Wynn set to break ground on Le Reve

Oct 29, 2002 6:00 AM



   STEVE WYNN WORKING’ HIS MAGIC! A source reports that ground will be broken on Thursday for Steve Wynn's $2.4 billion Le Reve project on the Las Vegas Strip.

   Company officials confirmed Monday what Wynn vowed to do months ago — that he would begin construction as soon as his financing package was in place.

   Despite a tough market for initial public offerings, Wynn's company, Wynn Resorts Ltd., became effective and began trading on the Nasdaq exchange Friday, paving the way for the sale of high-yield bonds for the 2,700-room property on the site of the former Desert Inn hotel-casino.

   The IPO raised $450 million for the company and the bond sale, $350 million. Wynn also has other credit lines for construction and to equip the property.


   PAST POSTING IN THE HIGH-TECH AGE?  “Hope those New York investigators are sharp enough to uncover the scam or the glitch that resulted in one guy owning six pick six tickets worth two and one half million,” said our Eastern pipe. “There’s no way you’re going to convince veteran horse players that those winning tickets could have been bought before the first pick six horses went to the post,” he said.

   The pipe was referring to Saturday’s pick six races at Arlington Park. The winning ticket paid a little more than $428,000 each. There were six live tickets. However, officials reacted immediately when they learned that the six winning tickets were purchased at the Catskills OTB through a telephone account.

   What raised many eyebrows was the allegation that the tickets singled the first four winners, including two longshots, and had all the horses in the last two races. Such a ticket would cost $384 each.

   But if the bettor is making his play over the telephone, why would he want six different wagers, or six individual tickets? Since there were no physical tickets involved, all the winnings would automatically flow to the bettor’s account.

   As the King of Siam (Yul Brynner) shouted in the King And I, “It’s a Puzzlement!”


   DEANO LIKED THE JUICE! Ricci Martin, performing at the Riviera, said his famed dad Dean Martin really did have apple juice in that glass he carried during his weekly television shows. “I can’t say there wasn’t something else in that drink off the set, but while he was performing, that’s what he drank.”

   Ricci recalled that Dean’s favorite song was NOT Volare or Arrivaderci Roma, but Everybody Loves Somebody, which knocked out the Beatles as the No. 1 song in the country in the mid-1960s. “That was the last song on the album,” Ricci said. “My dad was thrilled over that.”

 Dean’s favorite movie was Rio Bravo, the classic Western he starred in with John Wayne, Angie Dickinson and teen rock idol Ricky Nelson. Ricci also noted his dad was most moved when former partner Jerry Lewis showed up without notice during services for Dean Paul Martin’s tragic death following a plane crash.

 “I will always love Jerry for that,” Ricci said.

   Answering an audience question asking who Dean’s best friend was, Ricki paused, smiled and said, “Well, it sure wasn’t Frank (Sinatra).”

   Dean was also was one of the first mainstream performers to cut a video for MTV.


   ONE DOOR CLOSES ANOTHER OPENS: Not for the same person, in this case, but for two people involved in the same scam. Consider: ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards of Louisiana, and former NFL team owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.

   Last week, Edwards started serving a 10-year prison sentence in Texas for allegedly squeezing Eddie D. for a $400,000 payment for a casino license.

   And Eddie D., who has relocated to Tampa, Fla., has been showering money on local politicians in an attempt to erase the memory of having been sentenced to two years probation and fined $1 million for handing over a suitcase full of $100 bill to Edwards.

   Even if he can rehabilitate his reputation, Eddie D. still will have a hard time getting back into professional sports. After being kicked out of the NFL and forced to sell his ownership of the San Francisco 49ers, he’s not about to get back in through the back door.


   WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Lawsuits abound involving smokers, or boozers, and more recently gamblers blaming producers for their troubles.

   Now comes a casino in Nova Scotia that claims they’re making progress with gamblers’ problems by putting timers on their video-lottery terminals. Officials said they have purchased four new machines that have some kind of warnings device. For instance, one has a clock showing how long someone has been gambling. Another warns that the player has been gambling too long. And still another has an automatic cashout trigger.

   A survey of the machines indicated that 40% of gamblers said the clocks helped them better manage their time.

   Surprising to everyone: despite reducing the amount of time players spend at the machines, gaming revenues have not declined.