Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2013
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation and Accounting
Basis of Presentation and Accounting. The consolidated financial statements include our accounts and the accounts of our wholly-owned subsidiaries, including the Silver Slipper Casino, Rising Star Casino Resort, Grand Lodge Casino and Stockman’s Casino. GEM, a 50%-owned investee that was jointly owned by RAM, until March 30, 2012, was consolidated pursuant to the relevant portions of Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification™ (“ASC”) Topic 810, “Consolidation.”  All material intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.
We have elected to not adopt the option available under ASC Topic 825, “Financial Instruments”, to measure any of our eligible financial instruments or other items. Accordingly, except where carried at estimated fair value under other generally accepted accounting principles and disclosed herein, we continue to measure all of our assets and liabilities on the historical cost basis of accounting.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates. We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Certain of our accounting policies require that we apply significant judgment in defining the appropriate assumptions for calculating financial estimates. The significant accounting estimates inherent in the preparation of our financial statements primarily include our valuation of goodwill and purchase price allocations made in connection with our acquisitions, the estimated useful lives assigned to our depreciable and amortizable assets, asset impairment, bad debt expense, our opinion of collectability of receivables and fair value estimates related to valuation of receivables. Other accounting estimates include management’s proper calculation of payroll liabilities such as paid time off, medical benefits, bonus accruals and other liabilities including slot club points and tax liabilities.
Various assumptions, principally affecting the timing and other factors, underlie the determination of some of these significant estimates. The process of determining significant estimates is fact-and project-specific and takes into account factors such as historical experience and current and expected legal, regulatory and economic conditions. We regularly evaluate these estimates and assumptions, particularly in areas, if any, where changes in such estimates and assumptions could have a material impact on our results of operations, financial position and, generally to a lesser extent, cash flows. Where recoverability of these assets or planned investments are contingent upon the successful development and management of a project, we evaluate the likelihood that the project will be completed, the prospective market dynamics and how the proposed facilities should compete in that setting in order to forecast future cash flows necessary to recover the recorded value of the assets or planned investment. We review our conclusions as warranted by changing conditions.
By their nature, these judgments are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. Our judgments are based on our historical experience, terms of existing contracts, observance of trends in the gaming industry and information available from other outside sources. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ from our estimates.
Cash Equivalents
Cash Equivalents. Cash in excess of daily requirements may be invested in highly liquid short-term investments with initial maturities of three months or less when purchased, which are reported as cash equivalents in the consolidated financial statements.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
Fair Value of Financial Instruments. The carrying value of our cash and equivalents, accounts receivable and accounts payable approximate fair value because of the short maturity of those instruments. The estimated fair values of our debt approximates their recorded values as of the balance sheet dates presented, based on level 2 inputs consisting of interest rates offered to us for loans of the same or similar remaining maturities and bearing similar risks.
Concentrations and Economic Risks and Uncertainties
Concentrations and Economic Risks and Uncertainties. The United States, since 2007, has experienced a widespread economic slowdown accompanied by, among other things, weakness in consumer spending including gaming activity and reduced credit and capital financing availability, all of which have far-reaching effects on economic conditions in the country for an indeterminate period. Our operations are currently concentrated in the Gulf Coast, the Midwest, Northern Nevada and the Southwest. Accordingly, future operations could be affected by adverse economic conditions and increased competition particularly in those areas and their key feeder markets in neighboring states. The effects and duration of these conditions and related risks and uncertainties on our future operations and cash flows, including our access to capital or credit financing, cannot be estimated at this time, but may be significant.
Receivables. Accounts receivable are uncollateralized and carried, net of an appropriate allowance, at their estimated collectible value based on customers’ past credit history and current financial condition and on current general economic conditions. Since credit is extended on a short-term basis, accounts receivables do not normally bear interest.  The allowances for doubtful accounts are estimated by management for accounts that are partially or entirely uncollectible. We record uncollectible allowances over 90 days old as a charge to selling, general and administrative expenses. The majority of our casino accounts receivable consists primarily of returned checks and markers.  We review the receivables and related aging to determine a factor for estimating the allowance for our receivables.
