWK).

A member of the well-known Jacobs family of Cleveland, Ohio, he offered to pay $12 a share for the outstanding BHWK stock he didn’t already own. This was considered a $30 million offer for the company that owns the Gilpin Hotel and Casino and 75% of The Lodge Casino, both in Black Hawk, Colo.

The developer’s plans for the Black Hawk company were impacted by the 9/11 attacks. The following week, Jacobs announced that he was pursuing an alternative financing plan to replace his proposed high-yield debt offering.

A special committee of the company that studied the proposed acquisition recommended that Jacobs be given the extension.

Trumping the holiday

Some cynics were pointing the finger at gaming mogul Donald Trump when the heads of the Spotlight 29 Casino in California announced that there would not be a Christmas bonus for its 600 employees this year.

The property is being remodeled into a larger facility that will be operated by the Trump organization when it’s completed in the spring. Recently, Trump announced that there would not be any holiday bonuses for his employees in Atlantic City this year.

But, Gene Gambale, speaking for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, said the decision to eliminate the bonuses resulted from a decline in the economy plus the strain on the Tribe’s budget because of the expenses currently being incurred for the renovation project.

It’s all about money

They don’t have a casino of their own, yet, but the Narragansett Indians of Rhode Island are opposing the proposal to increase the number of slot machines at that state’s two pari-mutuel operations.

Expansion plans at Lincoln Park, once the home of thoroughbred racing and in recent years a greyhound facility, call for the addition of 1,700 video slot machines, bringing the property’s total to 3,000 machines.

And at Newport Grand Jai Alai, there would be an additional 776 machines, bringing its total to 1,601 slots.

Opponents to the additional machines have called the proposals “an expansion of gambling,” but a spokesman for Gov. Lincoln Almond said he didn’t think that was the case and that he doubted that voter approval was necessary.

The Narragansetts are calling the expansion plans, “blatant discrimination” against the tribe.

New Venetian games

A deal with Interactive Solutions Corp. of Irving, Cal. has put The Venetian Hotel-Casino-Resort in a position of offering a suite of computer casino games branded after its property.

Included in the casino games will be The Venetian-branded blackjack, roulette, craps, slots and video poker. The company spokesman said the computer games will provide the company with another way of building its company name. The games will be sold in The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, as well as in its guest rooms and on its Internet site.

Remodeling plan

In the past two years, Argosy Gaming Inc. (AGY) has experienced huge success with its casinos but that hasn’t stopped the company’s directors from looking to improve their operations.

Most recent focus of their expansion plans is the Argosy Riverside Casino in Kansas City, Mo., according to recent press reports. As it stands, the property is a typical riverboat. But, that would be changed to a single-level, barge-style “boat in a moat,” if current plans are approved.

Within the next few weeks, Argosy said it will learn whether their plans will be approved by both the Missouri Gaming Commission and the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

The riverboat served its purpose when the state required actual cruising on the Missouri River but since the law was changed Argosy is following the lead of other riverboat operators in transforming the facility to include the barge.

A Mexican plea

A Canadian public-traded gaming company is appealing to Mexico President Vincente Fox for “fairness” in the recent decision to shut down a pair of facilities where it had installed “games of skill.”

Jack R. Mitchell, president and CEO of International Thunderbird Gaming Corporation (INB), said his company had received approval for such facilities from Mexico’s Department of Internal Security (Gobernacion) last year. However, after opening three such facilities in Mexico, the director of gaming for Gobernacion said the previous approval was merely a “thesis” and that he was closing the properties because of illegal gaming.

Mitchell said he hoped the action was a “mix-up in the bureaucracy which can be resolved.”

Other gaming companies have had similar experiences in attempts to establish facilities that offered video games that have been branded illegal by the authorities after others had approved the establishments.

The Insider

Paul-Son Gaming Corp. (PSON) is suing its insurance companies ”” AIG Technical Services Inc. and National Union Fire Insurance Co. ”” seeking to indemnify the company against a former executive’s lawsuit that says he was wrongfully stripped of certain stock options.

Mikohn Gaming Corp. (MIKN) says its board of directors has been selected as one of the industry’s 10 best as featured in IGWB (International Gaming & Wagering Business) magazine.

The Arizona Department of Racing has set the terms under which Jeremy Simms will divest his majority ownership interest in Turf Paradise racetrack. Simms had his license revoked earlier this year.

Louisiana Downs, the highly-successful horse track built by the DeBartolo Family in Bossier City, Louisiana, is being sold to a Schreveport attorney, Jim Davis, and a group of seven investors. No sales price has been revealed.

Bankers for the Aladdin Hotel/Casino on the Las Vegas Strip reportedly plan to put the place up for auction sale within the next year. The property currently operates under bankruptcy protection.

Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. will open its new office at the McCarran Center in Las Vegas sometime in January.

Three Las Vegas hotels have been named among North America’s 50 best hotels according to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. They are the Bellagio, Four Seasons and The Venetian.