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BusINess » Casino

Posts Tagged ‘Casino’

Rebranding a ‘Star’

An iconic part of Northwest Indiana’s entertainment and convention scene for 40 years, the White Lodging facilities at U.S. 30 and I-65 are being rebranded and marketed as a unique, multidimensional destination to be known collectively, and simply, as the Star Plaza.

The new marketing campaign, “It’s All Here,” focuses on highlighting everything from the theater to the Radisson hotel and convention center with the Star Plaza logo. New signs, photos and a user-friendly website are uniting the brand.

“We believe this repositioning and our marketing efforts will bring Star Plaza back to the forefront of people’s awareness—and possibly even reintroduce them to our versatile property,” said Bruce White, chairman and CEO of White Lodging Services Corp., and son of founder Dean White.
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NWI casinos change their luck

NWI casinos could be close to going on a roll, with overall July revenues at the five boats notching their second monthly gain of the year.

Overall revenues totaled $108.1 million in July, a 4.9 percent increase from July 2009 revenues of $103 million, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission’s monthly revenue report.

June was the first month this year that overall casino revenues exceeded those of the same month a year ago. But the June gain was only a meager 0.4 percent.

Casino operators say it is still too early to declare the game won when it comes to an economic recovery, but they are cautiously optimistic.
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State plays hold ‘em

Roscoe Barber accompanied Cynthia Lockett to Majestic Star Casino where she was playing a Hot Shot Lucky Jackpot slot machine when $16,000 in winnings flashed on the video readout. The figure started to flicker and fade as the reels slowly began to turn again. She asked for Indiana Gaming Commission agents and filed a complaint against the Gary casino on April 27. She received a response in late July. (Photograph by The Times.)

Roscoe Barber accompanied Cynthia Lockett to Majestic Star Casino where she was playing a Hot Shot Lucky Jackpot slot machine when $16,000 in winnings flashed on the video readout. The figure started to flicker and fade as the reels slowly began to turn again. She asked for Indiana Gaming Commission agents and filed a complaint against the Gary casino on April 27. She received a response in late July. (Photograph by The Times.)

Linda Humes, of Chicago, was playing craps at Majestic Star Casino last November and was thrilled when she won $300.

Then the box man invalidated the throw, saying it had bounced off a player’s chest. Humes and another gambler, Bernice Thompson, said no way. They both contended it had hit the rim of the table and bounced in.

Both immediately asked for an Indiana Gaming Commission agent, who is empowered to hear such disputes. He reviewed surveillance tapes, Humes said. The best he could say is the dice may have struck someone’s hand. He couldn’t tell for sure, but he confirmed the box man’s call.

Not to be denied, Humes and Thompson filed formal written complaints with the gaming commission that day. Eight months later, in early July, both still were waiting for a response from the gaming commission.
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Casino earns high marks from United Way

Majestic Star Casino recently was recognized as Casino of the Year for its contributions to Lake Area United Way during the group's 2009-10 campaign. Presenting and accepting the award are, from left, Rosa Maria Rodriguez, financial secretary, United Steelworkers Local 1010 and LAUW board member; Bob Scott, LAUW vice president of marketing; Carolyn Wiley, community volunteer and LAUW loaned executive; Larry Buck, Majestic Star Casino senior vice president and general manager; Chareice White, corporate director of community relations for Majestic Star and Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel; and Mona Vaccarella, vice president of human relations.

Majestic Star Casino recently was recognized as Casino of the Year for its contributions to Lake Area United Way during the group's 2009-10 campaign. Presenting and accepting the award are, from left, Rosa Maria Rodriguez, financial secretary, United Steelworkers Local 1010 and LAUW board member; Bob Scott, LAUW vice president of marketing; Carolyn Wiley, community volunteer and LAUW loaned executive; Larry Buck, Majestic Star Casino senior vice president and general manager; Chareice White, corporate director of community relations for Majestic Star and Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel; and Mona Vaccarella, vice president of human relations.

Majestic Star Casino has been named Casino of the Year by the Lake Area United Way for the corporate and employee group contributions it made during the 2009-10 annual community campaign, the organization said.

Lake Area United Way recognized Majestic Star for leading all area casinos in total corporate and employee giving at $93,854, achieving the highest average employee gift at $104.54, and the best overall employee participation level at 33 percent in the 2009-10 campaign, a news release states.

The award was presented to Larry Buck, Majestic Star’s senior vice president and general manager; Chareice White, corporate director of community relations for Majestic Star and Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel; and Mona Vaccarella, vice president of human relations.
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Casino takes hold steady in June

Gamblers try their luck at a craps table at Horshoe Casino in Hammond. June revenues at individual boats fell into what is now a predictable pattern, with Horseshoe Casino and the two Majestic Star Casinos notching year-over-year increases and revenues at Ameristar Casino and Blue Chip Casino declining. (Photograph by The Times.)

