Fiji Looking to Build First Ever Casino

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The government of Fiji has announced their interest in having a casino built in the country, one that would be the first ever for the small Pacific island nation. Interested parties have been given a Nov. 30th deadline for expressing their interest in developing and operating the casino.

The announcement by Tourism and Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum came after a report in The Economist that suggested Fiji may be interested in entering the gambling market. Sayed Khaiyum said that the deadline was made both in the hopes of getting quicker results from international developers, and to give Fijian governmental officials time to look into the track records of any potential partners on the project.

However, not all of Fiji’s citizens are celebrating this move. Fiji’s National Council of Women has come out strongly against the casino, citing concerns about the potential exploitation of women and children in the sex trade. While these problems already exist, the Council said that they fear a casino in Fiji may only serve to make the problem worse.

Long-Planned Aqueduct Casino Project Gets Underway

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Officials finally broke ground Thursday on the long-planned and long-delayed casino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens.

To celebrate the occasion, hundreds of South Ozone Park residents, labor union members, horsemen and community leaders, including Governor David Paterson, joined the head of Genting New York for a ceremonial groundbreaking for Resort World New York.

Plans call for 4,500 video slot machines, a food court, on-stage entertainment and an outdoor event space.

The first 1,600 video lottery terminals are slated to be open by May, and the entire project should be finished in 18 months.

The casino is expected to generate a million dollars a day in revenue for the state, with the project creating 1,300 union jobs and 800 permanent jobs.

NYC's big casino gamble begins

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Will the planned groundbreaking today of New York City’s first casino ultimately infuse a bit of Las Vegas in Queens?

The project, known as Resorts World New York, is set to make over the aging Aqueduct Racetrack site with a sleek, shiny design. Its owner, Genting New York, plans to install 4,500 video slot machines, the first 1,600 of which will be ready by May, project officials said.

“Upscale, certainly,” said Genting spokesman Stefan Friedman of the concept yesterday. “Definitely not Vegas, though.”

The $325 million construction project includes building a two-story sports bar and lounge, a food court, a high-end Chinese restaurant and an indoor water show to open by the end of next year. A new pedestrian bridge will connect to the Aqueduct subway stop.

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Earnings Preview: Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world's second-largest casino company by revenue, reports its third-quarter results after the stock market closes Wednesday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Results in Asia, where the company's Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore had its first full quarter. Sands, led by billionaire CEO Sheldon Adelson, also has resorts in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau and plans to expand there.

Investors will also want an update in Las Vegas, where Sands owns the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, to see whether things have improved or gotten worse in a destination reeling as consumers have cut back on free-spending gambling getaways.

Sands on Monday announced a licensing deal with InterContinental Hotels Group that gives Sands access to a database of 52 million customers and lets loyal visitors to Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and other InterContinental hotels earn and redeem points at Sands' properties on the Strip.

MGM Resorts Sells $500M Notes; Investor Protections Questioned

NEW YORK (Dow Jones) -- Casino operator MGM Resorts International (MGM) late Monday afternoon sold $500 million of senior unsecured 6-year notes as part of an ongoing effort to refinance existing debt.

The 10% notes due November 1, 2016 sold at a discounted face value of 98.897 cents on the dollar to yield 10.25 percent via underwriters Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP and RBS, according to a person familiar with the deal, in line with earlier price guidance.

Standard & Poor's on Monday rated the notes CCC+ while Fitch Ratings rated them CCC, both deep in speculative-grade, or junk, territory. Proceeds from the offering will repay part of the $1.2 billion of MGM's senior credit facility still due to mature in October 2011. In February, lenders representing $4.37 billion of the $5.55 billion senior bank credit facility agreed to extend the maturity of their portion to 2014 from 2011.

Some analysts assailed the new note offering for what they said was a lack of investor protections, known as covenants, that are commonly found in other speculative-grade bond offerings.

