Issue 112
November 4-10, 2002
Volume 3
page 1
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This Issue

Gaming News
Wynn Breaks Ground On
New Las Vegas Casino

Harrah's Lake Tahoe to Host
World's Largest Slot Tournament

Seneca Nation to Add Card Games

Details Emerge for MGM Grand Casino

Mexico to Allow Casinos


Show Time

No Doubt will perform at the Rain at The Palms Hotel Casino on November 17

Column
BJ In the Zone Vital for Serious 21 Players

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Wynn Breaks Ground On
New Las Vegas Casino

/Las Vegas Gaming Wire/ - LAS VEGAS - Steve Wynn's newest dream came one step closer to reality On October 31 when the Strip developer broke ground on his $1.85 billion Le Reve.

Joined by a few hundred family members, friends and business associates, Wynn said Le Reve - which is French for The Dream - and its recently completed financing deal represent a vote of confidence in the future of Las Vegas.

"Turning dreams into reality seems to be a hometown sport," Wynn said, "and I'm a homeboy. It's a most significant day for Las Vegas and for the state of Nevada."

Industry experts agreed that Wynn's latest project will be a major plus for Las Vegas.

"Based on Steve Wynn's history, Le Reve will create huge international demand to see what he's done," Deutsche Banc casino industry analyst Andrew Zarnett said. "That demand will translate into significant visitation gains."

Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority spokesman Rob Powers said the authority plans to immediately begin using Le Reve in its marketing campaigns, noting the boost new megaresort openings give to local tourism.

Wynn Resorts expects to have 8,000 employees by the time of its scheduled opening in April 2005. Those workers are only part of the project's gigantic economic impact, said University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor Keith Schwer, director of UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Research.

The impact of the $1.85 billion project's direct spending will be at least doubled when indirect expenditures are considered, Schwer said.

"That's additional spending created from people and companies that receive the $1.85 billion, for a total of $3.7 billion," Schwer said.

Additionally, Wynn projects have historically been market magnifiers, he said, predicting that an unquantifiable economic jumpstart will result from other developers and financiers lured by Wynn's example to invest in Las Vegas.

After the project opens, the property's payroll and local spending will fuel additional job creation, Schwer said.

"The general rule is 1.5 additional jobs for every room," he said, indicating that the 2,700-room megaresort could generate about 4,000 new non-casino jobs in greater Las Vegas.

Schwer said Le Reve will have another positive effect, albeit a difficult one to measure.

The introduction of a new, well-run property and casino operating company should make the Strip casino market more competitive.

"One recipe for disaster for Las Vegas is if we become fat, dumb and happy, content with our place as the number one gaming destination," Schwer said. "New projects, especially Wynn's, keep us competitive and help Las Vegas push the envelope."

Sens. John Ensign and Harry Reid opened Thursday's ceremony, lauding Wynn's place as the state's most significant business leader before Wynn addressed the gathering.

The invited guests gathered at the northern end of the planned Le Reve site, just south of the remaining Desert Inn buildings.

Dozens of Wynn Resorts workers gathered with shovels in hand, ready to collectively take the figurative first steps of the planned 30-month project.

After thanking the the staffers who've helped him create plans for what he expects to be the city's preeminent resort, Wynn thanked a number of Las Vegas politicians in attendance.

Wynn saved his kindest comments for his partner, Japanese corporate chief Kazuo Okada, controlling owner of gaming-device maker Aruze Corp., who invested $380 million in Wynn Resorts.

"My financiers tell me that this is the largest construction finance deal ever done, and there's one person I'd like to thank for making that possible," Wynn said. "I met Kazuo Okada when I was buying gaming devices at Mirage, and I got to be friends with him. After that happened, and he joined us, the project took shape. Then we had the muscle, the financial strength, to turn our dream into a reality."

Wynn paid an appropriate Halloween tribute to earlier Las Vegas pioneers who've operated at the Desert Inn site.

"Can you feel the ghosts of Moe Dalitz... of Howard Hughes?" he asked with a broad smile, pointing to the remaining elements of the former Desert Inn, before joining Okada, former Gov. Bob Miller, Reid, Ensign, best friend and board member Stanley Zax and wife Elaine Wynn with shovels in front of the assembled Wynn Resorts team.

They then turned symbolic shovelfuls of dirt, followed by a few moments of celebratory fireworks.

After the ceremony, Okada repaid Wynn's appreciation.

"I just love him to death," Okada said through an interpreter. "I'm very impressed with Steve's designs and I'm proud to be his partner."


Harrah's Lake Tahoe to Host
World's Largest Slot Tournament

LAS VEGAS - More than 250 of the nation's best slot players will gather at Harrah's Lake Tahoe on Nov. 4 to compete for $1 million and the title of National Champion of Slots at the finals of the eighth annual Harrah's Millionaire Maker.

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., which operates 26 casinos nationwide, has been hosting Millionaire Maker qualifying rounds at its casinos since January with more than 12,000 participants vying for the finalist spots. The slot tournament is the largest in the world and the only one in the gaming industry to span four nationally known casino brands -- Harrah's, Rio, Harvey's and Showboat.

Harrah's is bringing 252 top qualifiers along with a guest to Lake Tahoe for the finals, where one player will win the $1 million grand prize.

"Millionaire Maker is the gaming industry's premier customer event, generating huge anticipation among the nation's best slot players each year," said Phil Satre, Harrah's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our coast- to-coast distribution -- from California to New Jersey -- makes Harrah's uniquely qualified to crown the National Champion of Slots."

Millionaire Maker finalists will compete in three 15-minute rounds of slot action, accumulating points as they go. Each machine is set on continuous play, so participants can generate the highest scores possible. The player with the highest point total at the end of the three rounds is named National Champion and wins the $1 million grand prize.

The finals of Harrah's Millionaire Maker are held at a different Harrah's- owned casino property each year. Harrah's Lake Tahoe has hosted the event once before.

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