Troubled Station Casinos Inc. has finally been granted court approval to exit bankruptcy. Station filed for Chapter 11 in July 2009, listing $6.5b in debts but only $5.7b in assets. The company, which counts 18 casinos in Nevada under its umbrella, plans to emerge from its shameful financial hole “in the coming weeks.”
After a few months that suggested Nevada’s prolonged casino revenue slump was firmly in their rearview mirror, winnings slipped in April, albeit by less than 1%. The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported statewide gaming revenues of $806m vs. $810m in April 2010. After studying the numbers, a few analysts suggested the dip was partially the result of accounting methods, as Nevada casinos typically don’t like to count slot machine revenues on weekends, and April 30 was a Saturday. On the Las Vegas Strip, casino winnings fell 2.2% to $427.5m, but if that last Saturday had been included, the Strip would likely have recorded a 1.4% gain. Seriously, guys… Nevada needs all the good news it can get. Break with tradition and work weekends from now on, okay?
Slot machines are pretty much an afterthought in Macau, where baccarat alone brings in twice the revenue of those whirring, beeping one-armed bandits. But the local government has capped the number of gaming tables at 55,000 until at least 2013, so how’s a Macau casino expected to keep on expanding? Some of the vendors hawking their wares at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia are attempting to address that problem. Shuffle Master is displaying a remote terminal baccarat gaming system, sort of like live dealer, only the dealer is just down the hall, not several time zones away. CEO David Lopez claims as many as 300 terminals can be serviced from the same table.
Taiwan-based Astro Corp. is taking a different approach, eschewing the baccarat masses for a more, er, personal approach. Sales manager Scott Huang was keen to show off a slot machine that features a built-in massage chair, designed to appeal to discerning high rollers (and our own Dana Workman). As Huang explained, “if they’re big spenders, obviously they wouldn’t want to just sit on a stool when playing the slots.” Obviously, if they’re really big spenders, they can afford to hire a girl to fondle their buttocks while they play. Still, feel me up, Scotty…