Small Nuggets of News

The European Commission has scheduled August 7 for issuing a decision on whether Lithuania’s new online gambling regulations comply with EU free-trade policies. The Baltic state’s new rules require licensees to be operators of established Lithuanian land-based casinos and to be located and registered within the country. They must also commit minimum share capital of €1.1 million.  •  City of Dreams Manila will include a DreamWorks-inspired entertainment attraction for families with children. DreamPlay by DreamWorks, a joint venture of DreamWorks Animation and iP2 Entertainment, will blend live and digital play spaces featuring popular characters from DreamWorks films in a variety of interactive storytelling, educational and other activities. City of Dreams Manila, a joint venture of Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment and the Philippines SM Group, is slated to open this fall as the second gaming resort at the Entertainment City complex on Manila Bay in the capital city.  •  A survey of 601 casino workers by Macau Polytechnic Institute ranks MGM China Holdings tops among the city’s six casino operators for job satisfaction. Workers were polled on pay, working relationships, working environment, career development and empowerment. The average rating among MGM employees was 3.19 on a scale of one to five, five denoting the most satisfaction. The industry-wide average was 3.04.  •  Century Casinos two weeks ago successfully opened a casino aboard the maiden voyage of the Nova Star, which sailed from Portland Maine, to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The Nova Star is part of the Nova Star Cruises luxury cruise line. It carries up to 1,215 passengers and 336 automobiles. The casino boat has 70 slot machines.  •  The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has announced that it will shut down the 229-room Palm Springs Spa Resort Hotel on July 8. A new hotel with a “new vision” will be opened off Indian Canyon Drive. What that new vision will be will be announced at a future date. So will whether the old hotel, which was built in 1959, will be demolished. The casino operating across the street will be unaffected. The hotel and the historic mineral springs beneath it used to be the main draw to Palm Springs. Before that the spring was of high ceremonial importance to the Indians who lived there.  •  Horseshoe Casino Baltimore announced that celebrity chef Guy Fieri will open a restaurant at the casino, slated to open this summer. Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen & Bar will be open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining. The 350-seat restaurant will offer casual foods, including an extensive variety of burgers, wings, small bites and shareable food items. Fieri is the host of several Food Network shows, including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  •  Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino has been recognized with a 2014 International Association of Jewish Vocational Services (IAJVS) Corporate Award. A strong partner to local IAJVS member JEVS Human Services, SugarHouse has provided opportunities for more than 1,100 individuals—including those seeking entry into the workforce—through a flexible atmosphere and high-quality training. Established in 1993, the IAJVS Corporate Award is designed to honor an employer that has demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of individuals through skills training and employment opportunities, while showing compassion for helping people help themselves.  •  British supplier Inspired Gaming Group predicts a massive 200 million bets will be made on its Virtual Sports products during the coming 32-day World Cup 2014. Inspired’s virtual sports products are available in betting shops, online and on mobile channels across 35 countries, controlling an estimated 95 percent of the global virtual sports market. Inspired says its Virtual Football product will generate more than 3 million bets per day during the World Cup.  •  Electronic bingo supplier Zitro held a party and event at the Ragga Lounge in Mexico City to introduce its collection of new products in a presentation titled “Zitro Revolution 2014.” Hosted by company President Johnny Ortiz, the event drew representatives of associations, large and small operators, and executives from all corners of Mexico’s gaming market.  •  Winamax will enter the sports-betting market in France after approval by the French regulator ARJEL. Winamax was awarded a five-year license enabling it to offer fixed odds betting and pari-mutuel betting services through the domain. France may be introducing sports betting to offset decline in the online poker market in the country.  •  The Las Vegas metropolitan area has marked its largest drop in the unemployment rate since 1983. According to a report from Union Gaming, the jobless numbers fell to 7.4 percent in April, and 8 percent statewide. The region is still behind the nation, which saw unemployment fall to 6.3 percent during the same time period.  ?  Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will open Beijing cuisine restaurant Mr. Chow in early 2015. It will be the restaurant’s seventh location worldwide.  ?  Starwood and Caesar Entertainmenthave joined their loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guests and Total Rewards, giving members of both access to rewards at Starwoods properties and Caesars’ shopping, dining and entertainment venues.  ? Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will close May 26 for renovations. New owner Hakkasan Group will reopen the three-tiered, 36,000-square-foot space in early 2015.  ?  Britney: Piece of Me,” Britney Spears’ sold-out show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas has extended its residency.  Additional performances have been added for the months of August and September, with extended dates from October to New Year’s Eve and February 2015.  ?  Tioga Downs in Nichols, Tioga County, New York, has signed labor agreements with area unions, pledging to use only union labor for the expansion of its racino. The move has prompted union officials to support the racino’s bid for a Class III license in the state.  ?  Caesars Windsor in Ontario marked its 20th year with a party May 16. Company President and CEO Kevin Laforet pointed out that 100 million visitors have passed through the casino’s doors in the past two decades. In that time, the city of Windsor has reaped $267 million in direct cash payments from the casino.