Caesars Entertainment is devoid of a good week after being hit with numerous crises; any resemblance of Nero here to company CEO Gary Loveman is purely coincidental.
Then Caesars Entertainment Corp. is doing just fantastically well if the old adage that bad publicity is better than no publicity holds true. By just about any measures, however: maybe not so much.
As if being forced for PR reasons to cut ties with its Las Vegas Strip new hotel and casino project partner Gansevoort and bailing from the $1 billion Boston-area casino project with racetrack Suffolk Downs were not enough, the casino giant is currently reportedly the subject of federal inquiry into potential violations of the lender Secrecy Act at Caesars Palace, their flagship Las Vegas property. Then add a strange and shooting that is random of Drai’s at Caesars-owned Bally’s in Las vegas, nevada, a tragedy that left one patron dead who had been trying to tackle the gunman, along with two security guards wounded. Last but not least, a baby that is newborn body reportedly found behind Planet Hollywood on the Strip in the same week might have made it seem like the Apocalypse had landed in Caesars’ backyard ahead of schedule.
Problem After Problem for Caesars
Of huuuge online casino course, the company’s industry-high $23.5 billion debtload that is long-term perhaps not even news anymore; it’s just become a huge yoke that Caesars now carries around wherever it goes these times. The real question is, which of these other disasters goes to harm the organization’s currently tattered image the absolute most.
A 600-page Massachusetts Gaming Commission report can’t have helped, that’s for sure.
‘Caesars happens to be fulfilling its debt requirements that are covenant’ the report noted in its recently released summary. ‘However, should the economy neglect to recover sufficiently or if another downturn occurs, it could be difficult for Caesars to satisfy its financial obligation service and covenant requirements.’
The Massachusetts investigating team which has appeared to 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 video gaming company is managing both its financial obligation and income today, noting that interest payments are pulling almost all of Caesars’ cash flow right now.
But that is just the end of this iceberg that is titanic 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 even drink and gamble more while inebriated.
Although that suit ended up being settled, Caesars got slapped with a fine from New Jersey regulators (the company owns four casino properties in Atlantic City) for 25 % million bucks, just as a kind of ‘don’t do that stuff here’ caution, we suppose. The gaming company has since apparently revised its compliance program, but the folks in Massachusetts who may or may not be aware they are coping with gambling, perhaps not world hunger weren’t impressed.
‘The episode details on numerous 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
Record of perceived transgressions continued and on into the Massachusetts report. Newly formed Caesars Acquisition Co. CEO Mitch Garber’s apparently past that is shady noted, as Garber who can be CEO for the business’s key online division, Ceasars Interactive utilized to work for European Web video gaming organizations that took wagers from Us citizens before the 2006 passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). We’re maybe not sure the way you burn somebody at the stake for something that wasn’t even illegal yet when it happened, but we’re not the witch-burning Salem court, either, so here ya go.
CEO Gary Loveman is taking the Steve Wynn approach with the Commission, and attempting to make them look unreasonable; an objective that does not take much work. Talking with The Boston world (he lives in the Boston area himself), Loveman echoed Wynn’s earlier sentiments when he said, ‘It’s likely to be extremely tough for advanced, multijurisdictional operators to tolerate the environment this payment 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 even Nevada regulators are searching, along with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement system, known as FinCen, to see if any laws that are money-laundering broken at the Palace, which could result in disciplinary action against Caesars.
Burning at the stake might be less painful than the feasible whippings to come.
Downtown Grand Opens in Las Vegas with Steve Wynn Betting Large
Steve Wynn (blue top, on right) was on hand to toss the first craps bet at the new Downtown Grand, and it’s not also his property. (Image source: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Imagine being the craps dealer when impresario that is gambling legend Steve Wynn is tilting over your table: not as a boss, but as a player. That has been one dealer’s nerve-wracking job when the Downtown Grand, the latest property that is new open as part of Las Vegas’ ongoing and substantial downtown redevelopment efforts, officially started its doors this weekend to gamblers, hotel visitors and looky loos.
Old Ties Bring Wynn to Craps Tables
Why on planet would Steve Wynn be slumming it downtown these times, and at a competitor’s property, you ask? works out that Wynn and the Grand’s owner Seth Schorr get way, way back in the casino company, and Wynn was just being a really nice guy showing up at the opening.
The tale is Wynn and Schorr’s father Marc worked together back into the time whenever downtown was first being recreated via Wynn’s Golden Nugget there; legend has it that the younger Schorr was offered the title that is honorary of president of kids’ marketing’ for the Nugget at the tender chronilogical age of nine years old. Don’t allow Nevada Gaming Commission hear about that one.
In honor of their many years of growing pains together, Wynn tossed out the very first $200 craps bet at the new Grand. It is confusing if he actually purchased, or was provided, his initial $5,000 buy-in during the new casino, nonetheless it had been matched by his old friend Marc’s and in a ‘here’s how you are doing it’ to any gamblers who might have been watching, they both blew through their chips inside of 15 minutes. Here’s how you do it to make the home cash, that is, of program.
‘There is so much going on here,’ Wynn stated. ‘It’s really interesting. We are becoming back in to our roots when Fremont Street was available to guests that are( of any earnings level.’
Is that a polite means of saying ‘what a dump,’ à la Bette Davis?
It probably isn’t quite on the Strip’s toney Wynn or Encore resorts (both owned by Wynn Resorts), but it is one step in a direction that is new both downtown Las Vegas and gaming properties in general.
‘We took a different approach,’ the younger Schorr noted. ‘Guests don’t have to walk through the casino getting to a restaurant. There are indoor and outdoor spaces. There clearly was even outdoor video gaming.’
Not sure how the latter will work with nevada’ scorching 110-degree summer heat that will endure from July through September, but hey, it is a unique idea, anyway.
New Casino Design in Play
Schorr added that he came up with the design to get off conventional Strip casinos, where guests must walk through the casino to access any such thing, even restrooms. In contrast, the Downtown Grand makes it easy for guests to come and get and encourages them to check out Fremont Street in all its glory. There are even multiple methods to get in and out of the casino, not just a front and possibly side entrance, like a large Strip property might have.
Situated at the corners of Stewart and Ogden avenues, the property that is new considered an anchor for Downtown3rd, an entertainment district that encompasses restaurants and bars, as well as 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 unique 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 snapped up by Schorr’s CIM Group in 2007. CIM additionally has intends to utilize the town on a new 100,000-square-foot shopping and convention complex next to the Mob Museum, which recently received unanimous approval from the Las vegas, nevada City Council to move forward.
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.