Casino Exec Testifies in Stewart Case - Friday 12th of August 2005

The head of casino giant Harrahs Entertainment said Monday that rock star Rod Stewart should return $2 million he was paid for a December 2000 Las Vegas concert he never performed.

"Ultimately, were just here to get our money back," Gary Loveman, the chairman and chief executive of the worlds biggest casino company said before taking the witness stand in federal court in Las Vegas.

"We dont wish Mr. Stewart any ill will," Loveman said. "He was paid a lot of money to do something he did not do. Its merely a contractual matter."

Stewart, 60, could testify Wednesday, said his lawyer, Louis "Skip" Miller of Los Angeles.

Stewart said last week outside court that he was defending his honor in the breach of contract suit filed in 2001 by the Rio hotel-casino in Las Vegas, a Harrahs property.

The company is seeking the return of an advance paid to the British rocker for the show, plus interest and attorneys fees.

Stewarts lawyer has said the show was canceled because the singer underwent thyroid cancer surgery in May 2000, and that Stewarts offers to play a makeup date have been spurned.

Loveman testified that no makeup date could provide the revenues the casino expected to generate from the December 2000 show. The New Years Eve holiday to mark the millennium figured to be a huge draw in Las Vegas with hotels and performers commanding premium prices, he said. Ultimately the event was a disappointment as travel fears kept crowds down.

Loveman also described Stewart as balking at the last minute from taking the stage for a New Years Eve 1999 show, unless the casino booked him for the three-day New Years Eve 2000 weekend and paid him $2 million in advance.

The Harrahs executive said the resulting amended contract was "quite clear," stating "in plain English" that "in the event Mr. Stewart didnt perform, he would simply return the money."

Other news from around the same time

U.S. casinos to lose millions a day due to Katrina - Friday 12th of August 2005

Hurricane Katrina may cost U.S. casinos with properties in the affected areas millions of dollars, a....


A PROSTITUTE who stole a $1.5 million watch from the hotel suite of a Crown casino high roller has walked from court without conviction. - Friday 12th of August 2005

The evacuees came into Shreveport-Bossier City casinos weary-eyed with suitcases in hand and small c....


$1000 fine for stealing $1.5m watch - Friday 12th of August 2005

A PROSTITUTE who stole a $1.5 million watch from the hotel suite of a Crown casino high roller has w....


Work gets humming for Project CityCenter - Friday 12th of August 2005

Like the swallows of San Juan Capistrano, the cranes have returned to Las Vegas.Theyve swarmed the S....


Lobbyist Denies Guilt in Casino Purchase - Friday 12th of August 2005

Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist whose ties to prominent members of Congress are under scrutin....


ARMED RAID BY MASKED TRIO AT BOOKIES - Friday 12th of August 2005

Two female cashiers were left "shaken and upset" after three masked men held up a Chaddesden betting....


Catskill Casinos: An Issue Left in Limbo by Discord and Indecision - Friday 12th of August 2005

In recent months, residents and business owners who for years have longed for casinos have felt like....


George Clooney Making a Side Bet in Vegas - Friday 12th of August 2005

In the film "Oceans Eleven," George Clooney robbed a casino. Now hes going to build one.Clooney, nig....


Matthews startup placing its bets on $27.6 million IPO - Friday 12th of August 2005

two-year-old Matthews company hopes to raise as much as $27.6 million in an initial public offering....


Studies put casino cards on table - Friday 12th of August 2005

Let the jockeying begin. The release this week of two studies on the social and economic impact of c....