Small Nuggets of News

Scientific Games Corporation announced that the Georgia Lottery Corporation has extended it current instant games contract for seven years. Scientific Games has served as the lottery’s instant game partner since the lottery’s inception in 1993. The  company played a key role in growing the lottery’s instant games to a $3 billion consumer product category in 2015, increasing retail sales 18 percent in the last five years.   •  Minority- and women-owned businesses are invited to attend a June 24 “matchmaking” event in Rotterdam to learn about the vendor needs of the under-construction Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady. Online registration is available at  •  A July 29-31 summer meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States in Boston will focus on continuing expansion of casino gaming and its consequences. Program and registration information is available online at  •  The Clark County Commission on June 21 banned visitors to the Las Vegas Strip from bringing bags, large purses, coolers, strollers, backpacks, fanny packs, camera bags, computer bags, and carts to large events held on the Las Vegas Strip. The ordinance mostly applies to the annual New Years’ Eve fireworks display, and police will issue warnings before citing or arresting violators.  •  An estimated 400,000 fans of electronic dance music attended the annual three-day Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas June 17-19, and police reported record arrests for felony drug violations, with 40 felony arrests for drug crimes on the festival’s final day.  •  Nevada sportsbooks reported game seven of the NBA Finals tallied a record betting handle, with game six producing the second-highest ever, but official betting numbers were not available.  •  Golden Entertainment announced a $23.5 million cash dividend will be paid to eligible shareholders starting July 14, with an estimated $1.71 to be paid per common share.  •  The Plain Dealer newspaper has named the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park winner of the Northeast Ohio Area 2016 Top Workplaces. “It’s a tremendous honor, after two-and-a-half years of operation, to be the first and only gaming entertainment venue named to The Top Workplaces list in Northeast Ohio,” declared Mark Birtha, president of the casino. The list is composed based on feedback surveys given to employees by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC a research firm.  •  The Coeur d’Alene Tribe, owners of the Coeur d’Alene Casino of Idaho, has begun a search for a new chief operating officer, after declining to renew the contract of current CEO Dave Matheson.  The tribal council hopes to find its new CEO from within the organization. A spokesman for the council said, “Normally we don’t like to comment on personnel issues, but the council simply wanted to go in a different direction.” Tribal administrator Robert Matt will be interim CEO during the search.  •  The Cincinnati Planning Commission last week approved of the plan for Rock Gaming to install a 16-foot high, 28.5 foot wide LED video board next to the Jack Cincinnati Casino’s 80-foot sign. This is part of the casino’s $40 million rebranding from the old “Horseshoe” brand when the casino was operated by Caesars Entertainment—which ended a few months ago. The planning commission’s 4-1 vote overruled a recommendation by the planning staff that the proposal didn’t conform with zoning guidelines.  •  Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn, Washington, celebrated its 20th anniversary on June 20. When the track opened in 1996 Washington had been without any racetrack for three year. It was built by Northwest Racing Associates and purchased by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. During the 20 years the track has held nearly 17,000 races.  •  Foxwoods bingo hall in Mashantucket, Connecticut last week celebrated its 30th anniversary. The hall was one of the sparks that helped create Indian gaming and definitely brought about the advent of Foxwoods Casino and its rival the Mohegan Sun in the state. But it operated for four years a lone gaming operation until 1992 when Foxwoods opened. With 3,600 seats is currently the largest bingo operation in the U.S. and possibly the world.  •  A federal judge has fast-tracked a challenge to the Mashpee Wampanoag’s First Light Resort & Casino in Taunton, Massachusetts. Judge William G. Young, instead of acting on a motion to halt construction while the tribe proceeds. Young set a date of July 11 to hear the casino challenge, brought by residents of Taunton, who argue that the Bureau of Indian Affairs acted wrongly by putting land into trust for the tribe.  •  The $950 million MGM Springfield is on schedule to open in September of 2018 according to Springfield, Massachusetts Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, who toured the construction site last week. Demolition work is continuing in the 14.5-acre footprint.