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Inside gaming column: In Macau plot twist, Wynn shuts Tryst

30 April 2007

MACAU AND LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Wynn Macau closed its Tryst nightclub a week ago because Chinese gamblers eschew nightclubbing in favor of the casino's baccarat tables.

"The night-time venue did not work as we expected," Grant Bowie, president of Wynn Macau told the Macau Daily Business Blog. "This is part of a continued experiment, and (Steve) Wynn's approach is to do different things to enliven the place and create a new environment."

Bowie said the Tryst space would be turned into a private gaming area.

Meanwhile, Bob Moon, president of the MGM Grand Macau, which is scheduled to open in December, said developers are taking a "wait-and-see" approach to nightclubs.

"We have not decided what we will initially do in regards to the nightclub venues," Moon said "You could spend a lot of capital to build something just to tear it out. We would prefer to evaluate what is right for the market."

Unlike typical gamblers, Las Vegas politicians don't have to waste their time and money at the tables to get comps from the local grind joints.

They just have to open a campaign account.

Las Vegas City Council members received more than $80,000 in contributions from casino operators in 2006, according to a conservative estimate based on campaign finance reports.

Mayor Oscar Goodman led the pack with $42,000 in casino donations. About half, $20,000, came in the form of two $10,000 contributions from Boyd Gaming Corp., which owns three downtown casinos. Goodman logged $10,000 from Boyd on Oct. 13 and $10,000 from the Boyd-owned California on the same day.

Council member Gary Reese reported $35,000 in contributions from casinos. Station Casinos, Boyd subsidiary Coast Casinos, El Cortez and Four Queens were among the contributors. Council member Lois Tarkanian received $5,000, a contribution from Station Casinos she reported in January.

Council members Steve Ross, Steven Wolfson and Larry Brown didn't report any casino money in 2006.

In an article that appeared in The New York Times on Tuesday, Harrah's Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman tried to explain why the company operated only one Strip casino up until its $9 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment in 2005.

"One of my predecessors was convinced in the late 1980s, early 1990s, that Las Vegas was overbuilt," Loveman said. "That turned out to be a wrong call. Spectacularly wrong."

The Inside Gaming column is compiled by Review-Journal gaming and tourism writers Howard Stutz, Benjamin Spillman and Arnold M. Knightly. Send your tips about the gaming and tourism industry to

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