Boyd not ready for MGM’s bag!

Dec 24, 2002 6:25 AM

   BOYD NOT YET IN SANTA’S BAG:  “Don’t expect Santa Claus to place Boyd Gaming under MGM MIRAGE’S Christmas tree,” said an East Coast rosebud. “At least not in 2002,” she added.

   Recent whispers had suggested that the casino giant might be looking longingly at its smaller partner. Especially as the time grows shorter for the opening next summer of their joint project, The Borgata in the Renaissance section of Atlantic City.

   “Nobody can foretell the future,” said our rosebud, “but you can bet that The Borgata is a signature venture for Bill Boyd, whose father, Sam, was one of the pioneers in the development of gaming in Las Vegas.

   “You can count on him being there with his partner Terry Lanni (chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE) next summer to cut the ribbon on The Borgata,” she opined.


SLOTS TELL PLAYERS, NO MORE! In Nova Scotia, players don’t have to wait for intruding relatives to tell them they’re gambling too much. They now get the message from the machines themselves!

   Recently, all 3200 government-owned video lottery terminals scattered in 550 bars and restaurants have been refitted with games that have a software feature that advises players when they’ve played too much.

   Here’s what happens: Pop-up screens that halt play for up to a minute advise players how long they’ve been at it after 60, 90 and 120 minutes. After 150 minutes, the machine shuts down and automatically cashes them out!

   Talk about your rude awakenings! What if you’re winning!

   “We kind of took a risk and we took a few knocks for it,” said Julia Watt, a spokescreature for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. “We want to assist players in playing responsibly.”

   That’s fine, but what else is next? Will they slap your wrist if you try to eat one too many donuts?

   Actually, Watt said more changes could be on the way, including a timed warning that alerts players every 30 minutes that they’re gambling!

   There’s no end to how people will insist in trying to help you, even if you don’t seek or want their help!


   NO GOLD AT THE ROCK FOR HARRAH’S: Through most of the late 1990’s, New Englanders felt that if any state was going to approve race track slots it would be New Hampshire. After all, the Granite State and its principal racetrack, Rockingham Park, were noted through the years as being both innovative and aggressive.

   So, it was not surprising that the operators of Showboat, Inc., loaned Rockingham Ventures Inc. $8 million at 9% interest with the provision that if the track received slot approval Showboat would be entitled to half the revenues.

   Showboat, of course, was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and part of the acquisition was the Rockingham debt and concession.

   But that relationship ended last September, according to Rock G.M. Eddie Callahan.

   Now, if the Rock gets slots, potential partners can line up at Callahan’s office door.


   TOO MANY FINGERS IN THE PIE:  Now that the three scam artists have pleaded guilty to manipulating the Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick Six, you would think that the powers that be would be prepared to spread the $3 million plus winner’s pool among the bettors whose tickets showed five winners.

   Not so!

   The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Breeders’ Cup, the two organizations responsible for staging the races conducted at Arlington Park, want the money to be paid out but they can’t do it without the approval of the Illinois Racing Board.

   And, the Illinois Racing Board would like to pay out the money also but they can’t because the money was ordered held by the U.S. District Court in New York.

   Although the three culprits undeniably are responsible legal experts say the court won’t release the funds until their convictions are completed which won’t happen until they are sentenced next March.

   Once again, bureaucracy wins out.


   CONGRATS TO LORENZO FERTITTA: Well-wishes are in order for Lorenzo Fertitta, president of Station Casinos, who takes over the helm of the Nevada Resort Association next year.

   The NRA is the powerful arm of the casino industry, and the main lobbying group for the Nevada resort industry. Lorenzo succeeds former Park Place Entertainment chief executive Thomas Gallagher.

   Fertitta, who served as vice-chair, was selected to a two-year term during which he will direct policy development and lobbying, and will work with association president Bill Bible in managing the daily activities of the NRA.