Gold Rush Casino will move

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After 12 years in one location, Gold Rush Casinos lost their lease and closed their doors October 17. But all is not lost for the casino and at least some of its 138 employees.

This past week Gary and Wini Ledford, owners of the Historic Imperial Hotel and Restaurant, announced that they have leased the casino part of the Imperial buildings to Jim Druck, owner of Southwest Equipment Suppliers LLC and sister company Gold Rush I, LLC, the parent company of the both the Gold Rush and Gold Digger casinos.

The deal is subject to approval by the Colorado Division of Gaming.

“The center of the action in Cripple Creek is now at the corner of 3rd and Bennett and we are excited to relocate the Gold Rush Casinos there,” Druck said in a news release. “The Imperial will be re-branded Big Jim’s Gambling Hall & Saloon... We believe our combined talents will provide a vibrant and fun experience for our guests and will welcome back the Imperial’s loyal players.”

Druck’s corporate offices are in Minnesota. He said he is trying to work out things so that many of the Gold Rush’s employees will still have jobs when the new casino opens.

Casino on target to open by July

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LARCHWOOD, Iowa - South Dakota is expected to come out a big economic loser once a new resort casino opens its doors here next summer, but the $120 million project is giving a boost to some Sioux Falls businesses in the interim.

4 months after ground broke on Grand Falls Casino Resort in Lyon County just across the state line, the exterior walls are 70 % done, and builders say they are on track to finish the outside work by Thanksgiving before moving indoors. The casino should open no later than July 4.

"We're at least on schedule or a little bit ahead," said Greg Sands of Sands Drywall, who will have as many as 80 employees on site. "It's helping a lot. This is a great job to carry us through the winter."

Sands and other Sioux Falls businesses were awarded more than $10 million in contracts for the casino, said the complex's general manager, Sharon Haselhoff.

Maryland Casino A Huge Hit Among Gamblers In First 4 Days

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Maryland gamblers have for years been waiting for the opportunity to stay in their own state when they want to place bets in a casino. Last month, they finally received that wish when the Hollywood Casino Perryville opened to rave reviews and large crowds.

Those crowds have helped the casino exceed expectations in the revenue department. In the first four days, the casino made over $two million. That was good news for lawmakers in the state that were on the fence as to whether the casino would be good for Maryland.

The casino had 1,500 slot machines when it opened on September 27th. The average daily win at each of the slot machines was $346, much more than the projected $210 per day. The best part for Maryland residents is that the money they spent attending the first few days of the casino's existence will be helpful for the Maryland education system.

Maryland is one of several Northeastern states that has expanded gambling in the hopes of helping out the state budget and the education system. Pennsylvania has led the way in recent years, and New York and Delaware have also made strides in expanding gambling. Delaware has actually legalized sports betting last year.

All of the good news for these states has turned out to be miserable news for New Jersey. The state that once held a monopoly on casino gambling in the Northeast, has now seen each of these neighboring states cut into the profits of Atlantic City casinos.

Anne Arundel voters split on state's largest casino

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A new poll suggests a ballot measure affecting the future of Maryland's largest planned slots casino could go either way.

Voters in Anne Arundel County will decide November 2 whether to allow a zoning law to stand that is needed for Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. to move forward with a 4,750-machine casino at Arundel Mills mall. Monied interests on both sides are spending millions to influence the outcome.

48 % of registered voters in the county support the measure, known as Question A, while 45 % say they would vote against it, according to the poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies. Another seven percent are undecided.

The result falls within the margin of error in the poll, which is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Gonzales notes that "Question A is being propped up by registered Democrats in the county, as a majority of Republicans and independents are against it."

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Tabcorp wants to boost Qld casinos

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Gambling giant Tabcorp Holdings has signalled even greater investment in Queensland casinos, saying it wants to lure some of rival Crown Ltd's high-rolling VIP players.

Tabcorp on Monday announced a demerger of its casinos operations from its wagering, gaming and keno businesses.

The company also said it would spend $175 million on upgrading its Jupiters casino on the Gold Coast to create an international entertainment and resort destination.

