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Mohegan Gaming Pushes Boundaries of Empire

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has expanded its reach well beyond the successful casino resort in Connecticut. The tribal company operates casinos in Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, Louisiana, Washington state and Las Vegas, and has an international footprint in Canada, South Korea and now near Athens, Greece with its Inspire concept (l.).

All-in Diversity Project Finds Women Still Lagging

Women fill nearly half of gaming industry jobs yet men hold higher positions and get paid more, according to the second annual All-in Diversity Project report. The study, which reviewed data from 26 organizations on six continents, also found companies have made strides in acknowledging diversity is essential to success.

Covid’s Second Wave Closes Some U.S. Casinos

Due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered Detroit's three casinos to close from November 18 through December 8. This was just the first of a series states that announced casino closings last week, and more in Europe as a second wave of the virus mounted.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Regulators Delay Crown Sydney Casino Opening

More damaging revelations concerning money laundering have prompted regulators in New South Wales to force Crown Resorts to forego gaming operations when it opens its luxury Darling Harbour resort next month. The casino is likely to remain closed at least until February, when an investigation into the company’s misdeeds releases its findings.

Apollo Announces Great Canadian Gaming Purchase

In its latest gaming sector acquisition, Apollo Global Management announced it will purchase Great Canadian Gaming Corporation for $3.3 billion and offer $39 per share. But anonymous Great Canadian Gaming shareholders said anything less than $70 per share would be unacceptable and one-third of shareholders probably would reject the offer.

Macau Casino Concessions Could Be Extended

Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (l.) says his government’s plan for retendering the six concessions won’t be ready for legislative review until late next year. With the concessions due to expire in June 2022, it’s looking increasingly likely that they will be extended.

Cordish Opens Live! Casino Pittsburgh

Cordish Companies staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week to celebrate the opening of Live! Casino Pittsburgh at the Westmoreland Mall in Western Pennsylvania. Cordish will open two more Pennsylvania casinos within the next year.

NCAA Official Concerned with Prop Bets

Speaking at the Sports Betting USA 2020 online seminar, Naima Stevenson-Starks (l.), an official with the NCAA, voiced concern with proposition bets on individual performances at the collegiate level. Naima Stevenson-Starks favored restrictions on such bets to overcome suspicions of impropriety by student athletes.

Two Tory MPs Draw Fire for Advisory Roles

A pair of Conservative MPs, Philo Davies and Laurence Robertson (l.), have come under sharp criticism for accepting payments for advising industry players. Davies served as advisor to GVC on safe gambling, while Robertson advised the industry trade group, the Betting and Gaming Council.

Harrah’s Whistleblower Resists Moving Complaint to Federal Court

After Darrel Pilant, the leader of Harrah’s Southern California (l.), resigned rather than reopen the property at the height of the pandemic, he sued Caesars Entertainment, which manages the property. But Caesars says it was the tribe’s decision to reopen so Pilant should sue it, not Caesars.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Covid Recovery Lags

While mosts gaming stocks have yet to make a full recovery from the March Covid crash, there are four companies that have increased—all for the same reason, sports betting.

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China Weighs News Restrictions on Outbound Travel

Authorities are concerned about a winter surge in Covid-19 cases and may soon be turning a critical eye on all “non-essential” travel outside the country. Whether that will include Macau remains to be seen.

New Bidder Joins Nagasaki Casino Fray

There are now three groups vying for the right to develop a destination casino in the Japanese city. The latest is Tokyo tech conglomerate Pixel Companyz, which is partnering with European casino operator Groupe Partouche to develop what they hope will be the winning proposal.

New Casino Restrictions Imposed in Seoul

The South Korean capital Seoul has been hit with a surge in new Covid-19 infections. The government has responded by ordering the foreigners-only casinos, including the Seven Luck Casino (l.), in and around the city to reduce their capacity to 20 percent.

Lawyer Seek Jail for IPI CEO

A lawyer for plaintiffs suing Imperial Pacific International wants the company CEO jailed for contempt of court. Aaron Halegua seeks to have Donald Browne tossed into jail until the company can pay the $30,000 sanctions, along with the daily fine of $2,000 for not paying up.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

GLOBAL GAMING More

Curaçao to Create Gambling Regulator

As a condition for continued financial assistance from the Netherlands, Curacao will form an independent gambling regulator that will tighten the rules.

