Caesars Entertainment is not having a week that is good being hit with numerous crises; any resemblance of Nero here to company CEO Gary Loveman is purely coincidental.
If the old adage that bad publicity is better than no promotion is valid, then Caesars Entertainment Corp. is doing just fantastically well. By every other measures, however: not so much.
As if being forced for PR reasons to cut ties with its Las Vegas Strip hotel that is new casino project partner Gansevoort and bailing from the $1 billion Boston-area casino project with racetrack Suffolk Downs weren’t sufficient, the casino giant is currently reportedly the topic of federal inquiry into potential violations of the lender Secrecy Act at Caesars Palace, their flagship Las Vegas property. Then put in a bizarre and random shooting outside of Drai’s at Caesars-owned Bally’s in vegas, a tragedy that left one patron dead who ended up being trying to tackle the gunman, in addition to two security guards wounded. And finally, a baby that is newborn body apparently found behind Planet Hollywood on the Strip in the same week might have made it seem like the Apocalypse had landed in Caesars’ garden ahead of schedule.
Problem After Problem for Caesars
Of course, the company’s industry-high $23.5 billion long-term debtload is perhaps not also news anymore; it’s just become a huge yoke that Caesars now carries around wherever it goes these days. The real question is, which of these other catastrophes is going to harm the business’s already tattered image probably the most.
A Massachusetts that is 600-page Gaming report can’t have helped, that’s for sure.
‘Caesars is fulfilling its debt requirements that are covenant’ the report noted in its recently released summary. ‘However, should the economy fail to recover sufficiently or if another downturn occurs, it could become difficult for Caesars to meet its debt service and covenant requirements.’
The Massachusetts investigating team which has did actually not just Caesars, but also competitor-for-a-Massachusetts-casino-license Steve Wynn more probing compared to FBI, CIA and NSA combined were critical of how the gaming company is handling both its financial obligation and cash flow these days, noting that interest re payments are pulling the majority of Caesars’ money flow at this time.
But that’s simply the tip regarding the titanic iceberg for the publicity smacks coming their means.
The Rio, back in 2006 and 2007 among many other issues noted in the Massachusetts report was one termed a ‘significant issue’ that of gambling whale Terrance Watanabe, who reportedly lost more than $100 million in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace and the company’s World Series of Poker kingpin property. Watanabe ultimately sued Caesars in Clark County District Court, claiming the casino encouraged him to drink and gamble even more while inebriated.
Although that suit had been settled, Caesars got slapped with a fine from New Jersey regulators (the business has four casino properties in Atlantic City) for a quarter million bucks, just as a kind of ‘don’t do that material here’ warning, we suppose. The video gaming company has since apparently revised its compliance program, but the folks in Massachusetts who may or might not be aware they are working with gambling, perhaps not world hunger weren’t impressed.
‘The episode touches on many concerns, including the lengths to which casino operators goes to focus on rollers that are high problem gaming,’ the report noted. Good catch, Sherlock.
Scathing Massachusetts Findings
The list of perceived transgressions went on and on in the Massachusetts report. Newly formed Caesars Acquisition Co. CEO Mitch Garber’s apparently past that is shady noted, as Garber who can be CEO associated with business’s key online unit, Ceasars Interactive utilized to benefit European Internet video gaming businesses that took wagers from Us citizens before the 2006 passage of the Unlawful online Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). We’re maybe not sure the method that you burn somebody at the stake for something that wasn’t even unlawful yet when it happened, but we are not the witch-burning Salem court, either, so there ya go.
CEO Gary Loveman is using the Steve Wynn approach with the Commission, and attempting to make them look unreasonable; a goal that doesn’t take much work. Talking to The Boston Globe (he lives into the Boston area himself), Loveman echoed Wynn’s earlier sentiments when he said, ‘It’s going to be very hard for sophisticated, multijurisdictional operators to tolerate the environment this commission has created.’
