Ho Hum: New Record for Macau

Visitation to Macau soared to over 1 million over Chinese New Year, more than three-quarters of them from mainland China, whose numbers were up 23 percent over last year. The combined impact drove gaming revenue to a new monthly record of $4.8 billion, and forced analysts to up their predictions for 2014 overall revenue.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: All in the Family

Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment has announced plans to sell four of its resorts, including the recently re-branded Quad (l.), to a Caesars subsidiary. The shift could enable Caesars to realize about $3 billion in cash flow but requires the subsidiary to borrow more than $2 billion to complete the deal.

Lindsey Graham May Seek Online Gambling Ban

Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (l.) is reportedly about to introduce a bill that would effectively ban online gambling in the U.S. It’s a sudden move for Graham, who has not been linked to any anti-gambling stance in the past. No draft of the bill has been released.

Florida Bill Would Not Allow Casinos

Even though there’s not much hope for the passage of any gaming bill, Florida’s state legislature is being presented with a few options, from no casinos to huge integrated resorts. One bill has a tax rate that’s a killer, and another backed by House Speaker Will Weatherford (l.) is called a “contraction.”

No More Land for Gaming in Macau

Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam (l.) says diversification is the government’s top priority. That means land will not be allocated for new casinos once Cotai is completed, and the cap on table games growth will be enforced.

Senecas Plan Casino No. 4

The Seneca Nation of Indians of New York State has acquired 32 acres of land in the community of Henrietta, outside Rochester. They hope to build a fourth casino there. The nation already operates three other casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca (l.).

Interest High in Queensland’s Expansion

The government of the Australian state says 19 entities have stated their interest in bidding for three new casino licenses. Most of the interest is centered on the capital of Brisbane. But far to the north, plans are moving forward for a $4 billion resort complex near the Great Barrier Reef, with a license connected to the Reef Hotel Casino (l.) in Cairns.

New Hampshire Panel Rejects Casino Bill

The odds of a bill that would authorize a casino resort in New Hampshire plummeted last week when the House Ways and Means Committee by a narrow vote declined to forward a casino bill to the floor. Governor Maggie Hassan (l.) is not happy.

Some U.S. Full Tilt Players to Get Paid

Full Tilt Poker will pay out $76 million to about 27,500 U.S. players who have had their accounts frozen since 2011. A court-appointed administrator announced the decision.


GGAM Can’t Dump Bloomberry Shares

A Philippines court has ordered Global Gaming Asset Management not to sell its stake in Bloomberry Resorts until an arbitrator rules on Bloomberry leader Enrique Razon’s (l.) decision to cancel GGAM’s management contract at Manila’s new Solaire resort. GGAM is disputing the cancellation.

Boyd Has Eyes for Japan

Boyd Gaming Chief Executive Keith Smith (l.) said his company may be interested in bidding for a gaming license in Japan. He and another executive with the Las Vegas-based operator recently visited Tokyo, he said, as part of what he called an “exploratory phase” for the company.

Caesars Waits for Verdict in Korea

Questions still surround the future for Caesars Entertainment in South Korea. After being rejected for a license last year, the U.S. gaming giant and its partner have reapplied, but the government says its decision has been delayed over bidding procedures.

PwC: Money Laundering Rife in Macau

A new survey of business executives in Macau and Hong Kong shows money laundering is far more prevalent in the two Chinese territories in proportion to the rest of the world. More than 30 percent of executives polled said they encountered it. The global average was 11 percent.

Slot Makers Need Macau License for Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has designated Macau as the standard of compliance for slot manufacturers, suppliers and testing laboratories wishing to do business in the country. The policy is part of a new package of regulations that also leaves intact the ban on casino gambling by Vietnamese citizens.


No Reformation in Ireland Before 2015

Hopes are slumping that Ireland will move any time soon to modernize its antiquated gambling laws. At least one expert doesn’t expect a bill to enter the Dáil (l.) before 2015, meaning 2016 is likely the earliest that any reforms will take effect.

UK Could Curb Gambling Ads on TV

The proliferation of gambling in the country has moved firmly into the national political spotlight. Adding to the FOBT controversy are fresh concerns over the growth in gambling ads on television. Culture Secretary Maria Miller has ordered a review, and restrictions could be on the way.

Tough Year for Ladbrokes

Weakness in online operations led declines across all the sectors of the UK bookmaking giant’s business in 2013. Operating income fell by one-third. Profits plummeted by two-thirds.


Saipan Lawmaker Hopes Four’s a Charm

Casino gaming is back on the legislative agenda in Saipan. It will be the fourth try at passage in four years, and this time around, supporters say, the government needs the revenue more urgently than ever.


