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Liz Benston

Former Prive workers blast handling of tips

10 August 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Former employees of the beleaguered Prive nightclub have spilled juicy stories of how management condoned drug use, allowed pimps into the club and entertained VIPs with drugs and strippers in a backroom called "Table 69." One major reason why they're talking: They're unhappy with how ... (read more)

Big fine establishes hard line on nightclubs

27 July 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- When posh nightclubs became a big profit center for casinos a few years ago, many wondered how far gaming regulators would go to police activity inside the clubs — where a combustible mix of free-flowing booze and scantily clad patrons and employees create potential, even inevitable, ... (read more)

Gauging casino buyouts' role in misfortune

13 July 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Private equity firms made offers to acquire Harrah's Entertainment and Station Casinos in 2006 and early 2007, when capital was cheap and business was booming. Their strategy was to boost the companies' value through job cuts and other cost reductions and take the companies public again after a few years at a large profit. ... (read more)

Harrah's plans new 'street' of bars, eateries near Strip

13 July 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- More than two years ago, executives at Harrah's Entertainment made a momentous decision: They wouldn't tear down any of their Las Vegas casinos to build new ones. They didn't announce their intentions at the time. The economy was still humming, and with tourism booming and new resort ... (read more)

Primm's lure: Freebies

6 July 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- On a recent Monday afternoon, Buffalo Bill's — a Western-themed casino about 45 miles from the Strip at the California border — offers a glimpse of Las Vegas' past. The place is hopping. A line to sign up for the players club snakes through the casino and toward the lobby. ... (read more)

Culinary Union agrees to wage freeze

22 June 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Sympathetic to recession-reeling Strip casinos, the Culinary Union has agreed to postpone by one year a wage increase that was supposed to take effect June 1. The agreement, which is expected to be approved by union members today after months of negotiations, will spread an expected 34-cents-per-hour increase in wages due this year over the remaining years of the contract. ... (read more)

Harrah's thinks it can gain from online gambling

22 June 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- For a time, big American casinos were making noises about wanting to expand gambling in cyberspace, as a way to extend their brands. And why not? The evidence was that Internet gambling sites actually boosted business for bricks-and-mortar casinos, especially poker rooms. The Internet ... (read more)

Amid cost cuts, executives' pay raises hackles

15 June 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- When Station Casinos last year reported that top executives exercised more than $200 million in stock options triggered by a $9 billion management-led buyout by a private investment company in late 2007, critics attacked the lavish rewards, which made Station bosses the highest ... (read more)

Smoking study capped Caesars dealer's long, lonely fight

13 May 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- During the 25 years she worked as a Caesars Palace dealer, Terrie Price was one of a few vocal anti-smoking dissenters among thousands of largely silent casino workers. Price believes her efforts to force her employer to address secondhand smoke, even as a growing body of ... (read more)

Vegas room rates to rise from rock bottom

11 May 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Strip's largest casino operator last week reported an uptick in room bookings and fewer convention cancellations. MGM Mirage executives said demand for the company's hotel rooms is high enough to warrant an increase in room rates, which have plummeted during the downturn. Raising ... (read more)

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