Keith Smith, President, and CEO of Boyd Gaming: North Vegas is one of the fastest-growing areas in the city, he says.
Boyd Gaming’s real estate splurge continues as the company looks to expand its dominant position in the Las Vegas locals market into North Vegas.
Boyd announced this week that it would acquire the Las Vegas assets of Cannery Casino Resorts for $230 million, namely the Cannery Casino Hotel in North Vegas and the Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel, next to Sam’s Town.
The announcement comes just a week after Boyd revealed it is due to buy another North Vegas property, the Aliante Casino Hotel, and Spa, for $380 million.
Resurgent Locals Market
The locals market is on the up, and with it North Vegas. Work is set to start on the construction of Faraday’s $1 billion car-manufacturing plant in the area, which is expected to create 4,500 direct and 9,000 indirect jobs, further invigorating the economy in both North Las Vegas and the locals casino market.
Meanwhile, as overall Vegas visitor numbers swell, so do room rates on the Strip, which means visitors on a budget are looking the cheaper alternatives.
Boyd said recently that the Las Vegas locals market now accounts for some 28 percent of its revenue, up from 22 percent in 2014. It expects the Cannery acquisition to add $32 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in its first full year.
’Together, Aliante and Cannery Casino will give us a strong foothold in North Las Vegas, one of the fastest-growing areas in the Las Vegas Valley,’ said Keith Smith, President and CEO of Boyd Gaming. ’And we will have unique synergy opportunities at Eastside Cannery, given its close proximity to Sam’s Town.’
Eyes on Growth
’Our southern Nevada assets have delivered the strongest revenue growth in our Company over the last two years, and this acquisition will broaden our portfolio in this promising market. We look forward to welcoming Cannery’s team members and customers to the Boyd Gaming family.’
’This transaction is a great tuck-in acquisition that further expands our presence in the Las Vegas Locals market at an attractive price,’ he added.
The Aliante and Cannery acquisitions will bring Boyd’s casino portfolio to 12 in Southern Nevada, including the California, Fremont and Main Street Station in downtown Vegas; and Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast and Sam’s Town in other areas of the city. It also owns two casinos in Henderson and a dozen more in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey.
Philippine Casino Industry Discusses Presidential Election and Country’s Trump-Like Frontrunner
The Donald Trump of Western Pacific politics, Rodrigo Duterte might not have the best interest of the Philippine casino industry should he become the country’s next president. (Image: Lyn Rillon/Philippine Daily Inquirer)
The Philippine casino industry is thriving, and while it’s not presently one of the top gaming markets worldwide, forecasts estimate the country will generate upwards of $6 billion annually by 2018.
If that projection materializes, the Philippines would become one of the top four casino markets in the world behind only China, the United States, and Japan.
Home to 103 million people, the country’s largest revenue contributor after the Tax and Customs Authority comes from its own Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Unlike in the United States where state regulators don’t actively run casinos, PAGCOR works both as a regulatory agency and casino operator. PAGCOR operates a total of 11 casinos in popular tourist destinations in Manila, Luzon, and Visayas-Mindanao.
The Philippine casino industry is currently trying to defend its money laundering safeguards after it was revealed an international bank heist moved cash through two of its resorts.
Three anonymous casino executives recently weighed in on the upcoming presidential election to CalvinAyre.com, and at least one of the sources believes the outspoken frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte would be bad for the gaming industry.
’If the wrong people gets Duterte’s ears first, he may shoot out a poorly thought out statement and then have issues backtracking once wiser heads have stepped in,’ the informant stated.
Playing the Trump Card
Various parallels between Duterte and Donald Trump have been made in the Filipino media. Both leaders are outspoken and brash, quick to defend their positions, and not afraid to be politically incorrect.
Trump has referenced the size of his hands and their relation to a certain private body part during a Republican debate, mocked the appearance of his challengers, and denounced Sen. John McCain’s (R) time as a prisoner of war by saying, ’I like people who weren’t captured.’
And perhaps surprising to most Americans, Trump has nothing on Duterte.
The 71-year-old former lawyer and current mayor of Davao City joked in April about a woman who was held hostage and raped in 1989. ’I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first,’ Duterte said.
When a women’s group filed a complaint against his comments he responded, ’Go to hell.’
But like Trump, with every seemingly outrageous remark Duterte’s poll numbers increase.
Filipino voters cast their ballots on May 9. The winner of the presidential election will serve one six-year term with no option of reelection.
To grow the Philippine casino industry even more, one executive told CalvinAyre.com that PAGCOR should release its holdings in casinos and mimic gaming enforcement bodies in the United States.
’PAGCOR should become more of the Nevada Gaming Commission, a regulatory body, and auction off their casinos,’ the source said. ’They should get out of the casino business, and lower their share so the bigger players get into the Philippines.’
With Macau, the gambling epicenter of the world, currently experiencing an economic slump as China cracks down on VIP junket operators, Manila and the Philippines could become a new go-to gambling destination.
Just a short two-hour flight from Hong Kong to Manila, the unidentified source might be correct in thinking if PAGCOR stepped back, international entertainment companies would quickly swoop in.
Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson Reportedly Forming Donald Trump Super PAC
Gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson is looking to form a central super PAC (political action committee) to support and fund Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign against the presumed Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Sheldon Adelson is working to form a super PAC with upwards of $100 million of his own money to improve Donald Trump’s White House odds. (Image: Daniel Groshong/Bloomberg)
According to Politico, the billionaire casino magnate who owns the Las Vegas Sands empire had his governmental relations executive Andy Abboud meet with former Republican Governors Association (RGA) Executive Director Nick Ayers to discuss the best team for the super PAC and how to move forward.
