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CR88-p20-America N1:SJC-Casino Review 21/1/10 18:00 Page 1
Lakes tune in to Tunica
Lakes Tunica Casino Management has entered
into a Development Services and Management
Agreement with Abston-McKay Ventures,
LLC, to perform development and
management services for a potential
casino located at the former Isle of Capri
site in Tunica, Mississippi. “We are
currently working on the details of the
casino development, but we expect it to
be a first class casino facility with the
exciting new games, restaurants,
entertainment, a hotel and other amenities to
which the public has become accustomed with
respect to Lakes’ managed properties,” said Lyle
Berman, Lakes’ CEO.
Analysts predict fall off for
Atlantic City strugglers
Despite the fireworks, there was little New Year optimism in Atlantic City where the economic slump and added
competition has taken gaming revenues down to 1997 levels. As Phil Martin reports, the promise of table
games in nearby Pennsylvania in 2010 will only hinder any recovery. Analysts believe some venues will close. Isle of Capri
to advise
atlanticpity of the neighbouring states
UNITED STATES are going after the business.” over
But there is little sympa-
These are tough times in thy from Pennsylvanian Greektown
Atlantic City where the cold operators. George Toth,
financial storm off the east president at Mount Airy
coast has forced casino rev- Casino, is the only casino
enues down 13.2 per cent owner in Pennsylvania cur- allgreektome
over the last year to rently with a hotel. He UNITED STATES
US$3.9bn. believes tables games will
The downturn, the third help drive room occupancy. Isle of Capri will provide mar-
year in succession that GGR “Our primary market will keting and operational con-
has fallen, was even across games market at roughly 30 Group, believes Atlantic City clubs, all of which are cur- shift from Pennsylvania to sulting services to Greektown
the board with slot machine per cent of the sector’s total will see a double-digit decline rently Atlantic City Unique New York and northern Casino-Hotel in Detroit,
revenues falling by 13.1 GGR. “This represents a large in table game GGR starting in Selling Points. New Jersey, the people now Michigan through the com-
percent to $2.72bn for the potential market for Pennsyl- 2011. He predicts that “With the addition of hotel going to Atlantic City,” Toth pletion of its current Chapter
year and table games vania, particularly for casinos Atlantic City’s decline in GGR rooms, fine dining outlets and said. ”We intend to own the 11 reorganization process.
decreasing by 13.5 per cent located in the eastern part of should be in the single digits entertainment, that would be New York and northern The management board of
to $1.22bn. the state and in relatively easy for 2010, mainly because it is an extra point of competition New Jersey markets.” Greektown Casino-Hotel also
December’s GGR driving distance to Atlantic likely to take Pennsylvania not only for gaming cus- Joel Simkins, gaming said that Cliff Vallier has been
dropped by 9.8 per cent, one City,” said Moody’s analyst most of 2010 before table tomers, but also for retail cus- analyst for Macquarie Secu- named as the property’s chief
of the few months in 2009 Keith Foley. games are rolled out. tomers,” Perkins said. rities, fears the worst. “Fully executive officer, effective
that had only a single-digit Moody’s believes that Even Linda Kassekert, Whilst not quite writing fledged casinos in Pennsyl- immediately. Both announce-
decline but that was seen as Atlantic City operators chair of the New Jersey the eulogies for what is tradi- vania will definitely add ments are subject to approval
the tiniest of positives. Harrah’s Entertainment and Casino Control Commission, tionally America’s second another thorn in the side of from the U.S. Bankruptcy
All 11 Atlantic City casinos Trump Entertainment predicted that Pennsylvania favourite gambling play- a shrinking Atlantic City Court and the Michigan
recorded lower revenue in Resorts could be especially table games will have a nega- ground, other analysts were market,” he said. “With Gaming Control Board.
