Las Vegas Sun

April 26, 2015

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J.D. Morris

Gaming reporter

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2014, J.D. moved to Nevada to be a reporter for the Sun. Previously, he spent four years working for Berkeley's student newspaper, The Daily Californian, where he was the managing editor his final year. He has also reported for The Orange County Register as an intern. He grew up in Salinas and Bakersfield, Calif.

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Story Archive

Elaine Wynn loses fight to stay on board of Wynn Resorts
Friday, April 24, 2015
Elaine Wynn lost her fierce campaign to keep her seat on the board of Wynn Resorts today after stockholders voted in favor of two candidates endorsed by the company. Stockholders gathered this morning ...
Joseph Brown resigns from Nevada Gaming Commission
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Nevada Gaming Commissioner Joseph Brown is stepping down from his post on the top regulatory body for the casino industry. Brown has been a member of the Gaming Commission for more than ...
Gaming Commission approves sale of Gold Strike in Jean
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Nevada gaming regulators today signed off on the new ownership of the Gold Strike casino, paving the way for associated development along the freeway in the area ...
In Wynn vs. Wynn, Elaine faces two company-backed rivals for board seat
Thursday, April 23, 2015
On Friday, stockholders will decide the outcome of Elaine Wynn’s heated campaign to stay on the board of Wynn Resorts by determining whether they prefer her or ...
Macau hampers Las Vegas Sands financial results in 1st quarter
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Las Vegas Sands, the casino company that runs the Venetian and Palazzo on the Strip, reported its first-quarter earnings today. The Macau casino industry has continued to suffer amid a crackdown by the Chinese government on corruption that ...
‘Make it shine’: New owner offers light at end of tunnel for Railroad Pass
Friday, April 17, 2015
Once a lonely outpost among MGM Resorts' holdings, Railroad Pass is getting some attention under its new owner, Joe DeSimone. The new boss — whose background is in real estate, not gaming — is planning several significant changes that will affect ...
Elaine Wynn wins advisory backing in board battle
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Elaine Wynn has secured a third-party advisory endorsement in her contentious campaign for re-election to the board of Wynn Resorts making her tied with her opponents as the public fight approaches ...
Another advisory firm frowns on Elaine Wynn’s re-election
Monday, April 13, 2015
Elaine Wynn has encountered a setback in her fight to stay on the board of Wynn Resorts due to an advisory firm’s recommendation that shareholders not support ...
Gaming association sets sights on fighting illegal gambling
Monday, April 13, 2015
The gaming industry is trying to crack down on illegal gambling via a new project from its Washington, D.C.-based trade group. At a summit of state attorneys general in ...
Inside the boardroom of Wynn Resorts is a power struggle being fought publicly
Monday, April 13, 2015
It has all the trappings of an intense political campaign, with contentious allegations, appeals to voters, a sleek candidate’s website and, of course, a high-stakes election. But the battle ...
MGM Resorts, Wynn go cashless at poker tables
Friday, April 10, 2015
Two major Strip casino operators recently made changes to their poker operations that may reflect a broader push to beef up their anti-money laundering efforts. Effective this month, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts no longer allow cash at their poker tables. Previously, poker players could use cash without first converting it into chips. Some experts think the change is motivated by ...
$6.4 billion IGT, Gtech merger now complete
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
The $6.4 billion merger of leading slot machine maker International Game Technology and Italian lottery operator Gtech is finished. Company officials said today that the two entities have completed the combination of their businesses and that the new company, International Game Technology PLC, is now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the IGT ticker symbol. The merger was ...
Former Las Vegas mayor discusses the future of gaming
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Jan Jones Blackhurst, former mayor of Las Vegas, discusses gambling over the Internet, the bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment and the importance of corporate giving, among other topics ...
Sam Nazarian returns to SBE Entertainment
Friday, April 3, 2015
Sam Nazarian, the businessman who was unable to secure a full gaming license for his role in SLS Las Vegas, is back at the helm of his Los Angeles-based hospitality and entertainment company ...
Reid striving to add ban on online gaming to his political legacy
Friday, April 3, 2015
With the clock ticking on his remaining time in the Senate, Harry Reid is adding to momentum to ban online gaming. Along with supporters such as Sheldon Adelson, Reid ...
MGM Resorts finalizes sale of Railroad Pass
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
MGM Resorts International has completed its sale of the Railroad Pass casino to a local real estate professional ...
February gaming revenue down on the Strip, statewide
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue declined slightly February, driven by a notable drop on the Strip, the state reported today. The Gaming Control Board said casinos won ...
Cosmopolitan revenue up thanks to casino boost
Monday, March 30, 2015
Casino revenue increased most notably, rising 30.7 percent from last year to $203.2 million. The Cosmopolitan’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the property is focusing both on increasing its level of table game play ...
Even without a gay bar, LGBT tourists have options on Strip
Monday, March 30, 2015
The fate of Liaison, the Strip’s first gay nightclub inside a casino, exemplifies how difficult it is for a gay venue to become a hit on Las Vegas Boulevard. Liaison closed after less than a year. But that doesn’t mean the Strip has given up catering to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourists. In fact, Strip resorts long have found success with events geared toward the LGBT market ...
‘Harry, this is Barack’: Obama surprises Reid during radio talk show
Friday, March 27, 2015

