Private Casino Gambling Not Taking Off

Published July 30, 2003 by OCR Editor

Private Casino Gambling Not Taking Off

Nevada legislators and regulators changed state laws and rules in 2001 and 2002 to allow private casino gambling in international gaming salons. More than six months after opening, Nevada's first private casinos have attracted a disappointing number of ga

Through April 30, the Las Vegas Strip's three international gambling salons at MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay have won only $3.5 million from gamblers, said Control Board member Scott Scherer. Those winnings came from about five visits to the three rooms, said Keith Copher, control board enforcement division chief. The $3.5 million won from gamblers doesn't say as much about the private casino action as would the total drop - the amount of money players exchanged for chips - a number the control board declined to provide.

The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the rules allowing international gaming salons in January 2002, as a means to attract international gamblers who want to bet in private. The MGM Grand's private casino license was approved in July 2002. Caesars Palace received one in September and Mandalay Bay in December. Executives for the companies operating the private betting salons say they're not surprised initial response to private gambling has been slow.

Park Place Entertainment spokesman Robert Stewart said Caesars Palace's marketing efforts geared toward attracting new customers for the private salons didn't begin until the beginning of this year. Since then, the war in Iraq and the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus outbreak severely affected Asian high-roller travel to Las Vegas, he said.

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