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Gaming Guru

Rod Smith
 

Inside Gaming Column: A Strip Yes, But Not the Strip, Wynn Says

28 August 2006

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- With Wynn Macau about to open next month, megadeveloper Steve Wynn has been dreaming up plans for his next resort off the coast of China, this one on the so-called Cotai Strip. Wynn says his property is big enough to host four hotel-casinos or two megaresorts. Wynn is also fond of pointing out that the name Cotai Strip is misleading. Although named for the Las Vegas Strip, it's really much shorter, less than the distance from Wynn Las Vegas to the MGM Grand. And unlike our Strip, where many people walk, no one walks in Macau. Wynn says it's too hot and humid. "It'll take a lot of work to turn the Cotai Strip into an integrated, bustling place. It's not as simple as build it and they will come. You have to build it well."

Keno is making a comeback at Caesars Palace in a new 1,000-square-foot, 22-seat lounge, decorated in a retro pink and brown décor, near James Beard's and Bradley Ogden's restaurants and the Colosseum showroom. Keno supervisor Dolly Wells says the lounge is a hot spot, especially for newcomers, since competitors are closing their keno rooms. While it may be smart strategy, Palace old timers are still complaining. They say "dressing up" the old Keno games from Café Lago fits with offering bingo and is reminiscent of the scene from a Chevy Chase movie about a Vegas family vacation. Remember the keno winner clenching his chest as he dies of a heart attack?

USA Today recently reported it doesn't get more "Vegas" than the 11-acre pool complex at Mandalay Bay. Pretty good publicity, but credit where credit's due. Mandalay Bay calls its pool a beach and trucked in tons of sand to prove it. Its wave pool creates big enough swells for minor-league body surfing. And now the complex features an exclusive adult section with its own cover charge, the Moorea Beach Club. Mandalay calls it "European bathing," but it's better known as topless. And just as in Europe, some of the topless beauties are the biggest draws for the complex.

Justice delayed. There may finally be fireworks at a Gaming Control Board hearing set for Friday over a long-contested, million-dollar jackpot. A lot of slot players think when the bells ring, they win. Not necessarily. Insiders think the board likely will side with the Hard Rock Hotel and decide that Patricia Krider didn't win her $1.4 million jackpot more than three years ago. They argue the machine she played had a faulty chip. But hold on. It seems the casino and state regulators -- and others in the casino -- knew the machine needed repairs and just didn't do anything about it. So where would a ruling in Hard Rock's favor leave future players who don't know anything about faulty chips?

Gaming Wire Editor Rod Smith can be reached by phone at 477-3893 or by e-mail at rsmith@reviewjournal.com.