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Harrah’s changes name to Caesars Entertainment

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

While we were tied up baking pies, simmering cranberries and brining our turkey last week, Harrah’s Entertainment was busy officially becoming Caesars Entertainment Corporation.  From all reports, the new name is considered by the company to be more connotative of the higher-end casino experience Caesars wishes to portray as well as being more well-known internationally.

According to the Company’s own press release, “The Harrah’s name will continue to be one of the company’s primary brands, along with Caesars, Horseshoe, Total Rewards and World Series of Poker.

“In recognition of Caesars’ status as the world’s preeminent and most respected casino brand, we have changed the name of our parent company to Caesars Entertainment Corporation,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment. “The change reflects our evolution as the industry’s leading provider of branded casino entertainment.”

We don’t care a whole lot about the name change but what we do wish they would change is their video poker pay tables.  We would be happy to “All Hail Caesars” if we saw more 9/6 games in their casinos.

More information:  Here’s an interesting article on the Pokerati.com website about the name change — “Harrah’s Inc. is now Caesars Corp. – we think..

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Two Times the Rewards at MGM Mirage

Monday, May 25th, 2009

MGM Mirage has some great news for slot club players!  Not only will the wildly popular “Players Club Holiday Gift Shoppe 2009” take place over TWO weeks this year but to sweeten the deal even more, the club is doubling the points earned on slot play beginning June 1 and continuing through August 31.  (Las Vegas properties only.)

Players Club members have been accruing Gift Shoppe points since January 1. Gift Shoppe points are completely free and club members accrue them automatically – no extra sign-ups required.  Plus, these points are in addition to other slot club points and benefits.

Players can redeem Gift Points at the fabulous year-end Players Club Holiday Gift Shoppe 2009 which will take place during the two week event happening November 28 – December 13 where you can get watches, jewelry, electronics, home & sporting goods, Gift Cards, FREEPLAY® and more!

Check for details at MGM Mirage’s website at playersclub.com or at the players club desk at each casino location.    Click Here for the Best Las Vegas Hotel Deals!

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Divorce Las Vegas Style — Splits and Separations

Saturday, March 14th, 2009
Steve and Elaine Wynn head for divorce court again.

Steve and Elaine Wynn head for divorce court again.

While this isn’t a Las Vegas news site so to speak, I do keep up on — or try to keep up on — what’s happening in Las Vegas and when it’s something I think readers would be interested in, I do like to mention it here.

What has struck me as interesting lately is all the news about “splits” — both corporate and personal — happening these days in Las Vegas.  Here’s a quick rundown on what’s caught my eye lately:

Split #1 — Steve and Elaine Wynn filed for divorce.  While no one on the outside can ever know what’s going on within a marriage, this news made me sad.  I would think that having a string of successful properties, stock prices that haven’t tanked like the rest of the industry, and what would appear to be a “wynning” working relationship would allow them as a couple to sit back, relax and enjoy their family and what they have built together.  And it’s not like this is their first trip to the courthouse — they divorced once before and got remarried.  But, again, that’s just my opinion.  Read more about the Wynn divorce here.

Split #2 — “Cannery Casino Resorts and Crown Terminate Merger Agreement; Crown to Make Investment Into CCR” is the headline on a press release I received this week.  (more…)

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M Resort Opens In Las Vegas with Fireworks

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Lots of interesting news reports and posts out today about the new M Resort, Spa and Casino that opened in Las Vegas (or I should say Henderson) Sunday evening.  CEO Anthony Marnell III, joined by his wife and Henderson mayor, Jim Gibson, cut the ribbon to open the property to the estimated 4,000 guests who were admitted to the new property at 10 p.m.  A display of fireworks was used to highlight the grand opening celebrations.

You can check out some terrific opening night photos by visiting ratevegas.com as well as read a “players” look at the new M Resort from David Matthews at his “Gambling in Space” blog.

And don’t forget to look for my interview with Anthony Marnell III in the March issue of “Casino Player” magazine.

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New M Resort Will Focus on Food, Value to Attract Both Locals and Visitors

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
The new M Resort opens March 1 in Las Vegas.  Image courtesy of the resort.

