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Caesars open round-the-clock

Caesars Indiana at Bridgeport is now open 24/7.
‘The Glory of Rome’ riverboat casino will be open around the clock, seven days a week. The new hours took effect yesterday at 5 a.m., the casino’s usual closing time.
‘It’s kind of interesting,’ said Caesars’ general manager and executive vice president Barry Morris. ‘Typically, we had 300 to 400 people on the boat at 5, and we had to ask them to leave. They would get aggravated.
‘At 5 this morning, there was none of that,’ Morris said yesterday. ‘We have had a trickle of people getting off and a trickle of people getting on. Most of them have been hotel guests.’
The change isn’t expected to make a big difference in income for the boat, but it has eliminated the long lines of people trying to leave the boat when it closed or waiting to get on when it opened.
So, the change is expected to produce happier patrons, especially those familiar with gaming elsewhere.
‘It puts us more in the mainstream of casino gambling,’ Morris said.
The casino had been shutting down for four hours, then reopening at 9 a.m. each day.
The Indiana General Assembly this year authorized the extended hours for Indiana’s 10 casinos as a way to boost state tax revenue from the boats. The gaming industry approved the change at Caesars after security measures had been adopted to safeguard money transfers during open hours.
Morris said the security force was increased but no major staff increases are expected. ‘We are routinely hiring anyway,’ he said.
About $10 million more in state tax revenue is anticipated from all of the boats, which translates into very little extra revenue considering the annual take is about $340 million, or 33 to 34 percent of the billion dollar industry, Morris said. ‘In context, it’s really not a lot,’ he said.
Harrison County doesn’t expect to gain from the longer hours even if income increases substantially, because the county’s share of the tax revenue is capped at $24 million a year. Any additional money will go to the state.
However, besides gaming revenue from Caesars, Harrison County receives a percentage of the riverboat’s gross revenue for the Harrison County Community Foundation as well as real and personal property taxes, county income taxes paid by Caesars’ employees, and 10 cents for tourism development from every visitor on the boat plus the four percent innkeepers’ tax that hotel patrons pay.
Caesars expects restaurant on boat to open this fall
Plans are underway to add a restaurant to the fourth floor of ‘Glory.’
It has not yet been named, but the 150- to 175-seat restaurant is expected to open by early November.
Morris said the project is ‘still out to bid.’
The menu, he said, is expected to reflect the emporer’s favorite cuisine in countries his army had conquered.
‘In concept, the menu will represent dishes from around the world,’ Morris said.
All of the dining venues in the casino pavilion, including Porticos, the Villa Buffet, Legends and Cleo’s Coffee Shop are busy, especially during popular times to dine out, such as Friday nights.
Food is already available on the boat at sandwich and snack bars on each floor.
Park Place Entertainment adopts Caesars’ name
Seeking to leverage the broad-based strength of the best-known brand in the casino resort industry, Park Place Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:PPE), parent company of Caesars Indiana, announced that it plans to rename the company Caesars Entertainment Inc.
In a proxy statement filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it will convene a special shareholders meeting to approve the name change on Sept. 10 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
‘Caesars is the most powerful brand in gaming, and one of the best-known brands of any kind in the world,’ said Park Place president and chief executive officer Wallace R. Barr.
Research commissioned by the company has shown that the Caesars brand is recognized by more people in unaided interviews than any other casino resort brand.
‘By changing our name to Caesars Entertainment, we believe we can accomplish a number of important goals,’ Barr said.
Among those goals is to strengthen the company’s recognition as a global leader in the gaming industry.
If approved by the shareholders, the new name would take effect in January 2004.

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