Small Nuggets of News

The $2.5 million Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Scholarship Fund will provide tuition and fees for California Native Americans from non-federally recognized tribes. Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris said, “California Native American students now have a clear path to the nation’s top public education system with no financial roadblocks…. We’re helping to level the playing field and provide representation in higher education for all California Native American students.” Clark County, Nevada Commissioner Tick Segerblom has proposed closing the Las Vegas Strip to motorists at certain times, enabling more walkers, joggers and cyclists to enjoy the famous boulevard. He made the suggestion after a portion of the road was closed for the NFL Draft. “I will run it by the casinos before I do anything, nothing will happen unless they want it to happen,” Segerblom said. ● A hearing to decide whether to revoke Imperial Pacific International’s (IPI) Saipan casino license on Saipan has been delayed to May 24. IPI won a gaming monopoly on the island in 2014, but never finished its casino, failed to pay mandated regulatory fees and met with numerous setbacks that spawned multiple lawsuits. The casino closed in March 2020, and its license was suspended in 2021 after it missed millions in required fees.National Rhythm & Blues Music Society CEO Vannessa Jordan has announced plans to build a Hollywood-like Walk of Fame in Atlantic City in efforts to honor and preserve the city’s music history. The project has already been endorsed by Mayor Marty Small Sr., and the first round of inductee plaques are expected to be unveiled next spring. The Walk will honor musicians who: performed in Atlantic City, have at least 25 years of industry experience and at least one Billboard Top-100 hit. ● Colorado’s House of Representatives is considering a bill to devote at least $2.5 million to a grant program to fund responsible gambling programs. The grant program would be funded by taxes on gaming revenue and license fees—and $200,000 from the state lottery. Currently $130,000 is devoted to treat problem gambling. • The Washington State Gambling Commission has launched a self-exclusion program for gamblers that can be put in place with a single form. The program was authorized by House Bill 1302 in 2019. Commission Vice Chair Julia Patterson said in a statement: “Self-exclusion produces positive effects for people with gambling disorders. It can help reduce gambling frequency and financial problems, thereby increasing their quality of life.” ● Two Boyd Gaming properties in Nevada have earned top safety awards from the state. The Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel and the California Hotel and Casino have been entered into the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). This is the first time these Boyd Gaming properties have earned this top safety honor. “Creating a safe environment for our team members and guests is a top priority for Boyd Gaming,” said Boyd Vice President Andre Filosi, adding that the properties’ safety protocols “set the standard for excellence in workplace safety.” ● Caesars Entertainment has announced that a new Bobby Flay restaurant, Bobby’s Burgers, will be opening at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. The new fast-casual option will open early this summer. Bobby Flay Steak closed at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa last year. Caesars Atlantic City is also adding a Hell’s Kitchen eatery from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey. The new restaurants are part of Caesars’ $400 investment in its AC properties. ● Resorts World Las Vegas will offer high-end Tesla rentals to its customers through EVolve Rentals, the Strip’s first 100 percent carbon-neutral car-rental service. Elon Musk’s Tesla is one of the region’s largest non-gaming employers, with about 7,000 workers at its factory in Sparks, Nevada. ● Officials of Rivers Casino Philadelphia revealed at its license renewal hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board that it has installed metal detectors to guard against patron carrying weapons into the casino. There is no regulation requiring operators to screen for weapons. PGCB Chairwoman Denise Smyler praised Rivers for the focus on safety. “We got a lot of feedback from guests about perceptions of safety in the area,” said GM Justin Moore. “If something could deter a bad guy from coming into the casino with a weapon, then it’s 100 percent worth doing.” ● The Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team might be leaning towards the Tropicana as the location for a potential stadium if the team relocates to Las Vegas. The Strip hotel-casino site is believed to be one of two properties the A’s favor if the team determines it will relocate to Las Vegas. Peter Carlino, chairman, president and CEO of Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc., said the land-holder met with the A’s to discuss the possibility. However, a zoning change at the team’s preferred site in Oakland makes it more likely the team will stay put in Northern California. ● Bally’s Atlantic City has announced the launch of the Royal 9 baccarat progressive, which, for a $25 side bet, offers the chance at a top progressive jackpot that resets at $100,000, plus other progressive prizes including a “must-hit-by” jackpot. The system also features non-progressive payouts of up to $25,000 in a system of quick-hitting prizes that pay out several thousand dollars at a time.BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, announced last week that the first BetMGM Poker Championship will take place June 23-26 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament, scheduled during the 2022 Aria Poker Classic, will lead four days of BetMGM poker events. The championship includes a $3,500 buy-in no limit hold ‘em tournament carrying a $1 million guarantee. ● On May 5, the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas opened a new, 9,000-square-foot High Limit gaming room, offering both double deck and shoe blackjack, single-zero roulette and baccarat. The room will also feature a dedicated bar area complete with live dancers and luxe seating. The new room is one of a series of projects the property has slated for the rest of the year. It will run 24 hours a day. ● The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has fined two online sportsbooks for alleged violations pertaining to advertising and inducements. BetMGM Canada was fined $48,000 for a launch party ad that involved offers of cash bonuses in return for making a bet. PointsBet Canada was fined $30,000 for displaying posters on public transit that included inducements to play for free.