The Judge Who Does Not Judge

Sometimes a judgement can be a good thing, particularly when you are afflicted with a gambling problem. Richard Schuetz relates the experience of attending the Nevada gambling court, presided over by Judge Cheryl Moss (l.) and how she deals with people brought before the court for incidents spurred by their problem gambling.

In Macau, VIP Flight Means Cash Crunch

Macau’s VIP sector is being hammered as high rollers, fearful of Beijing’s crackdown on the cross-border flow of gambling funds, rush to withdraw billions of dollars held on deposit by junkets and their casino partners. It could deal a big blow to the market’s long-awaited recovery.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Penn National Seeks $1 Billion Post-Barstool Opening

Penn National Gaming last week announced it would issue nearly $1 billion in new shares just days after its Barstool branded only sports book opened in Pennsylvania. Penn is hoping to cash in on the rush to invest in sports betting operations like DraftKings and Golden Nugget Interactive.

U.K. to Overhaul 2005 Gambling Act

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (l.) is believed to be intimately involved in efforts to reform the country’s 2005 Gambling Act. Among the goals are the to reduce the incidence of problem gaming, especially in the young. The industry will fight back on any overreach.

Some SkyCity Casinos Free to Operate Sans Restrictions

SkyCity Entertainment says Covid-19 restrictions are no longer necessary at its properties in Hamilton (l.) and Queenstown, New Zealand. Covid-related precautions such as social distancing are still in effect in Auckland.

Tribal Casinos Fight For Survival

Covid-19 closures, staff reductions and health and safety restrictions are taking their toll on tribal gaming in North and South Dakota and Minnesota. Tribal casinos like Spirit Lake (l.) in St. Michael, ND, typically fund reservation-wide programs and services and provide scores of jobs.

Station Loses Another Union Battle, But War Drags On

Labor officials have rejected Station Casinos’ bid to invalidate the Culinary Union’s election victory at Fiesta Henderson. In the last four years, eight casinos operated by the Las Vegas locals giant have gone union. Not one has a contract.

New York Lawmakers Consider Online Sports Betting

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (l.) may include online and mobile sports betting in an upcoming revenue bill to help keep revenues at home. State Senator Joseph Addabbo, a champion of such legislation, said it’s “frustrating” to see bettors take their business out of state.

Tokyo Court to Okada: Pay Up

Tokyo’s High Court has affirmed a lower court decision ordering Japanese casino magnate Kazuo Okada (l.) to pay damages of JPY21.3 million (US$204,000) to his former company, Universal Entertainment Corp., on the grounds that he engaged in “fraudulent acts” as head of the firm.

Cash-Strapped Casinos Get Creative to Get Coin

Coin-operated slots are few and far between, but the nationwide coin shortage is still a problem for casinos, which must cash out TITO vouchers and give change at restaurants. Casinos like the D and El Cortez in Las Vegas have found novel ways to deal with it.

UNLV Collaborative Studies Cashless Wagering

The University of Nevada Las Vegas has begun a collaborative designed to study the impact of a shift to cashless wagering. The study also involves software providers Sightline Payments and Global Payments Gaming Solutions. Sightline’s Omer Sattar (l.) says the collaborative will find solutions to common issues.

ASIAN GAMING More

Philippine Gaming Revenues Topple

Second-quarter gross gaming revenues in the Philippines amounted to PH2.42 billion (US$49.9 million) due to ongoing restrictions caused by Covid-19. That’s compared to PH60.65 billion for the same period in 2019; most revenues came from Manila’s Entertainment City casino district.

Korean Casino, Closed Twice, Looking at Steep Losses

South Korea’s Kangwon Land will remain closed until October 5, its second closure since the Covid-19 outbreak began. The resort could forfeit up to KRW36.4 billion (US$30.7 million) to KRW53.9 billion (US$46.3 million) in losses for the period.

U.S. Sanctions Cambodian Casino Developer

The U.S. government has announced that it has blacklisted a Chinese company, Union Development Group, which is building a US$3.8 billion casino resort complex (l.) in Cambodia.