ONLINE GAMING More

Evolution Gaming Introduces Live Online Craps Game

Craps has been an under-represented online casino game, but Evolution Gaming based in Sweden has developed a live online version of the popular casino dice game. The company says its version will be easier to understand for novice players.

Switzerland’s Casino du Lac Goes Online

The Casino du Lac in Meyrin has become the latest casino in Switzerland to launch an online gaming offering, after its license was ratified by the Switzerland National Council.

SPORTS BETTING More

Sports Betting Dead In Massachusetts

MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Penn National Gaming, which operate three casinos in Massachusetts, want to control sports betting if the legislature ever legalizes. But who would control the betting became moot when the state Senate refused to add sport betting revenues to the state budget, effectively killing the measure sponsored by Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (l.).

U.S. Online Casinos, Sportsbooks Show October Gains

October figures for both iGaming and online sportsbooks continued an upward trend with few exceptions. iGaming revenue for four states added up to $155 million, a 5.3 percent rise. Sports betting handle should eclipsed the $3 billion mark when all states complete tabulations.

William Hill Shareholders OK Caesars Bid

Billionaire bookmaker Fred Done, the founder of Betfred, threw his considerable weight behind Caesars Entertainment’s bid to acquire rival sportsbook, William Hill, and company shareholders approved the sale.

Ohio Looks to Lame-Duck Session for Sports Betting

With two of three sponsors of sports betting legislation, including Senator Sean O’Brien (l.), in Ohio having lost their posts in the general election, state lawmakers hope to pass a sports betting bill in the lame-duck session.

PointsBet Goes Live in Colorado

Sportsbook PointsBet became the 16th active betting app in Colorado through a deal with Double Eagle Casino in Cripple Creek. Prior to the launch, PointsBet signed partnerships with several sports teams, Ball Arena and the University of Colorado. The company also established a U.S. headquarters in Denver.

Texas Lawmaker Introduces DFS Bill

A Texas state representative has reintroduced a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports that passed the House but was stalled in the Senate last year. Rep. Joe Moody’s bill would define DFS as a game of skill.

Entercom to Acquire QL Gaming Group

Entercom Communications is acquiring direct-to-consumer sports betting technology and analytics leader QL Gaming Group to bolster its offering of sports-related content.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

MGM Growth Plans to Raise $750 Million in New Debt

MGM Growth Properties, which owns most MGM properties, including MGM Grand (l.), announced it will seek to raise $750 million in new debt, but did not disclose plans for the financing. The company said the proceeds may be used to redeem up to $700 million in partnership shares held by MGM Resorts. The casino operator owns about 57 percent of MGM Growth.

Virginia Cities Certify Casino Referendums

Two-thirds of voters in Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth, Virginia approved a casino in recent referendums, and Norfolk voters came close. Local electoral boards certified the election results and those cities can proceed to establish casinos. Virginia Lottery Director Kevin Hall (l.) said the four new casinos could open in spring 2022. Before then, sports betting could launch, in early 2021, he said.

FanDuel To Finance ‘Full Revitalization’ At Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Illinois will undergo a major renovation and be rebranded to the FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing following a multi-million-dollar investment by FanDuel. The company also pledged to fund Fairmount Park's signature event, the $250,000 St. Louis Derby, which has not been run since 2006 due to finances.

Hard Rock Hotel Transitions to Virgin Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel is being rebranded to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. But the transition is much more than a cosmetic makeover and few sections of the property are unaffected by it, according to the owner, Richard Bosworth (at left with Virgin Chairman Richard Branson).

Urbana, Illinois Approves Video Gambling Terminal Increase

In a 4-1 vote, the city council in Urbana, Illinois approved allowing bars and restaurants to offer six video gambling terminals, not five. The increase was authorized by gambling legislation passed last year. Staffers said 16 local business owners asked for the increase to help them offset minimum wage costs and Covid-19 losses.

Nebraska Gambling Initiatives Will Benefit Racing

Nebraska voters overwhelmingly approved three initiatives that will greatly benefit horseracing. Purses at Fonner Park in Grand Island will increase, said Chief Executive Officer Chris Kotulak (l.), similar to those being offered in Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Wyoming. "We will now be on par with them," he said. Kotulak anticipates some form of casino gambling will launch next year.

