In Brief

Warner Gaming abandons bid to manage Greektown Casino

Detroit’s Greektown Casino can’t seem to find a management team.

Warner Gaming, which is operated by former Station Casinos executive Bill Warner, told Michigan gaming regulators that it has withdrawn its application to manage Greektown.

The casino, one of three in Detroit, had been expected to emerge from bankruptcy June 30. A federal bankruptcy judge gave the casino’s owners more time to find new managers.

Warner Gaming became the second casino management company to pull out of a deal to operate Greektown. In February, Isle of Capri Casinos withdrew from its contract.

Las Vegas-based Fine Point Group, which is operated by gaming executive Randall Fine, previously managed Greektown while the casino was in bankruptcy. Fine Point grew market share to about 27 percent from 23 percent in 2008. The management agreement expired at the end of 2009.

Michigan’s Gaming Control Board will meet in a special session June 28 to discuss Greektown.


Fed adopts rules to protect credit card users from fees

The Federal Reserve adopted new rules Tuesday aimed at protecting credit card customers from getting socked by lofty late payment charges and other penalty fees.

The rules respond to public and congressional outrage over practices by credit card companies.

They bar credit card companies from charging a penalty fee of more than $25 for paying a bill late. They prohibit credit card companies from charging penalty fees that are higher than the dollar amount associated with the customer’s violation. They also ban so-called “inactivity” fees when customers don’t use the account to make new purchases and they prevent multiple penalty fees on a single late payment.

The rules take effect Aug. 22.

Hey, who turned out the lights? Ikea, it turns out

Swedish home furnishings purveyor Ikea is turning out the lights at its North American stores next month when it plans to start replacing its stock of incandescent light bulbs in favor of longer-lasting and energy-efficient ones.

The company said Tuesday that it hopes to have all incandescent bulbs out of its U.S. and Canadian stores by Jan. 1, and only sell other, longer-lasting bulbs. That’s ahead of federal legislation that calls for a phase-out beginning in 2012.

“As we sell out the incandescents that we have in stock, we will restock with low-energy” bulbs, said Mona Astra Liss, a spokeswoman for Ikea’s U.S. corporate headquarters in Conshohocken, Pa.

Ikea said customers will have more efficient options including compact fluorescent bulbs, light-emitting diodes and halogen lamps. Liss wouldn’t say what percentage of the company’s lighting stock was now made up of low-energy bulbs, or provide sales figures.

Ikea has more than 300 stores in 37 countries, including 37 in the U.S. The company has eight stores in California and one in Arizona but none in Nevada.


IPhone buyers have trouble getting orders registered

Apple and AT&T started taking orders for the coming iPhone model on Tuesday, but buyers reported problems getting their orders registered.

Shoppers said they were met with error messages on the company websites, and lines formed in stores as clerks tried to get orders into their systems.

Computer systems at Apple Inc., the maker of the phone, or AT&T Inc., its exclusive U.S. carrier, have had problems meeting demand for the iPhone every year since the first one launched in 2007.

Neither Apple nor AT&T commented on the latest problems. They come a week after AT&T plugged an embarrassing security hole on its website .

Geothermal energy project to get partial loan guarantee

The U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday that it will issue a partial loan guarantee for a big geothermal project in Northern Nevada.

The department will use federal stimulus funds to back a $98.5 million loan from John Hancock Financial Services for Nevada Geothermal Power Co.’s Blue Mountain project, a 49.5-megawatt development in Humboldt County.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the deal, calling Northern Nevada the “Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy.” He also thanked Energy Secretary Steven Chu for recognizing Nevada’s potential.

Chu noted that the U.S. now leads the world in geothermal-power production, with 3,000 megawatts of installed capacity.


On second thought, art from classics as comics OK for iPad

Oscar Wilde and James Joyce have not lost the power to shock, at least on the iPad.

Apple said Tuesday that it was mistaken in restricting images for apps for Robert Berry’s comic book edition of Joyce’s “Ulysses,” which contains nudity, and for panels showing two naked man kissing in Tom Bouden’s graphic novel of Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Spokeswoman Trudy Miller said developers had been allowed “to resubmit their original drawings” and use the original artwork.

“Ulysses,” a landmark of modern fiction, was the subject of a 1930s court case that ended with a federal judge ruling the novel was not obscene. Wilde’s mockery of Victorian morals made him a scandalous figure in late 19th-century England.


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