Gamblers try their luck at a craps table at Horshoe Casino in Hammond. June revenues at individual boats fell into what is now a predictable pattern, with Horseshoe Casino and the two Majestic Star Casinos notching year-over-year increases and revenues at Ameristar Casino and Blue Chip Casino declining. (Photograph by The Times.)

Casino revenues in Northwest Indiana notched their first overall year-over-year revenue gain of the year in June, but casino operators say it is too early to say if the slight June increase indicates a sustained economic recovery.

June revenues totaled $94.1 million at the five gaming boats, a slight 0.4 percent increase from the $93.7 million grossed in June 2009, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission’s June revenue report.

Revenues at individual boats fell into what is now a predictable pattern, with Horseshoe Casino and the two Majestic Star Casinos notching year-over-year increases and revenues at Ameristar Casino and Blue Chip Casino declining.
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Delay expected in Majestic Star renewal

A delay in Majestic Star’s license renewal is due to a pending, regular investigation of all aspects of casino operations that the Indiana Gaming Commission completes for each casino every three years. (Photograph by John J. Watkins/Times File Photo.)

A delay in Majestic Star’s license renewal is due to a pending, regular investigation of all aspects of casino operations that the Indiana Gaming Commission completes for each casino every three years. (Photograph by John J. Watkins/Times File Photo.)

The Indiana Gaming Commission is expected to put off its decision on license renewal for Gary’s Majestic Star casinos until at least September, The Times has learned.

The delay is due to a pending, regular investigation of all aspects of casino operations that the gaming commission completes for each casino every three years. The commission is still working on its review of the Majestic Star casinos, said Executive Director Ernest Yelton.

The agenda for the gaming commission’s meeting Thursday still lists Majestic Star license renewal as a potential action item, but Yelton said he expects the commission will postpone it.
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‘Free cocktails?’ a dying call at casinos

Of 13 states where non-Indian, non-racetrack casinos are operating, nine—Nevada, New Jersey, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and South Dakota—allow casinos to serve free booze. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/Times File Photo.)

The quintessential Las Vegas or Atlantic City casino experience comes with card dealers in ties, feather-festooned showgirls and the most coveted amenity: the free drink.

Yet as casino gambling has migrated from America’s storied gambling towns to middle America, the complimentary cocktail hasn’t always survived the trip.

The reasons are sometimes moral, sometimes economic. The new generation of casinos faces varying guidelines established by local legislators who didn’t always support their arrival.

Paying for drinks has left lovers of the freebie, like Lynette Gross of Indiana, bummed.
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Ameristar hotel to get $4.2 million upgrade

Ameristar Casino East Chicago plans a $4.2 million upgrade of all rooms in its luxury hotel. The hotel was built in 2001 at a cost of $47 million by then-owner Harrah's Entertainment.  (Photograph by John Luke/Times File Photo.)

Ameristar Casino East Chicago plans a $4.2 million upgrade of all rooms in its luxury hotel. The hotel was built in 2001 at a cost of $47 million by then-owner Harrah's Entertainment. (Photograph by John Luke/Times File Photo.)

Ameristar Casino East Chicago plans a $4.2 million upgrade of all rooms in its luxury hotel, the first refurbishment of the hotel since it was built in 2001.

The project will begin next month and will include new carpeting, wall coverings, lighting, 42-inch high-definition televisions, and luxury bedding.

“The newly renovated rooms will enhance the overall comfort of our guests and will add to our reputation as one of the premier hotel facilities in Northwest Indiana,” said Pete Savage, general vice president and general manager of Ameristar East Chicago.
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Michigan City looks at casino money as bait to lure companies

Michigan City could dangle casino money as extra bait to try and entice more companies to locate here.

Those involved in job creation here believe casino money would give the city a definite advantage in competing against other areas, especially when trying to tip the balance of the incentive packages on the table.

”Something like this could be used as a tie breaker,” said John Regetz, executive director of the Michigan City Economic Development Corp.

The city council again this week raised the issue, believing too much of the same incentives other communities offer isn’t enough particularly in a declining job market.
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Overall NWI April casino revenues drop

Only the two Majestic Star casinos in Gary notched year-over-year revenue increases in April, with declining takes at the other three boats dragging regional casino revenues down 6.4 percent. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/Times File Photo.)

Only the two Majestic Star casinos in Gary notched year-over-year revenue increases in April, with declining takes at the other three boats dragging regional casino revenues down 6.4 percent. (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/Times File Photo.)

Only the two Majestic Star casinos in Gary notched year-over-year revenue increases in April, with declining takes at the other three boats dragging regional casino revenues down 6.4 percent.

The five Northwest Indiana boats raked in $102.9 million in total revenue in April, as compared to $110 million in April of 2009, according to the monthly revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The two Majestic Star boats took in total revenues of $19.6 million, a 6.5 percent increase over last April’s figure of $18.1 million.
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