Sometimes a rumor is just a ‘mirage’

May 14, 2002 10:53 AM

KILLING A RUMOR! A rosebud who claims she is wise to the ways of how Terry Lanni thinks called to laugh in my ear:

"I’m sure you’ve heard the rumor that Terry is going to package Treasure Island and The Mirage to buy Caesars Palace. If you’re thinking about calling him, don’t. Terry knows his arithmetic. Why would he sell two money-makers (they have cash flow of about $250 million annually) for a lesser light? Caesars cash flow is only around $80 million a year."

SHOW AND TELL is what WagerWorks has in mind when they meet with regulators to show them how they are able to identify a player’s age and location with their technology.


According to WagerWorks, they will use computer hardware that can scan a thumbprint to identify a player and a global positioning satellite system to pinpoint a player’s location.

The company is developing MGM MIRAGE’s (MGG) Internet gaming site.

INSIDER ACTION! Among insider transactions are the following:

Sold ”” Clyde Cummis, Park Place Entertainment (PPE) director, sold 50,000 shares at $11.89 each;

Registered to Sell ”” Bob Haddock, officer of Aztar Corp. (AZT), 40,000 shares; Paul Rubeli, CEO of AZT, 50,000 shares; Bill Boyd, CEO Boyd Gaming (BYD), 22,000 shares; Anthony Ruys, Gtech Holdings (GTK) director, 20,000 shares; Steve Brammell, Harrah’s Entertainment (HET) vice president, 21,215 shares; Gary Loveman, president and CEO HET, to sell 250,000 shares for $12.5 million; John Redman, CEO MGM MIRAGE (MGG), 97,500 shares; Alex Yemenidjian, director MGG, 50,000 shares; Bill Hornbuckle, vice president MGG, 30,000 shares; Cynthia Murphey, MGG, 21,000 shares; Dan Wade, MGG officer, 20,000 shares; Peter Carlino, chairman Penn National Gaming (PENN), 300,000 shares; Bill Bork, PENN, 160,667; Robert Ippolito, PENN, 33,250 shares; Robert Levy, PENN, 25,000 shares; Harold Cramer, PENN, 23,500 shares; John Jacquemin, PENN, 40,000 shares.

DOWN BY THE STATION: Dr. Jim Nave has served as director of Station Casinos (STN) since March 2001. He is also chairman of the audit committee. Nave is well known among pet lovers for his fine practice of taking care of animals at his Tropicana Animal Hospital . . . Stay at Station another sec so I can tell you about Steve Cavallaro. He is chief operating officer of the company and succeeded Blake Sartini. Cavallaro has been around the block a few times. He has 21 years of experience in the gaming industry with positions as president of the Hard Rock Hotel, COO of Harvey’s Casino, and general manager at Palace Station.

KNOWING WHERE THE TALENT LIES: Congrats to the powers-that-be at MGM MIRAGE Inc. for recognizing that a talented gaming exec was just waiting for the call to don his new (old??) pinstripes.

The individual is John Vidmar and his new association is with MGM MIRAGE’s efforts to put together an online gaming operation utilizing its Isle of Man license. The recent hiring will be like old times for Vidmar and his former, now new boss Terry Lanni.

When Vidmar was working for Caesars Palace, Lanni was CEO of the corporate Caesars World. Vidmar’s duties were in the race book when he was tapped to transfer to Atlantic City to build a race book at the Caesars property on the Boardwalk. Upon its completion, the new racebook was praised as the nicest in A.C.

Vidmar’s talents were also used in South Africa when Caesars and its partner won a license there.

Recently, Vidmar has been consulting for an international race wagering service, an activity whose experience should be beneficial when the Isle of Man system goes online.

MEMORIES OF GRANDER DAYS: Harness racing fans showed up in droves last week at Vernon Downs, a track now bankrolled by Las Vegas Shawn Scott, when it opened its new season. The crowd would have brought smiles to the face of former long-time owner and operator, Frank White, one of the nicest guys in the giddyup set.

Old Frank wasn’t there this year but one of his protégés was: Track Announcer and publicist Jim Moran.

In his early days, Jim belonged to an organization formed by harness racing legend Stan Bergstein. The group was the Harness Publicists Association and its original members were hard-working young tub-thumpers from California to New Hampshire. Most of the original members are gone so its nice to know that at least Jim Moran carries the torch for the rest of the gang.