Issue 119
December 23-29, 2002
Volume 3
page 1
Merry Christmas!
 

This Issue

Gaming News
Venetian Marks Major Construction Milestone With Topping Out Ceremony

Harrah's Entertainment Takes Over Louisiana Downs Racetrack; Adds Slots

Cash in on Your Slot Credits!

Greektown Casino Adds 115 More Cashless Slot Machines

British Columbia Ferry Consider Gambling


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Venetian Marks Major Construction Milestone With Topping Out Ceremony

LAS VEGAS - Amid the revelry of singing gondoliers and the cheers of construction workers, the final beam, adorned with an American flag and pine tree, was lifted on Dec. 20th in place atop The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino's new hotel tower and expanded convention space - both scheduled to open on time June 1, 2003.

The $250 million expansion provides The Venetian with 1,013 additional hotel suites, making the Venice-theme luxury resort the third largest hotel in the world with 4,049 suites. The additional 150,000 square feet of meeting space brings the grand total to nearly 1.9 million sq. ft. of meeting, convention and exhibition space at The Venetian and the Sands Expo Center.

"Today marks a significant milestone in an exciting new chapter for The Venetian," said Brad Stone, executive vice president of Las Vegas Sands Inc., the parent company of The Venetian. "We are always striving to provide the accommodations and meeting services that make us one of the world's most sought-after resorts and convention destinations. All those involved with this project should be proud of the effort they've given so far," Stone added.

"In addition to the new hotel tower, the additional meeting space will extend our all-under-one-roof convenience that meeting planners have grown to value greatly," said Stone. "The Venetian will be the only place in the world where convention attendees and exhibitors can entertain at any one of our 17 fine dining restaurants, explore two world-renowned Guggenheim Museums, shop along the Grand Canal, rejuvenate at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub and much more in one location," Stone added.

The new hotel tower will overlook a lavish pool deck reminiscent of a Venetian garden. With breath-taking vistas, the garden will feature a swimming pool and three spas, ornate gazebos and five languid fountains. Additionally, the new tower will be home to an exciting new restaurant concept by one of the world's top chefs and will feature The Venetian's first wedding chapel, a 2,500 sq. ft. multiplex seating up to 200 people which can be separated into three smaller chapels.

Much like The Venetian's award-winning suites, the standard luxury suite accommodations of the new tower will average over 700 sq. ft., but their nine and a half (9'6") foot ceilings will allow for a greater sense of space. The standard suite will include a spacious private bed chamber with draped canopies, an oversized 130-square-foot bathroom finished in Italian marble, and a sunken living room area furnished with a convertible sofa, two upholstered chairs, a desk and a dining table. The suite functions as not only a place to relax or entertain, but as a place to work if necessary. The standard room has three telephones complete with high-speed Internet access, data ports and a fax machine that doubles as a copier and computer printer. Additionally, the room features a safe large enough for a laptop computer, a fully stocked mini-bar and two 27" color televisions -- one inside a bedroom armoire, the other located inside an entertainment center in the living room.

Included among the 1,013 new suites will be 122 Club Level Concierge Suites featuring unique amenities and appointments that are built upon The Venetian's proud tradition of unmatched service. These include private access, an executive lounge to offer food and beverage twice daily, high-speed Internet access, daily newspaper delivery service, automatic turndown nightly with special

amenity and "goodnight wishes," bottled water and European-style turndown mat, TVs in bathrooms, silk hangers, plants in suites including a bud vase with an orchid in the bathroom, and personalized business cards and stationery will be given to all Club level guests staying three or more nights.

The new meeting space expansion will include 150,000 square feet of additional space increasing the property's total meeting space to nearly 1.9 million sq. ft. It will include three new ballrooms: The Bellini, The Titan and The Veronese, all named after some of the greatest painters in history. Each ballroom is 14,400 sq. ft. and can be divided into 14 individual meeting rooms, ranging from 600 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft.

Additionally, the new meeting space will include a series of 19 separate meeting rooms with a combination of abilities. These meeting rooms will be known as the Vivaldi Meeting Rooms, named after Antonio Vivaldi, Italy's most famous composer. Three new permanent boardrooms, named after Italy's famed Opera Houses, La Fenice, La Scala and San Carlo, will also be constructed.

"As the world's top trade show, convention and meeting destination, Las Vegas continues to expand its capabilities, services and sheer size to accommodate a variety of events," said Eric Bello, vice president of sales. "Trade show planners are attracted to the convenience and superior facilities of the combined Sands Expo and The Venetian. The additional meeting space will strengthen Las Vegas' position as a preferred business destination," Bello added.

The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino, a recipient of the Exxon/Mobile Four Star Award and AAA's Four Diamond Award, is one of the world's most luxurious resort and convention destinations. Re-creating Venice's legendary landmarks, the resort offers unmatched service and quality for leisure and corporate guests. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, The Venetian features The Grand Canal Shops, an indoor streets cape complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, world-class gaming, 17 fine dining restaurants, two Guggenheim museums, and a wide variety of entertainment venues on its premises as well as extensive convention and corporate services.


Harrah's Entertainment Takes Over
Louisiana Downs Racetrack; Adds Slots

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.,LAS VEGAS - Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. has completed its acquisition of a controlling interest in Louisiana Downs, a thoroughbred racetrack in Bossier City, LA.

The agreement gives Harrah's a 95 percent stake in a company that now owns both Louisiana Downs and Harrah's Shreveport Hotel & Casino. The remaining 5 percent of this holding company is owned by a group of Shreveport/Bossier City-area investors.

Current plans call for Louisiana Downs to offer approximately 900 slots by the time the racing season begins in June 2003. Harrah's expects to open a new permanent casino facility at Louisiana Downs with about 1,500 slot machines by June 2004. The new casino facility will be connected to the existing racetrack by a new entryway featuring a number of new restaurants. The company plans to complete all improvements by June 2004. The property will become the only land-based gaming facility with slots in northern Louisiana.

"Our plans for Louisiana Downs are ambitious, and will make this property one of the finest thoroughbred racing and slot entertainment facilities in the country," said Gary Loveman, president and chief operating officer of Harrah's. "We expect Louisiana Downs to set a high standard, one that we will follow as we examine potential future development opportunities across the country."

"Louisiana Downs will be a valuable complement to Harrah's Shreveport that will offer a unique new gaming experience to our customers," Loveman said.

Harrah's Shreveport, which caters primarily to customers from across Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, features a 23-story, 514-room luxury hotel tower and the largest convention center in northwest Louisiana. Both opened in early 2001. The casino, opened in 1994, has 1,220 slots and 35 table games. Harrah's Shreveport is located about eight miles west of Louisiana Downs.

"We plan to take advantage of the numerous synergies between Harrah's Shreveport and Louisiana Downs, including cross-marketing and combined advertising opportunities," Loveman said.

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

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