Issue 345
April 23 - April 29, 2007
Volume 7
page 2

Harrah's signs deal with PokerTek
by Ryan McLane, Casino City

Harrah's Entertainment made PokerTek its official automated poker table company Thursday, agreeing to use the PokerPro table in any future electronic installations at their gaming properties worldwide.

Included in the agreement was the right for PokerTek to use the World Series of Poker brand on their tables. PokerTek founder Lou White said the two elements of the agreement will help spread both brands across the globe.

Harrah's operates 50 casinos in 13 states and six countries. White said he's not sure which properties will implement his electronic tables.

"We believe that there is a market for automated poker throughout our properties," said Harrah's table games chief Gerry Tuthill in a statement. "Poker continues to boom and many players who have learned the game enjoy the fast paced action PokerPro tables offer."

The PokerPro tables will not appear during 2007 WSOP tournaments. But White does believe that PokerTek tables may have a niche in WSOP tournament structure, especially considering Harrah's is adding a heads up tournament to the 2007 schedule.

White said his heads up PokerPro tables are a natural fit for the heads up event because it erases the burden of using one dealer for every two players and speeds up an event that can take days to complete.

"I believe you might see our tables at the 2008 WSOP," White said.

The second part of the agreement will allow PokerTek to sell WSOP branded tables.

PokerTek's arrangement to sell WSOP-branded tables is similar to an agreement it has with the World Poker Tour that has seen some success. Carnival Cruise lines, one of the largest PokerTek accounts, currently offers WPT-branded poker tables on some of their ships, allowing customers to play poker rather than a cruises' traditional table-gambling games, White said.

"We welcome the opportunity to extend the reach of the World Series of Poker through this arrangement," said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. "The WSOP is the number one brand in poker, and PokerTek is a welcome addition to our team."

Harrah's did not return a Casino City calls Friday for additional information on the agreement.


Atlantic City smoking law begins
As reported by The Press of Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - "They complained that they were being treated like outcasts, second-class citizens and 'a rat in a cage.'

"Suddenly, they found themselves crammed into relatively small, smoke-filled sections of the casino floor. Other parts of the casino contained signs that blared the words 'Smoking Prohibited.'

"…For angry smokers, there was a lot more huffing and a lot less puffing at Atlantic City's 11 casinos as a new local law took effect Sunday that restricts smoking to no more than 25 percent of the gaming floor.

"For the first time in the city's 29-year history of casino gambling, most of the gaming floor is off-limits to smoking. Previously, casinos had voluntarily set aside only small areas for nonsmoking gamblers.

"…As another reminder, the Taj Mahal has affixed small decals on its slot machines and video poker games that depict the universal no-smoking symbol, a cigarette with a line drawn through it.

"…Casinos fear gamblers will flee Atlantic City en masse for gaming jurisdictions that don't have smoking restrictions…"

Mohegan Sun goes coinless
As reported by The Boston Herald

CONNECTICUT - "Mohegan Sun is taking the ca-ching out of the casino. Or at least they're taking the coins out.

"The Connecticut casino resort is converting all of its slot machines to a coinless system, and trimming its labor costs in the process.

"By May 1, all 6,000 Mohegan Sun slots will be coin-free, making it the first New England casino to get rid of coins in favor of paper money. The casino has been gradually phasing out the use of coins in its slots in recent years.

"Almost all slots at Mohegan Sun now use payout tickets that can be redeemed for cash, said Frank Neborsky, vice president of slot operations. The last of the machines that still take quarter and dollar coins are on their way out.

"It's part of a natural evolution that will help decrease the labor costs of dealing with thousands of coins, Neborsky said. Since starting the process in 2005, Mohegan Sun has seen a 20 percent decrease in staffing, the casino said…"

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