Contrary to what has been reported on some gaming news sites yesterday, 49er Casino has not just withdrawn from the United States online gambling market, but has closed its cyber-doors for good. The online casino has instead implemented an understudy program with Bodog Casino, informing all current players that Bodog, along with their compatible Real Time Gaming software platform, has agreed to act as an adoptive parent, if you will, for the 49er Casino orphans. This isn’t the first time that Bodog has acted as beneficiary of homeless players, and so no doubt is actively pursuing the acquisition of gaming site shutdowns.
Apparently, 49er Casino management informed its affiliates of the closure ahead of time. Considering nobody would be able to open accounts there any more, affiliate managers advised that all marketing campaigns and advertising should cease. Current account holders have until April 23rd to gamble their existing funds and continue playing 49er’s casino games. After that time, however, all accounts will be frozen and remaining balances will begin to be sent out via mailed checks on April 30, 2007.
The remainder of 49er Casinos sister sites, which consist of SunPoker, Omni Casino and CSCasino, will also discontinue service to the United States (as well as Turkey), but in contrast to 49er, will keep their doors open to players in other regulated countries. The closing, it is reported, has nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that 49er Casino converted from Cryptologic software to Real Time Gaming. The difficult task of successfully processing financial transactions for U.S. players, who made up the vast majority of 49er Casinos customers, seems to be the chief factor in the shutdown.
Seminole Tribe Reveals Plans for Hard Rock Hotel Casino Chain
Following a purchase agreement between the Rank Group and Florida Seminole Indians for Rank’s Hard Rock International Hotel and Casino chain, the Seminole tribe has announced their intentions to expand the chain even more with 25 to 50 new Hard Rock hotels in the U.S. over the next ten years. Putting up $965 Million for the deal with Rank Group, the Seminole Tribe certainly has maxed out their investment, which some financial analysts think may be too much for the tribe to repay, considering the costs derived from the construction of their casinos.
The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, along with the Orlando Hotel and Tampa Hard Rock Casino and Hotel account for a major portion of Hard Rock International’s revenue (the hotels alone accounted for approximately 30% of the company’s $68.3 million in profit for the year 2005). With a 36% increase in revenue from Florida Indian casinos in 2005 resulting in a $1.3 billion/year industry, the Seminole Tribe is certainly in a good position to repay all of their outstanding debts, which Standard & Poor’s confirmed by validating the tribe’s financial flexibility.
Seminole tribe spokesman, Gary Bitner, said the tribe will definitely be helping the Hard Rock chain to thrive and continue growing. Keeping all 124 Hard Rock cafes in business in over forty different countries, the Seminole’s will be putting most of their investment energy into expanding the hotel/hospitality side of the chain and meeting their goal of 25 to 50 new hotels in the next ten years. Bitner says the tribe will also be taking into consideration a more modern look for Hard Rock, appealing to the younger generation not so easily enamored by the fifties rock music style which Hard Rock was founded upon.