Issue 27
March 14 - 20, 2001
Volume 1
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News
Grand Casino Gulfport Gets Approval for Pavilion Extension

Taiwan May End Gambling Ban, Builds Casino on Offshore Islands

Lake Michigan Riverboats Uses Barges to Compete With Rivals

Mohegan Sun Pays Current Employees to Recruit

United Way Organizations Thank Casinos for Contributions

Tropicana Atlantic City to Host Irish Festival

Auckland Casino to Expand Gaming Facility

Columns
Tax Guide for Gamblers:
Might Well be Most Important Book of the Year

Show Time
Commedians Penn & Teller to perform at Rio Suite Hotel Casino in Las Vegas from March 16 to April 1

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Grand Casino Gulfport Gets Approval
for Pavilion Extension

GULFPORT, MS - The Mississippi State Port Authority approved a request March 8 from Grand Casino Gulfport to build a $1 million covered pavilion, which the casino will use for concerts and boxing matches.

Joe Billhimer, Grand Casino's general manager, said construction will begin March 12 on the 38,000-square-foot pavilion, which will be built in front of the casino's parking garage and have room for 2,500 to 3,000 people.The casino plans to have the pavilion completed by May 19, in time for country music star Tim McGraw's annual benefit concert for the Brett Favre Forward Foundation.

The entertainment pavilion will allow Grand Casino Gulfport to compete with Biloxi casinos and Casino Magic Bay St. Louis.

Grand Casino Gulfport also wants to build a floating entertainment barge behind the casino and hopes to begin work on the project toward the end of the year. Grand Casino Gulfport has 1,000 hotel rooms, eight restaurants, a nightclub and a spa.


Taiwan May End Gambling Ban,
Builds Casino on Offshore Islands

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - A group of Taiwan lawmakers are pushing for a law to legalize gambling business on the offshore islands.

Gambling, for centuries condemned as a scourge of Chinese society, is now seen by some Taiwan officials as a solution to the economic woes of islands such as Penghu. Supporters say allowing gambling would boost economy, attract foreigners and reduce the huge sums Taiwanese wager away every year in Macau, Las Vegas, and the Philippines.

Anti-gambling activists argue that economic gains are overstated and legalization would cause obscenity, violence, and other social problems.

According to local television reports, Penghu business leader Li Fu Chen is actively preparing for a $666 million investment project in collaboration with U.S. firm Las Vegas Sands Inc. (LVSI), to develop a vacation villa in Penghu which will include a five-star hotel, a casino, restaurants and facilities for beach recreation activities. The casino would not only end a longstanding ban on gambling in Taiwan but also creates a new regional attraction for Chinese eager to test their luck.

Sheldon Andelson, chairman of the board of Las Vegas Sands, said in a press statement March 8 that LVSI would be interested in pursing a gaming venture in Taiwan if the local government would adopt a favorable policy towards gambling. He further stated, "LVSI have been in discussions with developers interested in establishing tourism and casino operations on Penghu Island. In the event that gaming is legalized in Taiwan, we believe that our expertise and resources in the hotel, tourism and gaming fields would be very helpful in the creation of a first class resort there."

The Penghu Islands, also known as the Pescadores, are located in the Taiwan Strait about 83 miles from the southern Taiwan city Kaohsiung.

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