- Yonkers, NY is the staycation capital of the world! So proclaims proud reader jk in response to what is to this observer, the mind-boggling jump in racino revenues there last week. The 'staycation' theory is also behind the thought that gaming should weather the storm in South Florida.
South Florida casinos rely on locals, not tourists, to keep them afloat. So higher airfares aren't in play, said Adam Steinberg, director of Morgan Joseph & Co.'s investment banking group in New York.(I can say for sure that the latter statement was not true for me in the days before Gulfstream was ruined.) Still, the recent results there have been mixed.
"The typical South Florida casino visitor, the local retiree, is actually fine in this economy," Steinberg said. "They're hurt more when there's inflation.
"For tourists, gambling here is a secondary activity, not something you come here specifically to do," he said. [Sun-Sentinal]
Slot revenues at the three Broward racinos are down about 8.5 percent for the past three months compared with the same three months in 2007; poker revenues, computed for the entire state, have improved 7 percent over about the same period.- Here's an official announcement regarding the participation of the Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULLICO) in Louis Cappelli's grand makeover plans for the Concord and the new Monticello Raceway. The developer referred to this the other day as one of two prospective participants with the troubled Bank of Scotland. However, the continued participation of the latter seems dubious at best, given the current turmoil which saw its share price plummet by over 30% on Tuesday. Add in the fact that Cappelli is counting on a ragtag consortium which includes Jack Nicklaus and Donald Trump, as well as a $400 million bond issue scheduled for Nov 10, and I think it would be rather surprising if this project proceeds without interruption.
- Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot continued his push back over criticism of his staunch anti-slots stance, which, given his past support for the games, many believe is merely posturing for a possible gubernatorial run in 2010. (Similarly, former Governor Robert Ehrlich, pro-slots when in office, has declared his opposition to the referendum, which is supported by Governor O'Malley, who defeated him last year.) However, Franchot certainly seems to be overreacting rather hysterically to what has been benign criticism as far as campaigns go.
Campaigning against legalization of slots yesterday in Northwest Baltimore, Franchot called on the pro-gambling governor to "cease and desist" what the tax collector described as "Swift boat-style" and "Karl Rove-style" attacks on him, according to prepared remarks. [Baltimore Sun]Yeah, check back with me when they start calling you Peter Hussein Franchot.
- No Breeders' Cup for Commentator, but, thankfully, no lame synthetic track excuses from Nick Zito. "It's simply that it's taken him too long to recover from his last race." [DRF]