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September 30, 2014

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Ed Komenda

Gaming reporter

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Story Archive

South Point partnering with prominent rodeo event family for expansion
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
The South Point Arena and Equestrian Center will name its expansion project the Priefert Pavilion.
Demolition of flawed tower at CityCenter delayed again
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
A judge has further delayed demolition of the Harmon Tower to allow the company behind its insurance policy to provide an update on its investigation of CityCenter’s $393.8 million claim that the hotel is a total loss. Inspectors discovered flaws in the steel rebar running through its concrete.
Final passenger cabin is affixed to High Roller; work continues
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
If you took a look at the High Roller today, you’d think it was complete. That’s because construction crews today attached the final passenger cabin to the 550-foot-tall observation wheel.
Final passenger cabin affixed to High Roller, but work continues
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
If you took a look at the High Roller today, you’d think it was complete. That’s because construction crews today attached the final passenger cabin to the 550-foot-tall observation wheel.
MGM Resorts workers OK union contract, keeping free health insurance intact
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
A new labor contract landed on the Strip Wednesday when two prominent Las Vegas unions voted to accept the terms of a fresh five-year deal with MGM Resorts International.
Culinary, Bartenders unions reach agreement with MGM Resorts
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
Leaders of the Culinary Union and Bartenders Union Local 165 have agreed on terms for a new five-year contract with MGM Resorts International.
Will the SLS change the game for the north Strip?
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
The $415 million, 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas, budding on the former grounds of the Sahara, has been considered a key factor in the recovery of the Strip’s struggling north end.
Eight Las Vegas tech companies you probably haven’t heard of
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013
Las Vegas isn’t Silicon Valley, but a number of startups have chosen the city to put down roots and launch companies. Even better, most plan to stay. Why? Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project and the VegasTechFund have helped fuel a tech boom. The Zappos bigwigs have financed startups, invested in real estate and generated buzz about downtown.
Gaming changes: Number of slot machines on the Strip hits lowest point in more than a decade
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
The number of slot machines and poker tables in the valley has steadily declined. Casino floors in Nevada lost about 38,000 slot machines between 2000 and 2012. Why the drop?
Only in Las Vegas: A $96,000 ostrich, a $70,000 phone and an $8.2 million diamond ring
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013
In Las Vegas, stores and restaurants in high-end resorts sell jewelry worth millions and cocktails that cost more than most houses. Curious what a lot of money can buy?
Goodbye, cheap Strip buffet: Today’s diners are more concerned with quality than price
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
In Las Vegas' older days, a "good" buffet meant a cheap buffet: the cheaper, the better. When it comes to buffets today, what qualifies as “the best” has dramatically changed. Now, it’s about the highest quality.
With installation of observation pod, Strip wheel at the Linq now the world’s tallest
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
The High Roller is now the tallest observation wheel in the world. Construction crews today attached the first passenger cabin to the Linq’s observation wheel, taking its height to 550 feet tall.
With installation of observation pod, Strip wheel the world’s tallest
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
The High Roller is now the tallest observation wheel in the world. Construction crews today attached the first passenger cabin to the Linq’s observation wheel, taking its height to 550 feet tall.
The science behind gambling superstitions: It's all about the illusion of control
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
If the average gambler had one wish, odds are he’d want one of two things: an endless supply of cash to gamble or an endless supply of luck to win. Unfortunately, such wishes don’t exist. But many gamblers make do with superstition.
Las Vegas arena to echo glowing neon of the Strip and surrounding mountains
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
AEG and MGM Resorts International execs have released renderings of their $350 million, 20,000-seat arena. The renderings came packaged with the companies’ latest project update, showing exterior images of the arena with a buzzing Strip in the background.
Las Vegas arena to echo Strip’s glowing neon, surrounding mountains
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
Executives of AEG and MGM Resorts International have released renderings of their $350 million, 20,000-seat arena.
Where do poker chips go to die? Look in Lake Mead and concrete casino foundations
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
All poker chips expire. But unlike with sour milk in a fridge, casino bosses choose when chips go bad. It can be months, years or decades after they are issued. “It’s a personal choice,” said Mark Lipparelli, a gaming consultant and former chairman of the Gaming Control Board.
Union members provoke arrests — this time inside the Cosmopolitan
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
Their voices echoed through the Cosmopolitan casino. No, they didn’t carry the exclamations of some lucky pack of gamblers. They carried the chants of an angry Culinary Union.
