Work on a new air traffic control tower at McCarran International Airport was halted after Congress failed to renew the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration to do business.
About 40 workers were scheduled to be on the site this past week, but FAA officials issued stop work orders for the $43 million Las Vegas project and dozens of others around the nation.
Construction of McCarran's $2.4 billion Terminal 3, which is to open next year, is not affected.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the McCarran tower project "critical" for the future of the airport, which has seen passenger volume increase almost 4 percent through June. In 2010, McCarran handled nearly 39.8 million passengers.
"Las Vegas is one of our more high priority tower projects," LaHood said.
Counting support personnel and subcontractors, about 60 people are affected by the stoppage, which could add costs of $8,500 to $8,700 per day, said Sasha Milosavljevich, project manager for Archer Western Contractors.
Milosavljevich said the added costs are for maintenance and security of the construction site and equipment paid by the FAA and borne by taxpayers.
"We're not sure if we're talking two days, five days or 30 days," Milosavljevich said of the work stoppage.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued 27 "stop-work orders" for contractors at the William J. Hughes Technical Center.
About 640 employees at the Egg Harbor Township facility have been furloughed since midnight July 22 after Congress failed to approve an extension of the FAA's operating authority. The shutdown also has affected an unknown number of outside employees working on the 27 contracts.
Singapore, Macau key
for Las Vegas Corp.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. is headquartered in Las Vegas, but the company's base is squarely in Asia.
The casino operator said that its properties in Macau and Singapore lifted second-quarter earnings to levels far beyond what the analyst community predicted.
At the conclusion of the company's hourlong earnings conference call, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson joked he would be sending towels to analysts so they could "wipe the egg off their faces" for underestimating the company's prospects.
The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which accounted for $737.6 million of the company's $2.35 billion in revenue for the quarter that ended June 30, was the focus of Adelson's praise.
"I will leave you with one simple, conservative statement," Adelson said during his opening remarks. "Now that we have entered our second year of operations, it is increasingly clear that Marina Bay Sands is becoming the most successful integrated resort in the history of the hospitality, gaming and entertainment industry."
Bally Technologies hired
to manage Yonkers VLTs
Bally Technologies will provide the management system to operate video-lottery terminals inside the Empire City Casino at New York's Yonkers Raceway.
Bally's systems will support more than 5,310 slot machine-like VLTs at Empire City, which is the largest of the eight racetrack casinos in New York.
"While the deal is not very large, we believe the contract is yet another example of increased spending in systems technology by casino operators and is another positive data point for Bally investors," Roth Capital Partners gaming analyst Todd Eilers wrote in a research note.
VLTs operate similar to slot machines, but jackpots and awards are determined through a central server.
Eilers estimated Bally's has a backlog of about $295 million in slot machine systems contracts in the pipeline, including a deal with Caesars Entertainment.
He said there are other opportunities for systems contracts in the gaming industry for about 70,000 slot machines, totaling about $280 million in potential sales.
Nevada regulators delay decision on slots at bars
Nevada gaming regulators put off for at least a month any decision on changes to a state regulation that would set parameters on taverns with slot machines.
After a contentious hearing Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission deferred proposed changes to State Gaming Regulation 3.015 until the five-person panel meets Aug. 25 in Carson City.
Halfway through the hearing on the regulation covering slot machines in non-casino locations such as restaurants, bars and taverns, three proposals had surfaced.
One proposal is offered by the Nevada Resort Association and the Tavern Owners Association. Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli also authored several changes to the regulation. A third offering comes from gaming Commissioner Dr. Tony Alamo Jr., who combined the first two proposals and added several of his changes.
Gaming Commission Chairman Pete Bernhard thought letting the public digest all three proposals was the best way to proceed. Clearly, however, Bernhard wants the matter completed in August.
The proposed changes to the regulation, which proponents say would better define at what point gaming could be considered "incidental," split the Gaming Commission, often a unanimous panel.
"Sometimes we agree, but on this one we really don't," Alamo said.