Property and Equipment
Property and Equipment. We define a fixed asset as a unit of property that: (a) has an economic useful life that extends beyond 12 months; and (b) was acquired or produced for a cost greater than $2,500 for a single asset, or greater than $5,000 for a group of assets acquired or produced for a specific capital project. Fixed assets are capitalized and depreciated for book and tax purposes.  Fixed assets acquired or produced for a cost less than $2,500, our minimum threshold amount for capitalization, are reflected as an expense in our financial statements.
Fixed assets are recorded at historical cost as of the date acquired (Note 6), and depreciated beginning on the date the fixed asset is placed in service.  A fixed asset costing less than the threshold stated above is recorded as an expense for financial statement and tax purposes. A fixed asset with an economic useful life that is less than 12 months is expensed for financial statement and tax purposes, regardless of the acquisition or production cost. We evaluate our property and equipment and other long-lived assets for impairment in accordance with the accounting guidance in the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets Subsections of FASB ASC Topic 360-10.
The interest cost associated with major development and construction projects is capitalized and included in the cost of the project.  Interest expense is capitalized at the applicable weighted-average borrowing rates of interest. Interest capitalization ceases once a project is substantially complete or no longer undergoing construction activities to prepare it for its intended use.
Depreciation and amortization are computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets or the term of the capitalized lease, whichever is appropriate under the circumstances. Our capital lease asset and liabilities are initially measured at the beginning of the lease term at the present value of the minimum lease payments. Assets under a capital lease which meet the transfer-of-ownership or bargain-purchase option criteria of FASB ASC Topic 840, “Leases”, are amortized over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Our depreciation expense is highly dependent on the assumptions we make about our assets’ estimated useful lives. We determine the estimated useful lives based on our experience with similar assets and our estimate of the usage of the asset. Whenever events or circumstances occur which change the estimated useful life of an asset, we account for the change prospectively.
Goodwill. Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over fair value of net assets acquired in connection with the Silver Slipper Casino, Rising Star Casino Resort and Stockman’s Casino. In accordance with the authoritative guidance for goodwill and other intangible assets, we test our goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment annually or if a triggering event occurs. We evaluate goodwill utilizing the market approach and income approach applying the discounted cash flows in accordance with the provisions of FASB ASC Topic 350, “Intangibles-Goodwill and Other” on an annual basis.
Intangible Assets
Intangible AssetsOur indefinite-lived intangible assets include trademarks and certain license rights. Gaming licenses represent the value of the license to conduct gaming in certain jurisdictions, which are subject to highly extensive regulatory oversight and, in some cases, a limitation on the number of licenses available for issuance. The fair value of the Rising Star Casino Resort gaming license was estimated using a derivation of the income approach to valuation. The other gaming license values are based on actual costs. Indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized unless it is determined that their useful life is no longer indefinite. We periodically review our indefinite-lived assets to determine whether events and circumstances continue to support an indefinite useful life. If it is determined that an indefinite-lived intangible asset has a finite useful life, then the asset is tested for impairment and is subsequently accounted for as a finite-lived intangible asset.
Our finite-lived intangible assets include customer relationship player loyalty programs, land leases, water rights and bank loan fee intangibles. Finite-lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives, and we periodically evaluate the remaining useful lives of these intangible assets to determine whether events and circumstances warrant a revision to the remaining period of amortization. We review our finite-lived intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying amounts may not be recoverable.
The player loyalty programs represent the value of repeat business associated with Silver Slipper Casino’s and Rising Star Casino Resort’s loyalty programs.  The value of the loyalty programs were determined using a multi-period excess earning method of the income approach, which examines the economic returns contributed by the identified tangible and intangible assets of a company, and then isolates the excess return, which is attributable to the asset being valued, based on cash flows attributable to the player loyalty program.  The valuation analyses for the active rated players were based on projected revenues and attrition rates. Costs incurred in obtaining long-term financing are included in loan fees, net of amortization over the life of the related debt.
