Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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J.D. Morris

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

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 ...
Nazarian out of day-to-day operations at SLS
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
Sam Nazarian has been the driving force behind SLS Las Vegas, but he encountered serious difficulty two weeks ago when ...
Nightclub operator Hakkasan acquiring Light Group in $36 million deal
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
Hakkasan Group initiated a major shakeup of the Strip’s nightlife business today with plans to acquire another prominent nightlife company, The Light Group, for $36 million. Morgans Hotel Group ...
Planning underway for UNLV center on gaming regulation
Friday, Dec. 12, 2014
UNLV's hotel college and law school are teaming up to form a center dedicated to researching gaming regulations and providing courses on the subject for industry professionals. The center is expected to be launched by the 2015-16 academic year, and its research will include examining the effectiveness of such regulations as ...
Study: Casinos contributed $53 billion to Nevada economy last year
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
The American Gaming Association today announced the results of an Oxford Economics study that measured the economic impact of Nevada’s gaming industry. In addition to the general contribution to the economy, the study found that Nevada casinos supported ...
Cosmopolitan CEO leaving resort
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014
Unwin, who has been with the resort since 2009, will end his tenure as CEO at the end of the year but will continue afterward in a “consulting capacity” to help with the transition, according to a company press release. The release did not ...
Is Northern Nevada cheating Southern Nevada?
Monday, Dec. 8, 2014
Southern Nevada lawmakers and leaders may disagree sharply along party lines, but there’s one point on which many of them are in lockstep. The South, they say, gets robbed blind by state government officials in the North — year after year, dollar upon dollar. Here’s their argument: Southern Nevada, home to about 70 percent of the state’s population, provides the majority of funding for ...
Gambling association releases first-of-its-kind money laundering report
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
Casinos, like banks and other institutions that deal with a lot of money, are required by law to vigilantly look out for financial transactions that may be illegal ...
For Las Vegas-based dietary supplement maker, salespeople are the future
Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
DrVita.com, a Las Vegas-based manufacturer of vitamins, is shifting from selling its products online to a direct-sales model that involves ...
Seeing red flags, regulators recommend limited license for Nazarian at SLS
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014
Sam Nazarian, the businessman behind the development of SLS Las Vegas, was unable to persuade state regulators on Wednesday to let him be fully involved with ...
Cosmopolitan sale moves forward
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014
The Gaming Control Board recommended that the Nevada Gaming Commission later grant final approval of the sale of the upscale Strip resort, which is in the process of from Germany’s Deutsche Bank to a division of the Blackstone Group ...
Nevada gaming revenue slumps for third consecutive month
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014
Nevada gaming revenue declined for the third consecutive month in October, the state reported today. State casinos won $913.6 million last month, a 4.26 percent decrease from ...
4 Las Vegas casino companies earn top marks for LGBT practices
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
Four Las Vegas casino companies earned perfect scores this year on a major advocacy group’s annual rating of corporate practices toward ...
Sorting out Caesars: How company slid into distress, and what’s next
Friday, Nov. 21, 2014
With Caesars appearing to be poised to file for bankruptcy as soon as January, the company's future could be complicated. Here's an explanation of what's happening, and what could happen as ...
Regulators OK $5.1 billion merger of gaming technology companies
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
Nevada regulators today approved the merger of Scientific Games and Bally Technologies, paving the way for two of the biggest gaming technology companies to become an even larger combined entity. The state Gaming Commission ...
Revenue, profit up for Stratosphere parent company
Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
The Stratosphere’s parent company, which also owns Arizona Charlie’s and the Aquarius in Laughlin, reported its third-quarter earnings today. As with last quarter, nongaming revenue was key to ...
Nevada online poker company Ultimate Gaming shutting down
Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
Ultimate Gaming, one of Nevada’s three legal online poker providers, announced today that it’s ending operations in the state. The move comes about two months after Ultimate Gaming withdrew from New Jersey. In a news release, the company referenced some of the online poker industry’s overall struggles as ...
Slot parlors among host of gaming issues legislators will tackle
Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
Slot parlors, the role of technology in gambling and illegal sports betting are among the casino-related issues that the Nevada Legislature could take up when it convenes ...
Caesars layoffs to be ‘spread out evenly’ among properties, won’t exceed 680 workers
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Debt-saddled Caesars Entertainment confirmed today that it’s laying off less than 1 percent of its total workforce amid ongoing attempts to improve the company’s financial situation. Caesars employs about ...
Station reports modest revenue growth for 3rd quarter
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
ocals gaming giant Station Casinos, whose properties include Palace Station, Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Resort, reported its third quarter earnings today. Station’s adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and management fees — its cash flow — was ...
MGM, Station announce charitable gifts for military families
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
In the spirit of Veterans Day, two Las Vegas casino companies recently announced major charitable contributions to the military community. MGM Resorts International said today it’s committing ...
Caesars CEO encouraged by Las Vegas tourism indicators
Monday, Nov. 10, 2014
Caesars Entertainment, the debt-saddled operator of many of the Strip’s most iconic resorts, reported its third quarter earnings today. Caesars has begun formal discussions with some creditors as ...
Revenue up, loss down at Cosmopolitan for third quarter
Friday, Nov. 7, 2014
The company that operates the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas reported its third-quarter earnings today. Revenue increased in every major category for the resort ...
Medical marijuana a recurring theme at gaming law conference
Friday, Nov. 7, 2014
Medical marijuana and the Nevada casino industry don’t mix, gaming officials said at a conference today, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Will GOP’s surge be a deal-breaker for expansion of online poker?