Nine dining venues will be a major draw of the new M Resort which opens March 1 in Las Vegas. (Image courtesy of the resort.)

When the new M Resort, Spa and Casino opens its doors on March 1, Chairman and CEO Anthony Marnell III  will be able to gaze down upon the legendary properties designed in part by his father’s company, Marnell and Corrao Associates.  With a pedigree that includes work on such resort icons as Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Mirage and more, the newest generation of the Marnell family is bringing mega-resort luxury, amenities and design innovations to a 90-acre spot on the “South Strip.”

Perched 400 feet above the lights of the Las Vegas Strip, the new $1 billion-plus resort – located about nine miles from Mandalay Bay – uses this vantage point as a key design element in the positioning of the resort’s nine restaurants, 390 guest rooms and suites, as well as the lavish outdoor swim and stage complex called  the Villaggio Del Sole Pool and Entertainment Piazza. (more…)

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Deep-Stack Extravaganza Kicks Off at Venetian Poker Room

Friday, January 30th, 2009
Check out the "Deep Stack Extravaganza" poker tourney at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

The "Deep Stack Extravaganza" poker tournament starts soon at The Venetian Las Vegas.

The highly successful “Deep Stack Extravaganza” poker tournament returns February 2 to The Venetian Las Vegas poker room.  Appearing on many “Top 10 Poker Rooms in Las Vegas” lists, the 11,000 square-foot Venetian room will host this well-attended event for the third consecutive year.

– Starting chips for the $330 NLH event will be $10,000 and an additional $2,000 in chips with an optional $10 staff bonus.

– The $550 and $1,070 NLH events will begin with $12,500 in starting chips and $2,500 additional chips with an optional $10 staff bonus.

– The $2,500 NLH event will begin with $15,000 in starting chips and $5,000 additional chips with an optional $10 staff bonus.

Total cash prize: Payouts are based on the number of participants that enter the tournament. 3% of prize pool is withheld for poker room staff.

All participants must be at least 21 years of age and have a Venetian players club, “Club Grazie,” card.  You can find all the details plus the results from both the 2007 and 2008 tourneys here on the Venetian’s website.

The poker room offers a special hotel rate available to anyone who plays in a DSE event or plays at least six hours of live play in the poker room. Rates are based on prevailing rate and availability.  Contact The Venetian Poker Room to inquire: 702-414-1000.

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CityCenter, Cosmopolitan Put Futuristic Face on Las Vegas Strip

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
January 2009

A view of the new CityCenter project in Las Vegas. (Click on each photo to enlarge.)

Check out these latest photos from two new construction projects happening on the Strip in Las Vegas.  With soaring glass towers in shades of cool blue and chartreuse, wickedly-angled walls and sharp points define some structures while sinuous curves soften and enrich others.  These are the elements that define the new CityCenter project and its neighbor to the north, the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino.

CityCenter, from MGM Mirage and partner Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World, (more…)

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Las Vegas, Atlantic City Gambling Revenues Show Continued Downward Trend

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
You'll have to wait awhile to book a stay in the new Octavius Tower as Caesars stalls the project.

Caesars Palace will wait to add 660 more rooms as Harrah's puts hold on new tower.

When it comes to gambling revenues these days, if there is any bright spot to be found for Las Vegas casino managers it could be — “Well, at least we’re not Atlantic City.”

The numbers coming in from the two biggest gaming Meccas in the country aren’t pretty and certainly serve to justify all the recent changes and holds* we’ve seen on several casino construction projects.

Gambling revenues for the state of Nevada fell 14.8 percent in November compared with a year ago according to figures released last week by the state’s Gaming Control Board.  Within the state, LV Strip properties recorded a 16.02% drop while North Lake Tahoe casinos fell a whopping 26.94%. (more…)

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Las Vegas Casino News — Economy Spurs Sales, Changes

Friday, January 9th, 2009

All day today, I have been thinking about a quote from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  That’s how I feel about all the news flying out of Las Vegas lately.  I guess I just needed a little time to absorb it all, cut the wheat from the chaff, and then make a few observations in a post.