Station Casinos Plans New Las Vegas Valley Casino

Station Casinos is mulling developing a new property on South Durango Drive in Las Vegas, even though the Las Vegas locals operator has still not reopened four of its casinos, including Texas Station (l.). The area is considered “underserved.”

LV Convention Business Returns Slowly

Conventions are one of Las Vegas’s biggest moneymakers. The massive CES convention (l.) won’t return this year. Shows are not expected to resume at least before next June.

$1 Million Fishing Contest Comes to Atlantic City

A fishing tournament with a $1 million prize purse comes to the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina (l.) July 12 to 17. Dubbed Jimmy Johnson’s Atlantic City “Quest for the Ring” the tourney will include fishing for marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin.

New York Comptroller Questions Problem Gambling Resources

A report issued by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (l.) addressed whether problem gambling services are receiving enough funding, while more than $270 million is spent yearly to promote the lottery and racinos. The report also forecasts casino and racino revenue will drop by $616 million this year due to Covid-19.

New Jersey Agency Approves New Dorm, Waterpark

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a new six story, 416-bed dorm for the Atlantic City campus of Stockton University. The agency also gave preliminary approval for an indoor 100,000 square-foot waterpark (l.) on land adjacent to Showboat Hotel Atlantic City.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Tribe Looks to Buy Caesars Property in Indiana

The tribal council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians approved funding for due diligence work to see if the purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana (l.) makes sense. The property, which includes a hotel and casino space, would be the tribe’s first purchase of an existing casino.

Tribal Casino Gains Local Support in Michigan

The Muskegon County Board of commissioners threw its support behind turning the former Great Lakes Downs racetrack (l.) in Michigan into a casino hotel complex owned by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. Michigan also faces delays in instituting iGaming and mobile sportsbooks.

California Tribe Eyes Casino Expansion, New Fire Station

A memorandum of understanding between the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi-Yokut Tribe of Central California and Kings County Board of Supervisors commits the county to support an expanded Tachi Palace Casino Resort (l.) and the tribe to providing the county with infrastructure projects.

Gila River Casino, Phoenix Suns, in Sponsorship Deal

The Gila River Indian Community has partnered with the Phoenix Suns in a sponsorship deal at the newly renovated Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Club Gila River will be courtside with guests served foods prepared by attending chefs.

Navajo Nation Imposes 3-week Lockdown

Members of the Navajo Nation are being told to stay at home for the next three weeks with restrictions on businesses and schools. This was after 197 Covid cases were discovered on the reservation.

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CEO, Two Other Top Execs, Depart SkyCity

Graeme Stephens (l.) is leaving the top job at the New Zealand-based gaming operator the end of this month. CFO Rob Hamilton and CMO Liza McNally also have quit and are scheduled to exit early next year. SkyCity gave no reasons for the departures.

GOODS & SERVICES More

WSOP Announces Schedule for Abbreviated Main Event

The World Series of Poker has announced an abbreviated Main Event schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will be a hybrid online and live version of the $10,000 No-Limit Hold-‘Em World Championship beginning Sunday November 29 for international players and on Sunday December 13 for domestic players. The winners of the two events will then compete in a $1 million showdown.

DraftKings Partners With UNLV Center

DraftKings has signed a sponsorship agreement with the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Innovation which will lead to a new research and development studio at UNLV’s Stan Fulton Building. DraftKings says it wants to recruit UNLV graduates in the area of casino game research and development.

El Cortez Recognize for Safety Measures

The El Cortez Hotel & Casino in Downtown Las Vegas has been recognized by the state of Nevada because of its effective implementation of Covid-19 safety measures.

LVS Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Las Vegas Sands Corporation has been named as the only U.S.-based hospitality and gaming company in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. The company’s U.S. properties are located on the Strip in Las Vegas (l.).

JCM Expands Partnership with Kentucky Downs

JCM Global is expanding its partnership with the Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs, installing the iVIZION Bill Validator, GEN5 Thermal Printer and IB Intelligent Cash Box system.

Cirque’s ‘Zumanity’ Closes; Replaced by Terry Fator

‘Zumanity’ the adult-themed Cirque du Soleil hit that conquered audiences in Las Vegas’s New York-New York for 17 years has ended its run. It was conquered by Covid. Longtime Mirage mainstay, ventriloquist Terry Fator will launch a new show in its place.

NUTSHELL More

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