Philippine Casino Operator Party in Bangladesh Suit

Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts & Hotels Inc., which operates the Solaire Resort & Casino (l.) in Manila, has received a summons related to a civil case filed by Bangladesh Bank, which lost millions in a 2106 cyber-heist involving the property.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

Spain to Implement Self-Exclusion Registry

Spain’s 17 autonomous governments have announced that they will collaborate on an interconnected self-exclusion registry for land-based and mobile gambling. The program was central to Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzon’s (l.) reform plan for Spanish gaming.

U.K. Government Looks at Loot Boxes

The U.K. government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has called for public input on loot boxes as it seeks to determine if the video game features lead to problem gambling.

Covid Curfew Set for Dutch Casinos

Starting September 20, casinos (Holland Casino Amsterdam at left) and slot halls in several Netherlands regions began to observe a 1 a.m. curfew, with no new customers admitted after midnight. The curfew was established to help curb the incidence of Covid-19 infections in the communities.

Finnish Operator Lowers Loss Limits

As part of a customer care initiative, Åland Islands-based gaming operator Paf has lowered its annual player loss limit for the third year in a row. The limit now tops out at €20,000. Paf CEO Christer Fahlstedt (l.) said the move “prevents the personal tragedies that occur when huge amounts are lost.”

Cyprus Gaming Posts 44 Percent Drop

The National Betting Authority of Cyprus has reported that bookmakers generated income of €88.4 million (US$104.2 million) for the second quarter of 2020, for a decline in gross revenues of 44 percent.

GLOBAL GAMING More

Mexico Freezes New Casino Licenses

Alleging shady practices in the previous administration, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (l.) has ordered the freeze of new gaming licenses. He has also vowed to investigate whether any existing licenses were issued illegally.

ONLINE GAMING More

Analyst: Aristocrat will Enter iGaming

An analyst at JP Morgan Securities Australia Ltd. noted that it is a near certainty that slot manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. will enter the iGaming market.

Dutch Regulator Braces for iGaming Rush

Dutch gaming authority Kansspelautoriteit says it expects a glut of applications from operators eager to join the country’s iGaming marketplace. The nation’s Remote Gambling Act will take effect in March.

Indian State Looks at iGaming

The Indian state of Maharashtra is weighing online gaming as a way to increase government revenues. Officials acknowledge that unregulated iGaming is widespread in the country, and the government may reap up to $350 million from a legal industry.

Have iGaming Revenues in Italy Peaked?

After rocketing after the closures of casinos, online gaming revenues in Italy appear to have leveled off. That’s according to statistics released by gaming regulator Agenzia Dogane Monopoli.

SPORTS BETTING More

Sports Betting, iGaming Boost PA Revenues

Record revenues from mobile and retail sports betting and online casino games boosted August revenues for Pennsylvania casinos, despite limited capacity in brick-and-mortar casinos.

Ohio Lawmakers Negotiate Sports Betting Bill

Ohio lawmakers will take up sports betting after the general election. State Senator John Eklund (l.) wants a 6.25 tax rate on sports betting revenue; the House is lobbying for 10 percent.

DC Arena Outpaces Mobile Sportsbook

The Capital One Arena sportsbook outpaced the mobile GambetDC in handle and revenue during August, the arena’s first month of operations. That bettors preferred to go to the arena over the convenience of playing online speaks to the higher cost of business online.

Caesars-William Hill Deals May Expand

Caesars Entertainment and William Hill US are exploring more ways they can grow each company. The collaboration increased with the merger of Caesars and Eldorado Resorts, which owns a 20 percent stake in William Hill.

Tipsport, Betgenius Ink Deal

Tipsport, a Czech sportsbook as expanded its relationship with Betgenius, adding streaming, in-play pricing and trading content.

BetMGM Partners with Raiders

BetMGM has announced a marketing partnership with the Las Vegas Raiders, to market the sports betting company’s mobile app to Raiders fans. It’s also another layer for BetMGM’s parent, MGM Resorts International, to expand its marketing tools with the team’s home field.