Here’s a run-down on the current highlights (and lowlights) of life in Las Vegas for some of the major casino industry players:

From MGM Mirage:  “CityCenter Holdings, LLC, a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM) and Infinity World Development Corp, today announced certain scope changes related to The Harmon Hotel & Spa which include postponing the opening of the hotel to late 2010 and cancelling The Harmon residential condominium component.”  The press release cited “contractor construction errors” as partially to blame for the reconfiguring of the project.  All other components of CityCenter remain on schedule for a December 2009 grand opening.

Speaking of CityCenter, it began taking applications Monday to fill the approximately 12,000 jobs available at the new property.  Myriad positions from food and beverage service to hotel and casino operations, retail help and more will need to be staffed before the December grand opening.  Check the CityCenterCareers website for more information.

In mid-December, while we were all busy buying gifts at the local mall (or maybe Walmart this year,) Phil Ruffin, former owner of the New Frontier, was busy getting his own bargain – Treasure Island from owner MGM Mirage for a reported $775 million.  Ruffin, a Wichita, Kansas businessman, sold the New Frontier in May 2007 for more than $1.24 billion. That casino was closed shortly thereafter and demolished in November 2007.  The deal on TI is expected to go through in early-summer.

Are there more property sales ahead for MGM Mirage?  The answer “possibly” is leaning more and more toward “probably.”  See what you think after reading  this article at Bloomberg.com based on an interview with new MGM Mirage CEO James Murren.  The reporter says that Mr. Murren “plans to “dramatically” reduce debt and will consider further casino sales as he overhauls the company’s balance sheet.”

One question we can easily answer is “Will there be more massive changes in Las Vegas this year?”  And that answer is a resounding “most definitely.”

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Busted — Nevada Posts Big Drop in October Gambling Revenue

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

You knew the October numbers weren’t going to be pretty but I’m not sure anyone guessed that Nevada gaming revenue would be down – are you ready? – 22.3% as compared to a year ago.  That is the single largest monthly drop in reported “win” in state history and the 10th straight month that gaming revenues have declined.

Here’s how the numbers released today by the Nevada Gaming Commission played out in the Silver State:

Nevada as a whole brought in $905 million for a 22.3% drop.

The Las Vegas Strip was hit hard with its $475 million take which represents a 25.8% drop compared to a record “win” in excess of $637 million in October of last year. (more…)

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Harrah’s Casinos Team Up with WMS Gaming for New Hot Slot Game

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Here’s a very smart move from Harrah’s Entertainment.  They’ve collaborated with WMS Gaming, makers of the wildly-popular Wizard of Oz machines, (you know, the ones I can never play!) and will introduce a special TOTAL REWARDS® version of WMS Gaming’s new Star Trek machine beginning this week in Las Vegas. 

Here’s the skinny from a joint press release dated December 1, 2008 (Emphasis mine) – “Players who are members of Harrah’s TOTAL REWARDS® program will be able to use their cards to create a personalized and differentiated gaming experience on the STAR TREK themed gaming machines at most of the company’s casinos in North America, as Harrah’s moves forward with a market-by-market implementation plan, subject to additional jurisdictional regulatory approvals.

“This server-enabled, networked gaming platform provides players with the unique ability to personalize their game play, allowing them to save their play status and unlock additional bonus rounds and game episodes over time.(more…)

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Gila River’s New Lone Butte Casino Opens to Enthusiastic Crowd

Friday, November 21st, 2008
A colorful canopy greets visitors to the new Lone Butte Casino in Chandler.

With lights that change colors like an Arizona sunset, a soaring canopy greets visitors to the new Lone Butte Casino in Chandler, Arizona.

So what does it sound like when every one of a casino’s 850 slot machines are ALL being played at once?  You would know — or you would have heard — if you were at the grand opening yesterday of Gila River’s new Lone Butte Casino in Chandler, Arizona.  Casino-goers flocked to the handsome new gaming facility for a first look and to try their luck at one of the new machines.  Guests not seated in front of a machine or at one of the 24 table games milled around eagerly waiting for the opportunity to play.  Even the new “High Limit” area was crowded with players hoping to hit it big.

The Gila River Community is to be commended on this classy addition to the Phoenix gaming scene.  The interior is light and bright and highlighted by the use of natural materials like sandstone.  (more…)

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