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25Jan/11Off

Casino: Newcastle FC Owner Loses £1m in Gambling

Newcastle United football club owner Mike Ashley, in just a couple of hours gambling at a casino, blew up a staggering 1million pounds. Ashley and team manager Alan Pardew went on to lose a huge amount on craps, a game of dice, in a single session. Pardew had initially hit a winning streak and he scooped up 130,000 pounds. They were in the casino for just a couple of hours.

At around 2 a.m., forty seven-year-old Ashley embarked on his disastrous run, apparently losing the first 30,000 pounds in just 'about ten minutes'. At 4 a.m., both finally left and by that time, had lost 970,000 pounds. Ashley had a smile on his face while tipping the dealer 700 pounds and he didn't seem to be bothered at all by the loss.

A source claimed to the Sun that he covered the table with bets. He bet thousands at a time, tens of thousands sometimes. His gesture to tip the dealer 700 pounds was unusual as people usually only give a tip if they've won. He had lost 1 million pounds. With a game of 'spoof', Ashley had once apparently resolved a £200,000 legal bill.

Ashley is not the only celebrity to have been spotted trying their hand at gambling. Katy Perry and Russell Brand were recently seen playing blackjack. They were celebrating the birthday of Perry's grandmother. At the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, couple was at a party put on for 90-year-old Ann Hudson.

12Jan/110

Casino: MGM Resorts International To Entice Customers

Casino operator MGM Resorts International, to entice customers is relaunching its gambling loyalty program with an 11-week sweepstakes, with potential rewards.

On Tuesday, the Las Vegas-based company launched M Life as part of a new company effort to better track the spending habits of its customers. On gambling, the program will track and reward spending and will do the same for non-gambling spending at company resorts later this year.

The sweepstakes include prizes including a Detroit Tigers baseball weekend at the MGM Grand in Detroit or a weekend stay at a suite at the Aria Resort & Casino, VIP ringside seats at a prizefight.

On the Las Vegas Strip, the introduction of the loyalty program competes with MGM's rivals, many of whom offer loyalty programs and players clubs, thanks to association with larger brands. Customers are currently allowed to earn loyalty points and redeem rewards at various hotels and retailers by the Venetian and Palazzo (both part of the InterContinental Hotels Group system) and the Cosmopolitan resort (part of Marriott's Autograph Collection). However, by introducing gaming and the casino into the mix, MGM Resorts' program goes beyond traditional hotel loyalty program.

The program will allow "players" to gamble their way to hotel benefits including free rooms and upgrades, pre-sale tickets to concerts and shows and VIP services. The program will have four tiers (Sapphire, Pearl, Gold and Platinum). To instantly redeem rewards, the Express Comps feature will enable guests to use their card anytime.

The company said that the rewards are also more personalized. For example, a guest might receive an offer for an upcoming Lady Gaga show, if he or she attends a Madonna concert. A concertgoer could receive an offer for the Country Music Awards, if he attended a Trace Atkins show

At a shareholders' meeting in June, MGM Resorts first announced its M Life program when the company changed its name from MGM Mirage. On the all-inclusive membership card in Las Vegas, the company is the latest to cash in. For more than a year, Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards program has been tracking nongaming spending.

3Jan/11Off

Cordish Cos. of Baltimore Permits Casino Building Construction

The Cordish Cos. of Baltimore, for building permits for phases one and two of the casino, can now apply. The State Highway Administration has raised concerns over the traffic and it wants improvements to key roads and intersections. A year from now, the first phase is expected to be completed, which is a multilevel parking garage adjacent to the casino.

While construction of the permanent casino is under way, this will include a live music venue and several restaurants, expected to be completed by late 2012. The Cordish officials plan to put 2,000 slot machines on the garage's first floor. The temporary casino in the first floor will be of an approximately eight-story parking garage. Joe Weinberg, Cordish's director of development said that they are on track for opening a first phase casino in 2011. The construction team is looking forward to commence construction shortly.

In a letter written by the chief of the SHA's engineering access permits division, Steven D. Foster to Traffic Concepts, the Gambrills firm stated that the SHA acknowledges the developer has stated they suggest concluding roadway improvements that may not be needed based on Anne Arundel County's Adequate Public Facilities ordinance. The Gambrills firm is the one who conducted the original traffic study for Cordish.

Earlier this year, Maryland had their first casino opened and casinos will be a big hit with Maryland residents, judging from the early revenue results. In terms of revenue, the Anne Arundel casino is expected to become the biggest casino in the state. 4,750 slot machines will be the part of the permanent casino.

In recent years, Maryland regulators have been busy handing out licenses for casinos. Gaming license was received by the Casino at Ocean Downs. For Maryland residents, the casino will be open just on time to start the new year. In 2011, the Ocean Downs casino will have just about an entire year of revenue.

In the Northeast, Maryland has moved quickly as have several other states when it comes to casino gambling. New York and Delaware have expanded their gaming industries, although Pennsylvania has made the biggest strides. Late this year, Maine saw their first casino opened. In the new session shortly after the new year, Massachusetts lawmakers are expected to take up the issue of casino resorts.