US Casino Growth

Money wagered at U.S. casinos rose at its slowest rate in more than a decade last year, as new casino openings slowed to a crawl and business dropped sharply in Nevada after Sept. 11, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Gamblers spent about $25.7 billion last year at casinos in the 11 states with legalized gambling, up from $24.5 billion in 2000, according to the American Gaming Association.

The 5 percent gain for the year was the lowest in a decade, and came in sharp contrast to the double-digit gains for seven of the last 10 years. Before 2001, the slowest growth was 6.9 percent posted in 1996.

“The overall gaming slowdown was obviously due to the disastrous terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and the impact on the industry,” said Goldman Sachs analyst Steve Kent. “But there was also the fact we had no new markets opening up. Markets are generally maturing, and you can’t sustain the year-over-year gains without new markets opening up.”

Among the 11 legalized casino gambling states, Nevada led the pack with $9.5 billion in gross casino revenues — about 37 percent of the national total. New Jersey was second, with $4.3 billion, followed by Mississippi with $2.7 billion.

Other states generating $1 billion or more in revenues included Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana, each with $1.8 billion, Missouri ($1.1 billion) and Michigan ($1 billion). Iowa, Colorado and South Dakota are the three other states with legalized casino gambling.

Venetian owner

A Las Vegas casino operator unveiled plans Tuesday for a $5 billion to $10 billion project to turn a strip of reclaimed land in Macau into a huge resort patterned after its flagship Venetian property.

Las Vegas Sands Inc. is one of two new casino operators who will compete with Hong Kong tycoon Stanley Ho, who had held a four-decade monopoly on gambling in the former Portugese colony returned to China in 1999.

The resort imitating the Italian city of Venice will be on reclaimed land between Macau’s islands of Taipa and Coloane.

It will be modeled after the company’s Venetian hotel and resort in Las Vegas _ complete with imitation canals, gondolas and singing gondoliers.

Sheldon Adelson, company chairman, promised to bring Macau the”glamor and excitement of The Venetian Las Vegas, with the beauty of the baroque Venice”as he targets gamblers from throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The initial phase of the development will focus on a mega-resort, The Venetian Macau, which is expected to be built in about three and a half years, the company said. No exact timetable was provided.

It will have 1,500 suites, a casino, spa, theaters and shopping mall, said Peter Barge, chief executive of Jones Lang LaSalle, the project’s real estate adviser.

In an attempt to get a quicker share of the gaming market, the company is building a smaller casino, Las Vegas Sands, on Macau’s main peninsula _ scheduled to open early next year.

The other newcomer to the Macau gaming scene will be Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn.

Wee hours opening

Odds are, you’ll have to get up pretty early to be there when the first dice roll at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

New Jersey’s first new casino hotel in 13 years is expected to open at 3 a.m. Thursday, betting that a wee-hours start time will limit the crush of eager gamblers.

“It’s going to be the morning of July 3, we just haven’t decided the time,” said Rob Stillwell, spokesman for Boyd Gaming Corp., the casino’s operator. “We’ll know come tomorrow. It’s a minute-by-minute thing.”

Regulators have been told to plan for a 3 a.m. opening of the 2,002-room casino-hotel, which is located in the city’s marina district, near Trump Marina and Harrah’s Atlantic City.

On Wednesday, some of the casino’s 5,000 employees were undergoing last-minute uniform fitting adjustments while others were participating in system tests or eating test meals in some of the $1 billion casino’s 11 restaurants.

Boyd Gaming Chairman William S. Boyd, meanwhile, was in New York to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

The casino-hotel, a joint venture of MGM Mirage and Boyd Gaming Corp., will be the first new property in Atlantic City since Trump Taj Mahal opened its doors in 1990.

State regulators were also scrambling to be ready for the opening, which was scheduled to occur in stages over two days.

Media and dignitaries were to be given tours beginning Wednesday, while the public opening and other events were planned Thursday.

“We have approximately 45 people directly involved in the opening, and they are working 24 hours a day, watching the various functions,” said Kerry Hand, spokeswoman for the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Before joining one

Technology is quickly changing how we do things. Needless to say, even things like visiting a casino are being changed quite dramatically now. Gone are the days when you would actually have to drive to a casino in order to enjoy some of the games on offer. Today, you should be able to do so at the convenience of your home thanks to online casinos. However, while there are a lot of advantages that this particular option has to offer, there are a number of other things that you might have to know as well. Once you have the full picture, you will be in a better position to take the right decision.

First, you should know that online casinos are not really all that difficult to get used to. There are a number of casinos that have made things significantly simpler for the end user. Hence, when you decide to go in for them, you might find it to be relatively easy to go from one game to another. You shouldn’t struggle as much when it comes to selecting the right game and on the whole, you should be able to easily change tables or try something else if you are bored of the game that you are currently playing.

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The ideal bonus

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Why people clamor

Considering the vast number of different kinds of online casinos out there, it comes as no surprise that you would end up looking in all places for a website that actually has features that you might perhaps want. Take for example, the no deposit casinos.

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Depositing money seems to be very effective in doing this. However, people playing in these casinos didn’t like the option, which is why the concept of no deposit casinos came around. This, needless to say, is a very good option for the masses. Firstly, you will like the no deposit casinos for the plain reason that you will be able to play any game you want without any kind of commitment. Much like pre-paid cellphones, you can jump ship and go to another casino when you feel like it.

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