Small Nuggets of News

Tourism is up in Singapore. In May, the number of visitors rose 1.1 percent year-on-year to 1.22 million, the Singapore Tourism Board says; it was the first monthly increase since February 2014.  ?  Melco Crown’s $3.2 billion Studio City Macau, now under construction on the Cotai Strip, will include the world’s first figure-8 Ferris wheel. The “Golden Reel,” which will be 425 feet tall, will resemble a twisted spool of 35mm celluloid, a fitting attraction at the Hollywood-themed resort. The wheel is being built by Liechtenstein’s Intamin Amusement Rides.  ?  Windsor, Ontario’s share of gaming revenue from Caesars Windsor is up, according to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Nontaxable cash for the city was higher than $3.2 million between April and June, up almost 87 percent from 2014.  ?  •  Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Austintown, Ohio is starting its first expansion since opening ten months ago. The racino, operated by Penn National Gaming, will deploy 75 new video lottery terminals (VLTs), bringing the total up to 941. The expansion will include 2,200 square feet of more gaming floor to accommodate the new VLTs. It should be open by September 1.  •  A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an injunction that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho had sought to quash that prevents it from holding Texas hold ‘em poker tournaments at the tribal casino. That means that the tribe must cease offering the games while the state’s lawsuit moves forward. The state asserts that because poker is illegal in Idaho that the tribe cannot offer it on the reservation. The tribe claimed that the game is actual legal. The Appeals Court agreed with a lower court that poker is illegal.  •  The number of people charged with cheating and trespass in Ohio’s four casino resorts has increased 42 percent over last year, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The great majority of cheating cases were at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, where 36 of the total 49 statewide were charged. Statewide trespassing charges in casinos increased from 91 to 165, while theft decreased from 57 instances to 46.  •  The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, has announced its intentions to pursue a refinancing of its 11 percent senior subordinated notes that are due in 2018. According to the Authority, “Any such transaction would depend on prevailing market conditions and the covenant restrictions contained in the Authority’s existing indebtedness, among other factors.”  •  San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in California’s Riverside County, is in the midst of a $50 million renovation that includes a complete redo of the Serrano Buffet. The buffet was unveiled after two months of construction, which added 100 seats, and upped the number of buffet items from 90 to 140. The buffet’s carving station went from three options to six. Other expansions included more pizza, a teppanyaki action station and a larger salad bar.  • Rye Park Gaming recently sold a high end poker table to Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil. Besides founding the company in 1984, Laliberté finished fourth in the World Poker Tour Season Five in 2007. He also occasionally plays at high stakes games. In 2011 he announced the Big One, a $1 million buy in tournament that is part of the World Series of Poker. His custom table features leather upholstery and custom woodworking.  •  McCarran International Airport will receive a $16.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a two-year runway project. The grant will go towards a $67 million upgrade of the runway.  •  Uber and Lyft will face high costs to be licensed in Nevada, which will come in at the highest in the country. Companies will have to pay $500,000 for an unlimited number of vehicles, $10,000 for 100 vehicles in the first year, $50,000 for 500 in the first year, and $100,000 for 1,000 in the first year.  •  The Bellagio Fountains will present a Kabuki show, lasting 30 minutes, between August 14-16. MGM said the “Kabuki Spectacle” is part of its commitment to celebrating Japanese culture.  •  In its second year in operation, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania recorded the highest percentage gain in revenue of any of the state’s casinos. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, Lady Luck, a resort casino limited to 600 slots and 50 table games,  generated $34.6 million in revenue—a 23 percent increase over the previous year—and paid $12 million in taxes to state and local government, according to reports released this month by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The increase did not translate into profit, as the casino recorded a net loss of $16.1 million, including a $9 million impairment charge.  •  International Game Technology Plc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, GTECH Corporation, has entered into a five-year extension agreement with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, and a seven-year contract with the Wisconsin Lottery. The company will continue to provide its Intelligen central monitoring and control system for the existing video lottery terminal program at Maryland’s five licensed VLT venues, and will provide technology and services to connect the VLTs at MGM National Harbor, which is expected to open next year.  In Wisconsin, the company will continue to provide bundled lottery solutions and services. This includes a new draw-based and instant-ticket lottery system, full-service lottery terminals, self-service and multimedia products, instant-ticket printing, warehousing, distribution, and telemarketing, as well as a communications network.  •  Microgame will develop a new mobile sports betting and casino app for Multigioco, a licensed land-based and online gaming operator owned by investment fund Empire Global Corporation. The app will be rolled out for Multigioco’s Italian-facing and brands, and will be available across all major operating systems such as iOS, Windows and Android. Multigioco said that its brands currently service 22,000 active clients, generating around €70 million in iGaming turnover.  •  Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar is now on slot machines near the restaurant that bears his name at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park near Cleveland. The Kosar slot machines were created by replacing reel images on two IGT Double Diamond Strike reel-spinning slots to pictures of Kosar, of his Browns uniform number, Cleveland Municipal Stadium and other iconic Browns images. The machines are near the entrance to Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill restaurant. The former quarterback appeared at the restaurant’s grand opening ceremonies.  •  Inspired
Gaming announced the launch of a new virtual sport format. “Rush Football 2 Matchday.” “It is a supercharged Matchday format for its newest virtual sport, Rush Football 2 HD,” said the company.  Inspired launched Rush Football 2 in February to a fanfare reception. Rush Football 2 is already considered to be the most advanced virtual sport in the industry. Inspired’s Matchday format gives players a lifelike football betting experience, with non-stop matches enabling bets to be placed during the season. Operators can run up to eight matches concurrently, every three minutes.  •  A measure sent to the Anne Arundel, Maryland, County Council last week would allow the county to issue bonds for up to $22.5 million for a project that would include a hotel and conference center behind the Maryland Live! casino in Hanover. The measure would create a tax increment development district and a special fund that would allocate the difference between current and future property tax levies on the site to pay to secure bonds to finance the project. Under the measure, the conference center could be used for free on certain terms by the Board of Education, Anne Arundel Community College and nonprofit organizations.