Small Nuggets of News

The parliament of South Africa is being pressured to regulate the number of electronic bingo licenses being issued for locations inside shopping malls. Parliament’s Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee is holding hearings on possible limits on the terminals to be placed in malls. Democratic Alliance MP Dean Macpherson told committee members that the KwaZulu-Natal Gambling Board issued about 300 licenses for electronic bingo terminals for various shopping malls in November, despite a moratorium.  •  A federal judge dismissed a five-year-old patent infringement lawsuit against Scientific Games Corp.’s table-game division, the former SHFL entertainment. The lawsuit, filed in 2009 by Table Max Gaming against SHFL entertainment, was dismissed with prejudice by the United States District Court in Nevada. The patents related to devices and methods for electronic table games. According to a company statement, Bally successfully challenged the validity of the patents in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  •  Karma Gaming International, a developer of online digital lottery games, has signed a distribution agreement with interactive gaming and betting solutions provider OpenBet. Karma has been developing a new game genre by monetizing casual and mobile games to replace traditional lottery tickets. “Haunted Hotel” and “Secrets of the Pyramids” are called the first episodic instant win games, featuring storylines played out over multiple chapters.  •  A Union County, New Jersey resident won the state’s largest-ever internet gaming jackpot playing Let It Ride on the site. The player won $1.52 million for a royal flush, surpassing the previous record prize of $1.3 million won in November. Internet gaming has been in place in New Jersey since November 2013.  •  Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey has announced the formation of a marketing partnership with Fantasy Sports Network, which will assist in the launch of a paid Monmouth Park daily fantasy game featuring professional sporting events. FNTSY Sports Network, owned by Anthem Media Group Inc., provides content in the world of fantasy sports, and will work closely with Monmouth Park to select a website game vendor to help develop and operate all new games. “Fantasy Sports Network is a tremendous partner as Monmouth Park looks to strengthen its gaming and entertainment presence in New Jersey and across the national market,” said Bill Knauf, vice president of business operations at Monmouth Park, in a statement.  •  Australian slot manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology announced a net profit after tax of AUD34.6 million (US$27.2 million) for the six-month period ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of 3 percent on the previous year. Net profit was basically unchanged at AUD45.5 million. The company said revenue gains in the Americas “assisted in increasing the contribution of revenue from international markets which now represent 52 percent of total revenue compared to 33 percent in the previous corresponding period.”  •  As part of its program of diversification the Mohegan Holding Company LLC, the business arm of the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut, has formed a relationship with Jersey Mike’s Subs to open ten sub shops in New England. The first will be opened before the end of the year. Kevin Brown “Red Eagle,” chairman of the tribal council, commented, “Through our business diversification efforts, we are focused on economic development for the tribe as well as our local communities.”  •  Tanger Factory Outlet Centers plans to open an outlet center at Foxwoods Resort Casino in May. This is Tanger’s second outlet in Connecticut. It plans to hire 900 employees and will hold a job fair on March 19.  The outlet center will feature such brands as Banana Republic, Talbots, Tommy Hifinger, Fossil and the Gap.  •  The Angel of the Winds Casino and Hotel in Arlington, Washington, operated by the Stillaguamish Tribe, has opened a new $27 million five-story hotel. The hotel, with 125 rooms, is connected to the casino.  •  Twin River Worldwide Holdings says it plans to build a 200-room hotel next to its slots parlor in Lincoln, Rhode Island. To do this the slots parlor will need permission from the Lincoln Planning Council and state lawmakers, who would need to pass a bill removing a restriction from building a hotel there.  •  The city of San Francisco has sued to close Kingston Shack, which the city alleges is an illegal internet café. Kingston Shack refused to shut down, so the city has sued. State law only permits slot machines on Indian reservations. The computerized machines the café was operating were close enough to slots to violate that law, the city attorney says. Besides being a neighborhood nuisance, the city alleges that Kingston Shack is also a den of criminal activity.  •  California Employment Development Department plans to earmark a $500,000 grant to help about 1,000 employees of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino who lost jobs when the casino was ordered shut down last October after an armed incursion by members of one of several feuding factions of the tribe. The EDD provided the grant to Madera County to assist the workers.  •  The arbitration process for mitigating impacts of the casino proposed by the Karuk Tribe for Yreka, California has ended in a decision for Siskiyou County. Both the tribe and county proposed competing proposals when they were unable to reach an agreement. The tribal gaming compact requires intergovernmental agreements between the tribe and city and county governments. It reached an agreement with Yreka, but not Siskiyou County.  •  Seneca Allegany Casino awarded AAA Four Diamond rating for seventh year. It is one of 14 hotels to receive the award in Central and Western New York. In 2012, a $53 million expansion project doubled the hotel’s capacity to 412 rooms.    LAX Nightclub received a remodel, upgrading to 26,000 square feet of space, 38 VIP tables along the dance floor, which was also upgraded in size. A second floor will now feature seven VIP lofts and a private dance area. Every Thursday will be known as “Throwback Thursday”, and feature songs from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.   Fond Du Lac Band announced plans for renovations on three of their properties. The Center of American Indian Resources in Duluth will receive a $12 million expansion. Fond-Du-Luth Casino facilities will also benefit from $3 million in upgrades. The reservation’s Min No Aya Win Clinic will also see $4 million in upgrades.    Arizonas congressional delegation has proposed legislation to close loopholes, which would prohibit casinos to be built in Mari
copa County until after 2027. This comes after the federal government ruled that one Arizona tribe can unilaterally build a casino without any zoning requirements on any unincorporated property.    Las Vegas strip clubs have been refused an appeal from the U.S. Supreme Court over an issue with Nevada’s live entertainment tax. Seven clubs sought the return of over $100 million paid for the controversial tax.  •  New York’s Oneida County legislators have petitioned for Vernon Downs to receive a take of 50 percent from its video lottery terminals, as opposed to the current 41 percent. All 10 Democratic county legislators have signed the petition, in addition to four Republican legislators. There are a total of 23 Oneida County legislators.   Las Vegas unemployment dropped to 6.8 percent in December, continuing the decline from the recession high 14 percent in 2010. The state’s unemployment rate is roughly 15.3 percent. The market is currently at 94.8 percent of its peak 936,000 jobs in December 2007, and has grown 11.3 percent since the January 2011 low of 797,200 jobs.