High-roller convenience curtailed amid DOJ investigation
Nevada’s top gaming regulator said Friday his agency was aware of changes Las Vegas Sands Corp. implemented to its compliance procedures and expected other companies, both inside and outside the gaming industry, would take similar steps.
Las Vegas Sands, which operates casinos in Macau and Singapore, as well as The Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Strip, halted the execution of international money transfers for its high-end customers, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The moves came as the casino operator faces scrutiny from U.S. and international regulators, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.
Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts Ltd. are both being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Let’s put some perspective on the record $38 billion in gaming revenues collected by Macau’s casino industry in 2012.
The figure is higher than the $35.64 billion collected by the entire U.S. commercial casino industry in 2011.
During December, Macau’s 35 casinos collected a single-month record of $3.5 billion in gaming revenues, more than half of what the Strip’s casinos collected in all of 2011.
Macau’s $38 billion gaming revenue take was a 13.5 percent increase from the $33.5 billion the market collected in 2011. However, Macau casinos grew gaming revenues 42 percent between 2010 and 2011.
“By and large, we believe the calendar year 2012 gross gaming revenue growth was ahead of most Wall Street estimates, the majority of which were ratcheted down throughout the year and conservative leaning, in our view,” Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said.
@RandomPoker finds bigger, brighter Sands room open for expanded business
Let’s hope it’s an omen. I picked up pocket Aces on my first hand in the new-and-improved Venetian poker room. My good friend and fellow Pokeratier Andrew raised into me, then called my three-bet “just in case” before check-folding the flop.
$10 Million Rebuy: The Venetian poker room has expanded to add 50 percent more tables and hopefully 50 percent more donkey tourists.
The new digs reopened at 5 am Wednesday; I arrived around 4:30 pm, or what Vegas grinders call morning. I wanted to see what a month-long renovation and supposedly $10 million could do for a major poker room. And I can tell you, this is now the fanciest poker joint in Vegas — if only for the giant, shimmering chandeliers hanging under a Renaissance ceiling mural at the front of the room.
Here’s some of what I couldn’t help but notice upon re-entering this previously familiar poker space:
Until recently, it appeared Steve Wynn had abandoned politics.
Wynn spent three years as the de facto voice of the gaming industry’s unofficial anti-Obama coalition, a high-profile membership of two than included Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson.
Wynn provided the rhetoric. Adelson provided the money.
The chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts Ltd., never missed an opportunity to appear on Fox News or other conservative media outlets to bash President Barack Obama’s administration for what he considers its failings in handling the economy.
Wynn often peppered his remarks with bombastic comments.