Issue 164
November 3 - 9, 2003
Volume 3
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News
World's Largest Slot Tournament at Harrah's; Slot Players from Across the United States to Compete for $1 Million Grand Prize

Venetian a tower of power

Gambling games launched on mobile phones

Las Vegas: Flu knocks singer down, not out

Bingo halls want NYS to "butt" out


Show Time
Celine Dion performs in "A New Day" at Caesars Palace.

Tips from Gambling Greats: Howard "Rock 'n Roller" Newman By Frank Scoblete

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners


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World's Largest Slot Tournament at Harrah's Slot Players from Across the United States
to Compete for $1 Million Grand Prize

More than 260 of the nation's best slot players will gather at Harrah's Las Vegas on Nov. 3 to compete for $1 million and the title of National Champion of Slots at the finals of the ninth annual Harrah's Millionaire Maker.

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., which operates 25 casinos nationwide, has been hosting Millionaire Maker qualifying rounds at its casinos since January, with more than 10,000 participants vying for the finalist spots. The slot tournament is the largest in the world and the only one in the gaming industry to span four nationally known casino brands - Harrah's, Rio, Harvey's and Showboat.

Harrah's is bringing 262 top qualifiers along with a guest to Las Vegas for the finals, where one player will win the $1 million grand prize.

"Millionaire Maker is without equal in the gaming industry," said Gary Loveman, Harrah's president and chief executive officer. "For the ninth straight year, we are attracting the nation's best slot players, who will compete for the ultimate jackpot -- $1 million - and bragging rights as the national champion of slots."

Millionaire Maker finalists will compete in three 10-minute rounds of slot action, accumulating points as they go. Each machine is set on continuous play, so participants can generate the highest scores possible. The player with the highest point total at the end of the three rounds is named National Champion and wins the $1 million grand prize.

The finals of Harrah's Millionaire Maker are held at a different Harrah's-owned casino property each year. Harrah's Las Vegas has hosted the event twice before.

Founded 65 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. operates 25 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.

Venetian a tower of power

As Reported by The Las Vegas Journal

With a big boost in business from its new, 1,000-room tower and added convention space, net income tripled at The Venetian's holding company in the third 2003 quarter.

Bill Weidner, president of Las Vegas Sands Inc., owner of The Venetian, described the quarter as "stellar" during a conference call Thursday with Wall Street analysts.

"These results are a further testament to the strength of the company's basic business strategy," he said.

In brief, he said the strategy had three components: using the Sands Expo and Convention Center, a sister company also owned by Sheldon Adelson, to boost midweek room demand; targeting high-end casino play; and maximizing business from entertainment and other amenities.

Net income increased from $6.4 million to $19.7 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Cash flow, generally defined as earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization, and a key measure of profitability, increased to $70.7 million in the quarter, up 18 percent from $59.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue in the third quarter of 2003 increased to $168.3 million, up 10.1 percent from $152.5 million in the same period of 2002.

Total occupancy held steady at 96.6 percent despite the addition of the new tower, while revenue per available room increased to $185 from $172 in the previous year's third quarter.

Weidner pointed to the hotel business as particularly strong following the opening in July of The Venetian's new Venezia Tower, which coincided with a 150,000-square-foot expansion of The Venetian Congress Center.

Hotel revenues were $67.8 million in the third 2003 quarter, up 42.4 percent from $47.6 million in the same period a year earlier.

Weidner said construction on The Venetian's resort in Macau is more than half complete and the operation should open late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2004, despite the failure of the government there to change its credit rules.

Weidner also said planning is proceeding for The Venetian's second Las Vegas resort on the corner of Twain Avenue and the Strip, across the street from Wynn Resorts' new casino-hotel, but gave no indication on when construction might start or when the property might open.

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