It could yet have far-reaching effects at the worst possible time for their casino business; both the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency and the Ohio Casino Control Commission have said they will review the report’s findings and decide how it could impact potential transgressions for land casino projects going up in both states while it might seem to a casual observer that Caesars is well rid of the scarlet letter of Massachusetts. And also Nevada regulators are looking, along side the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCen, to see if any laws that are money-laundering broken at the Palace, that could result in disciplinary action against Caesars.
Burning at the stake might be less painful than the possible whippings to come.
Downtown Grand Opens in Las Vegas with Steve Wynn Betting Large
Steve Wynn (blue top, on right) was on hand to throw the first craps bet at the brand new Downtown Grand, and it’s really not also his property. (Image source: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Envision being the craps dealer when gambling impresario and legend Steve Wynn is leaning over your table: not being a employer, but as a player. Which was one dealer’s nerve-wracking job when the Downtown Grand, the latest property that is new open up as part of Las Vegas’ ongoing and substantial downtown redevelopment efforts, officially started its doors on the weekend to gamblers, hotel guests and looky loos.
Old Ties Bring Wynn to Craps Tables
Why on earth would Steve Wynn be slumming it downtown these times, as well as a competitor’s home, you ask? Turns out that Wynn and the Grand’s owner Seth Schorr go way, long ago in the casino business, and Wynn was just being a guy that is really nice up during the opening.
The story is Wynn and Schorr’s father Marc worked together back in the time when downtown was first being recreated via Wynn’s Golden Nugget there; legend has it that the more youthful Schorr was offered the honorary title of ‘vice president of kids’ advertising’ for the Nugget at the tender age of nine years old. Don’t allow the Nevada Gaming Commission hear about that one.
In honor of their many years of growing pains together, Wynn threw away the initial $200 craps bet at the new Grand. It’s confusing if he actually bought, or was provided, their initial $5,000 buy-in during the brand new casino, nonetheless it ended up being matched by his old friend Marc’s and in a ‘here’s how you do it’ to any gamblers who might have been watching, they both blew through their chips inside of 15 mins. Here is how you do it to result in the household cash, that is, of course.
‘There is so much going on here,’ Wynn stated. ‘It’s really interesting. We are becoming back to our origins when Fremont Street had been available to (guests) of any earnings degree.’
Is the fact that a way that is polite of ‘what a dump,’ à la Bette Davis?
It most likely isn’t quite on the Strip’s toney Wynn or Encore resorts (both owned by Wynn Resorts), however it is one step in a new direction for both downtown Las Vegas and gaming properties in general.
‘We took a different approach,’ the more youthful Schorr noted. ‘Guests do not have to walk through the casino to get up to a restaurant. You can find interior and outdoor spaces. There is certainly also outdoor video gaming.’
Not certain how a latter will work with Las vegas, nevada’ scorching 110-degree summer heat that will last from July through September, but hey, it is an idea that is novel anyway.
New Casino Design in Enjoy
Schorr added that he arrived up with the design to get away from old-fashioned Strip casinos, where guests must walk through the casino to get at anything, even restrooms. In contrast, the Downtown Grand causes it to be easy for visitors to come and get and encourages them to take a look at Fremont Street in all its glory. There are even multiple methods to get in and out of the casino, not just a front and side that is possibly, like a large Strip home might have.
Positioned at the corners of Stewart and Ogden avenues, the brand new property is considered an anchor for Downtown3rd, an entertainment district that encompasses restaurants and bars, along with other casinos like the D, the Mob Museum, and proximity to the swank Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
With two hotel towers one 18 stories and one 25 stories the Downtown Grand features brick and granite building façades around various storefronts, and even a novel sports betting window for passersby, run by sportsbook giant William Hill.
The hotel that is new had been built on the site for the former Lady Luck, which had closed in 2006 and had been purchased by Schorr’s CIM Group in 2007. CIM additionally has plans to use the city on a new 100,000-square-foot shopping and convention complex next to the Mob Museum, which recently received unanimous approval through the nevada City Council to go ahead.
An opening that is official cutting ceremony for the Downtown Grand is slated for November 12; no word on whether Wynn will help hold the scissors for his old pal.