IS JASON ADER COMING TO LE REVE? That’s the question we’ve been asking all around town but no one is talking. Not yet, anyway.
Here’s what we do know: Wynn and Ader got to know each other late last year while discussing the Macau market. Ader is apparently set to give up his lucrative post at Bear Stearns, and insiders report that Wynn made a substantial offer to Jason in December.
"Steve was very impressed with Jason’s knowledge and expertise of gaming, even as it extends into the Far East," said an insider close to the situation.
Wynn’s offer would probably have to be a substantial one since Ader is among the highest paid analysts in the industry. But his contract with Bear Stearns was up for renegotiation, the pipe said, and he has considered a change to Las Vegas.
"Jason said Steve can be very convincing, if not seductive," the pipe said.
Don’t be surprised to see Jason on the Le Reve "dream team" by the end of the week!
EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES: Or it seems that way for Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN). To begin with, it appears as though the company will benefit quickly from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s intention to push through his plan to place slot machines at the state’s racetracks. They own and operate both Penn National and Pocono Downs. And with the company’s experience of installing slots at their Charles Town Racetrack in West Virginia, they should be right out front in operating the machines as soon as the Pennsylvania legislature approves the bill.
Now, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has put together a study committee to see if it’s feasible to permit the state’s racetracks to install slot machines. Penn National has a 50% interest in Freehold Raceway in New Jersey. Most of the slot talk has been regarding the salvation of The Meadowlands racetrack and its summer cousin, Monmouth Park. But, slots at Freehold would be a bonanza for Penn National and its U.K.-based partner.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON: Magna Entertainment Corp. continues to announce either the filing of an application for a new track license or an agreement to buy another track. But what racing fans have been waiting for, a conciliatory agreement between Magna, owner of Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, and TVG, a subsidiary of GEM-TV Guide, which has an agreement with a number of tracks including Hollywood Park for the telecasting rights.
Race fans are not the only ones waiting for the two home-betting giants to get together, so is the California Horse Racing Board whose members recently expressed their regrets that the racing signals are not being carried by both outfits. Magna officials recently told the board they have been unsuccessful in their negotiations and plan to launch their own racing cable channel.
It may happen, then again, it may not. And, once again, the race fans are the losers.
SECURING THE RIVERBOATS: The nine riverboats in Iowa will need more than a lifeline to stay alive if the U.S. Coast Guard goes forward with its plan to impose anti-terrorism rules on their customers.
The plan would make the riverboat customers subject to searches similar to those imposed at the nation’s airports. There would be metal detectors and searches of all bags and purses. Also, each customer would have to show a picture ID.
Last year, the Iowa riverboats welcomed about 12 million visitors to their casinos. Riverboat operators believe there will be a lot fewer if the Coast Guard imposes their proposed security rules.
An industry spokesman said he doesn’t know why their boats are being singled out. "We already have very significant security in place, with 24-hour video surveillance and our own security force to deal with contingency plans for any kind of adverse situation."