Caesars Entertainment is not having a good week after being hit with numerous crises; any resemblance of Nero right here to business 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 simply fantastically well. By other measures, however: not so much.
As if being forced for PR reasons to cut ties with its Las Vegas Strip new hotel and casino task partner Gansevoort and bailing from a $1 billion Boston-area casino project with racetrack Suffolk Downs were not sufficient, the casino giant is currently reportedly the main topic of federal inquiry into potential violations of the financial institution Secrecy Act at Caesars Palace, their flagship Las Vegas home. Then add a strange and random shooting outside of Drai’s at Caesars-owned Bally’s in vegas, a tragedy that left one patron dead who was trying to tackle the gunman, also two security guards wounded. Last but not least, a baby that is newborn body reportedly found behind Planet Hollywood on the Strip in identical week might are making it seem like the Apocalypse had landed in Caesars’ backyard in front of schedule.
Problem After Problem for Caesars
Needless to say, the company’s industry-high $23.5 billion long-term debtload is maybe not even news anymore; it’s just become a huge yoke that Caesars now carries around wherever it goes these days. The question is, which of these other disasters is certainly going to hurt the business’s currently tattered image the most.
A 600-page Massachusetts Gaming Commission report can’t have aided, that’s for certain.
‘Caesars is fulfilling its debt covenant requirements,’ the report noted in its recently released summary. ‘However, should the economy fail to recover sufficiently or if another downturn occurs, it could be difficult for Caesars to meet up its debt service and covenant requirements.’
The Massachusetts investigating team which has seemed to not merely Caesars, but also competitor-for-a-Massachusetts-casino-license Steve Wynn more probing than the FBI, CIA and NSA combined were critical of how the video gaming company is managing both its debt and cashflow these days, noting that interest re payments are pulling the majority of Caesars’ money flow now.
But that is simply the end of the iceberg that is titanic the publicity smacks coming their method.
Among many other issues noted in the Massachusetts report was one termed a ‘significant issue’ that of gambling whale Terrance Watanabe, whom reportedly destroyed more than $100 million in vegas at Caesars Palace and the organization’s World Series of Poker kingpin property, the Rio, back in 2006 and 2007. 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 a quarter million bucks, just as a kind of ‘don’t do that material here’ caution, 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 were not impressed.
‘The episode touches on numerous concerns, including the lengths to which casino operators will go to focus on high rollers and 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 seemingly past that is shady noted, as Garber who normally CEO associated with company’s key online unit, Ceasars Interactive utilized to work for European online gaming businesses that took bets from People in america before the 2006 passage of the Unlawful Web Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). We’re perhaps not sure the way you burn somebody at the stake for a thing that wasn’t even unlawful yet when it took place, but we’re not the witch-burning Salem court, either, so here ya go.
CEO Gary Loveman is using the Steve Wynn approach with the Commission, and trying to make them look unreasonable; a goal that does not take effort that is much. Talking to The Boston world (he lives into the Boston area himself), Loveman echoed Wynn’s earlier sentiments when he said, ‘It’s going to be very difficult for advanced, 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 even Nevada regulators are searching, along side the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement system, known as FinCen, to see if any money-laundering laws were 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 Big
Steve Wynn (blue shirt, on right) was on hand to toss the first craps bet at the new Downtown Grand, and it’s not even his property. (Image supply: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Just picture being the craps dealer when gambling impresario and legend Steve Wynn is tilting over your table: not as a employer, but as a player. That was one dealer’s nerve-wracking job when the Downtown Grand, the latest new home to open as part of Las Vegas’ ongoing and substantial downtown redevelopment efforts, officially opened its doors on the weekend to gamblers, hotel visitors and looky loos.
Old Ties Bring Wynn to Craps Tables
Why on earth would Steve Wynn be slumming it downtown these times, and at a competitor’s home, you ask? Turns out that Wynn and the Grand’s owner Seth Schorr go way, way back in the casino business, and Wynn was just being a guy that is really nice up at the opening.
The story is the fact that Wynn and Schorr’s father Marc worked together back within the day whenever downtown was first being recreated via Wynn’s Golden huuuge casino reviews 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 age of nine years old. Don’t let the Nevada Gaming Commission hear about that one.
In honor of these many years of growing pains together, Wynn threw down the initial $200 craps bet at the new Grand. It’s unclear it was matched by his old buddy 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 minutes if he actually purchased, or was given, his initial $5,000 buy-in at the new casino, but. Here is how you do it to result in the homely house cash, that is, of course.
‘There is so much going on here,’ Wynn stated. ‘It’s really interesting. We are becoming back once again to our roots when Fremont Street was available to guests that are( of any earnings degree.’
Is the fact that a courteous 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 a step in a direction that is new both downtown Las Vegas and gaming properties in general.
‘We took an approach that is different’ the younger Schorr noted. ‘Guests don’t need to walk through the casino to have up to a restaurant. You will find interior and spaces that are outdoor. There is even outdoor gaming.’
Not certain how a latter will work in Las vegas, nevada’ scorching 110-degree summer heat that will endure from July through September, but hey, it is a novel idea, anyway.
New Casino Design in Play
Schorr added that he arrived up with the design to get off old-fashioned Strip casinos, where guests must walk through the casino to make it to anything, even restrooms. In contrast, the Downtown Grand causes it to be easy for guests to come and get and encourages them to take a look at Fremont Street in all its glory. There are even multiple how to get in and out of the casino, not merely a front and side that is possibly, like a huge Strip home could have.
Located 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, 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 novel sports wagering window for passersby, run by sportsbook giant William Hill.
The new hotel casino ended up being constructed on the web site associated with the former Lady Luck, which had closed in 2006 and had been purchased by Schorr’s CIM Group in 2007. CIM also has intends to assist the town on a new shopping that is 100,000-square-foot convention complex next to the Mob Museum, which recently received unanimous approval from the nevada City Council to maneuver 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.