Name Change Accompanies Makeover For Indiana Riverboat Casino

Harrah’s Entertainment continues making changes to its empire. While most casino operators are cutting back the spending, Harrah’s is moving forward with several different casino plans.

One of the plans is to overhaul a riverboat casino in Indiana. Part of the changes that are being made will be to remove a twelve foot statue of Julius Caesar that is on the outside of the casino.

The statue was their from previous owners, Caesar’s Entertainment, which Harrah’s bought out in 2005. The casino will be renamed Horseshoe Southern Indiana. Other changes are also taking place within the casino.

While the statue will be removed, there is no decision on what will be done with it. For the time being, it will be stored on Harrison County Councilman Carl Mathes’ farm.

“If the statue is successfully removed in one piece, it will be given to Harrison County,” said a casino news release. The removal of the statue is a move by Harrah’s to bring the horseshoe brand to the casino.

Economy Hurting Las Vegas Casino Operators, Share Prices Drop

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Las Vegas casinos have been through some difficult times before. They are beginning to worry about the state of the current economy in the United States, much like other industries are.

On Tuesday, stock prices fell hard for casino operators, and the economy is being blamed. Operators are laying off workers at an alarming rate.

MGM Mirage hit their employees the hardest. They claim that they have laid off 440 workers. The levels at which these employees worked varied.

“Trends in Las Vegas and across the U.S. have been softer this year, as both gaming and non gaming revenues have been impacted by a difficult economic environment,” said Bill Lerner, Deutsche Bank Gaming Analyst.

Casino companies are practically begging people to come visit their resorts. Room rates on the Las Vegas Strip have been dropped to nineteen percent at some locations.

Most casino operators saw their stock prices drop between two and six percent on Tuesday. The economy is playing a major part in the decrease in revenue for casinos nationwide.

More People Getting A Shot At High Roller Gambling In Las Vegas

When someone thinks of high roller gambling rooms at Las Vegas casinos, they picture rooms where only the richest of people will be let inside. Rooms where it costs money just to walk through the doors.

That was the old Las Vegas. That was the Las Vegas that made their rules slanted entirely for their own benefit, not caring about their customers because they did not have to. Now, the shoe is on the other foot.

The current state of the economy coupled with expanded casino gambling all across the United States has put Las Vegas casinos on the defense. They must now consider what will bring people to their gambling palaces, and one of the moves they are making is lowering limits in private gambling rooms.

The old rules had players required to have at least a $500,000 line of credit and the minimum a gambler could bet was $500 a hand. That is no longer the case. The Nevada Gaming Commission has dropped the per hand limits and has changed the credit line requirements to $300,000.

“What Las Vegas casinos are having to do these days to get customers is completely opposite of what they are used to. They like to make the rules, but in these tough times they are having to lower their standards for revenue to attract a wider base of customers,” said Peter Ylebert, a frequent player in these private salons.

Although it is the casinos that will be affected, it was the Gaming Commission who made the rule changes. Several casino operators, including Steve Wynn, believe it should be up to the casinos to set their own limits in these private gambling rooms.

Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority To Undergo Review of Credit

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has under performed in the first quarter. Several factors could be contributed to the poor numbers. The Authority will now undergo a credit review.

The first quarter numbers of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority have put up enough of a red flag that it is now time for a review of the Authorities credit rating. Moody’s Investors Service will be the company conducting the review.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe just had their credit rating downgraded a few months ago by a different rating service. If the Mohegans credit is downgraded, it could cause potential money problems for the group.

Slot revenue has been down in the first quarter. The main reason for the decline is the “free play” promotion that the casino has been running. The other reason for the number decline, can be attributed to the economy.

“The economy is definitely showing its impact on gaming. There are a number of gaming markets that are reporting January numbers that are generally exhibiting low single digit declines,” said Craig Parlamee, credit analyst from Standard & Poor’s rating service.

If the Mohegans have their credit rating reduced, it could become difficult for the group to secure a loan. The loans they would receive would come with high interest rates because of the risk involved.

New Zealand Takes Right Approach To Help Curb Problem Gambling

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New Zealand has taken the right approach in dealing with problem gambling. They have not denied the potential for problem, nor have they used it as a form of keeping the gambling industry down.

They simply have come up with innovative ways to deal with problem gambling. Ways that will not only curb the problem, but also will help keep people from becoming problem gamblers.