Phil Cox, another former RGA executive, as well as campaign strategists Josh Holmes and Chip Englander, are also reportedly involved in the super PAC’s formation.
’There has been a tremendous outpouring of enthusiasm for Mr. Trump as well as a desire to ensure the resources are in place to defeat Hillary Clinton,’ Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Wall Street Journal.
What’s So Super?
Federal campaign finance laws severely restrict how much Adelson can donate to his preferred candidate. US citizens are allowed to give up to $2,700 to each candidate, $5,000 to each political action committee, and $33,400 to each national party committee annually.
For a man estimated to be worth $25 to $30 billion, that doesn’t cut it. That’s where the super political action committee comes in.
Super PACs are free from those individual contribution limits, as long as they don’t give money directly to a candidate and also don’t coordinate with the candidate on how he or she spends the pac’s money.
Should a super PAC meet those two conditions, Adelson can write a check as large as he wishes. During the 2012 presidential election cycle, he gave $100 million to conservative action committees.
Before 2010, corporations, unions, and the ultra-wealthy were banned from having more influence on an election that the common middle-classer by capping donation limits to PACs. A Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. FEC) in 2010 ruled that under the First Amendment, the government cannot restrict nonprofit organizations and their overall independent political expenditures.
The birth of the super PAC quickly followed the verdict.
So what’s the main function of a super PAC? Basically, they are treasure troves for massive political advertising budgets and are responsible for both attack ads and the necessary air time to create impact with them, as well more warm and fuzzy spots hyping the preferred candidate’s record.
Though Adelson’s yet-to-be-named super PAC will no doubt work for Trump’s success, the two sides will talk the political talk and keep their distance, at least publicly.
Trump decried super PACs during the primary process, specifically former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s support system. But that has seemingly changed now that Trump has secured the Republican nomination.
’We can’t stop people from supporting Mr. Trump,’ Hicks said.
Billionaires for Trump
As Casino.org reported in mid-May, Adelson is apparently going all-in on the presidential election in 2016, while also making sure the GOP maintains congressional control. In 2012, the billionaire spread out the love between Mitt Romney and Senate and House campaigns.
While it’s expected Adelson will be the primary funder of the Trump super PAC, the committee will look to other Republican heavyweights to get behind the GOP nominee. It will presumably take hundreds of millions of dollars in ads to ward off the expected ambush on Trump funded by the so-called Clinton machine.
The biggest super PAC prize for Adelson would be to somehow find a way to entice the Koch brothers into backing Trump financially. As of June 1, that remains a long shot.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling Under Consideration to Shore Budget Woes in Next Legislative Session
Pennsylvania online gambling will be getting another in the state legislature when the Keystone State’s budget talks resume on June 6.
Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Republicans will bring online gambling back to the House chamber when the legislature reconvenes on June 6. Word is that the governor is likely to sign online gambling bills only if they accompany amendments to the state’s current tax structure. (Image: Emma Lee/WHYY)
In late May, a proposed amendment was added to House Bill 1925 that would have authorized Internet gaming. The amendment was overwhelmingly shot down and thus stripped from the legislative bill that covered how gaming revenues are to be distributed.
It was a seeming defeat for online gambling proponents, but hope remained as Pennsylvania Republicans said Rep. John Payne’s (R-District 106) iGambling bill HB 649 was still on the table. The proposed amendment in HB 1925 was essentially Payne’s bill, but mirrored.
The House chamber will reconvene on June 6 for 17 final scheduled session days for the 2016 fiscal year. That means the House will be scrambling to pass a 2017 budget to the state Senate.
However, among the 52 bills on the calendar for the remaining sessions is HB 649.
’We wanted to kind of test it out in May,’ State House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-District 62) told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Karen Langley. ’When we come back in June it will be full guns a-blazing trying to get a budget done, and that will be part of that process.’
Weighing Online Gaming Against Raising Taxes
If you’re wondering why Republicans in Pennsylvania, typically the party more opposed to expanding gambling, would want online gaming to be considered in the Keystone State, the answer is rather simple: it’s better than raising taxes.
For Pennsylvanians, it seems like yesterday that the state legislature was trying to come to grips with first-term Governor Tom Wolf (D) on a budget. And that’s because it was just March when the 2015-2016 budget was finally passed into law, a full 267 days late.
Wolf actually never even signed that budget, but simply allowed it to become law without his John Hancock.
And now, it’s déjà vu in Harrisburg.
Wolf wants to continue spending more money that the state doesn’t have and is recommending the Republican-controlled legislature approve some sort of tax increase to bridge a $1 billion budget gap, which Wolf largely blames on pensions.
Payne, along with other Pennsylvania conservatives, would like to see revenues from the expansion of gaming to the Internet play a role in funding Wolf’s ballooning expenditures.
Gambling on the Outcome
In addition to considering online gambling, the Pennsylvania House is also expected to once again deliberate whether to allow airports and off-track betting facilities to offer slot machines. Bars and truck stops could also be authorized to run video lottery terminals.
Wolf’s staff has suggested that the governor wouldn’t be opposed to signing online gaming legislation, should the legislature also approve new revenue sources: meaning, in short, more taxes.
Wolf and the Pennsylvania General Assembly haven’t exactly played nice since the governor came to Harrisburg in 2015.
It’s more than possible that Wolf would veto an Internet bill, if it doesn’t come to his desk with accompanying tax increase measures. To override Wolf’s veto, two-thirds support of both the state House and Senate would be required.
If there’s one thing that the odds seem to favor, it’s that the talks beginning on June 6 will persist for many weeks, if not months.