Friday, October 19, 2007

Station Casinos Privatization Approved!

So the business news out of Vegas is that the Station Casinos are now officially approved to go forward as a private enterprise. But what exactly does that mean for the Slot Jockey?

Here's a clue - "Michael Green, a College of Southern Nevada history professor, said Station Casinos has already been aggressive in the locals market. But he said the deal could allow the company to be more flexible without having shareholders looking over its shoulder."

I only wish "flexible" meant looser slots, actually it means more Stations Casinos.

Here is a handy dandy Stations Casino timeline included in the article -

1976: Frank Fertitta, Jr. opens The Casino, a 5,000-square-foot, 100 slot machine locals gambling hall.
1977: Property renamed Bingo Palace.1984: Property renamed Palace Station.1985: Frank Fertitta III named general manager of Palace Station.
1993: February, Frank Fertitta Jr., retires; Frank Fertitta III named chairman. May, Station Casinos goes public with one major casino, price closes at $13.33 on first day.
1994: Boulder Station opens.
1995: Texas Station opens.
1997: Sunset Station opens.
1998: Acquires King 8 on Tropicana Avenue, changes name to Wild Wild West. 2000: • June, acquires Santa Fe for $205 million, changes name to Santa Fe Station.• July fined $1 million by Missouri Gaming Commission over bonuses paid to a St. Louis attorney who helped company obtain its gaming license. The company sold its riverboat operations in the state for $475 million.
2001:• January, acquires Fiesta Casino in North Las Vegas for $185 million, changes name to Fiesta Rancho.• January, acquires The Reserve for $70 million, changing name to Fiesta Henderson.• December, opens $300 million Green Valley Ranch, a 50-50 partnership with American Nevada Corp.2006:• April, $925 million Red Rock Resort opens.• December, Fertitta Colony Partners offer to take the company private at $82 per share.
2007:• February, Fertitta Colony Partners raise offer to current $90 per share, $5.4 billion.• February, Station Casinos breaks ground on $675 million Aliante Station. • August, shareholders approve buyout.

Jeez, that's a lot of casinos in a relatively short amount of time. Us locals must be suckers, or at least in love with gambling at any cost. I like to say I'm supporting the local economy, and leave it at that.

Check out the stock price that went from $13 to $90 in a little over 10 years. The best gamble would have been Stations stock.

As always, the rich get richer, and the locals get lint brushes. Well, I'm off to a Stations Casino to see how much free play the Fertittas think I deserve today. Wish me luck!

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