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,
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.