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Bets and Pieces from the Shores of Atlantic City, the sands of Vegas, and other gambling hot-spots.

Mohegan Sun Unveils Expansion Plans
Mohegan Sun, the Uncasville, Connecticut gaming destination owned by the Mohegan Tribal Nation, has announced plans for an $800 million expansion.

Dubbed “Project Sunburst,” the plan will triple the area of the existing property, adding more than four million square feet. It will include a 34-story, 1,200-room luxury hotel tower; premier meeting and convention facilities, including the northeast’s largest ballroom; a 10,000-seat arena; more gaming, entertainment, and dining options; and a world-class spa and full-service fitness center. With the additional gaming entertainment, Mohegan Sun will emerge as one of the largest casino complexes in the world. To be named the Casino of the Sky, the 115,000-square-foot space will feature a fully functioning planetarium.

In announcing Project Sunburst, Roland J. Harris, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, commented, “In 2002, we will introduce the world not only to the premier entertainment, meeting, and gaming destination on the East Coast, but an extraordinary, 24-hour venue that promises to redefine the casino destination experience.”

Politicards Show the Face of Politics
Looking for a laugh in the 2000 election? Politicards 2000, a deck of collectible playing cards featuring 54 comic caricatures of the current candidates, pundits, and political players, is now available from Action Publishing, LLC.

Created by comedy writer Christopher Smith and caricaturist Peter Green, Politicards 2000 are an update of the election-year playing card series that first began with the 1972 election. Green, who has worked for publications such as Playboy, Esquire, and New York magazine, has designed cards for the 2000 series featuring President Clinton as an ax-wielding version of George Washington, with a bunch of fallen cherry trees behind him; Ross Perot as the Invisible Man; Al Gore as a bellhop carrying Clinton’s luggage; and George W. Bush as a martini-toting fence straddler.

The cards are available at bookstores, gift shops, or by calling Action Publishing at (800) 644-2665.

Playboy to Open London Casino
Playboy Enterprises, Inc., whose British casino gambling licenses were revoked in the early 1980s, recently signed a letter of intent with Ladbroke Casinos Ltd. to develop a London gaming club. Under the proposed joint venture, Playboy would own 19.9 percent of the casino operation, with Ladbroke owning the majority. Current plans have the Playboy Casino Club offering casino gambling, dining, a nightclub and bar, and retailing spaces. The company is currently considering several locations in London’s trendy West End district. The club is scheduled to open in 18 to 24 months.

Playboy clubs were a mainstay of London night life in the 1960s, but closed in 1981 due to violations of British gaming regulations.

Wheel of Fortune Live in Las Vegas
"Wheel of Fortune,” the most watched television game show in history, now has a live, interactive version at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “Wheel of Fortune - Live on Stage!” gives Wheel Watchers a chance to become contestants in the casino’s stage show, which is currently being hosted by television personality Mike Burger. Randomly selected participants from the audience get to spin the wheel, solve puzzles, and possibly win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. In addition, each player has a chance to win the Progressive Big Money Jackpot, which starts at $25,000 and increases by $500 per day. If someone wins the jackpot, someone in the audience, selected at random, wins the same prize.

Tickets for “Wheel of Fortune - Live on Stage!” can be purchased by calling (800) 929-1111. Shows are scheduled Saturday through Monday at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There are no shows on Thursday.

Blue Man Group Brightens the Strip
March saw the debut of “Blue Man Group: Live at Luxor,” an abstract performance-art show that offers a deliriously antic blend of laughter, lights, music, and mayhem. The new show, which contains a hybrid of new material as well as signature pieces from Blue Man productions in New York and Chicago, takes place at the 1,200-seat, state-of-the-art Luxor Theater.

Blue Man Group founders Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink are excited about the opportunity, and are prepared to take the world of Las Vegas entertainment in a new direction. Remarked Wink, “Now that Vegas has expanded its cultural palate and embraced Broadway-style legitimate theater, it feels like a good time to introduce some illegitimate theater.” Tickets are available by calling (800) 557-7428, or by logging onto www.blueman. com.

Sahara Hotel Races Into the Future
Recent renovations, spearheaded by innovative owner William G. Bennett, have brought three new attractions to the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The first attraction, the NASCAR Cafe, opened in March, coinciding with the Las Vegas Winston Cup Race. The NASCAR theme, showcased throughout the entire complex, includes giant projection television screens that show NASCAR races and driver profiles and nearly 20 authentic NASCAR stock cars. Among the cars on display is “Carzilla,” the world’s largest stock car, weighing in at more than three tons.

In addition to the NASCAR Cafe, Speed, a state-of-the-art, high-speed roller coaster made its debut, giving Las Vegas thrill-seekers a perfect diversion. Starting from the inside of the NASCAR Cafe, the roller coaster slingshots riders along the Strip at speeds in excess of 70 mph, zipping and looping through the 192-foot Sahara marquee, before stopping 224 feet above the ground and retracing its course in reverse.

Finally, the new 950-seat Sahara Theater opened in April with Steve Wyrick, a world-class magician and illusionist, headlining.

HIGH ROLLER - Summer 2000


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