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Latest New from Vegas

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Harrah's sours on coinless slot machines, the Bellagio wins a cybersquatting lawsuit, one of the Strip's wildest nightclubs announces plans to renovate, Steve Winn gets the green light to tear down the Desert Inn and the Rio suffers from a decline in high-end gambling.

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You may soon be seeing gaming machine manufacturer IGT's new coinless slot machines all over Vegas, but at least one casino operator isn't to keen on the concept. Harrah's Entertainment Inc. recently expressed that it's hesitant to adopt the new system. Competing casino company Park Place Entertainment Corp., which operates the Hilton, Bally's, Paris Las Vegas and other Vegas casinos, last month announced plans to buy 15,000 of IGT's EZ Pay coinless slots from over the next three years. Harrah's, however, is apprehensive about using the new technology right now because the market is dominated by IGT. "We are not very enthusiastic about becoming captive to one provider of cashless technologies," Harrah's President Gary Loveman said.

More than $100,000 was awarded to the Bellagio resort in a July 13 cybersquatting ruling in the casino's favor. The Bellagio filed the lawsuit against Allen Computers of Downey, California for trademark infringement and violations of the anti-cybersquatting and Consumer Protection Act. Allen Computers used the Bellagio name to offer online hotel reservations at The company, which didn't have permission to use the Bellagio name, refused to transfer the domain name over to the Bellagio. Instead they tried to sell the domain name to the Bellagio for $1,000. Allen Computers' actions convinced a federal judge that the company was not acting in good faith.

Club Utopia, one of the Strip's wildest nightclub, is undergoing major renovations in an effort to add a touch of nostalgia. Improvements include a new DJ booth, illuminated Go-Go cages, a large aquarium and more seats. If you'd like to reserve a booth, call (702) 491-8149.

Las Vegas is so much more than just mega-resorts and incredible attractions. You can also add residential luxury to the city's long list of attributes. In fact, Town & Country magazine recently named the city's Park Towers condominiums one of the top five best high-end condominium complexes in the country. At Park Towers you can choose from five floor plans, including a 9,500 square foot duplex penthouse. The outrageous amenities include a spa, a boardroom, a Grand Salon and many others. . . . Just in case you have $750,000 to $3.2 million to spare.

Wynn Gets the Green Light for Demolition

A year after shutting the doors to the Desert Inn, Steve Wynn has received permission to demolish the property to make way for his newest resort. Wynn this week obtained a permit for the non-explosive demolition of the property's low-rise buildings and casino. The news has drawn a lot of questions, once again, as to what he's got planned for the new resort, but very little is known at this time. One rumor has Wynn constructing a 52-story tower with a huge lake and a water stadium. It's suspected that he'll reveal his plans when he gives the keynote address at the World Gaming Congress and Expo in mid October. The new resort will mostly likely open in 2005 and cost around $1.2 billion to build. Wynn has already brought Tokyo-based Aruze Corp. in on the project. Aruze, Japan's largest pachinko machine manufacturer, will invest $260 million in the new venture.

The Rio hotel and casino is reportedly losing out on high rollers. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the casino has been having problems making money on high-end gambling since late 1999. The tables aren't making much money, and it's having a negative impact on parent company Harrah's Entertainment's earnings. Such a losing stretch is usually associated with bad luck, but gambling industry observers say that there's more to it in the Rio's case. They say the atmosphere for high-end gamers has changed. According to the Sun, the Rio just can't afford to cater to the $100,000 and $150,000 per hand betters. Others say that Harrah's Total Rewards player club, which has been implemented at the Rio, isn't generous enough to high-end players. Rio management denies mistreating the high-end players, and company officials are confident that earnings will rise in 2001 and 2002.

Frank Marino, star of "La Cage," will be taking a much-needed vacation from July 25 through Aug. 7. The rest of the cast will continue performances at the Riviera. "La Cage" is a hilarious performance with a talented cast of men acting as famous female entertainers.

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