Issue 165
November 10 - 16, 2003
Volume 3
page 2

MGM Mirage gets approval for stake in British casino
As Reported by The Las Vegas Review-Journal

The King of the Strip is another step closer to opening its first United Kingdom casino, as Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage announced Friday that British regulators approved its deal to buy a quarter-share of a British casino company.

MGM Mirage executives flew to the United Kingdom for a hearing Thursday by the Gaming Board for Great Britain, and regulatory approval was granted immediately afterward, company spokeswoman Yvette Monet said.

The panel then approved MGM Mirage's purchase of a 25 percent stake in Metro Casinos Ltd., a deal announced in May. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The gaming panel also granted Metro a certificate to own and operate a casino it is building in Bristol, England, a city of 400,000 that has three small casinos.

The British approval is particularly significant because it indicates MGM Mirage would fare well if the company develops additional casinos in the United Kingdom and faces future regulatory decisions, Monet said.

MGM Mirage announced last week its second British casino development deal, including plans to build a $255 million London casino resort. MGM Mirage, Earls Court and Olympia Group entered into a joint venture development to build a 300,000-square-foot casino complex in the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London.

UBS Warburg analyst Robin Farley noted recently that British regulatory approval could help MGM Mirage's prospects in a postderegulation race to open U.S.-style casinos.

"This could allow MGM to beat the rush if deregulation occurs," Farley wrote in a research note.

MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni said in a statement that the decision pleased him.

"We see the U.K. as being a significant market in which we will be able to utilize our depth of knowledge and experience to develop large-scale gaming, leisure and entertainment complexes," Lanni said. "Although today's announcement relates to our relatively modest investment in Bristol, it nevertheless confirms our entrance into the U.K. market."

The MGM Mirage-Metro deal announced in May included plans to work together to develop additional Bristol casinos as well as a possible expansion of the Westcliff Casino, in Westcliff on Sea.




Casino Expansion Plan
There's a deal on the table in the South Valley that could expand a popular casino and generate cash for Kings County as well.

Owners of "The Palace" want to add a hotel to the casino in Lemoore to compete with the new Chukchansi Casino in Coarsegold.

The proposed hotel would have more than 200 rooms.

The county is looking to impose a hotel room tax. Casino owners already have a $95 million loan from Kings County. They pay the county $900,000 a year for up-keep of the casino.

Both sides say they expect to reach a compromise, but county officials say the proposed hotel tax will either make or break the deal.

Casino To Create Hundreds Of Jobs For Struggling Economy
The casino has been the talk of the town in International Falls. Judging from a show of hands at the public meeting, the community is evenly split over the idea. Tom Manka, a retired school teacher, took out an ad in the local paper inviting people to show up to oppose the plan.

The Red Lake Band of Ojibwe already operates casinos in Thief River Falls, Warroad and Red Lake. A gaming agreement with the state says they can build one more. And Red Lake wants to put it near a busy highway on the west side of International Falls.

The casino would be alcohol free. It would include 400 slot machines, eight blackjack tables, a restaurant and, eventually, a convention center. Gene McArthur, the tribe's business development director, says putting a casino in International Falls was not Red Lake's idea.

The idea came from an economic development commission that includes officials from the city and Koochiching County. They've offered to give the tribe the land and put in necessary infrastructure for free.

Like other rural communities, International Falls has struggled to attract businesses, industry and jobs. County Commissioner Wade Pavleck says the situation has become desperate.

Several people at the public meeting stood in favor of a casino. Phil Paulbeck, a local business owner, says the town can't continue to rely solely on the Boise Paper Mill.
But several people warned a casino will bring gambling addiction, crime, and other social problems. Wilbur Fast has written letters to the local paper opposing the casino.

"Opposition to the casino proposal is growing," said Fast. "The last chapter in the book has not yet been written. Like Yogi Berra said about the ball game, 'It ain't over 'til it's over.'"

Simon and Garfunkel

MGM Grand: Paul Simon, left, and Art Garfunkel are together again as a singing pair. The tour visits the MGM Grand Saturday.

Date: November 15, 2003

Time: 8:00pm

Price: from $81.00

For more information please call: (702) 474-4000
Tell us what you think about our newsletter.
Copyright � 2000-2003 Casino City. All rights reserved
Casino City is a trademark of Please read our Disclaimer of Warranty