Happy birthday to her: Texas woman leaves Harrah's with a $1 million gift
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
A Dallas, Texas, woman had a Las Vegas birthday to remember when she hit a $1.036 million jackpot at Harrah's.
CEO hopes renovation, new name Maximize experience at casino
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
The Westin has renamed its Casuarina Casino. As of today, it is now the Max Casino.
Unsolved mystery: Who is sabotaging the Strip’s sheets and towels with dye bombs?
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
For three months, someone has been dropping dye bombs into Marty Martin’s dirty laundry. Martin is the guy in charge of laundering thousands of pounds of sheets and towels soiled in Strip hotels. The culprit’s identity remains a mystery, but the message is clear.
New Penny Lane series to offer players at Boyd properties 'more bonuses, more often'
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Penny slot players at Boyd Gaming's properties will start seeing more bonuses when a new line of Penny Lane slots roll out Nov. 1.
Behind the scenes: How casinos prepared for the new $100 bill
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013
For years, Las Vegas' gaming companies had been preparing for the Oct. 8 debut of a new $100 bill. In advance of its arrival, resorts and equipment manufacturers spent thousands of hours making sure every slot machine and money-taking device would accept them without a hitch. It worked.
Culinary Union plans to provoke arrests at upcoming protest
Friday, Oct. 25, 2013
More than 100 members of the Culinary Union plan to let Metro Police arrest them on the Strip for the second time this year in protest of stalled contract negotiations at the Cosmopolitan.
Despite popularity of Candy Crush and Grand Theft Auto, there's still a market for old-school pinball in Las Vegas
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Craig Snelling learned how to repair arcade games out of necessity. It was the summer of 1984 and he was 14 years old, living with his parents in Glendale, Calif., when his favorite game, Mario Bros., broke. The video game scene already had exploded with the introduction of the Commodore 64 home computer and Atari console, but the science behind the games was a mystery to most. Repair manuals were rare. Google didn't exist. That didn't matter to Snelling. He wanted to play. “So I locked myself in the garage and figured it out,” he said.
Fatal shooting at club raises questions about security, gun policies
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013
Police are calling Monday’s fatal shooting at Drai’s After Hours nightclub at Bally’s an isolated incident. But the discreet and often nebulous security policies behind Las Vegas nightclubs mean that bringing weapons onto Strip properties isn’t always difficult.
Police: Guest killed after tackling gunman at nightclub; 2 security officers wounded
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013
A Las Vegas Strip nightclub patron was shot dead early this morning after he tackled and wrestled with an armed, disgruntled patron who had just shot two security officials at Drai’s nightclub. Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie identified the suspect as Benjamin Frazier, 41, of Las Vegas.
In a 24-hour city, child care isn't a 9-to-5 situation
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013
Working while raising kids can be difficult for anyone. But the challenges can be compounded in Las Vegas, a city where work schedules often start at a time most people are tucking in their kids — and long after most day care centers have closed.
Culinary Union protesters ramp up insult campaign on Strip
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
The Culinary Union has added a new batch of insults to its campaign to keep Las Vegas visitors out of the Cosmopolitan, with protesters calling tourists “beached whales” and what sounds like “retards.”
Always wanted Caesars properties' decor? Now you can own it
Friday, Oct. 11, 2013
Maybe you fancied that old furniture at the Flamingo. Or fell in love with the lampshades at Planet Hollywood. Oh, and how about those chairs at Caesars Palace? Well, it might be up for grabs.
Executive vice president resigns from Station Casinos
Friday, Oct. 11, 2013
Station Casinos Executive Vice President Kevin Kelley has resigned “to pursue other professional opportunities,” according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Culinary Union picketer verbally attacks tourists on Strip
Union official sees nothing wrong with tactics
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
Video footage has surfaced showing a picketing Culinary Union member calling tourists “losers” and “jerks” for going into the Cosmopolitan. The Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs captured the video at a Culinary protest Oct. 5 and today posted it on YouTube.
Gaming company to double size of facilities, hire 500 more employees
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
Konami Gaming has broken ground on a $40 million expansion of its Las Vegas facilities. The gaming manufacturer’s current facility is 160,000 square feet, and the expansion will more than double the operation.
Culinary Union launches second website that takes aim at the Cosmopolitan
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013
The Culinary Union has cracked open another chapter in its campaign against the Cosmopolitan. First, it was pickets and prolonged protests. Now, it's, a hotel review blog aimed at the demise of the Cosmopolitan's reputation.
Rescued sea turtle makes debut at Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef
Monday, Oct. 7, 2013
OD, a 320-pound sea turtle recently rescued in the Florida Keys, made his debut this morning at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. After a quarantine, Shark Reef scientists released the 50-year-old sea creature into the 1.3 million gallon Shipwreck Exhibit.
Comfort over caviar: How to wine and dine clients in a recovering economy
Monday, Oct. 7, 2013
