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CR78-p02&03-International:SJC-Casino Review 22/3/09 01:15 Page 1
AGA lobbying for internet gambling
The American Gaming Association lobbied to the tune of
$368,000 during the fourth quarter mainly on the subject of
internet gaming. The association campaigned on several pieces of
legislation that would pave the way for the regulation of internet
gambling in the US by clarifying rules concerning financial crimes.
The association also lobbied on a bill ‘to provide for a study by the
INTERNATIONAL National Academy of Sciences to identify the proper response of
the United States to the growth of internet gambling.’
Las Vegas Sands parts
company with its president
to be
In a move underlining the current instability in the casino sector, Las Vegas Sands has partied ways with
in new Irish
William Weidner, its president and chief operating officer, although, as Phil Martin reports, both parties are
disagreeing as to who left who.
gettingthebill said in a research note. “We do believe firststeps
UNITED STATES investors are appropriately con- IRELAND
cerned about Stone’s continued
The president of Las Vegas Sands employment given his significant The Republic of Ireland’s
William Weidner, 63, has left his posi- contribution to the Las Vegas Sands goverment is to include new
tion with the US giant after being at efforts in Macau and, more recently, in laws to oversee casino
the forefront of the company for 14 the construction of the Marina Bay gaming in private members’
years, following months of behind Sands a key driver of the longer term clubs in a new anti-money
the scenes disagreements with Las growth story for the company.” Refer- laundering Bill, marking its
Vegas Sands chairman and CEO ring to Weidner, he added: “The news, first legislative move actually
Sheldon Adelson. while not a total surprise, has been legalising casinos.
Sands, which owes principal pay- received negatively by investors, as Minister for Justice
ments of $114.6m this year and evidenced by the sell off today.” Dermot Ahern wants “a
$197.6m in 2010, said in a regulatory Lawrence Klatzkin, an analyst with modern, responsive code
filing that Weidner left after being Jefferies & Co, described Stone as ‘a that recognises the fact that
told he would be replaced in four positive influence for the company, in some people gamble and
days. Weidner, however, stated in a our view’, but said: “At this point it is enjoy gambling”.
resignation letter that was included not known whether or not Stone will He is planning to develop
in Sands’ filing that he disagreed remain at the company.” a casino gaming control
with Adelson on how the company Adelson said Sands wanted to section in his department to
should be run. identify savings of $470m or annu- register and control the oper-
The disputes between the two ally but added ‘at that level, or ation of casinos and then
have been quite public and were perhaps more, there’s no need for us piece together legislation for
revealed in an SEC filing back in to go out and sell assets.’ a revised gambling code.
November which led to the board Adelson, another one for colourful
William Weidner: a casualty of
disagreement at Las Vegas Sands
He is meeting with four groups Around 50 private mem-
forming a committee to address dif- quotes, described Weidner’s depar- keen to invest in the company, includ- bers’ clubs are in operation
ferences between Adelson and other ture as a ‘shuffle in management’ and ing two construction firms looking to offering casino-type games.
senior managers. That filing revealed said it would improve Sands’ the company. It was time for me to finance construction of the two sus- Ahern said: “In reality, by
‘a loss of confidence’ by some of the prospects looking forward. “We just move on.” pended hotel projects in Macau in virtue of introducing regula-
management team. sort of helped him out a little bit,” he Analysts are already circling the exchange for a share in them. tion, it is likely that some
Las Vegas Sands’ share price has later told journalists. “We helped him rest of Sands’ upper management Adelson said that 19 companies venues may have to close
fallen 19.8 per cent in the last 17 resign a little bit. The only indispens- identifying if anyone else might be for have expressed an interest in buying down due to an inability to
months from an all-time high of ability in our lives are our wives.” the axe. Brad Stone, president of global the company’s two shopping malls in meet the conditions and
$148.76 on October 2007to $1.42, an Speaking to the Las Vegas Review, operations and construction, who is Macau in a move which boost the standards expected in a reg-
all-time low, this month. Weidner said: “With falling stock overseeing construction of the company’s share price although ulatory environment.”
Weidner was quoted in the last few prices and worsening global eco- company’s $5bn Marina Bay Sands in Adelson said he had ‘other viable, An industry-sponsored
months as describing bickering nomic conditions, disagreements and Singapore, is one name investors are credible, validated options.’ report recently claimed that
within the business as ‘a junkyard dog conflicts arose between me and keen to hear more about. Sands has already named Michael legalising the sector could
fight’ and a slow take up by the Adelson. As chairman, CEO and major- “We don’t know, nor would we Leven, 71, and a board member since generate up to €280m for the
company to raise a cash injection of ity owner, Mr. Adelson has more speculate about Stone’s employment 2004, as Weidner’s replacement economy and create 13,000
$2.1bn as ‘a monumental screw-up.’ recently insisted on more control of status,” JP Morgan analyst Joe Greff effective April 1. new jobs by 2020.
Major casinos size up
poker opportunity
onthecards concert halls, whilst Federation of Competitive
RUSSIA removing tables and slots. Preference on what poker
However, around 30 per tournaments would entail
Moscow casinos are hoping cent of Moscow’s 32 in terms of certifying staff
that they will still be able to remaining casinos are and equipment and CCTV.
offer gambling of sorts after hoping poker tournaments Storm spokesperson
the July ban comes into will fill the gambling void. Lavrenty Gubin added that
force this summer with The Federal Sports Agency of the company’s five
many looking to reclassify categorised poker, including casinos Jazz Town and
themselves as poker clubs. Seven-Card Stud Poker, Shangri-La were the most
The business model in Omaha and Texas Hold’em, likely to offer poker as part
Russia has seen gaming as a ‘sport’ in June 2007. of their entertainment
floors in the city’s bigger One Gaming Business offering.
venues develop as part of Association official said that Several casinos such as
wider entertainment poker doesn’t have any the Paris owned by Korston
centres. Deputy Mayor connection to the gambling are already operating
Sergei Baidakov believes business, on the back of tournaments. It currently
that many operators will which several operators, has six tables but is
retain these revenue including Storm planning to increase this to
streams by continuing to International, Kosmos and 22 in the near future.
run their restaurants, Casino de Paris are engaged Moscow currently has 517
entertainment centres and in discussions with The slot halls and 32 casinos.
2 April 2009 • internationalnews
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