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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Strapped casinos cut prices

By Anthony Curtis

Recently released gambling-win figures for June show a 14.8 percent decline on the Strip, the 18th consecutive year-over-year drop.

Visitor volume also took a hit in June, tumbling 6.3 percent, to make it 13 consecutive declines.

It's unwelcome news for the casinos, but certainly good for visitors, as downward pressure on prices continues. The effect is most evident in room rates, which are down roughly 27 percent from 2008 and even more for savvy consumers who shop around.

PRIVÉ REPRIEVE: Privé nightclub and the Living Room ultralounge at Planet Hollywood reopen this weekend, following the replacement of management and key employees. The two nightspots had closed after being stripped of their liquor licenses, reportedly for city ordinance violations.

POKER RENEWED: Harrah's and ESPN have renewed their television contract for the World Series of Poker for seven more years. ESPN will broadcast the tournament through 2017, including this year's Main Event, which is airing now.

FIREFLY ON FREMONT: Popular tapas bar and restaurant Firefly joins the ranks of new eating options at the Plaza downtown. It's opening initially for dinner only, with lunch hours soon to follow.

CIRQUE DU KISS?: Believe it or not, there's real talk of a new Cirque du Soleil show built around the rock band Kiss.

"Kiss — Carnival of Souls" reportedly would be a $40 million to $50 million production. However, no timetables or other specifics have been revealed.

Q: Will the sports betting planned for Delaware be the same as in the Vegas books, or is it a lottery-style gimmick?

Assuming the courts don't stop it — and some weighty challenges are being reviewed right now — it looks like it will be Las Vegas-style wagers, meaning lines will be made and players will be able to bet individual teams, presumably laying $110 to win $100. It will be the only such betting allowed anywhere in the U.S. outside of Nevada.