Station Casinos Holding On. For Now.

Last night Las Vegas’ mostly locals casino chain, Station Casinos, announced that they were given an extension on their deadline to file for bankruptcy by their lenders.  The extension is for 30 days and doesn’t mean that Station Casinos is in the clear just yet.

The May 15 deadline gives holders of $2.3 billion in bonds more time to consider Station Casinos’ offer to buy back investors’ bonds and exchange them with new, discounted notes with extended maturity dates, potentially reducing the company’s debt by $1.7 billion.

The extension postpones a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Station, which anticipates filing for bankruptcy protection regardless of whether bondholders approve the exchange.

Filing for Chapter 11 isn’t always the death of a business.  In this case it could allow Station Casinos the ability to restructure, pay off debt and stay in business.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I like Station Casinos and think there is a place in the market for them.  I, almost always, make it a point to stop off at the Gold Coast.  I have plans on doing that again on my next trip.  The Gold Coast was on of the places where I honed my gambling chops and I hope things stay in tact.

Penny Slots are NOT Your Friend

As I’ve mentioned before, the lower the denomination on a slot machine the worse the payout.  Todays Press of Atlantic City goes a little deeper into that subject.  Here are some nuggets from the article.

  • Penny machines outperformed all other slot machines in 2008.
  • While Atlantic City’s casino revenue has plummeted overall, the take from penny slot machines and their 2-cent counterparts rose 8.4 percent last year, compared with 2007, to nearly $698 million.
  • Every property in town except for Showboat Casino-Hotel added more penny machines last year. There are currently 7,584 penny slots, a nearly 20 percent increase from 2007, New Jersey Casino Control Commission statistics show.
  • They represent 22 percent of Atlantic City’s 34,000 total slot machines.
  • Borgata boosted its penny slots inventory last year by 32 percent and trails only Bally’s Atlantic City and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in the number of 1-cent machines. At the end of 2008, Bally’s had 991, the Taj Mahal 946 and Borgata 927 of those slots

Casinos will only add a game if it makes them money.  Clearly there are of these machines and they are making casinos money.  It’s humnan nature to think anything that costs a penny will allow your dollar to go farther.  When it comes to gambling, that is counter-intuative.  

I’ve noticed more slot machines in casinos, but never consciously thought about it.  Now that I think about it, I’ve definitely been drawn into some of these penny slots over the past year.  For me, they are little more than entertainment.  I enjoy playing slots with bonus games like Top Gun or Golden Monkey.  If I win, it’s a bonus.  I know going in that I shouldn’t expect to win.  With that mindset I can happily enjoy these games for what they’re worth.

Bally’s Las Vegas Closes Sportbook

This week Bally’s in Las Vegas closed their sportsbook for the Summer.

Deanna Pettit, a spokeswoman for Bally’s, confirmed the 285-seat sports book’s closure, but she said the move is temporary. The sports book is scheduled to reopen in September.

Pettit wouldn’t elaborate on reasons for the closing, but she said remodeling was not a factor. The sports book will occupy the same spot when it reopens in the fall. For now, the sports book at Paris Las Vegas will do double duty and serve customers of Bally’s. Harrah’s Entertainment owns both resorts.

I’ve never been to Bally’s, but evidently the Paris sportsbook and Bally’s sportsbook aren’t too far away.  Apparently, less than 10 jobs will be lost.  I think more money would be save on electricity than the payroll.

Bally’s in Atlantic City has made similar small closures to parts of the casino.  This is the first move like this that I’ve seen in Las Vegas.  It probably won’t be the last.  I guess every penny saved nowadays is a penny earned.

Caesars Palace Expansion on hold

I just got the official press release from Harrah’s with confirmation that Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has put a hold on the construction of Octavious Tower.  Here’s the release in it’s entirety.

LAS VEGAS — Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. said it is delaying plans to open 665 new rooms at a sixth tower it has just built at Caesars Palace until there is stronger demand for hotel rooms.

The 23-story Octavius Tower was scheduled to open this summer as part of a $1 billion expansion at the casino resort.

Harrah’s said that other parts of the expansion will open on schedule, including 110,000 square feet of meeting space, an expanded pool and garden area, and three 10,000-square-foot luxury villas. Strong advance bookings warranted finishing the new meeting space, Harrah’s said.

With the economy in the middle of a recession and room occupancy low, there really isn’t a reason to go forward with completion at this point.  It’s better than firing people.  The addition is just about complete so if there’s a need to increase capacity, they’ll be able to move quickly.

For details and pictures head over to Vegas Today and Tomorrow.