Las Vegas Sun

March 1, 2015

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J.D. Morris


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

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 ...
App under development at UCLA would offer 24/7 help for gambling addicts
Friday, Feb. 13, 2015
For gambling addicts, help may soon be available anytime, anywhere, at the touch of their smartphone screen. Researchers at UCLA are developing an app that would allow problem gamblers to ...
Locals casinos, Borgata shine for Boyd in the latest quarter
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015
Boyd Gaming, the casino company that operates several Las Vegas properties including the California, the Orleans and Suncoast, announced its fourth quarter ...
Gaming industry aims to be heard in next presidential election
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015
If a Washington, D.C.-based casino trade group has anything to say about it, 2016 presidential candidates campaigning in battleground states with casinos won’t be able to avoid ...
Next generation slot machines could play more like Super Mario, less like Wheel of Fortune
Monday, Feb. 9, 2015
Imagine a Las Vegas casino floor 10 years from now, where the games look less like traditional slot machines and more like the video games millennials grew up playing on Xboxes and PlayStations. That vision may be on its way to ...
Lack of casino experience, stormy exit from previous job didn’t trip up new Caesars CEO
Friday, Feb. 6, 2015
Caesars Entertainment’s next chief executive left his last job after revelations of accounting problems at his company and calls for his resignation from some investors. Mark Frissora, the Caesars CEO-designate who ...
Caesars’ Gary Loveman stepping down as CEO, staying as chairman
Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015
Gary Loveman, the Harvard economist who led Caesars Entertainment’s explosive growth since 2003, will step down as CEO this summer. His departure comes as ...
Struggling Macau hurts Wynn Resorts’ fourth-quarter profits
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015
Gaming revenue in Macau, a special administrative region in China and the only place there where gambling is legal, just declined for the eighth month in a row ...
MGM Resorts to add mobile sports wagering this year
Monday, Feb. 2, 2015
MGM Resorts International announced plans today to introduce mobile sports betting technology at 12 of its Nevada properties. The gambling technology company Gtech will add live in-play betting to ...
Super Bowl wagers in Nevada were the second-biggest ever
Monday, Feb. 2, 2015
Nevada sports books reported an impressive amount of wagering on last weekend’s Super Bowl, but they didn’t profit as much as in recent years. Sports bettors wagered nearly ...
Nevada casinos win $11 billion in 2014, a slight drop from 2013
Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
Nevada’s gaming revenue declined slightly in 2014 after several years of consistent increases. The Gaming Control Board said casinos won a little more than $11 billion in 2014 ...
Q+A: Nevada’s top gaming regulator on his perspective as physician, why pot is no-no
Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
Nevada’s top gaming regulator hasn’t made his professional career in the casino industry or in the law, but he’s plenty experienced with both of those fields anyway. A doctor by trade, Tony Alamo is the first non-attorney to serve as ...
Another name added to Nevada’s casino ‘black book’
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015
Gaming regulators have added another name to Nevada’s famous “black book,” a list of people barred from entering any of the state’s casinos. The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved ...
Las Vegas Sands has tough 4th quarter in China, but profits still up
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015
Las Vegas Sands, the casino company that controls the Venetian and Palazzo on the Strip, reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings ...
Scientific Games moving headquarters to Las Vegas after Bally merger
Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
Gambling technology company Scientific Games said today that it’s moving its corporate headquarters from New York to Las Vegas. Nevada gaming regulators approved ...
Golden Gaming to take over Maryland casino in merger with Minnesota company
Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
Golden Gaming is growing again — this time beyond state lines. The Nevada tavern and slot route operator announced ...
Las Vegas mystery: What will become of Fontainebleau?
Friday, Jan. 23, 2015
When viewed from afar in the light of day, the second-tallest structure in the Las Vegas area looks like many of the other resorts on the Strip. But at night, the Fontainebleau reveals itself for what it really is: a monolithic, largely abandoned black hole on the otherwise brilliantly lit skyline. It’s been a ghost of a building for years now, and no one seems to know when ...
Gaming group: Illegal bets on Super Bowl will total $3.8 billion
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
Americans will illegally wager 38 times more money on this year’s Super Bowl than they will legally in Nevada, the only state with full-fledged sports betting, according to ...
Wynn redesign of Massachusetts casino has a familiar look
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
Wynn Resorts unveiled a new tower design for its planned Massachusetts casino today, and it should look familiar to anyone who’s seen the Wynn or Encore in Las Vegas. Massachusetts gaming regulators awarded the Boston-area casino license to Wynn’s $1.6 billion project last year, but they requested ...
Steve Wynn’s base salary reduced from $4M to $2.5M
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015
Casino mogul Steve Wynn is taking a salary cut from the company that bears his name. Wynn Resorts disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that ...
New restaurant at the Cal reflects broader nongaming trend
Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015
Boyd Gaming celebrated the debut of a new restaurant at its flagship downtown Las Vegas casino on Friday, one that company officials say is part of a larger strategic focus on nongambling amenities. “What we’re trying to do is update our restaurants and bars, because there’s so much more nongaming that is important in ...
