Happy Thanksgiving from GGB; Newsletter Returns December 4


Small Nuggets of News

Panda!, the first Chinese-produced entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip, blends two surefire crowd-pleasers: panda and kung fu monks. The show opened earlier this month at the Palazzo in Las Vegas.  ?  The Las Vegas Mob Museum, which will mark its second anniversary on February 14, is turning a profit, and soon will repay $1.5 million of a $6.2 million city tax credit that funded its development. The city’s total investment was $37 million.  ?  The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba will no longer run Responsible Gaming Information Centers at two casinos in Winnipeg.Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is looking for a new agency to offer the service, which explains gambling odds and the house advantage to the public.  ?  Forbes Travel Guide’s 56th annual list of the tops in hospitality  has recognized two Caesars Palace brands. The accommodations at the Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace and Restaurant Guy Savoy have won 4- and 5-Stars respectively.  The latter has also been named “One of the Best New Restaurants in the World” by Travel + Leisure.  ?   Sports betting was the one bright spot in France’s online market last year, with revenue up 19 percent to €164 million on a 20 percent increase in handle to €848 million. Football, basketball and tennis were the most popular games, according to figures released by national regulator ARJEL. Poker revenue fell 13 percent to €258 million on cash wagers of €5.5 billion, a decrease of 18 percent. Tournament handle was up 5 percent to €1.4 billion.  •  The Bulgarian State Commission of Gambling confirmed on its web site that state-owned operator Sport Totalizator, or Sport Toto, is approved to take wagers over the internet on sports and horse and dog racing and lottery games. The company is the second to be licensed. The first, local operator vBulletin, was licensed in September to take sports bets.  •  Investment bank Morgan Stanley expects that by 2017 Macau will need 32,000 additional workers to staff the industry’s planned resort developments on Cotai.  •  UK betting giant William Hill will begin broadcasting U.S. racing in Britain from tracks owned by the Stronach Group. The deal reached with UK-based broadcaster Turf TV will see Hills’ betting shops offer live coverage from Florida’s Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in Maryland and California’s Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park. Turf TV has a profit-sharing agreement with Stronach to televise races from its tracks.  •  Norwegian national lottery Norsk Tipping has installed Playscan’s player protection software on its VLTs with additional accessibility for players through the web and via mobile.  •  GTECH announced that its lottery subsidiary GTECH Corporation has singed a lottery gaming system and services contract with the Colorado Lottery. Under the new agreement, GTECH will provide the lottery a full range of lottery products and ongoing services from November 2, 2014 through June 30, 2021. The contract, which follows a competitive procurement, has a maximum of two, two-year extensions, which may be exercised in whole or in part at the discretion of the lottery. GTECH expects to receive approximately $70 million in revenues over the base term.  •  Billionaire Warren Buffett’s company is backing a $1 billion prize by Quicken Loans for any contestant that can perfectly pick the 64-team bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Berkshire Hathaway has insured a $1 billion prize by Quicken Loans Inc. that would pay the winner $25 million a year over the next 40 years, or one lump sum of $500 million. It’s by far the largest payout offered for predicting the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s tournament—Fox Sports recently put up $1 million for the same feat, and Yahoo’s contest would have paid $5 million. The odds of selecting a flawless 64-team bracket are about one in 9 quintillion.  •  With a deadline of January 31 looming for its report to state legislatures, a panel of state officials and gaming industry representatives in Delaware is divided on ways to help the state’s three struggling racinos. State Finance Secretary Tom Cook, chairman of the commission, told the Associated Press members are divided on how much to take out of the general fund to assist the three casinos, while industry representatives continu8e to press for reductions in the gaming revenue tax, which is an effective 60 percent. Delaware has lost business steadily as competing casinos have opened in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  •  The Ohio Lottery Commission is using humor in a media campaign to bring attention problem gambling. The campaign, employing TV and billboards is entitled “I Lost A Bet,” and shows several people who have lost bets and what happened to their lives, including one man crouched in an elevator wearing a dog costume. The $2 million campaign is aimed at younger people, particularly males, who statistics show are at risk of becoming addicted to gambling.