Las Vegas Sun

February 6, 2016

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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

Cosmopolitan opens new, bigger race and sports book
Friday, Feb. 5, 2016
The Cosmopolitan has opened a new race and sports book on its casino floor, the Strip resort announced today. The new space is more than ...
Tropicana owner reports 12.7 percent net revenue growth in 4th quarter
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016
Penn National Gaming, the company that runs the Tropicana and M Resort in Henderson, reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings today. At the Tropicana ...
125-room hotel coming near Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
A Las Vegas company announced plans today to develop a 125-room hotel by the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. CAI Investments said it has signed a deal for ...
County approves new Wynn shopping center, convention building and pool at SLS
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
A new shopping center a and convention building with a rooftop pool and bar are headed to two Strip resorts under separate plans approved today by Clark County ...
Downtown Grand CEO is gone after 8 months
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
Downtown Grand CEO Jim Simms is leaving after less than a year on the job, the resort announced today. Simms was named to the position in June, replacing Seth Schorr, who became ...
Why Phil Ruffin thinks Trump would be ‘brilliant’ president
T.I. owner also supports bringing NFL team to Las Vegas
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin says he and his friend Donald Trump don't agree on everything. But that hasn't stopped Ruffin from being a strong supporter of Trump’s campaign. "I think he's brilliant," Ruffin said. "Usually, you don't get that quality of person running ...
MGM Resorts outsourcing its parking operations and valet services
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016
Valets at many Strip properties owned by MGM Resorts International will soon start working for a new employer as the casino company outsources its parking operations to a third-party contractor. MGM Resorts announced today ...
Golden Entertainment heads into Montana with completion of $20M transaction
Monday, Feb. 1, 2016
Golden Entertainment Inc. has wrapped up its $20 million acquisition of about 1,000 gambling devices in Montana, the Las Vegas-based company said today. The transaction brings yet another market into play for ...
Preview 2016: Murren, Faraday exec and others talk about Las Vegas and its future
Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016
Paid parking on the Strip was not on the agenda at Preview Las Vegas today, but it was hard not to think about when the head of MGM Resorts International took the stage at Cox Pavilion ...
MGM chief: Don’t divert room taxes from convention center to UNLV stadium
Friday, Jan. 29, 2016
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren said today he’s not opposed to a stadium plan backed by one of his competitors, as long as it doesn’t use hotel room tax revenue that would otherwise support an expansion of ...
UNLV likes Sands-backed stadium for NFL team but isn’t married to it yet
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016
UNLV is receptive to plans being pushed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. for construction of a $1 billion, 65,000-seat stadium on land recently bought by the university ...
Tourism committee begins examining light rail, other transit plans
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016
Light rail, an expanded monorail and new pedestrian bridges on the Strip were among the key transportation proposals examined today — at some points critically — by an influential group of tourism leaders. The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee met to hear in detail about a range of transportation proposals, including many covered by a sweeping plan recently released by the Regional Transportation Commission. Called ...
Las Vegas Sands revenue takes hit from Macau for 4th quarter, full year
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016
Las Vegas Sands, the casino company that runs the Venetian and Palazzo on the Strip in addition to properties in Macau and elsewhere, reported its fourth-quarter and ...
Gaming association: Super Bowl will elicit $4.2 billion in mostly illegal bets
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016
Americans are poised to wager $4.2 billion on the upcoming Super Bowl 50, with the vast majority of those bets expected to be placed illegally. The American Gaming Association said its sports betting projection for the Feb. 7 championship football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers represents ...
Even without endorsing, Culinary Union seeks to be major player in politics and beyond
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016
After playing a big role when Democratic candidates last battled each other for their party's presidential nomination, the Culinary Union is staying above the fray this time around. While it made ...
MGM’s Park to open April 4, just before T-Mobile Arena
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016
MGM Resorts International said today that its forthcoming dining and entertainment district on the Strip will open April 4. Called the Park, the district between New York-New York and Monte Carlo is set to debut two days before MGM Resorts’ T-Mobile Arena opens in the same area. The company envisions the Park as ...