The upgrade will include refurbishment of the main gaming floor, a new private gaming room, dedicated gaming areas for VIP customers, new restaurants and bars, a nightlife venue, a refurbishment of the pool area and a new spa.

Construction is expected to start in the middle of calendar year 2011 and be completed in 2014.

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Choctaws name casino

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The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians' gaming site in Jones County will be called Bok Homa Casino.

Tribe spokesman Warren Strain said the name means "red creek" in Choctaw.

Strain said construction is ahead of schedule and a job fair will be held for the casino October 22 at Sawmill Square Mall in Laurel. A second job fair will be held October 29 in Biloxi.

Strain says the casino wants to hire more than 300 full- and part-time employees.

The casino will have 722 slot machines, and a quick-serve eatery is planned for the 27,000-square-foot site. It is scheduled to open in mid-December.

Alberta charities could face cutbacks if casino funding is changed

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EDMONTON — Alberta charities have become heavily dependent on money raised at casinos and changing the way gambling proceeds are doled out could lead to major cuts at organizations on the losing end of the stick.

Experts say this is partly why the province on Tuesday shelved a thick report on the future of charitable gambling, which recommended a major redistribution of the nearly $200 million charities bring in every year by hosting casinos.

“There are no funding alternatives for those organizations that will see a shortfall as a result of the change,” said Russ Dahms, executive director of the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations.

“You have got to sell a lot of chocolates and kielbasa to make the kind of money you can make at a casino. They will have to cut clients, cut services, cut back — and they’ll point their fingers right at the provincial government.”

Atlantic City Casinos Watch Gambling Revenue Slip Again

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Resorts Atlantic City, the oldest casino in New Jersey, is being sold and transformed with the theme of the 1920'2 in mind. What the casino and the rest of the AC casino industry needs, however, is a return to the seventies and eighties, when AC casinos ruled the gaming world.

September gambling revenue figures were released on Tuesday and it was another disappointing month for the casinos. Revenue dropped 11.6 percent from the same period in 2009, and that is not good considering the 2009 numbers were down as well.

The eleven casinos in Atlantic City all saw revenue decreases in September. The casinos have struggled for the better part of the past two years, and there is nothing to indicate that a turnaround will come anytime soon. The latest revenue figures have officials from the AC casinos again shaking their heads.

Table game revenue at the New Jersey casinos dropped 15.6 percent. That could be a direct reflection of the table games that are now being offered at Pennsylvania casinos. In July, Pennsylvania casinos started offering table games, and they have been taking customers out of AC casinos in the months since.

Crown casino strike to impact profits

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James Packer’s company Crown Ltd’s (ASX:CWN) may lose out on profit generated from the Caulfield Cup in Melbourne this weekend, the Australian Associated Press reporting that workers at the Crown Casino will go on strike because of unresolved pay disputes.

AAP says the casino operator could lose up to $4.3 million in revenue and $1 million in profits per day, while the state government would miss out on $400,000 in tax revenue per day.

The Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union says the protected strike action will begin this Friday and continue through to Saturday’s Caulfield Cup racing day.

AAP reports union members have not accepted Crown's offer to increase pay by 3.75 % per year. Instead the union members are asking for an increase of around 13.5 % over 3 years, above the Crown offer that equals an increase of around 11 per cent over three years.

The union’s state secretary Jess Walsh says Crown Melbourne dwarfs other Australian casinos by every measure and needs to attract and retain the best staff.

Crown reported a profit of $292.29 million in the year to 30 June 2010.

EuroPalace Online Casino crowns another big winner

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EuroPalace Online Casino has recently crowned another big winner, Maria P, who played the classic Lotsaloot 5-reel game and walked away €28,572.91 richer.

