Hollywood to lasso
stalking horse bid!

Apr 22, 2003 7:33 AM

PLANET HOLLYWOOD IN THE IRONS? Planet Hollywood will soon be named as the stalking horse bidder for the Aladdin Hotel, according to a pipe close to the action.

"It’s a done deal," the pipe said. "At the next hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Aladdin will disclose it has accepted a bid from a consortium headed by Planet Hollywood, thus making it the ”˜stalking horse’ bidder."

Once Planet Hollywood is approved as the stalking horse, it will be the front runner toward owning the property, which was once valued at $1.3 billion.

The pipe said the stalking horse bid will be significantly less, perhaps in the $350 million to $450 million range.

Stay tuned.


DÉJÀ VU! — The local daily newspaper last week reported on Michael Gaughan’s plans to build Southcoast Casino — Coast’s fifth gaming venue in the Las Vegas Valley.

But that’s hardly news to GamingToday readers, who heard all about this back on March 19, 2002. In that report, GT revealed that Gaughan was preparing to break ground on 60 acres near Silverado Ranch Road and I-15.

"We’re calling it Southcoast and we’re looking at a 2005 opening," Gaughan told GamingToday back then.

Dutifully, the daily confirmed the name and timetable last week. Too bad it took the "news" paper 13 months to do it.


NO WINNER FOR MINNER: Don’t expect Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner to make winners out of that state’s sports bettors. She is an avowed opponent of sports wagering and will certainly make it almost impossible for Delaware to join Nevada as a sports betting state.

A decade ago when the Congress banned sports betting in nearly all states, Delaware, like Nevada, was granted the opportunity to legalize sports betting, an opportunity that the state ignored all this time.

Recently, however, with the prospects of racinos being installed in Pennsylvania and Maryland, Delaware racino operators asked the lawmakers to approve sports betting. A task force was established and the group should report its finding on May 6.

But, it will all be moot, say political observers, who cite the governor’s refusal to even consider it.


ONE TOO MANY AT CRAZY HORSE: Last week, the gossipy Page Six of the New York Post reported on certain Hollywood types partying in Las Vegas. The paper said that George Clooney, who starred in the remake of Frank Sinatra’s "Ocean’s Eleven," was doing the town with Matt Damon and Don Cheadle, who co-starred in the Las Vegas film with him.

The report had the movie celebs partying at Light at the Bellagio hotel for two nights before moving on to the Crazy Horse III strip club.

Last we heard, Rick Rozzolo’s Industrial Road hot spot was "Crazy Horse II," but then again, maybe he plans to broaden his activities.


MONTICELLO’S STILL HOT TO TROT: With all the talk lately about turning Monticello Raceway into a tribal casino, people seem to have forgotten that the track in the New York Catskills still conducts harness racing.

A couple of decades ago, when people like Alan Finkelson were beating the publicity drums for the track, some of the biggest names in the harness racing sport engraved their names in Monticello’s record book.

In recent year, the facility has lost its luster. But, hoping to revive the memories of the many fans who were attracted to the track, Monticello has scheduled a "Battle of the New York Legends." Expected to participate in a "walk down memory lane" on June 22, are some of the sports’ giants, including Benny Webster, Buddy Gilmour, Del Insko, Eddie Lohmeyer, Real Cormier and Merritt Dokey.


A MAGNA MOVE IN TEXAS: Dave Hooper, the executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, has been around the sport nationally all his life so when he makes an assumption regarding racinos people take notice.

Such was the case last week when Hooper, who includes on his resume a stint as coordinator for the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona, said the chances for racinos in Texas were improving rapidly.

"In the last 10 days," he was quoted as saying, "the chances for racetrack video lottery machines went from 60-40 or lower to 70-30 or higher."

They do things in a big way in Texas and the possibility of becoming the nation’s leader in average daily purses with the income VLTs would generate seems to have caught fire in the Lone Star State.

Biggest winner, from an investors point of view, might be Magna Entertainment Corporation (MECA) which recently purchased Texas’ largest pari-mutuel track.