To say this was a chaotic weekend for Caesars Entertainment would be an understatement. On Friday they announced that they were leaving a casino project in Suffolk Downs, MA.
Partner Suffolk Downs asked Caesars to withdraw following an investigation by the state’s gaming commission, according to a statement yesterday from the horse-track operator, which didn’t didn’t specify the findings and said it was confident it would receive approval on its own.
Whoa. Before anyone could speculate what was happening Caesars Entertainment announced that they were cutting ties with Gansevoort. There would be no Gansevoort Las Vegas.
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is ending its partnership with Gansevoort Hotel Group to transform Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon into the luxury Gansevoort Las Vegas on the Strip.
Caesars executive vice president Jan Jones confirmed the move on Sunday, two days after the Suffolk Downs ownership group said it had dropped partner Caesars Entertainment from its bid to build a $1 billion resort casino at the Massachusetts racetrack.
In other words it seems as though Massachusetts wouldn’t allow Suffolk Downs to proceed with Caesars, in part, due to their ties with Gansevoort because they have ties to the Russian mob.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the move came after Massachusetts gambling investigators, during routine background checks of Caesars’ business partners, found an investor in New York-based Gansevoort was alleged to have ties to organized crime in Russia.
This sounds like a scene from on of the awful Netflix Instant movies I watch. The hotel project formerly known as Gansevoort will continue. The rarely reliable Robin Leach says that Giada’s restaurant and Drai’s nightclub business will continue as things move forward.
JUST IN- Top Caesars exec: Giada restaurant & Drai’s clubs will go forward Caesars to operate boutique hotel w/o Gansevoort mngmt or name
— Robin Leach (@Robin_Leach) October 20, 2013
The Las Vegas project will continue for Caesars seeking a new partner. I don’t think Kimpton Hotels will be a demographic match for what Caesars was trying to put together for this property but I’d love to see them have a hotel in Las Vegas.
The Suffolk Downs casino project will also proceed with a new partner. More on that another time.
Throw all of this into the pot of reasons for people to speculate about Caesars filing for chapter 11. I don’t think it’s a matter of if Caesars will file for bankruptcy, only a matter of when. All of this doesn’t help.
PS: If you get bored you can check out a blog I made a few years ago (pimpin at kimpton) after a fantastic stay at Hotel Monaco in Chicago.
Update: Now it seems as if there are possible money laundering problems.
Update 2: There was a shooting at Bally’s Las Vegas this morning.