Casino files lawsuit against NBA. Wynn Las Vegas is attempting to force the payment of a $50,000 bill that was created back in 2007 for an NBA All-Star game. During the All-Star weekend that year, NBA Properties, NBA Entertainment, and Alonzo Mourning Charities all used meeting space and convention space, but they never paid their bill.

The casino allegedly had an agreement with NBA Entertainment in 2007 for use of the hotel’s convention space during the event. Alonzo Mourning Charity is involved because they had an agreement with NBA Entertainment for use of part of the same space for a fund raiser.

Wynn Las Vegas filed a lawsuit last month, too, this time for a $400,000 gambling debt created by Charles Barkley. There was no issue at all for this situation: the media reported the lawsuit and Barkley quickly paid up. He also ended up paying $40,000 in attorney fees. One can safely assume that the Wynn hopes that this most recent lawsuit will end the same way.

New Buffalo boosts tourism with casino. New Buffalo was typically a pit spot for many out-of-state tourists and travelers in the past, but that changed with the addition of the Four Winds Casino Resort last summer. People have started to arrange their plans with the intention on visiting this new hotel and casino and, as a result, other nearby businesses are also cashing in. While restaurants and retail stores are obviously doing well, other hotels, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts have benefited, as well. “Four Winds is part of [the tourists’] visit and that’s what drew them to the area, but they’ve wanted to stay in a bed-and-breakfast and do other things,” Pam Sudlow, a business owner, said. “Our lodging properties have been benefiting because the casino is very short of rooms.”

The casino has just 165 rooms and suites that start at $299 per night. There are plans to take care of the room shortage, however. An expansion is already being planned and it will add more lodging, restaurants, and parking spots.

While business has been booming and the economy in New Buffalo has been great, business owners are still cautious about the long-term effect the Four Winds will have on the local tourism industry. In particular, the rising price of gas is a huge concern. “The market is still tough at the moment,” said Angie Siewert, owner of an inn 3 miles away from New Buffalo. “I see what’s happening at many inns, I talk to other innkeepers, and people are just not traveling as they used to, which is probably understandable.”

One way to combat high gas prices is to take a train, and Amtrak is going to make this easier for those wishing to visit New Buffalo. The city has reached an agreement with Amtrak for a passenger station that will offer non-stop trips to and from downtown Chicago. This will aid both tourists and daily commuters.

Foxwoods Resort cuts staff. Less than two percent of the staff at the Foxwoods in eastern Connecticut lost their jobs this past Thursday due to rising costs for both gas and food. The layoffs mostly consisted of middle managers, but some hourly employees also received the bad news. Those that lost their jobs will receive 2 weeks severance pay for every year they were employed (up to 13 years). They will also receive health benefits.

“This has been a difficult week for all of us. It is always sad to see fellow employees lose their jobs,” Foxwoods President Barry Cregan said. “The impact of rising fuel, food and payroll costs dictate that our organization must make adjustments. These reductions will help position us competitively for the future, which is bright.”

David Cadden, a business management professor, said that these layoffs are due to a weak economy that has affected how people spend their money. “To me it’s an indication some of the hard core gamblers are curtailing their expenditures,” he said. Indeed data does show that spending is down in all U.S. gaming markets, and there is no indication that this will improve anytime in the near future.