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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

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Caesars Entertainment Inc. has no plans to add a poker room at its Paris Las Vegas property but is considering expanding its existing poker area at neighboring Bally's Las Vegas.

Bally's has seven poker tables and may add three more to meet customer demand, spokeswoman Stacy Solovey said.

Poker games still don't make much money for casinos but have become a mainstream attraction that can't be ignored, said Max Rubin, author of "Comp City" and a casino consultant.

"Poker rooms were dying until the recent popularity of poker on television," Rubin said. "It's a really low margin business. It will only make like $60 to $70 an hour for a table that's taking up a lot of square footage."

Poker has become such a draw that players now have to wait for a seat at the table and are gambling while they wait, he said.

"They tend to attract people who want to play against the (pros)," Rubin said. "The (amateurs) like to play other games," he said.

Poker can also help casinos attract the younger customers they covet, he said. Caesars' nearby nightclub will also draw young people who could be lured to other games in the casino via poker, he said.