Issue 110
October 21-27, 2002
Volume 3
page 1
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Gaming News
Harrah's St. Louis Plans $75 Million Expansion

MGM Mirage Quashes Mega-Casino Plan

Another Mega Resort Casino Plan Unveiled in Las Vegas

Seneca Casino Seeks 2,000 Workers

Survey Shows Casino Jobs Bolster Economy


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Harrah's St. Louis Plans $75 Million Expansion

LAS VEGAS - Harrah's Entertainment Inc. announced October 12 the planning of a $75 million expansion of Harrah's St. Louis-Maryland Heights.

The cornerstone of the expansion will be a 16-story, 309-room hotel tower with 21 suites. Once complete, the expansion will give Harrah's St. Louis 600 hotel rooms.

"We are currently spending more than $10 million to upgrade our existing hotel guestrooms, and the response from our guests has been outstanding," Sanfilippo said. "This gives us confidence that our guests value our luxury rooms highly."

The expansion project also includes a redesign of the hotel lobby, new valet parking areas, the addition of parking garage express ramps, and the expansion of two restaurants. Harrah's Entertainment is in the final stages of the design process, and construction of certain components of the expansion project is expected to begin before the end of 2002. Formal groundbreaking is planned for the first quarter of 2003, with the entire expansion project expected to be complete in mid- to late 2004.

Founded 65 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment Inc. operates 26 casinos in the United States, primarily under the Harrah's brand name.


MGM Mirage Quashes Mega-Casino Plan

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - /Philadelphia Inquirer/ - MGM Mirage has abandoned plans to build a $1.5 billion casino-resort in the Marina District of Atlantic City, at least temporarily.

The project, on land the Las Vegas company dubbed "Renaissance Pointe," would sit adjacent to the $1.1 billion Borgata casino-hotel the company is jointly developing with Boyd Gaming Corp. But MGM Mirage said its focus needs to shift to other areas, including new markets and renovation on its existing properties in markets like Las Vegas, Detroit and the Gulf Coast.

Several states have talked about legalizing or expanding gaming opportunities, including New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Most of the potential new markets are close to, and could compete with, Atlantic City casinos. MGM Mirage has also become active in Internet wagering, early this month opening an online casino based on the Isle of Man, and the company is for the first time exploring relations with Indian gaming tribes.

Gaming analysts are lauding the company's decision. "I think it's a smart strategic decision for the company," Marc Falcone, a casino industry analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities, said. "It's tough to make a commitment to build a $1 billion to $1.5 billion [casino] knowing you could have legalized gaming in Pennsylvania.

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