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July 4, 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

New Caesars CEO starts today, replacing Gary Loveman
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Casino giant Caesars Entertainment has a new chief executive starting today. Mark Frissora, who formerly led the rental car company Hertz, has replaced Gary Loveman as CEO of Caesars, which operates ...
Congressional push to ban online gaming gains prominence with Rubio
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The GOP senator's support for an effort to ban gambling on the Internet makes him a key champion for a cause close to the heart of ...
Beyond Resorts World, big potential remains for development on and around the Strip
Monday, June 29, 2015
The $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas project made a big splash in May when a ceremonial groundbreaking ushered in what, upon completion, would be the Strip’s biggest ...
Nevada gaming revenue passes the $1 billion mark in May
Friday, June 26, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue topped $1 billion in May, with Clark County boasting a particularly good month, the state said today. The Gaming Control Board said ...
Man charged with running Bitcoin poker site agrees to guilty plea
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Bryan Micon, the man targeted by state officials for allegedly running an illegal online gambling website, appeared in a Las Vegas court today and agreed to plead guilty to the charge against him.
Micon’s plea will allow him to ...
Regulators begin the tricky task of forming rules for skill-based slot games
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Nevada's effort to make casino floors feel more like arcades advanced Wednesday as gaming regulators started crafting the rules that will govern the introduction of skill into the state’s slot machines. The Gaming Control Board ...
Casinos are improving their efforts to fight money laundering, Treasury official says
Friday, June 19, 2015
The gaming industry’s fight against criminals who want to use casinos to disguise illegal money was front and center Thursday at the Paris resort. There, industry leaders and ...
Boyd Gaming pledges $2.5 million for UNLV hotel college building
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming announced today that it will spend $2.5 million to expand the hotel college at UNLV. The money will pay for ...
Kerkorian’s will calls for ‘orderly’ sale of his MGM Resorts stock
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
When casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian died on Monday, he left behind an unimpeachable legacy in Las Vegas, where he built a gaming empire. He also left behind a ...
Gaming changed the city, and time changed gaming
Monday, June 15, 2015
When Gov. Brian Sandoval and state lawmakers approved the largest tax increase in Nevada history, they gave the casino industry’s lobbying group something it strongly desired. The measure aims to ...
Entertainment tax reform is good for casinos, bad for Electric Daisy Carnival
Friday, June 12, 2015
Upcoming changes to a Nevada tax on entertainment have casino representatives breathing a sigh of relief, but the organizers of two annual festivals that contribute millions of dollars to the state economy aren’t happy. Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill on Thursday that aims to ...
New executive appointed to oversee Tropicana, M Resort
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The casino company that is buying the Tropicana today announced the appointment of a new executive to oversee that property and the M Resort in Henderson. Penn National Gaming said ...
Downtown Grand switches up executives
Monday, June 8, 2015
The Downtown Grand announced some executive management changes today. Seth Schorr, the property’s former CEO, has transitioned to the new position of chairman, while ...
Resorts World Las Vegas’ goal: Make a bigger pie
Sunday, June 7, 2015
The architect whose job it is to design a building with a "wow" factor to keep people coming back says the Chinese-themed resort in the works on the site of the old Stardust and Echelon project isn't trying to cannibalize other Strip properties ...
FBI to conduct counterterrorism training exercise at the Riviera
Friday, June 5, 2015
The FBI is coming to the shuttered Riviera resort soon, but not to go after any criminal activity. FBI spokeswoman Bridget Pappas said the bureau’s Hostage Rescue Team will ...
Complaints about payouts are among hiccups at record-setting Colossus poker tournament
Thursday, June 4, 2015
“It was a very ambitious thing,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said of the Colossus. “Overall, we were pleased, but we know we can get better.”
Lawmakers, industry urge IRS not to lower threshold for reporting slot winnings
Monday, June 1, 2015
Geoff Freeman, president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Gaming Association, said in a conference call today that about 13,000 people from across the country had spoken out against the potential threshold change ...
Macau gaming revenue is down for the 12th consecutive month
Monday, June 1, 2015
Macau has now suffered a full year of declines in monthly gaming revenue, which is bad news for the multiple Las Vegas casino companies with major operations there. Figures released Monday by ...
Casino execs: Expect the unexpected in Macau
Monday, June 1, 2015
Macau once was a reliable cash cow for Las Vegas casino companies. But for almost a year, the Chinese gambling hub has been a source of trouble. A government-led crackdown on corruption in China has ...
Nevada gaming revenue up more than 5 percent in April
Friday, May 29, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue rose significantly in April, with some particularly strong increases in the Las Vegas area, the state said today. The Gaming Control Board said ...
Former Riviera operators approved to manage Westgate Las Vegas
Thursday, May 28, 2015
The operators of the closed Riviera received final regulatory approval today to run the Westgate Las Vegas. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted to ...
How skill-based slots, social media and more will shape the casino of the future
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Senate Bill 9, which unanimously passed both chambers of the state Legislature before Gov. Brian Sandoval signed it this month, allows for an element of skill in the traditionally chance-heavy realm of slot technology. It presents an opportunity for the casino industry to ...
Most major casino executives express rosy view of Las Vegas economy, but Wynn disagrees
Friday, May 22, 2015
Wynn’s pessimism came to light April 28, when his company relayed quarterly earnings results that bore some tough news for shareholders. Much of the company’s poor performance traces back to Macau, which has seen 11 straight monthly declines in gaming revenue. Wynn told analysts in a conference call that ...
Gaming group ‘troubled’ by possible government credit card ban at casinos
Thursday, May 21, 2015
A recent report that found federal employees improperly used government credit cards at casinos could have unnecessary consequences for the gaming industry ...