Think Tank is an organization that brings members of the gambling industry together to discuss different aspects of what is going on with the industry. Yearly, they meet, and each year they exchange ideas about varying subjects. This year, the organization will put on display how New Zealand has been an innovator in dealing with problem gambling.

“New Zealand has changed the way people think about gambling problems. It was the first country to provide nationwide problem gambling services and to adopt a public health approach,” said AUT University Professor Max Abbott.

AUT University is the organizer of Think Tank and is responsible for bringing all of these gaming giants together for this meeting yearly.

“A major purpose of the Think Tank is to reduce gambling related harm by improving gambling policy and services. This requires innovative thinking, sound research and buy in from governments, communities, and the gambling industry,” said Abbott.

Auckland will be the site of the International Think Tank on Presenting Gambling Populations and First Contact Services. It will be held February 18th and 19th.

Mohegan Sun Has Successful First Weekend With New Poker Room

Casino expansion is not high on the list of developers these days. With the economy hurting the casino industry for the first time in a long time, casino expansion has been slowed around the United States.

Several projects that had been in the works by big time casino developers have now gone on hold. Others have pulled bids to build casinos in areas that have recently changed laws allowing casinos in their states.

The Mohegan Sun Casino, however, will not be one of the ones that is lumped in with that former group. They have expanded and their new casino is drawing rave reviews. Casino of the Wind opened on Friday night amidst great anticipation.

The early reviews are that Mohegan Sun has created a winner of a casino. The poker room, which holds forty two tables, is spacious and has a comforting feel to it.

“As people are making hard choices about where to spend their discretionary income and where to recreate, it’s great that we have something new for them to see,” said Mohegan Sun CEO Mitchell Etess to the Hardford Courant newspaper.

The casino has a month long celebration planned to welcome the new casino. In addition to the gaming options, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant is also one of the new attractions.

Poker Pro John Phan Wins Legends of Poker Main Event Tournament

When there is over $1 million at stake in a poker tournament, it can be almost guaranteed that the professionals will show up with their game faces on. That was the case this week at the Legends of Poker tournament in California.

The tournament had some of the biggest names in poker entered. They fought for almost a week and in the end it was John Chan who came away with the top prize.

Amit Makhija was Phan’s main competition. The two played three and a half hours of heads up poker before Phan emerged as the champion. It was “the greatest heads up match in WPT history,’ according to Mike Sexton, WPT commentator.

The World Poker Tour will showcase the tournament when they begin their new contract with Fox Sports Net. The main event of the Legends Poker will be televised at a later date.

“We embrace all of our legends, but its all the sweeter when one of our home players takes home the prize,” said Marketing Director Kelley O’Hara. Phan took home over $1 million for winning the main event.

“This was a hard won victory and viewers will be on the edge of their seats with this episode,” said Casino Manager Zaven Esmaili.

Missouri One Of The Few States With Casinos Beating The Economy

Around the country almost daily there are reports becoming public of how the economy is hurting the casino industry. State after state is reporting revenue decrease4s over previous years.

That is not the case, however, in Missouri. They are one of the few states who have their casinos still prospering in the face of a miserable economic situation.

Casino gambling revenue rose seven percent in July over the previous year. In July of 2007, gambling revenue equalled $136.9 million. This year in July, that figure jumped to $146.9 million.

It is amazing that the casinos in the state are doing so well when you consider that Missouri has an extremely high unemployment rate. Companies are continuing to downsize, leaving many people without jobs and money.

“Casinos were considered some time ago to be recession-proof. They’re not. But the casinos themselves are pretty strong,” said Gene McNary, Executive Director of the Missouri Gaming Commission.

He did give a reason that casinos in the state are continuing to see rising revenue. The casinos are frequented most in the state by senior citizens, who are on a fixed income. Therefore, the economy is not hurting them as much as it is the younger generation.

Florida Lottery Sales Heating Up Leading Up To Wednesday’s Draw

State lotteries rarely gather enough attention to compete with the top multi-state lotteries in the United States. The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries tend to eat up the publicity.

Of course, this is mainly due to the jackpots that are being offered. The multi-state lotteries usually have at least one of their two jackpots up over $50 million. It takes a little longer for individual states to reach those numbers.

Florida is making a run at being the top jackpot in the nation this week. They are already the top jackpot for individual states. Their Florida Lotto game has a grand prize in the drawing upcoming on Wednesday of $30 million.

In addition to the high jackpot, gamblers can actually win more than that if they hit the grand prize. Florida now has three different levels of tickets that can be bought for the Lotto game.