Cosmopolitan CEO gets final approval for gaming license
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016
The Cosmopolitan’s top executive was granted final approval for a gaming license by Nevada regulators today ...
Regulators approve Station Casinos’ proposed initial public offering
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016
Nevada regulators today approved Station Casinos’ plan for an initial public offering, allowing the locals gaming giant to move forward with its transition back into a public company. Station, which was taken private …
Las Vegas casinos spending heavily to defend tax increase; here’s why
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016
Nevada’s major casinos were generally strong supporters of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax package last year, and they have already spent heavily to keep ...
How does a plan like this come to be? Who is responsible?
Monday, Jan. 18, 2016
The push started more than three years ago, when Rossi Ralenkotter, president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, brought local tourism industry leaders together to talk about transportation issues. Ralenkotter made it clear from the outset the group needed to think beyond its own specific interests about how to keep Las Vegas globally competitive ...
Rail projects in other cities: How’d they do it?
Monday, Jan. 18, 2016
Phoenix; Denver; San Diego; and Orlando, Fla., have provided blue prints Las Vegas can follow when it comes to building public mass transit systems. We examine their costs and the impact the systems have had on their cities.
How mass transit will affect Southern Nevada tourism
Monday, Jan. 18, 2016
Light rail would affect the Strip, conventions, the north Strip and international visitors ...
Strip parking plan had been percolating for years
Friday, Jan. 15, 2016
MGM Resorts’ announcement that it will soon start charging customers to park at its Strip resorts was a long time coming. Speculation that the casino operator would ...
Wynn Resorts expects 4th-quarter revenue drop in Macau, win in Las Vegas
Friday, Jan. 15, 2016
Wynn Resorts Ltd. said today it expected to report a steep decline in revenue from its China operations in the fourth quarter of 2015, though it would anticipate a stronger financial performance in ...
Sin City surge: Las Vegas tourism industry stays on post-recession upswing
Friday, Jan. 15, 2016
By most measures, last year was a pretty good one for the Las Vegas tourism industry. Visitation in 2015 surpassed the record set one year earlier by about 1.2 million people, preliminary figures show, and officials expect ...
MGM appoints CEO, CFO for new real estate investment trust
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016
MGM Resorts International announced today it has chosen two businessmen with investment banking backgrounds to lead the real estate investment trust into ...
Three executives promoted, one retiring at Boyd Gaming
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
Boyd Gaming Corp. this week announced some major leadership changes, with three people promoted to higher-level positions and one longtime executive retiring later this year. The company said today ...
Light rail presented as best option to connect Strip, airport, downtown
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016
Why does Las Vegas need light rail? It would link the airport, the Strip and downtown Las Vegas, a critical connection that would greatly benefit the economy and the tourist experience, a local transportation official ...
Cosmopolitan CEO recommended for license by gaming board
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016
William McBeath, the chief executive of the Cosmopolitan, today received the first of two regulatory approvals he needs to be licensed by state gaming authorities. The Gaming Control Board approved ...
Developer scoops up 38-acre IGT campus in southwest valley for $75M
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016
Developer Doug Roberts is one of many investors building large industrial properties in the valley without tenants lined up. Now he’s got another big property to shop around ...
Looking ahead: See what lies in store for the Las Vegas Strip in 2016
Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015
While the physical dynamic of the Strip did not change too dramatically this year, it nonetheless proved to be an important development period as a few key projects ...
Tourism officials: Las Vegas cracks 42 million visitors this year
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015
Las Vegas surpassed 42 million annual visitors for the first time this year, tourism officials announced today. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority ...
Nevada gaming revenue up 7.8 percent in November
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue increased 7.8 percent in November, led by a particularly strong month for casinos in Clark County, the state reported today. The Gaming Control Board said ...
Plaza renovating its rooftop pool in downtown Las Vegas
Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015
The Plaza in downtown Las Vegas today announced it will undertake a major renovation of its rooftop pool starting next week. The hotel-casino said its “extensive, multi-million dollar” pool renovation will begin ...