Caesars bankruptcy: What does it mean for company, consumers and employees?
Friday, Jan. 16, 2015
When the largest operating division of casino giant Caesars Entertainment filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, it was just the most ...
Cash-strapped Caesars division files for bankruptcy protection
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015
The main operating division of debt-ridden casino company Caesars Entertainment filed for bankruptcy early Thursday morning in Chicago, taking a long-planned step toward ...
What does terrorism insurance program mean for Las Vegas? Quite a lot
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015
In its first week back, there was one thing virtually all of Congress could agree on: Las Vegas casinos and other large commercial businesses should be protected financially from a major terrorist attack. A bill to restart a federal program helping to do just that passed the new Republican Congress last week and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The legislation renews a 2002 federal program that ...
Junior creditors try to halt Caesars restructuring plan
Monday, Jan. 12, 2015
Junior creditors of Caesars Entertainment filed court papers today seeking to prevent the debt-ridden casino company’s financial restructuring plan from taking effect. In documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the junior creditors are attempting to force Caesars’ operating subsidiary into bankruptcy before ...
Caesars clears threshold for creditor support of bankruptcy plan
Friday, Jan. 9, 2015
Caesars Entertainment has cleared a critical threshold of creditor support for a bankruptcy restructuring plan in its operating subsidiary, the casino company announced today. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Caesars said that more than 60 percent of first-lien bondholders have signed ...
Should betting be allowed on the Olympics? South Point says yes
Friday, Jan. 9, 2015
In recent years, gamblers expecting to place wagers on the Olympic Games at Nevada sports books were in for a letdown: Per state law ...
Caesars nears threshold for creditor agreement on bankruptcy plan
Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015
With the deadline for a bankruptcy agreement fast approaching, Caesars Entertainment said today that more than 50 percent of first-lien bondholders signed on to a financial restructuring plan for ...
After stormy start, do better days lie ahead for SLS Las Vegas?
Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
For evidence of just how important Sam Nazarian was to the creation of SLS Las Vegas, look no further than the iconic starfish-like silver sculpture that looms large at the front entrance. It's reportedly a caricature of Nazarian himself. Nazarian has been the face of the property since he purchased it when it was still the Sahara in 2007. He closed the Sahara four years later, then ...
Nevada gaming revenue slightly up thanks to off-Strip increases
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014
The Nevada Gaming Control Board said that casinos won $876.3 million last month, a 0.04 percent increase from the same month last year. But gaming revenue for the fiscal year, which began July 1, is still ...
Portion of Caesars creditors agree to restructuring plan, company inches closer to bankruptcy
Financial filing offers new details on how restructured Caesars would function
Monday, Dec. 29, 2014
Caesars disclosed the creditor support in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that expands on the restructuring plan first announced by the ...
How tweets turned Ultimate Poker’s demise into funds for charity
Friday, Dec. 26, 2014
Las Vegas-based poker journalist Marco Valerio had an idea for his tiny Ultimate Poker payout: pool the pennies generated from other players and donate the total to charity ...
Smashburger expands to Las Vegas Strip
Monday, Dec. 22, 2014
The variety of burgers available on the Las Vegas Strip will grow on Tuesday when ...
Gambling: The neglected addiction
Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
Many insurance policies don’t cover the disorder, even though it has been reclassified under the same umbrella as alcoholism.
Union: Cosmopolitan workers remain employed through sale
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
The new ownership of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will undoubtedly institute changes to the resort. But the resort’s workforce, apparently, will remain intact. The Culinary Union ...
Caesars subsidiary to file bankruptcy, restructure finances
Business will ‘continue as usual,’ CEO Gary Loveman says
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
Casino giant Caesars Entertainment, which for years has struggled with massive debt, announced today that its largest subsidiary reached an agreement with key creditors on a financial restructuring plan. The subsidiary ...
The future of Las Vegas: See what’s coming on the Strip in 2015
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
Development along the Las Vegas Strip in 2015 will be important in subtle ways. Several projects that are changing the Strip’s physical dynamic will finish or edge closer to completion. The mix of tourism attractions will continue shifting more toward ...
Gaming regulators OK $1.73 billion sale of Cosmopolitan
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
The sale of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas cleared its last regulatory hurdle today when the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the $1.73 billion transaction. The sale was ...
SLS visionary Sam Nazarian gets limited gaming license
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
Sam Nazarian, the Los Angeles nightclub tycoon and visionary behind SLS Las Vegas, was awarded a limited gaming license from Nevada regulators today. But under terms of the license ...
Former MGM executive named next CEO at Cosmopolitan
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014
William McBeath, a former MGM Resorts International executive, is the next chief executive officer of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The resort announced McBeath’s appointment ...

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