Winning Hands at Casino Resort Giants


Two of the casino giants, MGM Mirage and Harrah’s, have announced profitable first quarters, thanks to surging visitor levels and strong customer spending.

Gambling giant MGM Mirage recorded its most profitable financial quarter ever, saying that net income more than doubled to $105.8 million, or 72 cents per share, in the first three months of 2004, compared with $51 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, MGM Mirage reported a first-quarter profit of 70 cents per share, surpassing Wall Street analyst expectations of 46 cents.

“This was our most profitable quarter ever,” Terry Lanni, MGM Mirage chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “We expect to build momentum throughout 2004 as we continue to roll out new and exciting guest amenities at several of our resorts.”

Strong performance at its Las Vegas properties helped Harrah’s Entertainment post a slight profit and record revenues in the first quarter of 2004.

Net income in the first three months of 2004 rose to $81.7 million, or 73 cents a share, up slightly from $81 million, or 73 cents per share a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Harrah’s earned 76 cents per share, beating Wall Street analyst expectations of 66 cents per share.

Revenues were $1.11 billion, up 4.7 percent from $1.06 billion in the same quarter of 2003.

A customer-loyalty rewards program “accelerated the positive momentum we developed in the fourth quarter of 2003,” Gary Loveman, Harrah’s Entertainment president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Net income exceeded that of the first quarter of 2003 despite gambling tax rate increases in mid-2003 in several states, he said.


Poker – Millions to be Won


A 26-year-old student from New York has used his poker winnings to pay off his student debts.

Matt Matros, a graduate student from New York, used his gambling winnings – about $1 million — to pay for his Yale and Sarah Lawrence education.


Matros, whose game is poker, scored $706,903 in winnings at the World Poker Tour Championship in Las Vegas, the New York Post reported.


“When I started playing this game, there were plenty of people who told me I was wasting my time, that I had a gambling problem,” bitcoin dice. “But I discovered I was good at it. And there’s so much money to be made – millions.”


Matros said he was looking for a way to pay his student loans as a math major at Yale, so he joined a student poker club and after he became its top player, he moved on to the casinos in Connecticut and Atlantic City, N.J.


Now that Matros has paid off his student loans he’s about to buy a condominium in Brooklyn.

He’s also publishing a book, “The Making of a Poker Player,” from Citadel Press.


Jersey Gambling Law


A casino, online gambling, bingo and a new lottery could be introduced under plans put forward by a States committee in Jersey.


The Economic Development Committee says the States could make a lot of income from taxes if they rewrote the island’s gambling laws.

The last time the States debated having a casino in the island, Jersey was prosperous and had a strong budget.


But that plan was rejected after a lengthy debate.

Now the committee has proposed several ways for islanders and visitors to gamble with their money, such as online gambling and playing bingo.


The committee is also asking the States to consider letting islanders buy tickets for other lottery draws, such as the UK National Lottery and the French Loto.

Its report claims any new gambling project would make the States more money in tax at a time when it faces a £100m deficit.