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News Hawks

Hey, boys and girls, it's time for the casino news, brought to you by Global Gaming Business, where our motto is, "All the News That's Fit For A Press Conference Where Lunch Is Provided."

News Hawks

Hey, boys and girls, it’s time for the casino news, brought to you by Global Gaming Business, where our motto is, “All the News That’s Fit For A Press Conference Where Lunch Is Provided.”

Here’s a big bit of news: Hawaii, one of the only two states in the nation where there is no legal gambling (you guessed it-the other’s Utah), may join our little 48-state gambling fraternity. It seems they’re budget-strapped out there, because tourism’s down, and the economy’s down, and the down-and-out are forced to sit on beaches sipping exotic cocktails.

There are two proposals for casinos in Hawaii, one for commercial casinos and another for a tribal casino.

I don’t care which one they pick. It is vital that Global Gaming Business have a presence in this new gaming market, and I’m going to start working right now on establishing our Honolulu office. I’ll have to spend at least a month out there scouting for locations.

Yeah, I know. Back to the reality of the snow banks here in sunny Atlantic City.

Speaking of Atlantic City, there’s a big battle sizing up back here, over who’s going to buy the three properties bearing the name “Trump,” which are under bankruptcy protection for the six-hundred-and-twenty-third time. (OK, it’s the third time.) Carl Icahn, on yet another bargain hunt, wants to snatch up the Trump properties. (I think he’s offering about a hundred bucks each.) Yet, another guy is keen on buying them. His name is… Donald Trump.

Trump, who is allied with the property’s bondholders and the Trump Entertainment organization in his bid, is still a big shareholder in the casinos, so the judge said he gets a vote in whose reorganization plan is adopted. Do you think he’ll vote for Carl?

Anyway, I’m recommending that the bankruptcy auction be held at the Etess Arena in Trump Taj Mahal: “The WWE Aging Billionaire Celebrity Smackdown! This time… it’s personal!” Maybe they can do a cage match between Donald and Carl. Hey, that could raise enough money to pay off the company’s debt. It doesn’t have to be to the death. Just until someone’s hair gets mussed up.

Our next item comes from the news division of television station WBOY in Clarksburg, West Virginia. While the story was broadcast in West Virginia and placed on the station’s website, it actually involved a casino in nearby Western Pennsylvania, the Meadows Racetrack and Casino south of Pittsburgh, which was the victim of a $400,000 high-tech slot scam and was slapped with a $48,900 fine for not realizing it quickly enough for the regulators.

To offer an analogy, that’s like getting fined for letting someone steal your wallet. But that’s not the entertaining part of the story. The last line of the report on the station’s website reads the following with respect to the perpetrators of the theft:

“Last month, the gaming board placed all three people on its casino execution list, banning them from entering the Meadows or any other licensed casino in the state of Pennsylvania.”

Geez. They are tough in Pennsylvania if they have an “execution list” for undesirables in the casinos. Most jurisdictions have “exclusion lists.” Actually, back in the old days, I think the wise-guys who ran the Vegas casinos may have made up execution lists now and then. But there usually was only one guy on the list. And being banned from the casino was pretty much the least of that guy’s worries.

Finally, we go to that popular feature of our wisecracking news called “The Stupid Corner.” This month’s item involves another story from Pennsylvania, this one from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It seems a guy dropped his bag of crack cocaine in the casino. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) The man, a resident of Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, realized his gaffe later-you know, when he went to get his crack pipe and snuggle up by the fire at his Mountaintop home.

I’m kidding. He actually realized his crack was missing when he got to his car. He went back into the casino to get it, and got pinched. How do I know this? Because it was all on video. Security cameras caught him reaching into his pocket for money at a slot, a bag with a “white substance” falling to the floor, and him going out to his car and then coming back in.

I’m trying to figure out which is most stupid: him smoking crack in the first place, him bringing it to a casino with heavy surveillance, or him going back in to look for the bag. We’ll let our readers decide. Just text S-T-U-P-I-D to record your vote.

And while you’re at it, vote on the Trump auction: Donald or Carl? I’m thinking Donald. His name’s already on the buildings.

And I think he can take Carl in a cage match.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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