Siegfried And Roys

After 40 years of disappearing, illusionists Siegfried and Roy have decided to stay put.

The Las Vegas icons announced late Monday that they would complete their career at The Mirage hotel, where they and their signature white tigers and lions have been performing since February 1990, shortly after the Strip resort opened.

A new contract, dubbed a lifetime deal, will keep Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn at The Mirage at least through December 2003 and can be extended by the pair. Terms were not released.

“Europe showed us borders,” Siegfried said at a news conference. “Las Vegas showed us the possibilities.”

During their marathon run at The Mirage, the German-born pair have performed nearly 5,000 times to more than seven million people, generating more than $1 billion in revenues, according to executives with MGM Mirage, owner of The Mirage.

Kenneth Feld, Siegfried and Roy’s producer for more than 20 years, said that the act and the resort have become identified with each other. “It was always the intent that they would become synonymous,” Feld said, describing how the show plays off The Mirage’s jungle theme, which incorporates large public displays of some of Siegfried and Roy’s animals.

While shows such as Blue Man Group at Luxor or Cirque du Soleil’s “O” at Bellagio have brought more cutting-edge entertainment to the Strip in recent years, Siegfried and Roy were revolutionary in their time, according to one longtime observer of the Las Vegas scene.

“The original show was a quantum leap from what came before,” said Anthony Curtis, publisher of Las Vegas Advisor, which tracks the city’s casino deals. “It was described as Pink Floyd meets Wagner.”


Their brand of big-set magic replete with showgirls and giant props that include a mechanical dragon also kicked off an era of resorts developing multimillion-dollar signature shows in specially designed theaters.

Today, former teen heartthrob Rick Springfield headlines “EFX” at MGM Grand and troupes of performers from Cirque du Soleil are featured at Bellagio and Treasure Island, all MGM Mirage properties. Elsewhere on the Strip, magician Steve Wyrick appears at the privately owned Sahara and Lance Burton has several years to run on a lengthy contract at Monte Carlo.

These shows work not only in driving foot traffic through the casino, but are profit centers themselves.

Net gaming providers

Australia’s Internet gaming providers have called for the Federal Government to overhaul its proposal to ban all online gaming.

The industry is pushing for wagering or sports betting to be excluded from the ban.

A Senate Committee hearing into the Federal Government’s controversial interactive gambling bill at the weekend heard from a number of Australian companies calling for significant changes to the bill as it stands.

The majority argued that Australian-based Internet providers will be pushed offshore if the ban proceeds.

CANBET’s Richard Farmer agrees that the legislation would make it difficult for operators to stay in Australia.

“As the act stand now, no prudent person can operate,” he said.

The committee heard predictions that 99 per cent of Australian providers will move overseas if the bill is passed.

Australian Racing Board chairman Robert Charely says that is a big concern.

“We’re concerned about offshore operators offering our citizens the chance to bet on our racing and returning no revenue to our industry,” he said.

Rank Group Website Relaunch

Rank Group PLC’s Rank Interactive Gaming Ltd said it re-launched, its first on-line gaming site, in a wider-reaching format today.

The site – initially launched in Nov 2001 to Mecca Bingo members – will now be promoted to a wider audience via a multi-million pound marketing campaign aimed at both male and female players. offers users a choice of free-to-play and pay-to-play games that currently include a mix of numbers games and fruit machine style wagers and has the UK’s largest potential jackpot online – £500,000 from a single game, the group said.

Over the coming weeks will be adding further games and announcing several strategic alliances with key partners, it said.

“As a relatively late entrant into the online gaming market has the benefit of learning from the mistakes of others,” said managing director of Rank Interactive Gaming, Damian Cope.

The Rank Group recently announced that its Rank Interactive Gaming subsidiary has been awarded a licence to operate an online casino, by the Isle of Man Government.

This second interactive gaming site is due to go live later this year.