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Atlantic City Weekly Roundup

4 September 2001

by Joe Weinert

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey –- Harrah's Atlantic City suffered a legal setback at the hands of a federal judge, who certified a casino host's reverse-discrimination lawsuit as class action.

Mary Osgood, a 20-year Harrah's employee, claims she was demoted from shift manager to casino host because of the company's affirmative-action policies that give preferences to minorities. She said she was replaced by an African-American male.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Orlofsky's ruling came less than two years after the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Resorts Atlantic City's affirmative-action policies, throwing the Casino Control Commission's mandated Equal Employment Business Opportunity Plan for all casinos into limbo.

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Carl Icahn's Sands Casino Hotel took the first step toward financing an unspecified expansion when it amended the indenture on its $110-million bond issue.

The change, disclosed in a federal securities filing, would allow Sands to borrow more money and grant liens on certain assets to back the new debt.

Investors must still vote for the plan, but Icahn said he will vote his 58 percent share of the bonds for the plan, ensuring its passage. Icahn stands to make $1.1 million by voting yes, as Sands will pay investors $17.50 per $1,000 in notes for each yes vote.

"This is a signal that the board is prepared to recognize that Sands has to expand and has to undertake a serious capital program," President Al Luciani said.

The board of parent GB Holdings is expected to decide on a major expansion program later this month.

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More than two-dozen Atlantic City casino waiters, bartenders, room attendants and cooks took off from their jobs to show just how good they are at their jobs.

Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (called the Culinary Union in Nevada) staged its fifth annual Labor Day Festival, which included unique contests among certain front-line casino workers.

Waiters holding trays of drinks raced the clock through an obstacle course, room attendants made up a queen-sized bed (winning time: 2 minutes, 14 seconds), and bartenders and cooks prepared fancy drinks and dishes that were submitted to a panel of judges. The winner in each category took home $250.

"We're showing off our trades. We're showing how hard it is to do these jobs," said Terry McCabe, the local's office manager and director of negotiations.

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Rainbow Dice, a new table game, made its national debut at Sands Casino Hotel. Played on a modified sic bo layout, Rainbow Dice involves six colored dice in a sealed shaker. None of the dice has matching colors and numbers.

Players wager on different color and number combinations, with the highest payout being 7,400 to 1.

Joe Weinert covers the gaming industry for The Press of Atlantic City. He can be reached at jweinert@pressplus.com.

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