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They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
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They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
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Posted At : March 17, 2009 03:17 PM | Posted By : D McKee
Related Categories: Wall Street,Herbst Gaming,Macau,Transportation,Politics,Atlantic City,Tropicana Entertainment,MGM Mirage,The Strip,Entertainment,Regulation,Economy,Stanley Ho
According to Telegraph correspondent Ben Bland, Macao finds itself in a bind. Peking's efforts to prevent money from being siphoned out of the country have crimped high-roller play, forcing a greater reliance upon mass-market customers. But the recession is cutting into their gambling budgets, too. Who's having the last laugh in all of this? Who else but Stanley Ho? As we're learning, never underestimate old Stan's ability to survive. He's probably found a loophole out of death, too. (But somebody needs to clue Bland in that Celine Dion doesn't play Vegas these days.)
Icahn's in: Well, sorta. Although the former Stratosphere owner is officially making a play for the Tropicana Atlantic City, he wants -- get this -- another six months to close the deal. Since the sale of the Trop was supposed to have been wrapped up 11 months ago, regulatory patience is finally running thin. Keeping the Trop in a 21-month limbo is grossly unfair to its long-suffering employees, too.
Icahn's equivocations could send the Trop caroming straight into the arms of Cordish Co., although it's unclear whether Cordish is still interested. Had chowderheaded, state-appointed trustee Gary Stein -- who was characteristically out of the loop on the Icahn bid -- closed the deal when deals were still to be had, all of this would be ancient history. New Jersey Casino Control Commmission members should be marched off to the woodshed for appointing Stein and then tolerating his interminable (and very expensive) bungling.
Elsewhere in New Jersey, solons have relieved Atlantic City's denizens of their second-class citizen status, albeit with many clauses and exceptions. This was accompanied by the usual howls about casinos wielding untoward influence (they can't even make political donations, which seems blatantly unconstitutional), although "juice" from other industries -- like the sacrosanct horse-racing business -- is implied to be hunky-dory. The horsey set's constant pining for slot machines gets a cold shoulder from the voting public, however.
Remember how I forecast that MGM Mirage's $1.2 billion writeoff of much of the value associated with former Mandalay Resort Group properties was going to kill 4Q08 earnings? Well, it did. However, the company supposedly still doesn't want to take on equity partners in anchor-around-the-neck CityCenter. "I'd be surprised if they dilute the joint venture [with Dubai World]," says a Reuters source. Geez, seems like if they'd "diluted" it with additional partners earlier on, they might not be hawking the family silver to raise completion money. Pride goeth before a ... well, you know.
Literacy-challenged Kitties: There's no better topless show on or off the Strip than the Sin City Kitties, who perform all the way out at Whiskey Pete's (which boasts a surprisingly spacious showroom). OK, I haven't seen Fantasy, probably because Luxor insists on advertising it as "Carrot Top Fantasy." As one wag observed, those are three words that should never inhabit the same sentence.
Anyway, Sin City Kitties is the only topless show I've seen that's predominantly erotic, as opposed to having a good number or three. And none of the girls betrayed signs of "enhancement" on the night we saw it, when it played to an appreciative audience of leathernecks and other servicemen.
However ... somebody needs to inform these pussycats that what they perform is not a "topless review [sic]" -- unless they plan to critique other topless shows from their stage in Primm.
"The Harry Reid Train": The asshat who made this fumbling attempt at an "ambush interview" might want to learn what the "Harry Reid Train" is (or more accurately, isn't) before attempting to smart-mouth Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). Titus brushes off the uninformed oaf with the contempt he deserves. And hey, that's the "Sin City Express," bucko. Don't go messing up our catchy new brand name.