WHY DID STATIONS CROSS THE STREET? Not to get to the other side, but to take a closer look at the Wildfire Casino as a possible addition to its henhouse of casinos.
A pipe close to the action reports that Fiesta auditors have pored over the casino’s books and like what they’ve seen.
"The way I here it," he said breathlessly, "there could be a deal struck by the end of the month."
The in-the-knowster added that no firm price had been agreed to and, of course, everything would have to be submitted to gaming regulators for approval.
But in the meantime, Stations has already brought in its own chef from the Santa Fe.
"I guess they felt they needed spice up the recipes," the pipe said.
MAKING FEW FRIENDS: So far, Gov. James E. McGreevey hasn’t won many friends among the casino operators in Atlantic City. Even before taking office he was suggesting a boost in taxes for the group.
So, it was hardly shocking last week when it leaked out that the McGreevey administration was considering a plan to put slot machines at the state’s racetracks. The move would be a great help to the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, both operated by the N.J. Sports Authority. For the past couple of years, the Meadowlands has suffered from declining business. Certainly the development of two Indian casinos in Connecticut and the addition of slot machines to tracks in Delaware and West Virginia hasn’t helped.
But one thing the AC casinos don’t need is further competition from gambling establishments within their own state.
Said one official, "It’s bad enough to contemplate having slot machines at tracks in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but to have them just up the road is really too much."
HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED: It was a rare time some 75 years ago although few of use probably remember that far back.
Recently noted in the New York Post were the days when Gallagher’s restaurant, an in-place at the time, served steak for $1.40, salad for 18 cents and pudding for a dime. In those days, it was not unusual to find Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey bending an elbow at the bar while Eddie Cantor did a little table hopping humming tunes by Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart or the great George M. Cohan whose tunes stirred the hearts of Americans, especially during war time.
Will customers 75 years from now remember stopping by Gallagher’s restaurant in New York-New York Hotel/Casino?
DOING A WALTZ TO A ROCK SONG: Could it be that Shufflemaster is doing a waltz with WMS Gaming? Or could it be a two-step. In either case, "Yes!" says an in-the-knowster. More to come on what could be the Deal of the New Century.
CASINOS CONTINUE THE BIG SQUEEZE: Many players around town are complaining about the way casinos are squeezing them at the blackjack tables. For instance, many joints on the Strip have cut the payoff for a natural blackjack from 3-2 to 6-5.
If that isn’t enough, some casinos have also removed the ability to double after splitting, and restricting doubling down to 10 or higher.
Most of these hits are taking place on the Strip, while the locals casinos continue with some semblance of normalcy. Let’s hope things don’t regress!