Carousel Group Goes Live in Colorado

The Carousel Group has launched its first sportsbook in Colorado in what the company hopes will be a journey across the U.S. sports betting landscape.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

Caesars Gets $400 Million From VICI

The funds came in the form of a mortgage loan secured by the gaming giant’s new Caesars Forum Convention Center (l.) on the Las Vegas Strip. VICI is also negotiating with Caesars to acquire 50 acres of prime Strip land for future development.

Five Strip Casinos Top List for Covid Infections

August data compiled by the state of Nevada show the Cosmopolitan (l.) with the highest number of known positive test results, at 304. But state officials say it’s impossible to know where the infections actually occurred.

Louisiana Casinos Reeling From Pandemic, Laura

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board posted gloomy figures for August. New Orleans had the worst casino revenues, falling 36.3 percent year-on-year. Statewide, 14 riverboat casinos, Harrah’s New Orleans and four racinos generated $148.6 million, down 31.7 percent from 2019.

Virginia To Ban Electronic Gaming Machines In 2021

Virginia lawmakers were set to ban the 9,000-plus electronic gambling machines that operate in the state, but the ban was moved to 2021 since the machines provide additional revenue needed for Covid-19 services. Operators were prohibited from installing additional machines after July 1.

Vegas Jobless Rate Worst in Nevada

The pandemic continues to exact a toll on Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy. Unemployment is down by more than half since the spring, and at 15.5 percent it’s still the highest in the state and almost double the rate nationally.

AC Relief Bill Moves Forward in Trenton

A casino relief bill to permit casinos and racetracks to deduct a portion of sports betting revenue taxes move out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. A second bill which gives tax breaks to the Atlantic City casinos was approved by the Budget Committee two days later.

Arkansas Casinos Recuperating From Covid-19 Losses

Closed for months due to Covid-19, Arkansas' three casinos lost $1.4 billion, according to Department of Finance and Administration figures. But in July, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Saracen Casino Resort and Southland Casino Racing (l.) took in wagers close to 2019 numbers.

Kentucky Partnership Seeks Casino, Racetrack License

The Keeneland Association in Kentucky and the majority owners of Kentucky Downs applied for a license to build a new harness track and a casino. Kentucky still has two open racing licenses, said Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Executive Director Marc Guilfoil (l.).

New Mexico Casinos Ask to Reopen

Commercial casinos in New Mexico have been closed for six months, longer than any other casinos in the U.S. due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The casinos are asking Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (l.) to let them reopen.

Hard Rock Scores In USA Today Awards

Hard Rock International received numerous accolades in USA Today’s 2020 Casinos Readers' Choice Awards. Hard Rock Atlantic City (l.) ranked second and Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa placed in the Best Casino Outside Vegas category. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood ranked fourth in the Best Casino Hotel category.

AC Casino Exec Files Wrongful Termination Suit

Loretta Pickus (l.) has filed suit against Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City for firing her from her job as senior vice president and general counsel. Pickus claims her dismissal arose because she raised concerns over a falsified document and also due to gender discrimination.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Bipartisan House Members Support NC Tribal Casino

Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced the Catawba Indian Nations Land Act. The measure supports the Catawba Indian Nation's Two Kings Casino Resort, now under construction in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

Michigan Casino Expansion to Be Complete in ’21

A $33 million expansion at the Hannahville Indian Community's Island Resort & Casino (l.) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula will add 138 hotel rooms, a 200-seat steakhouse and a waterpark. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The casino's BetAmerica Sportsbook recently opened.

Mohegan Sun Now Holding Large Gatherings

Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino is holding large-scaled gatherings at its Earth Expo & Convention Center that violate the state’s Covid rules. However, since the gatherings are on sovereign land, the rules don’t apply.

Washington Casino to Expand

The Washington-based Elwhat River Casino has announced an expansion that will add more gaming and dining space. Construction will begin before the end of the month.

California City Swaps Land With Tribe

The city of Banning, California has approved of a land swap with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. The deal will enable the city to construct a business park on 38.23 acres of reservation land.