Hugh Anderson, the managing director of HighTower Advisors, realized a long time ago he doesn’t need to play golf to wrangle customers. Instead, he takes them to dinner.
As Culinary bemoans Cosmopolitan, alliance members will take a different approach — thanking tourists for visiting
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
A picketing Culinary Union will have some opposition outside the Cosmopolitan this weekend. The Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs (APNJ) plans to counter the Culinary’s picket outside the Strip resort with a demonstration of its own. Their aim runs opposite the feisty labor union.
World-famous flier opens trapeze school in Las Vegas
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
Terry Cavaretta, a founding member of the Flying Cavarettas, the first all-female trapeze troupe in North America that retired in 1991, is returning to fly again. But this time, Cavaretta climbs the ladder as a teacher, not a performer.
Former Pinnacle Entertainment CEO takes over at Palms
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013
The Palms has a new boss.
Daniel Lee, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, has taken over the off-strip resort as its new CEO. He replaces Joseph A. Magliarditi, who joined the Palms in June 2011 and recently resigned to pursue other business interests, according to Alex Acuna, the Palms’ spokesman.
Top Cantor gaming boss under federal scrutiny, Wall Street Journal reports
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013
Federal prosecutors are probing whether Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s top gaming boss participated in his company taking illegal sports bets from a New York gambling ring called the “Jersey Boys.”
R-J owner says Sun erred in listing of defendants in antitrust suit
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
The parent company of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has filed a motion to dismiss four of eight defendants listed in an antitrust lawsuit filed by Las Vegas Sun Editor and Publisher Brian Greenspun. The motion argues Michael Ferguson, CEO of Stephens Media LLC; Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Holding Co.; SF Holding; and Stephens Holding Co. have nothing to do with the company’s effort to terminate a long-standing joint operating agreement at the center of Greenspun’s lawsuit. The motion contends Greenspun added the four defendants to the lawsuit “for no reason other than their status as managing members” under the Stephens Media umbrella.
Caesars Entertainment sells 10 million stock shares to Swiss banking firm to help cover loan
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has sold 10.3 million shares of its common stock to a Swiss banking firm for $200 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Gambler who had $40 million Las Vegas hot streak in '90s runs out of luck
Archie Karas arrested for marking cards at Indian casino in California
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
Archie Karas carved out a name for himself as the legendary gambler who stumbled through Las Vegas casinos in the early 1990s on a two-year streak of extraordinary luck, turning $50 into $40 million.
Tropicana offers first-of-its-kind locals deal: dedicated parking
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
The Tropicana opened a locals-only parking lot today. The Strip resort recently launched a rewards program stacked with locals-only deals, including 20 percent cash return on all losses — and the dedicated locals lot just off Tropicana Avenue.
Strip resort's show runs aground during shopping center construction
Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
Treasure Island will shut down the free Sirens of TI show for two months to begin building a three-story shopping center on the Las Vegas Strip. The show will be closed from Oct. 21 to Dec. 25.
Gamer profile: Slot developer fancies wine, green cars and sci-fi flicks
Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013
Game developers are the mathematical geniuses and tech junkies responsible for the sea of slot machines that flows through Las Vegas. But who are they? What do they drive? Where do they party? Whom do they read? VEGAS INC is bringing some of the personalities behind the biggest gaming companies in the world out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Judge rejects Sun's second bid to freeze plans for newspaper breakup
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
A federal judge today denied a second attempt by Las Vegas Sun Editor and Publisher Brian Greenspun to prevent what Greenspun contends is a bid by the Las Vegas Review-Journal to gain a media monopoly in Southern Nevada.
Zip line to launch riders high from Rio’s VooDoo Lounge
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
The Rio’s VooDoo Zip Line will open in early November. Resort officials today announced the ride will be open to the public from noon to midnight daily, but a solid opening date has not been set. Riders must be 21 or older to ride the zip line after 8:30 p.m. From noon to 5:30 p.m., the ride costs $24.99 per person and from 5:30 p.m. to midnight it is $37. Service fees are attached to both packages. About 400 feet off the ground, the two-seat zip ride launches at the VooDoo Lounge, atop the Rio’s 50-story Masquerade tower.
New in slot machine gaming: 'Titanic,' 'Walking Dead,' online progressives and DeLoreans
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
The biggest theme in new slot machines at this year's Global Gaming Expo was Hollywood. Many of the new titles centered on pop culture, from "Avatar" to ZZ Top. Most drew big crowds.
Firm wants lawyer off case pitting Sun against R-J
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
The law firm that employs one of the lawyers for Las Vegas Sun Editor and Publisher Brian Greenspun asked a federal judge Tuesday for permission to withdraw the attorney from Greenspun’s antitrust lawsuit against Stephens Media, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s parent company.

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