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Harrah’s gaining foothold in New Orleans

Jun 10, 2002 11:44 PM

Harrah’s has taken over the New Orleans gambling hall.

The esteemed Entertainment Company, which boasts a successful gaming resort on the Las Vegas Strip, has bought enough stock in the ownership company to gain more of a foothold in the New Orleans casino.

The Associated Press reported that the purchase could end months of fighting within JCC Holding Co., which owns Harrah’s New Orleans Casino. Harrah’s bought an additional 14 percent share of JCC Holding last week to bring the company’s total to 63 percent.

"We are now the largest shareholder and bondholder," said Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications for Harrah’s. Jones is a former Mayor of Las Vegas.

In another move last week, JCC Holding announced it had ousted Harrah’s chairman and president Philip Satre and another company representative from the board. The two sides have been fighting for months.

Harrah’s Entertainment, which manages the casino, won a court fight in Delaware last week. JCC Holding had filed suit against Harrah’s, contending that the company had not properly managed the casino.

Even with 63 percent of the company’s stock, Harrah’s will probably have to survive a pending appeal by JCC Holding in Delaware.

Should the appeals case be won by JCC, the bondholders would retain control of the board.

Harrah’s paid $10.50 per share or about $17.9 million for control of the casino.

Mohawks push NY

The Mohawk Indians are not giving up the casino fight in New York.

The tribe wants the gaming commissions of Nevada and New Jersey to investigate what it calls "favoritism, influence peddling and interference" in the Mohawks government by Park Place Entertainment.

PPE has teamed with the Mohawks to build a casino at Kutsher’s Sports Academy. However, the rival part of the tribe wants a casino at Monticello Raceway.

"What you have are disgruntled business partners, whose authority has been rejected," said Park Place spokesman Robert Stewart. "They can’t win at the ballot box so they are trying to win it through the media."

Lockyer blasts board

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has taken an angry swipe at the state’s gambling commission in the wake of revelations that his office agreed to reduce the pool of Indian casino employees.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Commission Chairman John Hensley disputed Lockyer’s claim, suggesting the record appears to support the commissioners’ complaints.

The exchange underscores the strained relationship between the two state entities ”” the attorney general’s Division of Gambling Control and the governor’s Gambling Control Commission.

Maine wants vote

Voters across the Maine will decide if they want to support casino gambling.

The local referendum votes are among several scheduled for this year to let two American Indian tribes interested in building a casino and resort in Maine know if they are wanted.

A passing vote would put pressure on the legislature to legalize casino gambling.

ALSO: The Tiguas installed 150 slot-machine look-alikes at Speaking Rock, which closed casino operations last February. The top payouts in the El Paso suburb is a $5 prize”¦Illinois regulators last week accused Emerald Casino chairman Kevin Flynn of lying in order to bring a casino to Rosemont.