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GAMING IN BRIEF: Black Gaming names new CEO

31 December 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Randy Black Sr. has relinquished some operational control of his troubled Mesquite casino empire.

Black Gaming has named Anthony Toti chief operating officer. He will oversee operations that includes the company's three Mesquite properties, a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.

The 49-year-old Toti joined Black Gaming in October 2007 as vice president of gaming operations and general manager of the CasaBlanca.

Black Gaming also owns the Virgin River and the Oasis, which closed its casino and part of its hotel Dec. 6, cutting 340 jobs.

The company is struggling financially and has defaulted on a portion of its $188.7 million debt load.

Toti is the first chief operating officer for Black Gaming since Jonathan Lowenhar left the company in September 2007 as part of an executive and management restructure that gave Black more day-to-day control.

Toti will receive a salary of $250,000 per year on a series of one-year contracts that will renew each Dec. 31. He will also receive an annual bonus of $50,000 on each renewal date.

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Southwest cuts fare to LV, if you book today

Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier of Las Vegas-bound passengers, is doing its part to goose bookings for early 2009.

The airline said it will knock 50 percent off the lowest fare to Las Vegas for people who book by midnight today and travel between Jan. 13 and March 11.

Round-trip fares available include $69 round-trip from Phoenix, $149 from Philadelphia, $159 from Dallas and $169 from Orlando, Fla.

The fares are available at www.southwest.com/lasvegas under the code "lasvegas."

Travel to Las Vegas by air was down nearly 15 percent in November and hotels are reducing rates to fill rooms.

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Slot maker IGT names chief financial officer

Slot machine giant International Game Technology named Pat Cavanaugh chief financial officer Tuesday, filling a position than had been vacant for more than 18 months.

Cavanaugh, 48, joined IGT in 2004 and has been the company's vice president of finance and investor relations. He had been CFO of Acres Gaming, a gaming technology company that was purchased by IGT in 2003.

IGT shares rose 76 cents, or 7.24 percent, Tuesday to close at $11.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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