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Inside Gaming: Casino Opens in St. Louis while Companies Deal with the Unexpected in Berlin and Santiago

Inside Gaming: Casino Opens in St. Louis while Companies Deal with the Unexpected in Berlin... 0001

While you've been doing work at the poker tables, others have been busy at the boardroom table. Good thing PokerNews is skilled at multitabling. We'll get you up to speed on what's new in the gaming business. This week, a new casino opened as planned in St. Louis while other gaming companies were dealing with some unexpected events. Here's the latest from the United States and around the world:

$380 Million River City Casino Opens in St. Louis

More than 20,000 excited patrons packed the River City Casino in St. Louis, Mo., during its grand opening on Thursday. The casino, built by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. for $380 million, covers 56 acres and created 1,200 new jobs. As part of Pinnacle's agreement with the city, it is required to complete another $75 million phase of the project within three years. Pinnacle's regional vice president, Todd George, said he expects River City to take in about $17 million a month in gambling revenue, making it the third busiest casino in the St. Louis area.

Some industry analysts are concerned that the addition of a seventh casino in St. Louis will take away from business at nearby properties, but so far the market has been expanding. Missouri was one of a handful of states to see an increase in gambling revenue in 2009 despite the economic downturn. George says he hopes the new property will "grow the pie" and increase St. Louis' appeal as a vacation destination for midwestern gamblers. Check out more here and here.

Weekly Disaster Report

Armed Robbery at EPT Berlin

We interrupt your regularly scheduled business update to bring you news of unexpected events. EPT Berlin came to an abrupt halt on Saturday when armed robbers entered the tournament registration area at the Hyatt Hotel where the event was taking place. No one was seriously injured in the incident, and play resumed after several hours. German police are now reporting that the amount of money stolen is a "low six-digit-figure." Read the PokerNews story on the robbery here and catch up on live updates from the tournament here.

Earthquake Damage Causes Casino Closing in Chile

After sustaining severe damage in the recent earthquake in Chile, the Monticello Casino in Santiago has been closed indefinitely. Hundreds of people were killed in the earthquake, which measured 8.8 on the Richter scale. The casino, owned by the South African company Sun International, was damaged by the quake and subsequent aftershocks. There is also water damage from the sprinkler system, which was triggered during the event. Five people at the casino were injured, one seriously.

Sun International CEO David Coutts-Trotter said, "The complex will remain closed for the foreseeable future while the damage is better assessed and the building cleared up and essential remedial works are completed." The company is insured for the property damages, as well as the cost of business interruption over the amount of $8 million. Read more about it here. Latin American Poker Tour was scheduled to hold a poker festival in Vina Del Mar, Chile from March 19-23. In light of the natural disaster, PokerStars cancelled the tournament. PokerNews explains more here.

Borgata Reports Losses Caused by Winter Snowstorms

The Borgata Hotel and Casino reported this week that it lost $5 million because of a large snowstorm in December. Boyd Gaming, which owns and operates the Borgata, says it expects that later snowstorms caused more losses in the first quarter of 2010. Check it out here.

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