Graton Rancheria Makes $15 Million Scholarship Donation

Owning the largest Indian casino in Northern California has its benefits. It’s enabled the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to fund $15 million the largest scholarship donation by an Indian tribe to a university: UCLA’s School of Law’s Native Nations Law and Policy Center.

LOTTERY More

Scientific Games Goes Live with Turkish Lottery

Scientific Games has gone live with products for the Turkish National Lottery. Its instant ticket systems appear on terminals in 5,000 retailers. The project also brings the company’s instant scratch games to Turkey, a joint venture between a Turkish and Italian company.

German State Axes Lottery Directors

Officials in the German state of Sachsen-Anhalt have fired the managing directors of the local lottery as they investigate potential misconduct at the agency. Out are Maren Sieb and Ralf von Eine (l.).

Fires Shut Down Oregon Lottery in Portland

The wildfires that have singed most of the West Coast also helped shut down the Oregon Lottery along a section of the state last weekend. About 120 retailers near Portland lost access to the lottery.

PEOPLE More

SciPlay Appoints Chief Strategy Officer

SciPlay has appointed finance industry veteran Danny Moy (l.) as the social gaming company’s new chief strategy officer, reporting directly to CEO Josh Wilson.

Morrissey New Black Hawk GM

A executive with 10 years’ experience in gaming and destination casinos has been appointed general manager of the Saratoga Casino Black Hawk. Tim Morrissey (l.) will oversee and manage all operations at the Colorado casino.

Harris to Head Reno-Sparks CVA

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority last week appointed Charles Harris (l.), formerly an executive with Visit Anaheim, as its new CEO. He will succeed interim leader Jennifer Cunningham, who served after the resignation of former CEO Phil DeLone.

DraftKings Names Two to Board

Sports betting giant DraftKings has appointed two members to its board of directors. Jocelyn Moore and Valerie Mosley (l.) both have strong business backgrounds. Moore worked for the NFL before joining Ozone X Ventures. Mosley runs Upward Wealth.

Mohawk Gaming Promotes Lauzon

Emily Lauzon (l.) has been named general manager at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in Hogansburg, New York, replacing Todd Papineau. Lauzon joined the casino in 1999 and has served as its assistant manager since 2013.

TV Executive Takes Helm at Fremont Street Experience

Andrew Simon has stepped down as head of lifestyle and sports channel AXS to become the next president and chief executive of the Downtown Las Vegas attraction. He also brings to the job several years of local business experience.

SJM Bolsters Management Team

Macau gaming concessionaire SJM has appointed Benjamin Toh (l.) and Daniel Shim to head its Finance and Development and Corporate Affairs departments. Both come with experience from Las Vegas Sands’ Asia operations.

HK Lawmaker Joins Landing Board

Hong Kong lawmaker Abraham Shek Lai Him (l.) has been approved to join Asian casino investor Landing International Development Ltd. as an independent non-executive director.

GOODS & SERVICES More

Boyd, Aristocrat Partner on Loyalty App

Boyd Gaming has partnered with Aristocrat Technologies to develop B Connected Mobile, a tool enabling player’s club members to access benefits via their smartphones.

GVC Joins All-in Diversity Project

GVC Holdings has joined the All-in Diversity Project as a founding member of the initiative to analyze the progress of diversity in the workplace for the gaming industry.

Ainsworth Posts FY 20 Loss

Ainsworth Game Technology has posted a net loss of $30.8 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, compared with a $10.9 million net profit for the prior year. CEO Lawrence Levy (l.) said the company has increased its R&D budget.

Malaysian Casino Mandates Contact Tracing

Resorts World Genting in Malaysia now requires guests to use a Covid-19 contact-tracing application before entering. The app, called MySejahtera, registers visits at various venues in the casino complex, such as restaurants.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

Virtual G2E Kicks Off October 14

The G2E Virtual Experience will kick off October 14 with a free session on Covid-19, and return October 27-28 with numerous panel discussions, product spotlights and more. This year's live event was canceled due to the pandemic.

SiGMA Again Postpones Malta Summit

SiGMA Group has postponed the iGaming summit it has planned for November to February 2021, due to recent developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

NUTSHELL More

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