Dice turn hot, hot, hot, for Binion’s roller

March 05, 2002 10:42 AM
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THE DICE MAN CAMETH, AND WON! A downtown pipe reports that a high roller rolled some big dice at Binion’s Horseshoe and walked away with over $1 million in winnings.

“Actually, the guy blew $500,000 at the craps tables on the swing shift, but he came back later with another $100,000 bankroll,” the pipe said.

Apparently Lady Luck took pity on him because from that point on he could do no wrong.

“He was hitting everything he bet ”” hard ways, pass, come, odds ”” and he was betting with both fists.”

The word is the player was betting $4,000 on the hard ways, $2,500 on the pass and come lines, and $25,000 on the odds.

“Where else in town can you bet with both feet,” the pipe said.

The best part of the night ”” at least for the dealers ”” came when the player cashed out and toked the table crew $3,500. Who says it doesn’t pay to be a dealer?

HE’S BACK! BUT WHO IS HE? After nearly a year’s absence, our old friend’s name, Fabrizzio Boccardi, is back in the news. And what, might you ask, is a Fabrizzio Boccardi? Apparently, he’s anything his press agent decides he is.

If you don’t recall, about a year ago Boccardi’s name surfaced as a possible buyer for a Las Vegas casino, although no contracts were revealed, no properties were disclosed and, essentially, nothing really happened.

Now we hear from Boccardi’s publicist that he is bringing “A Touch of Gold” to Las Vegas in the form of the “revolutionary concept in gambling known as Genesis Gaming, a trend on how to play with money on a casino floor.” Just what is this product (?) or service (?) is is beyond my comprehension, but the press release says the product line (whatever it is!) will take about 12 to 24 months to develop. That’s about the right time for manure to ferment into alternative fuel.

FANCY DIGS! MGM MIRAGE (MGG) Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Lanni told a gaming conference held in New York last week that the company would spend $1.3 billion on construction of a hotel-casino in Atlantic city. IT would be built alongside the $1 billion Borgata, a joint venture with Boyd Gaming (BYD). The Borgata is scheduled to open 2003. Lanni did not indicate when the second resort would open. MGG is still working on a number of Âí­designs for the resort.

TENACITY DID IT! Donald Trump, affectionately known as The Donald, attributes his success to tenacity.

“For me, you see, the important thing is the getting . . . not the having. What we go for isn’t the money, it’s the challenge of creating a beautiful building or resort. It’s having vision.”

IT DIDN’T WORK! Steve Wynn and others decided some time ago to try to turn the focus of Las Vegas on family friendly. At the height of his reign Wynn was known as the Magic Man. He pulled a lot of rabbits out of the hat. But, families pushing kiddies in the stroller was a flop. The local bars had a heyday. They put the focus on female nudity and laughed all the way to the bank. It took the casino bosses some time to figure out their mistake. But, they finally have and now skin and sin are high up on the menu.

The only thing that has changed ”” thanks to Sheriff John Moran ”” is the girls strolling the Strip. They were forced to find alternate runways close to the boulevard.

There are about 1,000 strip tease artists working the gentlemen’s club circuit. And, I might add, several of the major hotels offer dance reviews with bare-breasted dancers.

ANOTHER CANTERBURY TALE: Investors who focused on publicly-traded racetracks that added slot machines to their gaming menu have profited greatly. Consider Penn National Gaming (PENN), Dover Downs (DVD), MTR Gaming (MNTG), and very recently, Delta Downs now owned and operated by Boyd Gaming (BYD).

And even while legislation is under consideration, there can be profits made just as there have been in the past two months in Churchill Downs Inc (CHDN).

So, it might be interesting to keep an eye on little Canterbury Park Holding Corp. (TRAK) which operates a racetrack and card club in Shakopee, Minn. The track went bust a decade ago or so and probably would have remained out of action if not for local business owners, the Sampson family. The turnaround was slow in coming but was boosted by the introduction of multiple-track simulcasting and the card rooms.

A month ago, the Sampsons filed a bill with the legislature to permit them to operate 1,750 slot machines at the track. If they are as successful with the lawmakers as they were in 1999 for the card rooms, they could end up generating some $125 million in revenue per year. Shares in TRAK have been selling at around $8 a share as of Monday.

IRISH EYES MAY SMILE IN MAY: We’re not ready to release our Kentucky Derby pick, which we have done with some measure of success over the years. But, we’ve had a hard time averting our eyes from the sensational American-bred but Irish-raced colt, Johannesburg.

Anyone who saw him emerge victorious in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile have to be impressed, considering he had spent his young career racing on European tracks with their heavy grass going in the opposite directions that are followed by American racehorses.

He flew the Atlantic and took all the adversities in stride. Quite a recommendation. Plans call for the son of Hennessy to make one start in his homeland before making the trek to the Kentucky bluegrass country. Stay turned.