2009, with only Borgata and hurt by the decision in Penn- tive effect on the Atlantic City more damning in their regards to Atlantic City, we Greektown Casino-Hotel
Trump Taj Mahal experienc- sylvania. “These companies, market with the city continu- assessment of the future. continue to believe that not Management Board member
ing single-digit declines. At already suffering from weak ing to lose the ‘convenience Robert LaFleur, a Wall all of the 11 properties will Jake Miklojcik, said: “This
the bottom of the pile were gaming demand and gamblers’ in Pennsylvania Street gaming analyst with be able to survive following new leadership has the exten-
the Hilton and Trump Plaza increased competition from who want to stay closer to Susquehanna Financial the passing of table games sive experience and demon-
both of which saw a 22.9 slots in Pennsylvania, are home. She is clinging to the Group asked: “Why would in Pennsylvania.” strated ability necessary to
per cent revenue drop. bound to see further hope that the attractions that anyone continue to drive to Something has to give. boost the performance of the
Atlantic City’s GGR declines in gaming revenues have made Atlantic City a des- Atlantic City? This is just Atlantic City has lost the property over the long term.
peaked at $5.22bn in 2006. owing to the new table game tination resort where people another nail in the coffin for monopoly it once enjoyed As we look to the future and
Pennsylvania’s decision to legislation,” Foley said. want to stay the night will the Atlantic City market.” on table games among its continue to seek opportuni-
regulate table games will only “There are more states and keep out of towners coming. Gaming Analyst Steve neighbouring states; it can’t ties to improve performance,
hinder the credit profiles of more facilities scrapping However Perkins believes Schwartz added: “This move afford to lose any more of its maximize profits and mini-
the east coast’s struggling over an ultimately finite and that the extra footfall gener- by Pennsylvania could com- attraction. The $2bn Revel mize costs, Mr. Vallier and Isle
venues with more competi- possibly permanently ated by the introduction of pletely shift the balance of casino is set to open in 2011 of Capri know the Midwest
tion in nearby States eating smaller pie.” table games in Pennsylvania’s power in the casino industry but after that who knows market, they know casino
further into visitation levels. Harvey Perkins, a senior casinos could see the addi- in the Northeast. Atlantic City what investment will be management and they are
Moody’s Investor Services vice president with consult- tion of upscale hotels, retail customers are ripe for the heading to the east coast. positioned to take the prop-
pitches Atlantic City’s table ing firm Spectrum Gaming shops, restaurants and night- picking, and it seems that all erty to the next level.”
Virginia McDowell, the
president and chief operating
officer of Isle of Capri, added:
Mighty M feels humbled by Pennsylvania
“Our company recognises
that, even in this challenging
economic environment, we
have the opportunity to
penpushing the Monticello has long tried launched a new and exten- provide services to gaming
UNITED STATES to become a fully fledged sive advertising campaign assets in new and existing
Indian gaming casino via the designed to retain and markets in order to leverage
Empire Resorts, the owner St. Regis Mohawk tribe. attract customers, it will not our operational expertise
of the Monticello Casino and Charles Degliomini, exec- completely off-set the addi- while having a positive impact
Raceway in the New York utive vice president of tional business Pennsylva- on our balance sheet. We
metro area claim it will need Empire Resorts, said: “Penn- nia may acquire from our firmly believe in the upside
to operate table as well as its sylvania adds to their already existing market by now potential at Greektown, and
1,800 Video Lottery Termi- existing competitive advan- offering a major attraction the team now in place has the
nals, if it is going to keep tages by rolling out table like live table games,” Deglio- skills and experiences to help
pace with markets such as games at their casinos, mini added. “We will con- petitive, there is no doubt same product and gaming guide the management
Pennsylvania. which will intensify compe- tinue to compete for market we need to be able to experience that exists in through the remainder of their
Nicknamed the Mighty M, tition. Although we have just share, but in order to be com- provide our customers the Pennsylvania.” reorganization.”
20 February 2010 • northamericannews
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