This week's installment of Inside Gaming reports on Caesars' largest operating unit having at last reached an agreement with a holdout creditor so it can precede with bankruptcy resolution efforts, tells of the Las Vegas Sands being investigated for possibly allowing fronts for high rollers, and shares news of lawmakers voting favorably for a California casino relocation and the massive construction plans for the Wynn Boston Harbor.
Caesars Entertainment Operation Co. Reaches Agreement with Holdout Creditor
This week Caesars Entertainment Operation Co., the largest operating division of Caesars Entertainment Corp., announced it had finally reached an agreement with the last of its creditors, Trilogy Capital Management, to agree to Caesars' restructuring plan and stop with litigation to oppose it, Reuters reports.
On Tuesday came the news that Trilogy — the only holdout remaining among bondholders of Caesars Entertainment Operation Co. — had agreed to unspecified terms with Caesars to stop proceeding with its claim against Caesars alleging the company's restructuring in 2014 was designed unfairly to limit its obligation to creditors once CEOC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2015.
In July 2015 U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Goldar ruled that Caesars would have to face lawsuits from several creditors. The ruling was made despite attempts then by Caesars to halt the lawsuits in order to allow the company to negotiate with its creditors regarding a plan for exiting Chapter 11.
Negotiations with creditors continued, as did proceedings regarding their lawsuits, and in March of this year a court-ordered examiner issued a report suggesting if the lawsuits continued Caesars could owe as much as $5.1 billion in damages to bondholders. However in late September Caesars announced that terms had been reached with most of its creditors, and now last holdout Trilogy has made an agreement as well.
"While Trilogy's claim was small at $9.4 million," Reuters explains, "a judgment could have blown up a crucial $5 billion restructuring deal Caesars reached last month with creditors to resolve billions of dollars of potential lawsuits."
While neither party disclosed terms of the agreement, Trilogy agreed to strike a December court hearing regarding its claim. By being able to satisfy all of its creditors, the CEOC can proceed with a reorganization plan designed to facilitate its exiting from bankruptcy.
For more on Caesars finally getting Trilogy on board with their plans going forward, visit Reuters.
Las Vegas Sands Investigated by Nevada Regulators Over Possibly Allowing Front Gamblers for High Rollers
Also from Reuters this week comes a report that the Nevada Gaming Control Board has begun to investigate allegations concerning whether the Las Vegas Sands Corporation allowed high-stakes Chinese gamblers to bet millions in its casinos under other person's names.
Last month a Reuters investigation showed some Las Vegas casinos had allowed such high rollers to gamble through "frontmen" who signed credit paperwork for the gamblers. "The allegations against the Sands initially surfaced after Clark County prosecutors brought charges last year against two women accused of failing to repay millions of dollars in gambling debts at the Las Vegas Sands' Venetian and Palazzo casinos," explain Reuters reporters.
In that case, attorneys for the two women revealed they "were actually shills — local housekeepers recruited with the cooperation of Sands personnel to take out millions of dollars of credit in their own names." The women then remained near the players as they played, "allowing them to use the chips and gamble millions of dollars without a paper trail," according to the attorneys.
A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands maintains the company had no evidence that anyone from the Sands cooperated with the women or asked them to take out credit for others.
See Reuters' exclusive report for more on the allegations and the NGCB investigation.
California Tribe Gets Okay from City to Relocate Eagle Mountain Casino
The Tule River Tribe of central California has received support from the Porterville City Council to relocate its Eagle Mountain Casino to the Porterville Airport Industrial Park some 21 miles away.
According to The Porterville Recorder, the council voted 4-1 with one abstention to allow the tribe to move the casino to the new off-reservation location to 40 acres of land it owns at the west end of the industrial park. Also planned are a 250-room and 20,000 square foot convention center, with one city official estimating the project could potentially cost $150 million total.
The tribe has already received support from county officials, although several other details will need to be hammered out before the relocation effort can begin in earnest.
The Eagle Mountain casino this year is celebrating its 20th year of operation, offering blackjack, poker, and over 1,200 slot machines. A similar proposal three years ago to relocate was met with opposition
For more on how the relocation would affect both the tribe and the city, visit The Porterville Recorder.
Design for Wynn Boston Harbor Casino Gets Commission Approval
While we're on the subject of casino owners' plans and regulators' approval of them, this week also saw final design plans for the $2.1 billion, 3.3 million-square-foot Wynn Boston Harbor casino get approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Boston Herald reports.
The vote was 5-0 in favor of the presented plans for the casino, with an opening date now scheduled for June 2019. That means both the new Wynn casino near Mystic River and MGM Resorts International's planned-for casino near Springfield (set to open in late 2018) have gotten the go-ahead from the state's gaming commission.
It was in early 2016 that Wynn Resorts and Boston mayor Marty Walsh finally resolved their several conflicts regarding the building of the new casino, a disagreement that involved lawsuits over the granting of a license to Wynn as well as allegations of defamation resulting from animosity between the parties.
The construction on the Wynn Boston Harbor will be the largest project ever undertaken in the state's history, notes the Herald. Bids are now being solicited for various subcontracted services and construction supplies.
Read more about the now approved plans for the massive casino and resort in the Boston Herald.