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Gaming Guru

Rod Smith
 

Inside Gaming Column: Mandalay Still Likes Idea of Illinois

8 September 2003

LAS VEGAS -- Mandalay Resort Group's Glenn Schaeffer says his company is still interested in landing Illinois' 10th casino license despite avoiding the competition so far. Also, while other operators are cutting their Illinois operations to get their revenues below the $250 million cutoff qualifying them for the top 70 percent incremental gaming tax, Mandalay's $400 million-a-year Elgin, Ill., operation is just too big to duck the tax rate. Making sure the 10th license goes forward, however, would cut the state's top incremental tax back to 50 percent, with Mandalay the biggest winner.

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The $1.1 billion Borgata has a hole in its armor. The Press of Atlantic City is reporting 10 of the hotel's gold window panes have shattered since construction work wrapped. Chief Executive Officer Bob Boughner expects to lose up to 1 percent, or 100, of the 20,000 windows. "They're just defective," he said. The 7.5-by-14.5-foot panes, which cost $2,000 each, have shattered in place and not fallen in pieces to the ground so hotel guests aren't at risk.

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Harrah's Entertainment President Gary Loveman last month won kudos for being the top fan of the Meals on Wheels Association of America. Don't get us wrong. Loveman's not a beneficiary, but a donor. Harrah's has committed $1 million over three years, donated 15 delivery vans, and has enlisted the help of National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing drivers Larry Foyt and A.J. Foyt. For his involvement, Loveman got the Golden Plate Award at the Annual National Conference at the Rio.

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Trendy spam. The mail-filtering firm Clearswift recently found online gaming spam increasing while pornographic spam is dwindling. Online gaming, casinos and betting sites put out 7 percent of worldwide spam, Clearswift found. (Porn may have peaked, but it still accounts for 15.2 percent). Meanwhile, InformaMedia Group predicts online gaming revenue will reach $14.5 billion by 2006. So don't expect the casino spam to decrease anytime soon.

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Could the Montreal Expos be coming to Las Vegas? Unlikely, but ESPN recently ran a survey ranking cities for professional sports teams and Las Vegas ranked No. 8. ESPN listed population -- 2.5 million people by 2010, more than Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; or Tampa Bay, Fla., -- as a prime strength. "But the national pastime is as likely to align itself with America's other pastime as Vegas is of shutting down the casinos." For weakness, ESPN said to "check with Pete Rose."

The Inside Gaming column is compiled by Gaming Wire Editor Rod Smith. You can contact him by phone at (702) 477-3893, fax (702) 387-5243 or e-mail at rsmith@reviewjournal.com.