A peek into the mind of Howard Hughes
Monday, Dec. 28, 2015
Last week, our staff examined how secret documents stored in a safe owned by Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspun were connected to the Watergate break-ins that sunk President Richard Nixon. This week, we take a detailed look at what the documents said ...
Watergate break-in has connection to Las Vegas
Who tried to break into Hank Greenspun’s safe?
Monday, Dec. 21, 2015
More than four decades ago, Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspun said he had information that could take down President Richard Nixon. And in a way, he was right. A large safe in Greenspun’s office contained a stash of memos written by reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and his former ...
The word on Vegas: 10 of the best books about Sin City
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015
For those craving more winter reading, or perhaps looking for a good gift for a book lover, there's a lot to read about Las Vegas' past. Here are 10 books that give a glimpse into ...
5 times casinos were referenced in the 2016 campaign — so far
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015
Even when not debating at a big Las Vegas casino-resort, which Republican contenders will do Tuesday night, gambling references have worked their way into the campaign rhetoric multiple times. And there’s evidence ...
Mesquite casino takes ‘family business’ to the next level
Monday, Dec. 14, 2015
It’s not often the retirement benefits of a small-town casino attract the attention of Nevada gaming regulators. But recent moves made by the Eureka in Mesquite are anything but normal for the gaming industry. The Eureka received approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission in November to adopt an employee stock ownership plan, or an ESOP, which will act as ...
RTC board receptive to transit plan that includes light rail
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani had three words today for anyone who still wants to debate about whether the Strip should have light rail ...
Congress scrutinizes bill outlawing online gaming in Nevada
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Congressional lawmakers took another intense look Wednesday at a controversial bill that would ban online gaming, including in Nevada and the other two states where it is already legal. The bill was discussed in a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing that focused largely on the legal and …
Why Las Vegas transportation leaders think the time is right for light rail
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Armed with figures showing that traffic congestion throughout Las Vegas will become far more severe over the next two decades if local leaders do not make major changes to ...
RTC unveils long-ranging transportation plan that includes light rail
Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
Southern Nevada tourism leaders on Monday unveiled an ambitious, multibillion-dollar transit plan that could make substantial upgrades to the way people move around Las Vegas over the next few decades, including through the ...
Trump International employees vote to join Culinary Union
Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
Workers at the Trump International Hotel have voted in favor of union representation, a major Las Vegas union announced today. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 said ...
County reports concerns after testing fake trees from Cosmopolitan fire
Friday, Dec. 4, 2015
The artificial palm trees that fueled a fast-burning outdoor fire at the Cosmopolitan this summer would not have passed muster for use indoors, Clark County said today, but the county is not yet pushing for any ...
Tourism officials discuss more details of convention center project
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015
Tourism executives offered more insight today into plans to expand and renovate the Las Vegas Convention Center as they continued to make their case to a committee that will be influential in funding the project. The LVCVA is already ...
Gaming association wants presidential candidates to fill out questionnaire
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015
Which presidential candidates would be willing to meet with casino employees? Which would take a stand against illegal gambling? And what would their approach be to ...
The Cosmopolitan agrees to 4-year union contract
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015
The Cosmopolitan and a major Las Vegas union announced today that they have concluded negotiating a contract that will cover about 2,000 employees at ...
Nevada gaming revenue down 2.9 percent in October
Las Vegas Strip revenue drops 5.1 percent for the month
Monday, Nov. 30, 2015
Gaming revenue from Nevada casinos dropped nearly 3 percent in October, the state reported today. The Gaming Control Board said casinos won ...
With new rules in place, Las Vegas nightclubs under stricter scrutiny
Friday, Nov. 20, 2015
Nevada gaming officials put in place sweeping new regulations for nightclubs this week, increasing their oversight of a crucial but sometimes risky component of business at Las Vegas casino-resorts. Under the set of rules adopted by the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday, casino operators must make at least one employee in charge of ...

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