Sandoval signs bill allowing for skill in slot machines
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office today announced that he signed legislation paving the way for the state gaming industry to incorporate skill into slot machines. Senate Bill 9 directs Nevada gaming regulators to ...
UNLV law professor is a key player in Caesars Entertainment bankruptcy case
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
UNLV law professor Nancy Rapoport was recently appointed to lead a committee that reviews bills for legal work as well as other professional fees and expenses tied to ...
Stratosphere parent reports big profit increase for first quarter
Monday, May 18, 2015
The company that runs the Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s and the Aquarius in Laughlin reported its first-quarter earnings on Friday. The company said its net revenue boost stemmed from more slot revenue, better occupancy, higher average daily room rates and ...
Gaming on Nevada’s legislative radar, even if not the focus
Monday, May 18, 2015
Nevada’s casino industry hasn’t been the main focus this year in the Legislature, but it is an important part of the action in Carson City. Casino executives have been ...
‘It’s like a big scavenger hunt’: Buyers find bargains, collectibles at Riviera
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Price tags are affixed all over the Riviera now, and crowds poured in to inspect them today as the resort’s liquidation sale opened to the general public. The sale kicked off ...
Loss down, casino revenue up at Cosmopolitan in first quarter
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
This is the Cosmopolitan’s first full quarter under the control of its new owner, Blackstone Group, which took over the property late last year. The Cosmopolitan saw its biggest year-over-year quarterly improvement on ...
Riviera operators get initial approval to run Westgate
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The operators of the shuttered Riviera are moving across the street. The state Gaming Control Board today granted its initial blessing for executives from Paragon Gaming ...
MGM Resorts might rename, revamp its ‘underutilized asset’ Monte Carlo
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The opportunity arose with the planned opening of the Park, a new shopping and entertainment area that MGM Resorts is building between Monte Carlo and New York-New York. “I would say we look at that property with a more positive lens than just about any property we own right now,” CEO Jim Murren said ...
After strong first quarter, Station CFO optimistic about Las Vegas economy
Monday, May 11, 2015
Station said its quarterly performance was assisted by strong consumer confidence and spending levels. The company noted in a statement that those factors ...
Caesars CEO: First quarter was company’s best since 2008
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
On a conference call with analysts, outgoing Caesars CEO Gary Loveman said the company has cut costs, made “new and exciting” investments in its hospitality offerings and ...
Resorts World, off to ceremonial start, vies for theme of authenticity
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Resorts World Las Vegas' Chinese theme isn't just for tourists — it should be appealing to Chinese citizens, too. At least that’s what executives sought to impress at ...
‘Thank you for 60 wonderful years’: Guests, employees say farewell to the Riviera
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Although the hotel operations were still humming along in a largely normal fashion on Sunday, plenty of signs — literal ones — reminded guests that the end was near. One such sign by the check-in area states plainly that the Riviera closes at noon Monday ...
Six decades later, Las Vegas says goodbye to historic Riviera
Monday, May 4, 2015
The Riviera closed at noon in advance of its eventual demolition. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which agreed to pay $182.5 million to buy the property in February, will replace the historic hotel-casino with more convention space ...
Strip room rates fluctuate around Mayweather-Pacquiao fight
Thursday, April 30, 2015
The imminent “fight of the century” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena has caused room rates on the Strip to skyrocket recently, but it seems that some, at least, have now dropped ...
Boyd CEO sees positive signs for Las Vegas in 1st quarter
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Boyd Gaming, the Las Vegas-based casino company whose local properties include the Orleans, Suncoast and the California, reported its first-quarter earnings today. Its downtown Las Vegas casinos reported net revenue of ...
Wynn Resorts: Elaine Wynn received only 17.1 percent of shareholder vote
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Elaine Wynn secured just 17.1 percent of the vote in her failed campaign for reelection to the board of Wynn Resorts, according to ...
Gaming revenue in March down on the Strip, statewide
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue declined again in March, thanks to a steep drop on the Las Vegas Strip, the state reported today. The Gaming Control Board said ...
Penn National to pay $360 million for the Tropicana
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Penn National Gaming said this morning that its acquisition of the Tropicana will cost $360 million. The day after the sale was first reported by VEGAS INC, Penn began to shed light on its vision for the classic property. Penn, a regional gaming company that operates the M Resort in Henderson, reiterated ...
Tropicana to be sold to Penn National Gaming
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
M Resort operator Penn National Gaming is buying the Tropicana, a classic but money-losing resort, according to an internal letter. The sale gives Penn its first resort in Las Vegas’ main casino corridor ...
Macau pressures place hit on Wynn’s first-quarter earnings
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
CEO Steve Wynn used much of a conference call with analysts today to reiterate the tough conditions in China that have weighed down his company’s performance. His message was clear: A government-led crackdown on corruption that began last year …
Las Vegas man linked to bitcoin poker site facing prosecution
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
In what’s believed to be an unprecedented move for Nevada, state Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced today that his office is prosecuting an individual tied to a poker website targeted by ...
Sandoval names former casino exec to state Gaming Commission
Monday, April 27, 2015
Gov. Brian Sandoval today appointed a former longtime Northern Nevada casino executive to replace Joe Brown on the state Gaming Commission. Michonne Ascuaga, the former CEO of ...
Should MGM branch out into real estate?
Investment firm sees big potential in converting part of casino company into a REIT
Monday, April 27, 2015
Investment firm Land and Buildings is pushing MGM Resorts to adopt a proposal the investors say could skyrocket shares as high as ...
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 ...

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