Issue 146
June 30 - July 6, 2003
Volume 3
page 1
Happy Independence Day!
 

This Issue

Gaming News
Atlantic City to Open First Casino in 13 Years

The Venetian Opens 'Venezia' Hotel Tower

Century Casinos Opens Casino Aboard Oceania Cruises' Regatta

Michigan Lottery Adds Bar Keno Game

West Virginia Tracks Net $420-Million from Slots Machines


Show Time

The Wallflowers Acoustic Performance will take place at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort Casino on July 12, 2003


Column
A Well-Placed Semi-Bluff Wins a Big 7-Stud Pot

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Atlantic City to Open First Casino in 13 Years

/Reuters/ - LOS ANGELES, CA - A touch of Las Vegas is heading east: Atlantic City on July 3rd will open its first casino in 13 years, a billion-dollar tower that dominates the landscape of a faded New Jersey seashore town in need of rejuvenation.

The 43-story Borgata brings Las Vegas luxury touches to a gambling center that matches the Nevada boomtown in visitors, but has stayed in its shadow for lack of glamour and fame.

Borgata could change that with its 2,002 marble and wood-lined rooms, 11 restaurants overseen by famous chefs, expensive shops and theaters, and even high-speed Internet for conventioneers.

But it's not easy to open a casino, even in a town that never sleeps. Las Vegas's newest casino, the Aladdin, went bankrupt in 2001, a year after it opened, and Atlantic City's own Taj Mahal went bankrupt in 1991, also a year after starting up. Meanwhile, sparkling American Indian-run casinos are drawing crowds in Connecticut, challenging Atlantic City.

"The logical extension of Atlantic City occurred in Connecticut," said Bob Boughner, head of the Borgata, which is a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and MGM Mirage, two big casino companies new to the city.

In a recent interview, Boughner blamed Atlantic City's dry spell on casino operators whom he said failed to "reinvent" the city. "They gave it a coat of paint and a clever ad campaign," he said. "That is not going to work
any more."

Gambling and Not Much Anything Else

Atlantic City and Las Vegas each draw about 35 million visitors annually. Las Vegas, however, brings in more money, with hotels, food and shows that provide about half the revenue for upscale properties and keep gamblers in town longer.

Outside the casinos in Atlantic City, the biggest attraction is the boardwalk along the beach, but the sand dunes are held together by partially visible rubber forms, and the sight of boarded-up houses temper the feeling
of nostalgia.

The Borgata is not the only new development, though.

There's also a new convention center, shopping and other casinos that, along with the Borgata, will add about 4,000 rooms - a 35 percent increase - between 2001 and 2005.

Standard & Poor's analyst Craig Parmelee predicted good business for the Borgata, which he said could weather some bad times thanks to a relatively light debt load and two strong backers.

Rivals Park Place Entertainment and Harrah's Entertainment could feel a pinch, though, he said.

Investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners said the Taj brought new visitors to


The Borgata is a first class casino hotel resort and entertainment complex consisting of approximately 4 million square feet, including a 2,000 room hotel, 130,000 square foot of casino space, 8 restaurants, a theater, an entertainment lounge, convention facilities, retail space & a parking structure.

the city in 1990, but also sucked business from rivals, whose profits took two years to recover.

Park Place spokesman Robert Stewart said he expected the impact of Borgata to die down in a month or two, and all casinos should benefit from the new crowd it draws.

"They are going after a younger market," he said, "and they are going after people who have said no to Atlantic City in the past."

Harrah's Chief Executive Gary Loveman also said the market would expand, and his company would do well despite new competition. He compared his modest casino in Las Vegas with the marble-clad Bellagio. "In all of Las Vegas, the casino with the highest win per unit is Harrah's Las Vegas," he said, "and it certainly did not cost as much as the Bellagio."


The Venetian Opens 'Venezia' Hotel Tower

LAS VEGAS - The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino opened the new Venezia hotel tower comprised of an additional 1,013 luxury suites and featuring a lavish pool deck, The Venetian's first wedding chapel, an exclusive Concierge-Level featuring a private lounge and a restaurant by Thomas Keller which is scheduled to open later this year.

Additionally, the Venezia opening coincides with the debut of The Venetian Congress Center expansion of 150,000 square feet, including three ballrooms, 64 meeting rooms and three permanent boardrooms. To accommodate the new expansion, The Venetian has added 1,000 more parking spaces.

Just as the The Venetian set a new standard for hospitality, luxury and convenience, the new $275 million, 12-story, all-suite Venezia furthers that legacy. As Las Vegas' only hotel featuring a Concierge Level, this "hotel within a hotel" promises to be both an oasis of tranquility and an unparalleled forum for business and discerning travelers. Guests will discover a new sense of refinement adjacent to world-class gaming and entertainment.

With the addition of Venezia, The Venetian is now the third largest hotel in the world by room count. "We are excited about the premiere of Venezia and all it has to offer our guests," noted Brad Stone, executive vice president of Las Vegas Sands Inc., the parent company of The Venetian. "This will be the only place in the world where guests can encounter 18 fine dining restaurants, the world's largest convention center and a world-renowned art museum all under one roof."

Venezia overlooks a lavish pool deck reminiscent of a Venetian garden. With breath-taking vistas, the pool garden features a swimming pool, three spas and ornate gazebos. Additionally, Venezia features The Venetian's first wedding chapel, a 2,500-square-foot area seating up to 160 people which can be separated into three smaller chapels. Later this year, Venezia will be home to an exciting new restaurant concept by acclaimed chef Thomas Keller.

Much like The Venetian's award-winning suites, the standard luxury suite accommodations of Venezia tower include elegant, modern Italian decor and average more than 700 square feet, but their nine-and-half (9'6")-foot ceilings allow for a greater sense of space. The standard suite includes 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 suite 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 suite features a safe large enough for a laptop computer, a fully stocked mini-bar and two 27-inch flat screen color TVs - one inside a bedroom armoire; the other located inside an entertainment center in the living room.

Included among the 1,013 new suites are 122 Concierge Level 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, complimentary shoe shine, 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 Concierge Level guests staying three or more nights.

The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, a recipient of the Exxon/Mobile Four Star Award, AAA's Four Diamond Award and the Five Star-Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, is one of the world's most luxurious resort and convention destinations. Additionally, the property has been honored as "The Top 5 Catering Departments in the World" by Meetings and Conventions Magazine.

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