STILL DAZZLING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS! Lucky enough to see Ann-Margret last week, I was amazed to see the Swedish transplant continues to defy age. A-M still has a body by Fisher and remains loyal to hubby Roger Smith, Harleys, Viva Las Vegas and the U.S. of A!
"People ask me how me and Roger have stayed together for so long?" she told the packed audience at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater. "I said, ”˜Three words: I was wrong.’ "
Margret also had some words for the anti-war protests over the Iraq crisis.
"I remember coming over with my parents from Sweden, not knowing any English and first seeing the Statue of Liberty. To this day, I have never forgotten that feeling. There is no country in the world that I would rather live in. This is the only place where your dreams can really come true.
"I support President Bush and the troops for allowing us to live in freedom. I am so proud of them and to be an American."
We’re proud A-M calls Las Vegas her second home.
A SURE WAY TO SAVE? The rapid growth in popularity of the cashless slots being marketed by International Game Technology (IGT) is easily explained by casino operators: It’s the bottom line, stupid!
According to a recent interview IGT gave to Robin Farley, chief gaming analyst for UBS Warburg, LLC, the company explained that they believe that coinless machines can reduce slot labor costs by 35% to 50%. They believe that labor costs can average between 7% and 8% of total slot revenues.
Although operators do not get much revenue enhancement from the coinless system, they can increase revenues during high utilization periods by minimizing downtimes caused by jams and hopper fills. This, Farley noted, can be meaningful.
And, in another savings feature, Farley said, a property owner can save substantially by eliminating the need for maintaining coins in a hopper. An average hopper might hold $400 worth of coins, so a large casino with about 3,000 slots can avoid having over $1 million sitting in its machines.
A SWINGING TIME FOR REDSTONE: Even at age 79, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone wanted to insure that guests at his wedding on Sunday to longtime girlfriend Paula Fortunato have a swinging time so he hired the Dore DeQuattro’s New York City Swing Band to entertain his guests.
Redstone, who guides the fortunes of the CBS television network through his media giant, Viacom, and continues to build his inventory of shares in both WMS Industries Inc. (WMS), the gaming machine manufacturer, and its spinoff, Midway Games Inc. (MWY), also arranged for the vocal entertainment of both Tony Bennett and Linda Krall.
According to the New York Post, Redstone and Fortunato exchanged vows at the New York Public Library.
WILL A PARDON FOLLOW? Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, 75, currently serving a 10-year sentence for extortion, resigned from the practice of law last week, thus avoiding any further disciplinary action from the state Supreme Court.
The resignation not only prevents him from the further practice of law but also from seeking readmission to the legal profession at any time in the future.
So now his many friends, some 300 of whom have organized a petition drive aimed at persuading President George W. Bush to reduce his sentence, can work to get his early release.
After all, at his age, they say, just completing half the sentence is tantamount to a life sentence.
THREE CHEERS FOR OUR TROOPS! Congratulations to everyone around town who is supporting our troops in the Middle East. We can’t mention them all, but we’ll point out some who have taken it upon themselves to donate time and effort to the services.
At the Cannery Hotel & Casino, team members last week prepared about 250 special packages for several Nellis Air Force Base troops currently deployed overseas. More than 20 Cannery staffers, several of whom have family members currently deployed in the Middle East, assembled the packages that contained T-shirts, hats, banners, posters, postcards signed by employees, dice, playing cards, sunscreen, lip balm and other toiletries donated by property employees, and dinner comps.
The packages will be forwarded directly to Nellis Air Force Base’s Captain Tammy Hinkston of the 99th Services Squadron. Cannery team members also donated items that were included on the American Red Cross’ list of troop needs.