Small Nuggets of News

NYX Gaming Group Limited announced a strategic investment of CAD$10 million for a 25 percent interest in its wholly owned U.S. operating subsidiary from a private investor. “This capital investment will allow us greater flexibility in the execution of our growth strategy, without diluting our shareholders from our aggregate business,” said NYX CEO Matt Davey. The investment is not convertible into ordinary shares, and is subject to certain conditions including agreement on amended and restated governing documents and obtaining certain regulatory approvals. This investment immediately strengthens the company’s balance sheet and adds to its momentum in the North American market.  •  Intralot announced its 10-year cooperation with Acumen Communications Limited (ACL) to organize sports betting in Kenya, under the brand name mCHEZA. ACL is a local company authorized and regulated by the Betting Control and Licensing Board of Kenya under the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act.  The mCHEZA brand was launched on December 18, and is initially available on mobile phones. Additional products and services will be offered soon.  •  Interactive content supplier Genesis Gaming released its latest new video slot game Mirror Magic, available exclusively at Unibet in Flash and HTML5. Mirror Magic introduces a new game-play mechanic that has low paying symbols transform to become high-paying symbols in the bonus. “When the pay tables shift for the free spins where all symbols pay high, it generates great anticipation to hit the bonus for much bigger wins,” said Genesis European Sales Director James Watson. “We design our games to be engaging for the true gambler, yet entertaining for the more casual player.”  •  Ohio’s Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park has debuted a new slot machine themed around local Ohio recording artist Michael Stanley. It’s the second local-themed slot introduced at the racino, which launched a game based on former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar last year. “It’s an honor for us to recognize another hometown superstar on our gaming floor,” said racino President Mark Birtha. “Michael Stanley is an iconic music recording artist in Northeast Ohio. We are proud to recognize him as we celebrate our second anniversary—not only as part of our authentic entertainment experience but as an integral part of our gaming experience.”  •  The Bureau of Indian Affairs on December 22 put 292 acres in Payson, Gila County, Arizona into trust for the Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona. The land will be added to the tribe’s existing land, giving it a total of 375 acres.   •  A popular restaurant at the Graton Resort and Casino near Rohnert Park, M.Y. China, has closed. The restaurant, which had been operated by celebrity chef Martin Yan, will be replaced, “by an exciting new restaurant,” according to casino General Manager Joe Hasson. The new restaurant will open as part of the $175 million expansion that the casino is now building.  •  A new direct ferry line between Taiwan’s outlying island chain of Matsu and Mainland China launched late last month. The new service would reduce a round-trip sea voyage between Matsu and the Fujian Province to just about 40 minutes. It may be a first step in easing travel as Taiwan considers allowing casino resorts that may attract Mainland China visitors. Matsu has been mentioned as a possible location.  ?  Groundbreaking has begun on the future New Zealand International Convention Center and five-star Hobson Hotel. The $700 million 38-month building project in Auckland is underwritten by casino operator SkyCity Entertainment, which will pay up to $470 million of the costs. The NZICC will be the largest convention center in the country, with a capacity for 3,000 conventioneers.  ?  Macau has been granted the power to administer 85 square kilometers (33 square miles) of water surrounding the territory. According to a government statement, giving water rights to Macau will empower the territory to enhance cooperation with adjoining Guangdong Province and develop the regional and national maritime economy. The measure would forbid casinos in the event that any land reclamation occurs in those waters.  ?  Gaming and technology firm Novomatic has signed an exclusive three-year agreement to exhibit at the Macao Gaming Show, according to reports. The firm, one of the largest of its kind in the world, will have a booth at the show through 2018. ?  Chan Chi Kit, president of the Macau Hoteliers and Innkeepers Association predicted the average occupancy rate of Macau’s luxury hotels would average 75 percent over the Christmas and New Year holidays, about 10 percentage points less year-on-year. Macau Government Tourist Office Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said the occupancy rate for five-star hotels would stay around 80 percent. The numbers have not yet been released.  ?  Management at the new Studio City resort on Macau’s Cotai Strip apologized to more than 100 people who were aboard the property’s Golden Reel Ferris wheel when it malfunctioned Christmas Day. The ride, which has a distinctive figure-8 shape, stopped in late afternoon. It took more than an hour before all the passengers were able to disembark. At 130 meters tall (more than 426 feet) the Golden Reel is said to be the tallest such attraction in Asia.  ?  The 493-room Westin Lake Las Vegas hotel in Henderson, Nevada, sold for $25 million to Pacifica, which bought the property out of foreclosure.  •   Due to heightened volatility, Wynn Resorts likely will post earnings of 65 cents per share for its next quarterly results, analyst J. Goldman & Companyannounced.  •   Jubilee, the current longest-running show on the Las Vegas Strip, will cease its run at Bally’s on February 11, Caesars Entertainment announced. Jubilee first opened in 1981.  •   With 28.8 percent of reported bookings, Las Vegas is the fifth-most-booked travel destination in the United States for 2016, behind Orlando, Maui, Alaska cruises, and New York City, according to a new poll by the Travel Leaders Group of Plymouth, Minnesota.  •   Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval in December signed enabling legislation for tax breaks and incentives to bring the $1 billion Faraday Future electric car plant to North Las Vegas.  •   The Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on January 4 began a multi-million-dollar renovation of its rooftop pool and 70,000-square-foot deck, so it can reopen in time to welcome summer vacationers.  •   The Nevada Gaming Control Board is looking into Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson’s recent purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, for which he paid $140 million to buy via Delaware-based News+Media in December.  •   Las Vegas broke its tourism record with 42 million tourists counted through November, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced.