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Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

"This is the end result of all the bright lights... and the comp trips, of all the champagne... and free hotel suites,
and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.
That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. "

-- Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Casino, 1995

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Harrah's -- Stupidity or Greed?

I am not a fan of Harrah's for a bunch of reasons.  6/5 blackjack, high table minimums, tight machines, tight comps, failure to maintain properties, poor service, etc.  I also understand they are a business and have chosen to make certain business decisions that they believe are best to increase their profits. Fine.  If the consumer wants to be abused by Harrah's and keep coming back to them, then so be it.

Since I moved to Las Vegas, I have noticed Harrah's has received quite a bit of press (most of it bad) for court cases involving people not paying their markers back.  A marker for those of you who do not know is casino credit.  Example:  They "give" you $5000.   You have to pay back the marker within a time period (30 days usually) or they come after you.  In Nevada, failing to pay a marker is like writing a bad check.  You get charged with a crime and then prosecuted by the local D.A.

It got me wondering why Harrah's seems to constantly find itself in the news for people not paying their markers back.  I know that other LV casinos have issues with people failing to pay markers, but with Harrah's there always seems to be more to the story than just the unpaid marker.  So here's a list of stories from the Internet dealing with Harrah's and unpaid markers.

Player:  Terrence Watanabe

Amount owed Harrah's:  $14.7 million

Main Issues:  Mr. Watanbe is refusing to pay his remaing marker alleging that Harrah's got him so drunk and gave him prescription medications he had no idea what was going on. Allegedly he was so out of control at the Wynn that Steve Wynn cut him off personally.  Of course, Harrah's apparently had no problem with Mr. Watanabe going crazy at their places.

Player:  Antonie Walker (Former NBA player)

Amount owed Harrah's:  $600,000 (estimated)

Main Issues: Just did not pay back markers.  Took markers out at Red Rock and Planet Hollywood also.

Player:  Christian Peterson

Amount owed Harrah's:  $3.45 million

Main Issues:  Claims he had a gambling problem and was also drunk, does not remember getting the markers.  Claims Harrah's had his plane turned around and brought back to LV for him to sign "paper work" from Harrah's officials.

 Player:  Yun Kyeong Kwon Sung
Amount owed to Harrah's:   $500,000
Main Issues:  None noted, just failed to pay.  Claims she did not know Harrah's was trying to collect.

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