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Las Vegas Casino Files Lawsuit over Similarly Named Website

LAS VEGAS -- The owner of Fitzgeralds casinos in Nevada, Mississippi and Colorado has filed a lawsuit against the operator of a website with a similar name to the online home of its Las Vegas casino.

The Las Vegas Sun newspaper reports Majestic Star Casino LLC filed suit against three entities doing business in Panama in federal court in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The lawsuit says the companies operate a site with the same name but a .net address instead of the casino's .com address. Lawyers for Majestic Star say the name is too similar and drives users to an online gambling site. Majestic Star is privately held, based in Las Vegas.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

El Cortez Renaming Walkway to Honor Jackie Gaughan

LAS VEGAS  -- The El Cortez Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas is celebrating Jackie Gaughan's 90th birthday by renaming its walkway to Las Vegas Boulevard.

The casino said Tuesday that Gaughan will share cake and champagne with guests on Sunday to celebrate. Gaughan is a casino legend, owning or operating a handful of joints including the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, the Flamingo, the Gold Spike Hotel & Casino and the El Cortez.

He's retired now, living in the El Cortez penthouse. Casino officials say he still plays poker at the casino. El Cortez officials say Gaughan advised other casino owners about slot machines and helped bring boxing to Sin City. The El Cortez was built in 1941.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Las Vegas Plaza Hotel to Close for Renovations

LAS VEGAS -- More than 400 people will lose their jobs just before the holiday season begins as the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas closes.

The Plaza Hotel and Casino told hundreds of workers they will no longer be needed when the hotel begins major renovations. Plaza Hotel and Casino marketing staff confirm that November 11 is the last day their rooms will be open. The casino floor, restaurants and the Rat Pack show will remain open.

Neighboring business leaders and the Mayor are calling the hotel renovation a short term loss but a long term gain.

"You can never feel good about a situation in which some 400 plus employees are going to be out of a job," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

More Businesses Moving to Downtown Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- The economy is tough, but some businesses are bucking the trend by expanding and relocating. And Downtown Las Vegas is getting a lot of attention.

After more than a year of searching for the perfect spot for her business, Michelle Dimauro, with Habit Design Studio, says she found it.

"Ever since we opened our business, we wanted to be in the Arts District," she said.

She isn't alone. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says now more than ever, businesses are showing interest in relocating and even expanding to the downtown corridor, including the Arts District. Mayor Goodman says the city has pulled out all the stops in an effort to attract businesses to the area.

"All we can do is make it business friendly. We've waived all of the liquor license fees for these small taverns. We're changing our zoning requirements -- not making it as difficult," he said.

Nevada Casino Winnings Decrease in May

CARSON CITY, Nev.-- Regulators say monthly casino winnings in Nevada decreased 4.7 percent in May, to a little more than $889 million, compared with the same month a year ago.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Wednesday that state tax collections based on those winnings was almost $50.6 million, up 15.3 percent from the same month in 2009.

Only the Boulder Strip and North Las Vegas in Clark County and some parts of Elko County showed improvement in the year-to-year revenues comparison.

Reno, Sparks, South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe all showed drops in casino win during May. On the Las Vegas Strip, casino winnings were down almost 6.4 percent.

The report shows an overall decrease in casino winnings of 4.1 percent for the first 11 months of the 2010 fiscal year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nevada Casino Winnings Down 5.7 Percent in April

LAS VEGAS -- Regulators say monthly casino winnings in Nevada decreased 5.7 percent in April, to a little more than $810 million, compared with the same month a year ago.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Wednesday that state tax collections based on those winnings was just under $40 million, or 23.4 percent less than last year.

North Las Vegas and the Boulder Strip in Clark County, and North and South Lake Tahoe all showed steep drops in casino win during the month.

Only the Carson Valley area, Mesquite and Wendover showed any increase. On the Las Vegas Strip, casino winnings were down just under 1 percent.

The report shows an overall decrease in casino winnings of about4 percent for the first 10 months of the 2010 fiscal year, ending June 30.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Downtown Las Vegas Casinos Struggle to Lure Gamblers

LAS VEGAS - Visitors to Las Vegas are spending money.

"(My spending) could vary anywhere to four or five hundred dollars," said tourist Vellynn Chang. "I plan to spend about seven or eight hundred dollars," added tourist Gary Oliver.

But, tourists are not spending as much as they did in previous years, and downtown Las Vegas is feeling the brunt of that trend. Union Gaming Group principal Grant Govertsen says downtown cash flow is down nearly 55 percent from a peak in 2006.

"It's clearly not a pretty story when you look at both the revenue and, more importantly, the cash flow," Govertsen said. In response, downtown properties slashed room rates. While the lower rates lure customers, they hurt profitability. "Whether it's charging $125 or $25 a night, you still need roughly the same amount of people to staff that hotel," Govertsen said.