Issue 268
October 31 - November 6, 2005
Volume 5
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News

Expanded Gambling in West Memphis

Racetrack owner pushes back opening of casino

Aspers Casino now open

Onshore construction appropriate

Premier AG to Launch Online Casino In Germany

Show Time Bon Jovi performs at Mohegan Sun.

Column Penny Slots By John Grochowski.

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners


Not yet subscribed to the Casino City Newsletter? Sign up NOW!


Expanded Gambling in West Memphis
As reported by

WEST MEMPHIS, Arkansas -The Southland Greyhound Park once brought in crowds in excess of 20,000 people, but now due to competition from the casinos in Tunica, park officials are looking to bring back customers with a resolution to add an expanded gambling experience.

"This is just an expansion of what already exists and with those new games would come new jobs," said Jobs for West Memphis Campaign Director Robert McLarty.

"The video type games that they are proposing to put at Southland are the most addictive form of gambling," said West Memphis First Baptist Church Pastor Ron Kirkland.

Early voting opened on Monday for a resolution to bring an additional 500 to 1000 skilled video gaming terminals to the Southland Greyhound Park. The park already has 80 of these units in use.

"This election is really about jobs bringing more good jobs to West Memphis," said McLarty.

"Gambling is the most addictive activity a person can engage in," said Kirkland.

Both sides believe the result of this election will have a dramatic effect on the local economy.

"Tunica has been a blow to the area as far as the economy and this will help generate additional revenues and additional jobs," said McLarty.

"You can plot the growth of Crittenden County on a chart and show how the growth of the county the economic development of the county did not turn upward when the dog track arrived it turned downward," said Kirkland.

If the resolution is passed Jobs for West Memphis believes it could bring more than 400 news jobs to West Memphis, but opponents believe the negatives far outweigh the positives.

"There will be people who lose their jobs because of this vote, there will be people whose family will break up as a result of this vote," said Kirkland.

If this resolution is passed a number of local churches feel this could just be a precursor to more gambling in the area.

"The object is just the next step toward having casino gambling in Crittenden County," said Kirkland.
After less than a week of voting, officials with Jobs for West Memphis believe more than 1000 people have already come out to place their vote on this issue. But with more than a week a voting left this issue has yet to hit the home stretch.

Racetrack owner pushes back opening of casino

As reported by the The Patriot-News

GRANTVILLE, Pennsylvania - The owner of Penn National Race Course in Grantville has pushed back its projected opening of a slot-machine casino at the track from the spring of 2007 to the third quarter of that year.

The delay is the result of an ongoing political dispute within the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board over distribution of gaming machines in the state. The dispute centers on whether machine distributorships should be established on a regional or statewide basis. The PGCB has not resolved the issue, failing again last week to reach a consensus.

"We'll just sort of wait it out," Penn National CEO Peter Carlino said Thursday during a conference call to discuss the company's third-quarter financial results. "It will get settled, but in some indeterminate time."

The company had expected to open the casino by the spring of 2007. It once had thought an opening in the second half of 2006 was possible after the gaming legislation was approved last year.

Penn National plans to build a casino with 2,000 slot machines at the Grantville racetrack. It said construction will take 12 to 14 months, so it needs to begin work next spring to reach its projected opening in the third quarter of 2007.

The company has vowed not to start construction until it receives a license. At this point, the PGCB won't be in a position to evaluate and grant licenses until late next April, after it resolves the distributorship issue.

Carlino said a temporary 25,000-square-foot facility should be completed by December at the Grantville track to handle horseracing and simulcasting activities. Penn National can then demolish the existing grandstand to make way for the casino.

Penn National now expects to spend $262 million on the casino, up from an earlier forecast of $240 million. The estimated cost includes the $50 million gambling license.

"We're ready to roll," Carlino said. "We're just going to have to let this unfold."

Penn National reported net income of $55.4 million, or 64 cents a share, for the third quarter. Income included a nearly $38 million gain from the sale of its Shreveport, La., casino.

The quarterly results also include the financial impact from destruction of Penn National's two casinos along the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina. The company posted a pre-tax expense of $19.1 million for deductibles on insurance, as well as $4.1 million to continue providing pay and benefits for nearly 2,000 employees affected by the two closings.

Bill Clifford, chief financial officer, said the company's insurance "will be more than adequate" to pay for reopening the casinos at Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, Miss.

Third-quarter earnings, without the Katrina expense and the Shreveport sale, amounted to 37 cents a share. Penn National stock gained 4.4 percent Thursday to close at $27.45 a share.

In other developments, Carlino said a temporary gaming facility in Bangor, Maine, will open Nov. 4.

The facility will have 475 slot machines.

Carlino said the company hopes to start construction of a permanent facility in the second quarter next year.

Kevin DeSanctis, president and chief operating officer, said Penn National's casino in Baton Rouge, La., has been doing a robust business in the aftermath of Katrina.

"We think things are going very well right now," he said, but he cautioned that "we don't know how long this will last."

Tell us what you think about our newsletter. Copyright 2000-2005 Casino City. All rights reserved Casino City is a trademark of Please read our Disclaimer of Warranty