The M Resort has closed its poker room to make space for a new slot tournament area.

The resort previously held its slot tournaments in a conference-style ballroom, but players were unhappy with the lack of space, according to Rina Foster, an M Resort spokeswoman.

The players “demanded” the change, Foster said.

M Resort's monthly invitational tournaments average 800 guests between video poker and reel games, and the next slot tournament is scheduled for the end of August.

The new slots area will open next month, but it’s unclear what it will look like or how many slots the area will offer.

“We’re currently reconfiguring the room and don’t have an exact layout determined,” Foster said, “so I don’t yet know the number of slots we’ll have in there.”

While officials have no plans to reopen the poker room, the resort will continue to host poker tournaments and events in the future. The next poker tournament is the second-annual Hollywood Poker Open Championship, operated by Penn National Gaming and slated for June 2014.

The last Hollywood Poker open generated $1.4 million, attracting more than 600 players.


Dotty’s wants to buy the Hacienda.

If state regulators approve the sale, the resort would be Dotty’s first full-scale casino.

"I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” Dotty’s Owner Craig Estey said. “The Hacienda is a historical jewel that attracts travelers and locals alike.”

The Hacienda sits about three miles from the Hoover Dam, just outside Boulder City, where gambling is illegal. Built on the former site of the Gold Strike Casino, it features 19,000 square feet of gaming space, a William Hill sports book, retail shops and a movie theater.

Current owner the Lakeview Company announced the acquisition to employees last month. Dotty’s parent company, Nevada Restaurant Services, operates more than 80 stand-alone taverns throughout the state.

The property’s price tag has not been disclosed.

Estey plans to keep the hotel-casino open but renovate it and the surrounding grounds. New developments could include a gas station and convenience store.

“Although is a project that will take time, we have an extraordinary team at Dotty’s that is excited for the challenge,” Estey said.

Dotty’s will make employees reapply for their jobs. The company will begin accepting applications later this year “with the intention of providing continued employment to as many employees as possible,” Estey said.

Before the sale becomes final, Dotty’s needs approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Clark County Commission. That process could take until the end of the year.

Dotty’s has been embroiled in controversy since 2010, sparring both with competitors and the Nevada Resort Association over its gaming-heavy business model.

Critics point out that Dotty's depends more on gaming than snacks and beverages. They argue that since the company has only a restricted slot machine license, gaming revenue should be incidental and the bulk of the profits should be made through food and beverage sales.

The Nevada Gaming Commission in 2011 changed tavern regulations and demanded that Dotty’s and similar businesses have a full bar and kitchen open at least half time.

The company complained the changes could cost them $6 million because they'd have to remodel locations. Dotty’s tried to fight the changes in federal court but failed when a judge tossed the charges in 2012.


Station Casinos, the largest locals casino company in Southern Nevada and operator of the Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Station-, Fiesta- and Wildfire-branded casinos, reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday.

Company: Station Casinos LLC

Revenue: $316.6 million (up 1.4 percent from the second quarter of 2012). The company was boosted by two months of operations by Fertitta Interactive, the company’s real-money online poker subsidiary that operates under the Ultimate Poker brand. Station Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Marc Falcone told analysts in a conference call that Ultimate Poker operations have exceeded the company’s expectations.

Earnings: $7.3 million (up 11.4 percent from the second quarter of 2012).

Quote: “Our ability to manage operating expenses without compromising our highest level of guest service led to another quarter of impressive results.” — Station Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Marc Falcone

What it means: Station measures performance by earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and management fees, and reported its best second quarter in five years. Using that measure, adjusted EBITDAM for the quarter was $96.1 million, a 4.7 percent increase over the second quarter of 2012.

Falcone told analysts in the company's conference call that the Las Vegas gaming industry has not fully benefited from some of the state's positive economic trends, but that the Southern Nevada market is performing better than most other domestic gaming markets.

He said he thinks consumers continue to be negatively affected by the higher Social Security payroll tax and that Station's performance has been affected by "irrational behavior by competitors in our market" without specifically naming them.

In addition to beginning to operate the first intrastate online poker site in the United States on April 30, the company announced it had signed an operations agreement with Taj Mahal Associates LLC, which is pursuing an online gaming license in New Jersey. Falcone said Station has submitted its required applications to New Jersey regulators and that he expects to see reviews by November. Falcone said that it's too early to determine the potential size of the New Jersey market.

The company also announced that construction of the Graton Resort & Casino in Northern California is on schedule to open in November.


All it took was two spins on a 25-cent slot machine for a lucky Delaware native to leave the Riviera with a pinch under $1 million on her birthday.

Mozelle Wallace of Rehoboth Beach sat down at the progressive Wheel of Fortune game Friday to celebrate her 69th birthday.

On her second spin, maxing out her bet at 75 cents, three Wheel of Fortune symbols popped up for the jackpot.

Her payout? $937,608.36.

Wallace said she would like to use the money to help out family, according to a Riviera spokeswoman.


American Casino & Entertainment Properties, operator of the Stratosphere, two Arizona Charlie's and the Aquarius in Laughlin, reported its second-quarter earnings today.

Revenue: $88.4 million, up 0.8 percent from a year ago.

Earnings: $11 million. The company had a net loss of $2.8 million during second quarter of 2012.

What it means: Stronger casino revenue at the Aquarius offset lower occupancy and casino revenue at the Stratosphere. Net revenue at the Stratosphere fell 1.2 percent, primarily because rooms sold through the company's tour and travel segment fell 65.6 percent, company officials said.

Executives attributed 2012 losses to significant expenses – more than $1 million to refinance debt, payments for repairs at the Aquarius and Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and sales tax audit assessments at the Stratosphere. This year, the company invested $195,000 to operate, the company’s free poker website, which could generate revenue for real-money play when licensed.

Net revenue at the Arizona Charlie’s properties increased 2.6 percent due to higher slot machine holds and bingo revenue. Volume was flat.

While food and beverage revenue fell at Aquarius, casino revenue increased 4.2 percent and hotel revenue 3.7 percent. The food-and-beverage decline was attributed to the use of a temporary café while a permanent one was built.


The King of Pop is back for an encore.

Bally Technologies Inc. has unveiled a follow-up to its Michael Jackson King of Pop slot machine. The new game, expected to hit casino floors in Las Vegas within the next two months, is called Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.

Featuring new bonuses, the machine is loaded with five more of Michael Jackson’s most popular tracks: “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”

Hit the right bonus and you’ll be treated to a personal concert by a digitized King. During free games attached to the songs Billie Jean and Bad, Jackson’s music video pops up on the screen.

The game offers some carry-over features from the original Michael Jackson slot, including a surround-sound chair.

“This encore to the hit Michael Jackson King of Pop game is sure to thrill players and fans of the widely beloved artist,” Bally Technologies’ Vice President of Product Management and Licensing Jean Venneman said in a statement. “We are excited to deliver a game that features some of Michael Jackson’s most iconic songs, along with unprecedented player interactivity and the chance of a life-changing wide-area progressive top jackpot.