Issue 139
May 12-18, 2003
Volume 3
page 1
 

This Issue

Gaming News
Harrah's Entertainment Honored in Customer Satisfaction Survey

Vegas Plays High Stakes Games with SARS

Caution - Bingo May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Atlantic City Casinos Get Approval for Public Beach Bars

Ontario Lottery Declares July `Millionaires Month


Show Time

Jay-Z will perform at the Rain at The Palms Resort Casino on June 8, 2003


Column
Dice Control - Fact or Fiction?

Mother's Day Gift Idea NEW

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners

 

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Harrah's Entertainment Honored in
Customer Satisfaction Survey

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.LAS VEGAS - Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. was the top-ranked casino hotel operator in a recent national customer satisfaction survey by Market Metrix, LLC, a leading provider of hospitality market research services.

Harrah's was ranked No. 1 for hotel operations by a gaming company in the first quarter 2003 Market Metrix Hospitality Index, which is comprised of 135 hotel brands, 25 airlines and 11 car rental companies. Companies are ranked within 11 separate categories based on the results of 30,000 consumer surveys conducted each quarter.

Harrah's joined an elite group of U.S. travel and hospitality brands atop the index, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, JetBlue Airways, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Walt Disney World Resorts. Harrah's and the Bellagio were the only two brands honored in the gaming industry; Harrah's in the general casino hotel category, the Bellagio among upscale casino hotels.

"Customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of Harrah's Entertainment," said Gary Loveman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harrah's Entertainment. "By delivering a level of customer service unparalleled by our competitors, we are laying the foundation for customer loyalty and long-term growth. This survey provides clear, independent evidence that American casino customers associate the Harrah's brand with superior
guest service.

"These results are a tribute to the tremendous efforts of our 42,000 employees nationwide, who turn our commitment to excellent customer service into reality," Loveman said.

Market Metrix researchers also noted the power of Total Rewards, Harrah's nationwide customer loyalty program. In a recent survey, Harrah's Total Rewards easily outdistanced customer loyalty programs operated by America's largest casino and hotel operators. According to Market Metrix, 30 percent of Harrah's customers polled said their Total Rewards membership played a critical role in their decision to stay at a Harrah's hotel, far exceeding all other customer loyalty programs in the hotel and gaming industries.

"Total Rewards has clearly become a force in driving customer loyalty to Harrah's," Loveman said. "With the introduction of the next generation of Total Rewards next month, we're confident Total Rewards will be the clear leader of customer loyalty programs for years to come."

Founded 65 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. operates 26 casinos in the United States, primarily under the Harrah's brand name. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its target customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.


Vegas Plays High Stakes Games with SARS

/Reuters/ - LOS ANGELES, CA - As SARS sweeps across Asia and the region's richest gamblers choose not to bet their health on a trans-Pacific flight, Las Vegas casinos are winning over big spenders from other regions, offering high-stakes tournaments to sustain play, casino bosses said on May 7.

Gamblers from the Far East are some of the highest wagering players in Las Vegas, and annually make up a large portion of casino revenues from table games like baccarat.

But as the pneumonia-like illness known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has spread through the Far East, the thought of contracting the illness through travel -- even First Class -- is one game not
worth playing.

"People don't want to be on a plane with 300 others for 14 hours and potentially be exposed to the virus," Harry Hagerty, chief financial officer of Park Place Entertainment Corp., said in a recent interview explaining a slowness in foreign business he attributed to SARS.

Like other casino operators, No. 1 Las Vegas casino owner Park Place, which owns Caesars Palace, has felt an extra dip in revenues in what is normally a slow spring season.

U.S. authorities have also been giving fewer visas to foreigners for fear of SARS, hoteliers say. John Marz, senior vice president at Mandalay Resort Group, which owns the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino, said that was one reason for a slowdown.

"Hong Kong is virtually crippled," and customers were staying home, Marz said.

China, Taiwan and Singapore had also been affected in the last 20 days or so, he said.

He said Mandalay could compensate for the drop with special events, like a recent prize boxing match, and by focusing marketing efforts on domestic and South American high-end business.

MGM BETTING ON BACCARAT

Casino operator MGM Mirage, which owns the swanky Bellagio hotel and claims two-thirds of the market for international high rollers, is betting that a big tournament of baccarat, a card game favored by high stakes players, will attract Asian gamblers in June.

So far reservations from the hundreds invited for the tournament are not behind the usual pace, said MGM spokeswoman Yvette Monet, but overall business is slower, she added.

"There has been a modest decrease in visits from Asia, and we believe that is due to the soft global economy aggravated among other factors by the outbreak of SARS in the last couple of months," she said.

MGM holds regular tournaments of baccarat and has had the June tournament scheduled for some time. In the end, MGM is sure the casino will win in the long run.

"We have faced larger issues than SARS, and the industry has proven itself very durable," said Monet.

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