During an appearance by Sen. Harry Reid this morning on KNPR’s “State of Nevada” talk show, the program received a surprise caller. "Harry, this is Barack," ...

Gaming regulators scold Caesars, calling company’s bankruptcy an embarrassment
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Caesars executives had to appear before the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday for approval of some routine matters, and commissioners used it as an opportunity to ...
Fourth-quarter revenue, income up at Stratosphere parent company
Thursday, March 26, 2015
The company that owns the Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s and the Aquarius in Laughlin, reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings today. The company attributed its net revenue increase for the quarter to ...
Elaine Wynn says she knew nothing about nephew’s land deal
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Elaine Wynn, maintaining her fight to stay on the board of Wynn Resorts, said today that the company’s latest accusations against her are a factually baseless ploy to instigate tension between her and stockholders. In an attempt to “set the record ...
Wynn Resorts goes after Elaine Wynn over land deal, stock sale
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Wynn Resorts made fresh accusations against Elaine Wynn’s track record today as part of the company’s ongoing effort to defeat her campaign to stay on its ...
Genting: Construction set to begin May 5 on Las Vegas megaresort
Monday, March 23, 2015
The north Strip site formerly home to the Stardust, then the scrapped Echelon project, is set to start coming to life again in less than two months when ...
Gaming group adds members, pushes for more security money in Las Vegas
Monday, March 23, 2015
The gaming industry’s Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group is continuing to grow while it pursues an aggressive agenda that includes pushing for more ...
Lottery proposal: Lifeline for Nevada education, or dead on arrival?
Friday, March 20, 2015
Amid all the discussion in Carson City about improving education, one piece of legislation is refloating an old, but likely ill-fated, idea to help fund Nevada’s bottom-tier school system: creating a state lottery. Assembly joint resolution No. 6 would ...
Elaine Wynn continues fight to stay on Wynn Resorts board
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Advancing her ongoing fight to remain on the board of Wynn Resorts, Elaine Wynn today further laid out her case for why stockholders should reject ...
Wynn Resorts battle to oust Elaine Wynn intensifies
Monday, March 16, 2015
Wynn Resorts today shed more light on its board’s decision to remove Elaine Wynn from its ranks, while she continued campaigning to keep her seat. In a proxy statement ...
Even when dealing free games, the house finds a way to win
Monday, March 16, 2015
It sounds paradoxical, but it’s true. Social casino games essentially are free versions of table games and slots that anyone can download on a mobile phone or computer. Typically, users are given free tokens to start, and win or lose tokens as they play. Developers make money when players buy additional tokens. Consider Caesars Interactive’s social poker game as an example: Players receive ...
Luxor, Excalibur president retiring; Luxor getting new GM
Friday, March 13, 2015
West became president of both resorts in 2010. She began her career with MGM in 2000 as vice president of human resources for the Primm Valley resorts, and subsequently became president. She was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the Excalibur in 2005, then named to the same position at Mandalay Bay in 2009.
‘Beyond our control’: Businesses in the Riviera are facing an uncertain future
Friday, March 13, 2015
For private businesses operating in the Riviera, news that the resort would be shut down came as a complete — and unpleasant — surprise. One owner said he was disillusioned because it felt like his long history with the hotel was never taken into consideration. Other owners ...
Group predicts March Madness wagers will hit $9 billion
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The American Gaming Association is again using a major athletic event to draw attention to sports betting, this time estimating that Americans will wager upwards of $2 billion through more than 70 million brackets on this year’s March Madness college basketball tournament. The Washington, D.C.-based trade group for the casino industry announced its predictions in ...
Betting on simulated horse races will soon be off and (virtually) running in Nevada
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Nevada race books will soon start offering wagers on events that never happen in real life. The Gaming Commission authorized betting on virtual events last month, and now ...
Sports betting turns a corner
Technology, popularity, economy combine to make compelling political case for legalization in other states
Monday, March 9, 2015