Revenue Recognition and Promotional Allowances
Revenue Recognition and Promotional Allowances. Slot coin-in is the gross amount wagered for the period cited.  The win or hold percentage is the net amount of gaming wins and losses, with liabilities recognized for accruals related to the anticipated payout of progressive jackpots, funds deposited by customers before gaming play occurs (commonly called “casino front money”) and for chips and tokens in the customers’ possession (outstanding chip and token liability). Changes in our slot win percentages can have a significant impact to earnings.
For table games, customers usually purchase gaming chips at the gaming tables.  The cash and markers (extensions of credit granted to certain credit worthy customers) are deposited in the gaming table’s drop box.  Table game win is the amount of drop that is retained and recorded as casino gaming revenue, with liabilities recognized for funds deposited by customers before gaming play occurs and for unredeemed gaming chips.  As we are focused on regional gaming markets, our table win percentages are fairly stable as the majority of these markets do not regularly experience high-end play, which can lead to volatility in win percentages.  Therefore, changes in table game win percentages do not typically have a material impact to our earnings.
Key performance indicators related to gaming revenue are slot coin-in and table game drop (volume indicators) and “win” or “hold” percentage. Our typical property slot win percentage is in the range of 4% to 9% of slot coin-in, and our typical table game win percentage is in the range of 5% to 25% of table game drop.
Hotel, food and beverage, entertainment and other operating revenues are recognized as services are performed, net of revenue-based taxes. Advance ticket sales are recorded as deferred revenue until services are provided to the customer. Revenues are recognized net of certain sales incentives, and accordingly, cash incentives to customers for gambling activity, including the cash value of points redeemed by Players Club members, totaling $6.0 million and $6.7 million have been recognized as a direct reduction of casino revenue in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Sales and similar revenue-linked taxes collected from customers are excluded from revenue and recorded as a liability payable to the appropriate taxing authority and included in accrued expenses. Revenue also does not include the retail value of accommodations, food and beverage, and other services gratuitously furnished to customers totaling $19.8 million in 2013 and $15.4 million in 2012. The estimated cost of providing room, food and beverage and other incentives is included primarily in casino expenses, as noted in the table below (in thousands):
  $ 3,577     $ 3,588  
Food and beverage
    13,549       9,249  
Other incentives
    888       1,120  
    $ 18,014     $ 13,957  
We recognize the impact on gaming revenues on an annual basis to reflect an estimate of the change in the value of outstanding chips and tokens that are not expected to be redeemed. This estimate is determined by measuring the difference between the total value of chips and tokens placed in service less the value of chips and tokens in the inventory of chips and tokens under our control. This measurement was not consistently performed in past years, but will be performed on an annual basis in the future utilizing methodology in which a consistent formula is applied to estimate the percentage value of the chips and tokens not in custody that are not expected to be redeemed.  In addition to the formula, certain judgments are made with regard to various denominations and souvenir chips and tokens.
Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities.
Derivative Instruments – Interest Rate Swap Agreement. We adopted the accounting guidance for derivative instruments and hedging activities (ASC Topic 815, “Derivatives and Hedging”), as amended, to account for our interest rate swap, prior to the pay-off of the interest rate swap on March 30, 2012. The accounting guidance required us to recognize our derivative instruments as either assets or liabilities in our consolidated balance sheet at fair value. The accounting for changes in fair value (i.e. gains or losses) of a derivative instrument agreement depended on whether it had been designated and qualified as part of a hedging relationship and further, on the type of hedging relationship.  The derivative instrument was not designated as a hedge for accounting purposes. The change in fair value was recorded in the consolidated statement of operations in the period of change.  Additionally, the difference between amounts received and paid under such agreements, as well as any costs or fees, were recorded as a reduction of, or an addition to, interest expense as incurred over the life of the agreement.   Fluctuations in interest rates caused the fair value of our derivative instrument to change each reporting period. Effective March 20, 2012 the interest rate swap was terminated, and $0.5 million was paid, which reflected the fair value of the interest rate swap on that date, and we ceased to recognize the interest rate swap as a liability on the balance sheet in long-term debt.
