Casino fireworks for Tucson, AC

Jul 1, 2003 5:14 AM

The July 4 holiday weekend is bigger than most years with the scheduled openings of casino resorts in Tucson and Atlantic City.

Casino del Sol will unveil its expansion Friday, featuring 950 slot machines, 46 blackjack tables, four new eateries and a sports bar. All this set in a scene from the Italian countryside, according to a Tucson Citizen report.

The casino occupies 225,000 square feet, the most of any gaming facility in Arizona, according to the project’s CEO Doug Lentz. Work on a new golf course will begin in early 2004, and a hotel is slated to break ground in 2005.

Three time zones to the East, the long-awaited opening of Borgata is still on for Thursday, despite some last-minute glitches.

"I’m glad we’re having two test days because I think we’re seeing kinks in the system that they should be able to work out," said Linda Kassekert, the Casino Control Commission chair. "The next tests will determine whether it’s necessary to push the planned debut back."

Penn slots on track

The office of Gov. Ed Rendell congratulated the Pennsylvania Senate last week for passing historic legislation to allow slot machines at state racetracks.

"This is significant not only because we are one step closer to stopping the flow of money out of our state and into those of neighboring states, but because through serious, good-faith, bipartisan negotiations consensus was built to pass a strong bill," Rendell said.

The revenue from the slots will be dedicated to enhancing and improving the state education system along with lowering property taxes.

Miss close to hitting

The Biloxi Sun Herald reports that the Mississippi Gaming Commission has introduced a new regulation for approving casino sites, which will make it easier for developers to attract investors.

The three-step regulation does not pertain to the Rock-N-Roll Casino in East Biloxi, which has already received site approval. The new regulation could speed the process for the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel and the Caillavet Street casino.

The steps, scheduled to take effect in August, involve the legality of building a casino at a proposed location, including zoning ordinances, and the uses of any nearby property. If a site is approved, developers will have six months to receive the blessing of the Commission.

Trump goes multi

The Northwest Indiana reports that Trump Casino Hotel in Gary will be using multi-denomination slots.

The change now means gamblers no longer have to jump from the nickel to $1 tables. Customers at 18 slot machines throughout the casino now have the opportunity to select any denomination they wish to play.

Trump Casino Hotel was granted permission by the Indiana Gaming Commission to be the first casino in the state to test multi-denomination slots.

Chips, then chips

Gamblers will be able to golf across the street from Foxwood Resort Casino within two years.

Golf course designer Rees Jones said the Lake of Isles Golf Club will feature a 7,370-yard private course and a 7,235-yard public layout.

The Mashantucket Pequots tribe has been looking to add amenities to its casino to make it more of a destination resort.

Around the USA

IA: The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission might not review its moratorium on new gambling licenses until later this year... NY: A key Seneca Nation panel has asked a Buffalo-based company to assist in planning a casino near Buffalo Niagara International Airport... CAL: A survey released last week indicated Indian gaming has cost counties more than $175 million in non-reimbursed road, sewer, water, law enforcement and other expenses.