Park Place Entertainment
introduces MasterCard credit card

Dec 9, 2003 6:42 AM

For years, airlines have been offering frequent flyer miles when customers used their credit cards, so it came as no surprise on Monday when Park Place Entertainment Corp. (PPE) announced it had introduced a credit card that awards "comp dollars."

The new Caesars Entertainment MasterCard is a partnership between Park Place Entertainment and Juniper Bank of Wilmington, Delaware. Casino customers who use the company’s Connecticut Card as part of its customer loyalty program will have the opportunity to earn "comp dollars" each time they use their new credit card.

"We were the first major casino company to include hotel rewards in our customer loyalty program," said Steve Rosen, PPE’s senior vice president for marketing. "Now, we’ve expanded those rewards so that the 23.5 million members of the Connecticut Card program can earn comp dollars wherever they are, whenever they want. They can do all their holiday shopping and use their rewards to enjoy a Vegas getaway this winter."

Cardholders using the Caesars Entertainment MasterCard will earn accordingly:

”¡ 10 comp dollars for the first time they use the card.

”¡ A one percent comp dollar credit for any purchases made with the card.

”¡ Be able to use their comp dollars at 15 of the company’s domestic resorts.

The Caesars MasterCard will feature a zero percent introductory rate on balance transfers for six months and a 12.99% variable APR thereafter. There is no annual fee.

On Jan. 6, 2004, Park Place Entertainment will officially change its name to Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

Casino deal

On a stated path to trim down to its core operations, Alliance Gaming Corp. (ALLY) has announced it will sell its Rail City Casino in Sparks, Nev., to Sands Regent (SNDS) for $38 million.

Reno-based Sands Regent currently operates the Sands Regency Casino/Hotel in downtown Reno, Nev., and the Gold Ranch Casino and RV Resort in Verdi, Nev. Alliance Gaming is primarily a gaming technology and slot machine manufacturing company.

Earlier this year, Alliance Gaming sold its Bally Wulff division in Germany. At that time, the company indicated it planned to sell its gaming route operation, United Coin Machine Co., and its New Orleans, La., operation, Video Services Inc.

The Rail City Casino, formerly known as the Plantation Casino, has 550 slots and seven table games, a sports book and a family-style restaurant. Sands Regent said it expects to close on the purchase in the spring of 2004.

More U.K. development

Just a week after announcing a major development in Britain, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (ISLE) announced another partnership that plans to develop a regional casino in Salford, England.

Working with officials of Red City Developments, Isle of Capri said the new entertainment complex and hotel/casino will include a 20,000 seat rugby stadium and a 50,000 square-foot casino and a 50,000 square-foot entertainment center. The latter will include retail and food and beverage areas, as well as other amenities.

The development will be in the northwest England town of Salford, about six miles from the Manchester City Center.

"Being surrounded by more than eight million people and the available access to this site, makes this just a great location," said Timothy Hinkley, Isle’s president and COO.

It was noted, however, that the development will only go forward when the lawmakers reform its current gaming regulations, expected within the next two years.

THE INSIDER: Robert A. Mathewson has been appointed to the board of directors of International Game Technology (IGT). Mathewson, president of RGC Inc., a privately owned real estate investment company, is the son of IGT chairman emeritus, Chuck Mathewson.

Also, IGT announced that its board had declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share payable Dec. 30 to shareholders of record on Dec. 16.

A Maryland trade association has proposed that each bar, restaurant and liquor stores be permitted to install up to 5,000 slot machines. A governor’s representatives described the proposal as "dead on arrival."

Any hope that the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians would have for a casino that would be located near riverboats operating in the Shreveport, La., area could only come after the tribe had agreed to reimbursing the state for any loss tax revenues, according to Louisiana Mike Foster.

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) said it was working on a new senior credit facility for $290 million to replace the existing facility that is for $240 million.

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) has scheduled an earnings conference call for Thursday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. PDT.