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This exciting new online casino caters predominantly to the European market, giving all new players the chance to start their most enjoyable online gambling experience with a 1,500 Free Bets offer, also  a 100% Match Deposit Bonus up to €200 Free. Many EuroPalace players have taken up these offers, only to find themselves inside the winning track. Maria P played Lotsaloot, hit the jackpot of €28, 572.91. This is what she had to say about her win:

Non-profits take aim at gambling revenues

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A coalition of British Columbia social and arts groups plan to launch a campaign Friday aimed at steering a greater portion of gambling revenues to non-profit groups.

Organizers will also be calling on politicians to make funds for non-profits a condition for zoning changes that would be required for the construction of a proposed new Vegas-style casino next to BC Place.

Arts groups say the provincial government has failed to keep promises that it would steer 33 % of gambling profits to community projects and instead has slashed that allotment to 10 %.

The groups are expected to make their pitch Friday at the B.C. Association for Charitable Gaming Symposium at River Rock Casino in Richmond.

First casino opens, but Anne Arundel slots in limbo

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Gov. Martin O’Malley pulled the ceremonial first slots lever Sept. 30 at the grand opening of Maryland’s first casino, 3 days after Hollywood Casino Perryville’s 1,500 slots opened for business.

A second casino with 750 slots is slated to open in December at Ocean Downs, in Worcester County.

But Maryland’s most lucrative slots site, of the five approved for slots in a 2008 statewide referendum, is stuck in a electoral battle in Anne Arundel County. A county referendum — called Question A — on Nov. 2 will determine whether the casino proposed being built near Arundel Mills mall, licensed for 4,750 machines, gets the go-ahead or the boot.

“It’s the No. 1 proposal for funding vital services like fire and police, and the education trust fund,” said Todd Lamb, the campaign manager for Jobs and Revenue for Anne Arundel County, a pro-slots group. “There is no road map for bringing revenue to our county without going forward with Question A.”

Poll Indicates Texans Are Ready For More Gambling In The State

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The state of Texas is traditionally one of the most Conservative states in the United States, and that certainly holds true with the issue of gambling. For years, gambling proponents have been trying to expand gambling in the state, and for years, lawmakers have closed the door on the idea.

The times, however, are changing, and Texans appear to be changing as well. A recent poll indicated that a large percentage of Texans would be in favor of some form of gambling expansion. The potential voters are split on which type of expansion they would support.

The nonpartisan Texas Lyceum group conducted a poll at the end of September that offered questions on a variety of subjects. Among the questions that were asked were several dealing with gambling expansion. The results show just how far Texas residents have come on the gambling issue.

When asked whether they would support full scale casino gambling in Texas, 29 % of those surveyed said they would support such expansion. 21 % of the respondents claimed they would be in favor of expansion at already existing locations such as racetracks.

Tioga Downs Casino sees 6.7% increase in net machine income

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NICHOLS -- People are spending more money gambling at Tioga Downs Casino, boosting the facility's second-quarter net machine income by 6.7 %.

The racetrack-based gaming center's net win, or net machine income, was $14.2 million from July through September, versus $13.3 million the same period last year, according to the New York Lottery.

Net win equals net revenues after payout of prizes to players. Certain percentages of the net win are then distributed to the State Education Fund, racetrack commission, Lottery administration and to the facility for marketing and capital improvements.

Credits wagered on the machines at Tioga Downs rose 17.4 % to $182.6 million.

Costly casino confusion

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What began as an exciting afternoon at the casino turned into frustration for Claude St. Germain after his bingo ticket worth nearly $600 was swiped by another gambler.

The Lake Louise, Alta., man went to Club Regent Casino on Sept. 24. After playing electronic bingo for roughly 2 hours, St. Germain was up to $590.

He decided to cash out and took the bingo voucher to redeem his winnings, but soon realized a second slip — the actual winning ticket — was still at the machine.

“In the meantime, someone else went and scooped the cash ticket,” he said.

By the time staff realized what had happened, someone had already cashed in the ticket.

Lorne Kletke, communications officer with Manitoba Lotteries, said an investigation has been launched in what is considered a case of theft.