Derivative Instruments – Interest Rate Cap Agreement. Currently, we are subject to interest rate risk under our Capital One First Lien Credit Agreement.  In November 2012 in accordance with the terms of the First Lien Credit Agreement, we entered into a prepaid interest rate cap agreement with Capital One for a notional amount of $15.0 million at a LIBOR cap rate of 1.5%. The agreement was effective November 2, 2012 and will terminate on October 1, 2014.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Customer Loyalty Programs. We currently offer incentives to our customers through customer loyalty programs at each of our properties – the Silver Slipper Casino Players Club, the Rising Star Rewards Club™, the Grand Lodge Players Advantage Club® and the Stockman’s Winner’s Club.  Under these programs, customers earn points based on their level of play that may be redeemed for various benefits, such as free play, cash back, complimentary dining, or hotel stays, among others, depending on each property’s specific offers. The reward credit balance under the plans will be forfeited if the customer does not earn any reward credits over a specified time period, or after a specified time period of inactivity, up to a 13-month time period, depending on the specific property’s customer loyalty program.
We accrue a liability for the estimated cost of providing these benefits as the benefits are earned. Estimates and assumptions are made regarding cost of providing the benefits, breakage rates, and the mix of goods and services customers will choose. We use historical data to assist in the determination of estimated accruals. Changes in estimates or customer redemption habits could produce significantly different results. At December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, we had accrued $1.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively, for the estimated cost of providing these benefits. Such amounts are included in “Accrued player club points and progressive jackpots” in our consolidated balance sheets.
Loyalty programs are just a part of the total marketing program.  The amount of marketing reinvestment (complimentaries to players, promotional awards, entertainment, etc.) is based on the specific property and competitive assumptions.  We track the percentage of promotional and marketing costs compared to gaming revenue for an efficient use and return on our marketing investment.  Each of our properties has been faced with a highly competitive promotional environment due to the high amounts of incentives offered by the competition. The Rising Star Casino Resort has been significantly impacted by the substantial promotions offered at the new Ohio casinos.
Share-based Compensation
Share-based Compensation. Share-based compensation expense from stock awards (Note 12) is included in general and administrative expense. Vesting is contingent upon certain conditions, including continuous service of the individual recipients. Unvested stock grants made in connection with our incentive compensation plan are viewed as a series of individual awards and the related share-based compensation expense is amortized into compensation expense on a straight-line basis as services are provided over the vesting period, and reported as a reduction of stockholders’ equity. We grant shares of restricted stock, rather than options, to key members of management and the board of directors. 
Legal Defense Costs
Legal Defense Costs. We do not accrue for estimated future legal and related defense costs, if any, to be incurred in connection with outstanding or threatened litigation and other disputed matters but rather, record such as period costs when the related services are rendered.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes. Income tax-related interest and penalties, if any, are treated as part of income tax expense.
Income per Common Share
Income per Common ShareBasic income or earnings per share (“EPS”) is computed based upon the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the year. Diluted EPS is computed based upon the weighted average number of common and common equivalent shares if their effect upon exercise would have been dilutive using the treasury stock method. As of December 31, 2013 and 2012, there were no common equivalent shares that would have been dilutive and, therefore, the calculations for basic and diluted EPS are equal.
Reclassifications. Certain minor reclassifications in prior year balances have been made to conform to the current presentation, which had no effect on previously reported net income.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
We have reviewed authoritative standards issued after December 31, 2013. As a result, we determined that the new standards are not likely to have any significant impact on our future financial statements.