Posted At : October 7, 2009 01:06 PM | Posted By : D McKee
Related Categories: Election,Harrah's,Entertainment,Current,Louisiana,Ohio,IGT,Kansas,Pinnacle Entertainment,Economy,Atlantic City,Pennsylvania,Iowa,Politics,Illinois,Penn National,Boyd Gaming,Horseracing,Regulation,The Strip
Forbidden by New Jersey law from directly contributing to political campaigns, casino companies are making an end run through Virginia. Harrah's Entertainment, Boyd Gaming and IGT are among those funneling campaign cash into a reverse version on the Underground Railroad. No wonder Gov. Jon Corzine (D) is able to carpet-bomb his opponents with advertising, if he so chooses.
Hey, big spender. The New Jersey gubernatorial race may be chump change compared to the cash being expended in the battle over Issue 3, which would permit four Vegas-style casinos in the Buckeye State. This is boiling down to a proxy fight between Penn National Gaming (pro) and racino specialist MTR Gaming (con). You'll recall that the Ohio Supreme Court nixed Gov. Ted Strickland's plan to unilaterally add slots to the state's horse tracks, which might have given MTR a level playing field with Penn.
While I can understand why Penn or Harrah's would be willing to pay 23% in taxes in Iowa or 27% in Kansas, it's mind-boggling that Harrah's would be chomping at the bit in Rhode Island, where the rate is 73%. Oy vey!
A green shoot. The Baton Rouge Business Journal reports that Pinnacle Entertainment is inking contracts to begin driving piles for its Lake Charles project. Called "Sugarcane Bay" and budgeted at $407 million, this is the first positive movement we've seen out of Pinnacle in a while (unless you count its hijinks with the President license up in Missouri). Good on them.
Manilow on the move. The Las Vegas Hilton has confirmed what all suspected: Barry Manilow's contract expires Dec. 30 and will not be renewed. As we reported in Question of the Day, it's nearly a done deal that he will now set up shop at Paris-Las Vegas, whose main showroom has gone long unused.
Good luck trying to get the Vegas constabulary interested if your car is stolen or your home burglarized. They're too busy going undercover to get lap dances. As Richard Abowitz notes, rampant prostitution on the Strip goes unchecked in the meantime. It's an open secret around here, although many of the "working girls" look downright scary, so you have to wonder how they turn tricks, especially in this economy.