Issue 79
March 12 - 18, 2002
Volume 3
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News
National Poll Reveals Casino Patrons "Just Like Us"

Lithuania Opens First Casino

Puyallups Plan Washington’s Largest Casino

Celine May Entice More Stars To Shine in Vegas

Show Time

One of Hollywood's funniest entertainers Robin Williams will perform at the Grand Garden Arena at MGM Hotel Casino on April 27

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National Poll Reveals Casino Patrons "Just Like Us"

WASHINGTON - According to survey results released on March 7 by the American Gaming Association (AGA), the portrait of the modern casino patron closely mirrors the average American. In fact, the percentage of casino patrons who own their own home, have a family income greater than $60,000, and read a newspaper once a day for at least 15 minutes is slightly higher than that of the general public.

The poll, conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., and The Luntz Research Companies, reveals that casino patrons are successful, well-rounded individuals who are involved in their community. According to the poll:

73 percent of casino patrons own their own home, compared to 68 percent of average Americans.

51 percent of casino patrons read a newspaper every day for at least 15 minutes, compared to 42 percent of average Americans.

26 percent of casino patrons have a family income over $60,000, compared to 22 percent of average Americans.

Other key findings of the poll show that:

41 percent of casino patrons attend religious services at least once a week, compared to 45 percent of average Americans.

29 percent of casino patrons attend at least one major league baseball game, compared to 21 percent of average Americans.

41 percent of casino patrons eat dinner with their family every night of the week, compared to 42 percent of average Americans.

The release of the national polling data marks the kickoff of a yearlong national campaign by the AGA to emphasize that casino customers represent a slice of America - just like your neighbors, your friends, your family and yourself. . The campaign theme, "Just Like US," will be a fixture of AGA activities and communications throughout 2002.

Full poll results will be released this spring as part of the 2002 State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment. A total of [900] adult Americans were interviewed in January 2002. An additional 441-person over sample of gamblers also was conducted. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3 percent.

The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.

"Not long ago, a federal study commission's report said, 'Once exotic, gambling has quickly taken its place in mainstream culture.' They were right," said AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. "These poll results show that casino customers are just like average Americans, and in many areas, such as income and home ownership, they excel."

Additional findings reveal that casino patrons are charitable and patriotic. While 66 percent of average Americans donate at least a hundred dollars of their annual income to charity, 69 percent of casino patrons do so. And 71 percent of casino patrons fly an American flag outside their home or on their car, compared to 67 percent of average Americans.

Lithuania Opens First Casino

LITHUANIA - The Baltic Times reported recently "following last July's lifting of a nationwide gambling ban Lithuania's first casino has opened for business in the sea port city of Klaipeda.

Players at the Nese Hotel's casino can choose from four gambling tables, three of them for card games and one for roulette.

Some 20 croupiers are on hand to assist up to 30 players at a time in a classic English style casino setting.
Kazys Paulikas, Nese's owner, has spent the last few months visiting casinos in Las Vegas and talking to Belgian consultants in an effort to ensure the project's success.

The opening night at the casino on March 1 proved popular although nobody bagged the maximum potential payout of 1.2 million litas (US$300,000).

But Nese's casino will not have long to wait before competitors start nipping at its heels.

Last month two gambling halls were opened in Vilnius by Estonia's Olympic Casino Group Baltija, owner of the Baltic states' biggest casino, the Park Hotel and Casino in Tallinn, and owner of 12 gambling halls in Estonia.

The company plans more gambling halls and to open a casino in August.

Casino Planet plans to open casinos in Vilnius' former planetarium building and in Lubys' Vetra Hotel in Palanga this year.

Meanwhile an as yet unidentified Latvian enterprise is planning a casino in Lithuania's second largest city, Kaunas, and is advertising for croupiers to work at the city's Los Patrankos nightclub.

Lithuania lies in the east of Europe, on the coast of the Baltic Sea. In the north Lithuania borders with Latvia, in the east and south with Byelorussia, in the southwest with Poland and with the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation.

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