Friday, Nov. 7, 2014
More than a year and a half after Nevada legalized online poker, the game still hasn’t taken off here. And Tuesday’s election results don’t offer much hope that Congress will help improve the situation. Experts say the game would be more popular if ...
2nd Wheel of Fortune slot debuts in IGT social casino
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
Another variation of the Wheel of Fortune slot machine is now offered in a free-to-play digital casino. International Game Technology announced today that the Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin game is available in ...
Is Las Vegas becoming the competitive bowling capital of the world?
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014
Can Las Vegas be the competitive bowling capital of the world? The South Point is trying to make it happen. Eight months ahead of schedule, the off-Strip hotel rolled out a new $35 million bowling tournament center on Thursday, adding to the long list of ...
Boyd Q3 revenue up slightly; loss slashed by more than half
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
Boyd Gaming, a regional casino operator with nine properties in Las Vegas, reported its third quarter earnings today ...
Casino mogul Steve Wynn still ‘very bullish on Macau’
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
Wynn Resorts, which runs the Wynn and Encore properties on the Strip in addition to resorts in Macau, reported its third quarter earnings today. Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn ...
Nevada gaming revenue down nearly 6 percent last month
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
Nevada gaming revenue dropped in September, the second straight month of decline, the state reported today. The state Gaming Control Board said Nevada casinos won ...
2 months after SLS opens, President Rob Oseland is leaving
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014
Two months after opening, SLS Las Vegas is getting a new president. The Strip’s newest resort, which opened as a $415 million renovation of ...
Gaming industry could soon grow — or shrink — in these 5 places
Friday, Oct. 24, 2014
As Las Vegas’ major gaming companies are considering further domestic growth, states such as Massachusetts, New Jersey and California are themselves debating the expansion — or retraction — of gambling ...
South Point poker website gets final approval
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014
South Point’s online poker website, Real Gaming, received final approval from state gambling regulators today. Real Gaming became the third real-money online poker site to operate in Nevada when it ...
Linq to host Red Bull Global Rallycross auto race
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Auto racing is coming to the Linq next month. The Strip’s fledgling open-air mall and entertainment complex will host the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross championship finale Nov. 4 and 5. The race will be held at the ...
North Las Vegas in search of a more humane solution for feral cat population
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014
In North Las Vegas, the feral cat population numbers at least 20,000 by some estimations. What to do about them? The mayor pro tem, Anita Wood, is working on an ordinance that would give the city options for curbing their numbers without killing them ...
Same-sex marriage welcomed by Strip resorts, tourism officials
Friday, Oct. 17, 2014
At the Aria’s wedding chapel, spouses-to-be can choose from two lounges in which to prepare themselves for the big ceremony: one for grooms and another for brides. Their layouts evoke traditional gender expectations, with the guys getting a pool table and the larger bride’s lounge boasting plenty of mirrors. Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Nevada, the lounge layout might give pause in ...
MGM Resorts selling Gold Strike in Jean
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014
MGM Resorts International announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell the Gold Strike in Jean to JETT Gaming, a slot machine route company ...
Westgate Resorts raising staff minimum wage to $10 per hour
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
Westgate Resorts, which runs two properties in Las Vegas, announced today a companywide minimum wage increase to $10 per hour. The increase is effective ...
Las Vegas Sands 3Q revenue dips, profit grows
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
Las Vegas Sands, the casino company that runs the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Strip, announced its third-quarter earnings ...
Tabletops could touch off new trend in sports betting
Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014
Interactive tables in sports books could be the next big thing for MGM Resorts.
New games coming to PT’s? Golden Gaming’s COO discusses what’s on the horizon
Friday, Oct. 10, 2014
What's next for Golden Gaming? Steve Arcana, the regional tavern and slot operator's COO, talks about recent acquisitions and how the company is positioning itself for ...
4 arrested in Culinary protest near Red Rock Resort
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014
Four protesters were arrested tonight during a demonstration against Station Casinos in which hundreds marched from a local high school to Red Rock Resort. Organized by ...
Bellagio remodeling 403 main-tower suites
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
The Bellagio is beginning to remodel all 403 suites in its main tower, the final piece of a major project that started about three years ago, the resort announced today. The suites will be ...
Company plans to reopen Horizon casino on Lake Tahoe as Hard Rock
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
The company that operates Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino today earned initial approval from state gaming regulators to reopen a shuttered Lake Tahoe casino under the same brand. Warner Gaming is transforming the former ...
Sneak preview: See the slots previewed at Global Gaming Expo
Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
As always, the Global Gaming Expo featured a number of slot machines that will soon debut on casino floors. Much of the equipment that major gaming technology companies showed off skewed toward pop culture themes — and television shows in particular. Here are a few ...
At G2E, Sheldon Adelson reiterates disdain for Internet gambling
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
Sheldon Adelson continued his crusade against online gaming on Wednesday, passionately opposing its legalization during an appearance at a major gaming industry ...
myVegas app makes deal with Station, adds blackjack
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
Most social gaming applications are free to play for Nevada gamblers — by law, they have to be — but the myVegas application gives some Las Vegas casinos a way to cash in on them by ...
Wynn says gambling not key to casinos’ success — it’s everything else
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014
Wynn delivered a keynote address to a packed crowd at the first full day of the Global Gaming Expo, or G2E, at the Sands Expo. Much of his remarks focused on revenue sources aside from gambling, an area to which the casino industry has shifted attention ...

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