Prominent voices from professional sports and politics have indicated they’re willing to discuss expanding sports gambling, which is legal only in a handful of states. Meanwhile, Nevada has broadened the types of wagers it offers, and people appear to be betting on sports more than ever before ...
Bitcoin bust: Poker site prompts raid, investigation by Nevada gaming authorities
Friday, March 6, 2015
The promoter of an unlicensed online poker site where players gambled in Bitcoin says he was doing nothing wrong. But the Nevada gaming authorities ...
Elaine Wynn moves to renominate herself to Wynn Resorts board
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Elaine Wynn pushed back at a decision to remove her from the board of her ex-husband’s resort company today, filing preliminary ...
New president at Venetian, Palazzo starts this month
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
John Caparella, who’s been president of the Venetian and Palazzo since 2011, is departing next month. He will be replaced by George Markantonis, who was most recently ...
Caesars grows revenue, trims loss in fourth quarter of 2014
Monday, March 2, 2015
Caesars Entertainment, the debt-saddled casino giant whose Strip properties include Caesars Palace, Paris and the Flamingo, announced its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings today ...
Rep. Dina Titus renews push to repeal sports wagering tax
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
Seeking to save as much as $11 million in taxes paid by some Nevada companies each year, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus today reintroduced legislation that would roll back a federal handle tax on sports wagers. In a letter to the leaders of ...
Gaming revenue up on Las Vegas Strip, statewide in January
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue rose notably in January, thanks to a particularly good month on the Strip, the state reported today. The Gaming Control Board said Nevada casinos won ...
Slot company mergers: Why they happened, and how they’ll affect Las Vegas
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
Recent mergers between major slot machine companies shouldn't dramatically alter what gamblers experience on the casino floor, but they're very significant for ...
Nevada Gaming Commission approves betting on Olympics
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
State gaming regulators approved a request from the South Point to alter regulatory language that prohibits wagers on amateur sports, which previously included ...
Gaming towns not exactly three of a kind
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015
While gambling cities are affected by some of the same trends, their casino industries differ significantly. Las Vegas long has been the pre-eminent gambling city in terms of name recognition and historical identity. Over the past decade, however, Macau has sprinted far ahead of Las Vegas in gambling revenue ...
Tourism authority OKs $182.5 million purchase of Riviera
Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
Las Vegas tourism officials today agreed to pay $182.5 million to buy the Riviera, paving the way for the closure and demolition of the nearly 60-year-old resort. At a special meeting ...
Here’s what we know about the Cosmopolitan’s new leadership
Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
What changes are in store for the Cosmopolitan now that a new leadership team is in place? CEO William McBeath sat down with VEGAS INC to discuss what's coming, including ...
Did Vice Media’s Shane Smith spend $300K on dinner at Bellagio?
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015
Someone, or some people, recently paid a $300,000 check at a Bellagio restaurant. But MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren didn’t say who when he mentioned the eye-popping meal in a conference call with ...
Station CFO optimistic about Las Vegas economy after strong 2014 performance
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015
Locals gaming giant Station Casinos, whose properties in the valley include Palace Station, Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch, reported its fourth quarter and full-year earnings ...
MGM revenue and losses worse in 4th quarter, better for year
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015
MGM Resorts International, the casino company that operates such Strip properties as the Bellagio, MGM Grand and Aria, reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings today. As with other casino companies that operate in Macau, MGM felt the effects of ...
Tourism authority plans to buy, tear down the historic Riviera
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015
What began as a rumor this month is now official: the Las Vegas tourism authority is moving forward with plans to purchase the Riviera so it can be demolished to make room for more convention space. The LVCVA board of directors will meet ...

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