GUESS WHO’LL SET THE NUMBERS? The news of the merger of Boyd and Coast properties had barely dried on the page when the telephone began ringing off the hook.
"Get this," said a knowledgeable pipe. "The operation of the sports books will be a lot different after the merger goes through.
"Current plans call for all the Boyd properties to come under the operation of the Coast people. In other words, Burt Osborne, the Coast’s sports betting director will have charge of all the properties, except for the Stardust. At least that’s what the Big Guns at both Coast and Boyd are considering.
"They’re not sure at the moment whether they want to include the Stardust in that package or have the Stardust operate independently. After all, the Stardust has become world famous for establishing the opening line for football games.
"If that comes about, it means that Coast will be in charge of all its own sports books, all of Jackie Gaughan’s sports books and all, except maybe one, of Boyd’s sports books. That puts them in a rather dominant position, don’t you think?" the pipe concluded.
I’ll say! But we’ll see what else is said down the road.
SLOT FUTURE SHOCK CLOSER THAN THOUGHT! The notion that high-tech slot games can be downloaded into machines from remote locations isn’t as far off as people think.
A confidential report from Bear Stearns implies that regulators are considering various systems that would allow downloadable slot games within two to three years.
"Gaming Laboratories Inc. (GLI) is already testing downloadable games for a number of jurisdictions," a pipe close to Bear Stearns said. "The stumbling block has always been the lack of high-speed intranets as games can be 200 megs or more.
"But, it seems, those technological restraints are falling away."
Separating the machine from its content is key for slot manufacturers. Bear Stearns estimates the price ratio to be about $8,500 to $1,500, the machine cost vs. its game software.
"IGT has already started to reflect this price differential in their invoicing to customers," our pipe said. "It probably won’t be much longer before they can start selling their library of games as separate products."
That should surely usher in a Brave New World for slot makers!
BRING ON THEM HOLLYWOOD TYPES: That’s what the dealers at the Hard Rock have been singing since folks such as Ben Affleck, J-Lo and buddy Matt Damon showed up for a little blackjack.
When the dust had cleared after about six days of action, the dealers’ tokes amounted to nearly $2,300, according to The Dealer’s News.
Best nights of that particular week for tokes, according to the report, were Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, when the action was at its best.
That’s not to say that some of the dealers at other properties aren’t doing well. During a four-day period in January, dealers at Bally’s Las Vegas pocketed a reported $866.
IF IT LOOKS LIKE A DUCK, ETC: There’s not much gambling going on in Tennessee. There are no casinos, although a good number of residents drive from Memphis to Tunica, Miss., to try their hand on the latest slot machine or at the blackjack tables.
There are no horse or dog tracks, and no off-track betting facilities either. In fact, the state only recently passed a lottery law.
So the people of Tennessee have had to rely on church raffles to flex their luck. But that may change soon.
Under consideration is a bill that would legalize "duck races" and other types of money-raising games conducted for charitable organizations. They wouldn’t use live ducks, of course, but those plastic kinds that people can bet their money on in hopes of winning a prize.
So far, charities have been left alone with their games but if new legislation is passed they’ll have to pay $500 for a license that will permit some games but not bingo, because of a bingo scandal in the mid-80s.
As Joe Penna used to say, "Wanna buy a duck?"