Magic Man to make a slice of Macau disappear?

Mar 12, 2002 9:03 AM

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? I answered in the negative.

            That didn’t stop the caller.

            He continued: “Steve Wynn ”” despite the denials ”” will sell up to 30% of his stake in the Macau casino venture.

            “He will use the money to fund his planned Le Rêve resort on the Strip where the Desert Inn once sat.”

            And, it says here, he won’t have any trouble finding partners.


FISHERMEN MAY BECOME FISH! A pipe insists that fishermen ”” Aristocrat and International Game Technology (IGT) ”” are fishing to buy WMS Industries (WMS).

“That story has been around.  But, I’ll give you another angle,” the pipe said.

He continued: “WMS may also be acquired by Sumner Redstone who currently owns 30% of the company. So it would appear that with these big time fishermen casting for WMS the company would be all but sold.

“Not so fast. Remember the story about the fisherman. He rises early in the morning with high hopes and fishing gear in hand. He returns late in the evening with no fish.

“Don’t be surprised if frustration forces one of the fishermen to buy out one of the others.”


STRIKE TWO! Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will have to put off trying to sell the city’s logo and name to a gambling-oriented web site. For the second time in 16 months, the city council agreed to table the proposal, at least until the issue of regulation is cleared up. For his part, Oscar mayor said he would only sell the city’s name and seal if a “bricks and mortar” casino were part of the deal. The federal government currently considers online gambling illegal, even though Nevada passed enabling legislation that could allow licensees to tap the potentially lucrative industry.


KUDOS TO THE WINDSOR GANG: “Let’s all tip our fedoras to Bobby Yee and his troops at Windsor Casino,” suggested our Midwest pipe.

“Following the September 11 attacks last year,” he went on, “business at the popular property across the river from Detroit, fell off drastically. You know, the fear of further terrorism forced the U.S. government to tighten up inspections at the U.S.-Canadian border so it became very awkward for Yee’s many American customers to cross over for the Windsor action.

“Throughout it all, Yee and his gang hung in there with the knowledge that eventually the border problem would ease and his customers would return. They have. Not to the level that the property previously enjoyed but they’re getting there.

“Maybe Bobby’s advertising that Canada does not tax gambling winnings has helped matters. Certainly it didn’t hurt,” said our pipe.


WHAT A COUP!!! The ink wasn’t dry on the announcement that MGM MIRAGE had lured Phyllis James to their corporate suite when complaints were emerging from some politicos.

Ms. James was corporation counsel and law director for the City of Detroit before signing on with MGM MIRAGE. This caused some Detroit politicians to yell foul, suggesting that she had accumulated inside information that she would pass on to her new employers.

Those suggestions are demeaning to the woman who now becomes the company’s highest ranking African-American members of the senior management team. Ms. James has an excellent academic resume and has been an outstanding member of her profession.

“She brings vast expertise and experience to our company,” said CEO Terry Lanni, “and is a welcome addition to our ­­senior management.”

DEFRANCIS’ KNEES MAY BE BUCKLING: “From what I’m hearing in the hallways at the current gathering of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA),” reported our racing rosebud, “Frank Stronach is on the verge of buying Laurel and Pimlico from Joe DeFrancis and his sister.”

Reports out of Maryland the past three weeks indicated that DeFrancis was talking to ­­several people about selling the properties. However, reportedly he balked at giving up control of the two tracks.

“You know how it is with Stronach’s Magna Entertainment, they’ll buy out a track, and then keep the former operators on just long enough to get established. If DeFrancis hopes to win that battle, he’d better ­­insist on a long contract.”


ARE THOSE HORNS ON YOUR HEAD? A national study recently revealed that casino customers closely mirror the average American. That is, they own their homes, read a newspaper, attend church regularly and actually eat dinner with their family. This must have come as a shock to some people, who perhaps believed casino patrons had horns, walked on all fours, breathed fire and otherwise stood out in a crowd. Let’s send a copy of the survey to the NCAA, who might find it enlightening!