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I-Team: Gaming Expo Highlights Mobile Technology

LAS VEGAS -- The G2E gaming conference is happening this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center and it is the showcase for new slot machines, gambling technology and mobile gaming.

America is behind the times, pure and simple. Right now, millions of people outside our borders can bet on a football or a futbol game right from their phone. They can play slots for real money from their netbook. It is illegal here, but some companies are preparing for a future where Las Vegas is always at your fingertip.

Beyond the incessant clanging and kaleidoscope of the modern casino, the goal now is to make the casino come to you.

"Everybody here is losing business if they don't have an online presence," said Aegir Saevarsson with Betware Iceland.

Saevarsson says gambling should go where you go.

"They like to play it online, they like it play it on their iPhones," he said.

Kerkorian Raises $52.2M Selling MGM Resorts Shares

LAS VEGAS  -- Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian now owns just over one quarter of casino company MGM Resorts International after selling 4.17 million shares for $52.2 million.

MGM Resorts said in a regulatory filing that Kerkorian's investment arm, Tracinda Corp., sold 3 percent of its shares at $12.52 each on Friday.

Tracinda disclosed the plan last month as MGM Resorts announced it would issue new shares. MGM Resorts owns casinos in Las Vegas, in Macau in China and around the world.

Shares of MGM Resorts were down 41 cents, or 3.1 percent, trading at midday at $12.87, about the midpoint in their 52-week range from $8.92 to $16.66.

Kerkorian now owns 131.2 million shares in MGM Resorts, or 26.9 percent of those outstanding, and remains its largest shareholder.  

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nevada Casinos win $917M in September

CARSON CITY, Nev.  -- Casinos in Nevada had revenue of nearly $918 million in September, an increase of less than one percent compared with the same month last year.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said Wednesday that the state collected $56.5 million in taxes based on that revenue. The collections are up nearly 4 percent compared with the fees collected one year ago, when the state collected $54.3 million.

The board says gambling revenues are up 2.3 percent for the first quarter of the fiscal year, which started in July. A statewide breakdown shows September gambling revenues up 2.8 percent to $520.6 million on the Las Vegas Strip compared with September 2009.

Casinos on the Strip accounted for nearly 57 percent of gambling revenues statewide during the month. 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

MGM Resorts Raises $486 Million with Debt Offering

LAS VEGAS -- Casino company MGM Resorts International says it has raised $486 million through its offer of $500 million in notes priced slightly below face value.

The Las Vegas-based company said Thursday that it would use the proceeds along with money raised this month through a stock offering to pay off $1.2 billion in debt that was due next year.

MGM Resorts says that after the payment, the due date for $3.6 billion of its debt would be extended to 2014. The notes were priced at slightly below 99 percent of their face value.

MGM Resorts owns casino-resorts in Las Vegas, Macau and elsewhere.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

New Report Offers 2011 Outlook for Las Vegas Strip

LAS VEGAS - Canadian tourists Dave and Judy Rigby are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend in Las Vegas.

"So many places have disappeared now," Dave Rigby said. "Yeah, it's grown. We bought a place. It was on the end of the Strip. Now, we're in the middle of it."

Since buying a Las Vegas timeshare in the 1980s, the Rigbys have seen the landscape of the Strip change, especially when the latest boom went bust. "Our friends are also coming that used to come, but we have noticed that things are empty now," said Judy Rigby.

The current economic crisis is severely affecting Las Vegas, leaving many to wonder when the slump will end. CB Richard Ellis' Global Gaming Group attempts to answer that question in a new report on the 2011 forecast for the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Sands Reports 3Q Earnings of $168 Million

LAS VEGAS -- Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. says it earned $168 million during the third quarter on a record $1.91 billion in revenue with help from strong business in China and a new casino in Singapore.

The company run by billionaire Sheldon Adelson said Wednesday that it earned 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of 19 cents per share, $123 million, a year earlier.

The revenue beat Wall Street's expectations. Analysts on average predicted Las Vegas Sands would earn 23 cents per share on $1.79 billion in revenue.

Sands took in $1.08 billion in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau and $485.9 million at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore during that property's first full quarter in operation. Sands' revenue in Las Vegas was $290.7 million.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Gambling License Granted for Cosmopolitan in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada gambling regulators on Thursday approved a gambling license for the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel-casino, clearing a path for what's expected to be the last new Las Vegas Strip casino for a while.

The Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the resort after an hourlong presentation that included questions for executives of the property and its owner, Deutsche Bank AG. The German lender picked up the property in August 2008 for $1 billion after its original developers entered foreclosure.

The nearly 3,000-room resort on 8 1/2 acres can now open as planned Dec. 15 with a 100,000-square-foot casino, including 1,500 slot machines and 83 table games.

Regulators questioned executives about the Cosmopolitan's condominium plans, the structure of Deutsche Bank's corporate role in the project and its high expectations for profitability presented to the commission.