Issue 210
September 20 - 26, 2004
Volume 4
page 1
 

This Issue

Gaming News

Caesars reaches casino deal with Fresno, Calif.-area Indian tribe

WORLD POKER TOUR -- WPT -- Season Three: Borgata in Atlantic City

Slot-machine resort sought for a redeveloped Allentown, Pa., steel mill

Resort gets green light

Caesar's going down the Wembley way

 

Show Time Bette Midler, winner of four Grammy Awards, performs at the MGM Grand.

Column Red to black with a Player's card By Mark Pilarski

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners

 

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Caesars reaches casino deal with Fresno, Calif.-area Indian tribe
As reported by The Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

The recently completed deal between Big Sandy Band of Western Mono Indians and Caesars Entertainment could bring millions of dollars to the tribe and gives the Las Vegas gaming giant a foothold in the fast-growing local casino market.

But the payback for the Friant-Auberry community is less clear.

The tribe is negotiating how much it may pay Fresno County for deputies, roads, water and sewers. And many of the estimated 2,500 jobs could be low-paying with high turnover rates, said a former industry official.

Expected to open in 2006, the $250 million casino-resort will feature at least 2,000 slot machines and 20 gaming tables. A 250- to 300-room hotel, several restaurants and shops are planned for the resort.

Caesars and the tribe have not said where they will build the 48-acre development, but county officials have indicated it will be near the intersection of Auberry and Millerton roads, about 10 miles northeast of Fresno.

For the tribe, the agreement -- finalized this week -- means a stream of revenue leaders say will be used for social services such as education and health care.

"Were just very excited, things are going to be moving fast -- it's overwhelming," said Connie Lewis, tribal chairwoman for Big Sandy Band.

Namely, the tribe must amend its compact with the state. Its current agreement governs the tribe's 329-slot Mono Wind Casino, about 15 miles northeast of the planned casino.

The tribe will continue to operate the Mono Wind Casino, at least for the time being, said Ric Contreras, tribal administrator for Big Sandy.

"It may be a smaller scale, it may be a different type of gaming operation, but we're going to keep it open," he said.

If the casino is approved and built, it would mark Caesars entry into California, a move one analyst said shows the state's tribal gaming industry is "big league."

"The name Caesars means the best," said Bill Thompson, a University of Nevada at Las Vegas professor who has written 10 books on the gaming industry.

Caesars will be able to promote its other outlets to a growing Fresno population, he said. Also the company may be planning to draw out-of-state visitors by packaging the resort with trips to nearby Yosemite National Park.


WORLD POKER TOUR -- WPT -- Season Three: Borgata in Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- The Borgata Casino kicked off the fourth stop on the acclaimed WORLD POKER TOUR Sunday, attracting record numbers of players to the second annual Borgata Poker Open. This year's event attracted 302 players for a $3,020,000 prize pool, a $1,845,000 increase over last year's event which drew 235 players. The winner of this year's $10,000 buy-in event will take home $1,117,400 and will advance to the WPT Championship when the tour's season culminates at Bellagio in April 2005. The WORLD POKER TOUR is the highest rated series in the history of the Travel Channel, airing Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The WORLD POKER TOUR continues to average a "poker millionaire a month" in its 15-tournament season. In Season Three the total prize money has already reached $11,194,570, a $5,786,590 increase over Season Two stops to date. The high stakes action is attracting increasing numbers of players vying for the prize money and fans eager to witness the minting of a millionaire at the Final Table. Projected to reach a total of $70 million, Season Three's prize pool is rising with every stop on the tour.

The public is invited to be part of the Final Table television audience when the Borgata Poker Open concludes on Wednesday, September 22, 2004. Fans will partake in a first-ever WPT Viewing Party, where they can fine-tune their game, win prizes, and socialize with other poker enthusiasts. Admission is free, and the first 1000 guests will receive a collectible WPT poker chip to commemorate the event. The doors open at 3:30 PM.

Some of the most recognizable faces playing at Sunday's tables included Borgata Poker Open's defending champion Noli Francisco, in addition to WPT stars Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer, Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, and Antonio Esfandiari.

The fifth stop of the WORLD POKER TOUR'S 15-tournament season is the Aruba Poker Classic, hosted by UltimateBet.com from September 26 through October 1. For the complete tournament schedule and casino contacts, please visit www.worldpokertour.com.

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