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Mall-icious: Caesars thinks big

Sep 8, 2003 11:43 PM

Call it a long shot, but Caesars Palace is interested in building a Las Vegas-style casino resort at Minnesota’s Mall of America.

"We have had some discussions with a number of people in Minnesota about the development of a Caesars-branded casino at the Mall of America," said Robert Stewart, senior vice president of corporate communications for Park Place Entertainment, which will change its name to Caesars Entertainment this week.

Stewart told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Caesars officials are "in the preliminary stages and that he didn’t want to over hype the talks."

The proposal is a long shot, requiring approval from the governor and a state legislature that has resisted expansion of gambling. State law now limits casinos to Minnesota’s 11 Indian reservations.

"The early book would be long odds against it," said George Andersen, director of the Minnesota State Lottery. "But odds change."

Baldacci rips casinos

Gov. John Baldacci took aim at upcoming casino and tax-relief referendums in a speech to the Maine Development Foundation last Thursday.

Baldacci told the Portland Press Herald that he is still opposed to casino gambling and to a tax-relief plan backed by the Maine Municipal Association.

Voters in November will decide whether to allow two Indian tribes to open a $650 million casino planned for Sanford.

Overflow in Buffalo

A group of homeowners in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga warned an overflow crowd of 400 in a neighborhood meeting that a casino could all but destroy their community.

Tim Sherry, one of the meeting’s organizers, told the Buffalo News that building the casino in Cheektowaga would "skyrocket crime and worsen already congested streets."

Seneca Indian leaders originally sought a site in downtown Buffalo for the casino, but moved on to Cheektowaga when they were told the original site ”” the ­­Buffalo Convention Center ”” was not available.

Cheektowaga officials support opening the casino, saying it will provide thousands of jobs.

Around the USA

IDAHO: Acres Gaming Inc., announced last week it had received an order from Coeur d’Alene Casino in Worley to install 2,000 slot machines over 18 months in conjunction with expansion plans slated to begin in February.