Gamblers can play either one, two, or three dollars on each ticket. The payouts are $30 million for one dollar, $40 million for two, and $55 million for three. The game has been rolling over since the last time somebody won back on July 19th.

Texas is the only other state in the country that is close to Florida. Their top game, Lotto Texas, has a jackpot of $25 million. California is the only other state in the nation with a jackpot over $10 million. Theirs currently sits at $11 million.

Missouri Casinos Look For Revenue Bump With Limits Gone

In the state of Missouri, they are one of the few who have not had their casino revenue figures severely hurt by the current state of the economy. The numbers released on Monday suggested that the state casinos could be in for bright days ahead.

While the numbers did show a revenue decrease, it was minimal. State casinos had $79.7 million a year ago, compared to $78.7 this year. That is a decrease of one percent, much lower than those of other states around the country.

In addition to the revenue figures, casinos are jubilant over voters decision on election night to eliminate loss limits. The state had been the only one in the nation with loss limits at their casinos.

With loss limits gone, the casinos can now attract the type of high rollers that should turn the one percent decrease into an increase in revenue. The one downfall for casinos is they will have to pay slightly higher taxes. Their tax number went up to twenty one percent.

“Missouri has a tremendous opportunity to become a leader in the casino gambling industry. Without loss limits, I would expect they would increase their figures dramatically when the economy begins to come back,” said Ryan Leeber, a casino gaming analyst from St. Louis.

Macau Promises To Protect Their Casino Gambling Interests

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While Las Vegas casino companies are having trouble receiving help from the American government, the government of Macau has decided they will not stand by while casinos close down.

Edmund Ho, the Chief Executive of Macau, has vowed that the government will do everything within their power to support existing casinos. The territory has become the casino gambling leader and plans on staying on top.

“If necessary, the government will take over. we will not allow any casinos to shut down,” said Ho, after Las Vegas Sands announced that they stop their expansion on the Cotai Strip. Sands is in serious financial trouble and has halted the Macau project indefinitely.

At the present time, Macau is working to help the casino industry as much as possible, but they do not intend on making tax cuts part of that relief. Ho has introduced a stimulus package to try and kick start the economy.

Macau has been dealing with the same slowdown as Las Vegas. Although their revenue numbers are down, they have not as of yet fallen to the depths of Las Vegas revenue figures.

While the Sands project is currently stopped, they are hoping to revive the expansion once they receive the financing to do so. “We are pursuing a project financing (agreement) with a major Chinese bank. We would hope to close the transaction with the Chinese bank in three to six months,” said Las Vegas Sands President and Chief Operating Officer, William Weidner.

Missing $100,000 Chip Still Not Found At Crown Casino

Most of the time when chips go missing inside of a casino, police and casino management can check video and find the culprit. That has not been the case in one situation at the Crown Casino.

A missing $100,000 chip was reported back in January of 2006. Since then, the casino and police have had no luck finding the person that stole the chip. It is guessed that it was an employee who got away with the chip.

The chip was taken from one of the most highly secured places in the casino, making it almost more unbelievable that the crook could have gotten away without being caught.

“The existing cameras didn’t capture anything. A couple of the cameras passed over the floor but they didn’t show anything,” said a source, to the Sunday Herald Sun.

The police were not called on to the case immediately. The casino first tried to solve the crime on their own. When they had no success, they then put in a complaint to the police.

While it was amazing that the thief was able to get away without getting caught, the casino and police do not feel that they have struck again. They claim the chip stolen was an isolated incident.

Million Dollar Lottery Gambling Ticket Being Used To Care For Mom

Lottery tickets can do wonders for people when they are scratched off and become winners. Many different tales have been told y winners explaining what they did with the tickets.

For a Washington man, the winning lottery ticket came at the most opportune of times. He won 1 million in an instant scratch off gambling lottery game. His tale of how he spent his winnings will be a heartfelt one.

Michael McManus is using the $750,000 lump sum payment that he received(after taxes) to ensure that his eighty tee year old mother gets the proper care in the comfort of her own home. She suffered a stroke six years ago, and is need of constant care.

McManus and his brother had been contemplating putting their mother in a nursing home due to the cost of in-home nursing care. The money that he won will now be used to allow his mother to sty in her condominium.

“I have learned how to love an appreciate what my mother means to me, by taking care of her for the last six years. We’ll be able to fulfill our mission, which is taking care of our mother,” said McManus.

McManus has never married and when his mother, Maryjane White, suffered a stroke six years ago, he decided to move back in with her an take care of her.