Several Internet Gaming Bills in California Legislature

California lawmakers are mulling two bills that would legalize online poker in the Golden State. Senator Lou Correa’s (l.) bill is backed by several tribes and the card room industry. Racetracks and ADWs have so far been left out.

BetConstruct And Betsoft Sign Agreement

BetConstruct and BetSoft have signed a deal giving BetConstruct access to BetSoft's desktop and mobile gaming content, including 3D arcade-style games, traditional card and table games and mobile games. BetConstruct offers world-class platforms in the European and Eastern European markets.

Zynga Poker Gets Redesign

Zynga has redesigned its most popular social game Zynga Poker to give the game a more realistic look and casino feel.

Alderney Pulls Sheriff’s License

Regulators in the British Channel Island have revoked the license of online operator Sheriff Gaming in the wake of an investigation in the Netherlands into suspected drug dealing, money laundering and illegal gambling. Dutch authorities have seized more than 100 bank accounts associated with the company and arrested the CEO.

More Trouble for Bitcoins

Canadian-based virtual currency exchange Flexcoin is the latest to be shut down after being attacked by hackers, following the collapse of Japanese exchange Mt. Gox. Also, the creator of Bitcoins has been revealed.


Boston Casino Fight Gets Even More Messy

Now that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has handed out the state’s first gaming license, attention has turned to the state’s most lucrative license, the one for the Boston Metro area. But the two contenders, including Wynn Resorts’ Everett proposal (l.), have issues they must resolve before that decision can be made. None of this may be an issue, however, if the movement to repeal the casino law continues.

Philadelphia Applicants Make Final Pitches

Three of the five applicants for the second casino license mandated for Philadelphia made final pitches for their projects while others question the viability of a second city casino. SugarHouse attorney John Donnelly (l.) urged the board to refuse to issue the license because it would hurt his client’s casino.

‘Crunch Time’ in Kentucky

The COO of Churchill Downs says he is still optimistic expanded gaming can pass Kentucky’s legislature this year, although time is running out. Governor Steve Beshear (l.) is mounting one last push.

Hard Rock Cleared to Expand in Atlantic City

The Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, owners of the Hard Rock franchise, has asked for a determination from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on whether it would need a casino license should it acquire of build a casino in Atlantic City. The company has been rumored to be interested in acquiring the struggling Revel casino.

Illinois Holds Second Gambling Hearing

In a quest to gather input from Illinois residents, state Rep. Bob Rita held a second hearing on expanded gambling. Rita is the House sponsor of SB 1739, which would allow casinos in Rockford, Danville, Lake County, the south suburbs and Chicago, plus slots at racetracks and Chicago airports.

New Developments In Sioux City Battle

In Iowa, a district judge allowed Sioux City to intervene in Argosy's lawsuit against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission over granting a license to Hard Rock Sioux City (l.). Also, a hearing was held over the IRGC's denial of Argosy's license renewal due to a lack of a nonprofit partner.

Restaurant Chain Eyes Atlantic City

Latitude 360, the chain of restaurant and entertainment complexes, has inquired to city officials about opening a complex on one of Atlantic City’s piers.

Possible Casino Sites Stir Conflict in New York

Developers looking at casinos close New York City have upstate bidders up in arms. They say the location is not in keeping with the “legislative intent” of the Governor Cuomo’s gaming law. Meanwhile, the five members of the Saratoga Springs, New York City Council have voted unanimously to oppose a casino in the historic racing community. It’s a turnabout in stance from 2012.

Call for Meadowlands Casino Grows as Atlantic City Revenue Continues Decline

Atlantic City’s steady decline in casino revenue is leading to a growing chorus of lawmakers calling for a form of casino gambling in the Meadowlands or in other northern New Jersey sites. Southern New Jersey lawmakers want to protect Atlantic City, but many are starting to say the struggling resort can’t be helped one way or the other.

Boyd’s Kansas Star Casino Expanding

The Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane is expanding with a 10,000 square foot meeting and convention center and a new equestrian center. Both will be completed in January. Since opening in 2011, Kansas Star has outperformed the Hollywood Casino in Kansas City and Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City.

Genting Moves Ahead with Vegas Resort

Genting bhd, the Malaysian-based casino company, which bought the former Echelon site on the Las Vegas Strip, is planning a multibillion-dollar resort there, extending its “Resorts World” brand in the U.S.

Atlantic City’s Mayor Promises Change

Don Guardian (l.), Atlantic City’s new mayor, says the city is already making changes to become more business friendly and spur development. But he also acknowledged that the city is in “troubled waters.”

Nevada Gamblers Win in January

Casinos across the state saw a 2.8 percent drop in gaming revenue compared to the same period in 2013. Volumes were up for slots and tables, but “hold issues” brought the percentage down.

Sands: Hackers Stole Customer Info

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. says computer hackers who invaded its websites last month also stole personal information about some patrons.

Study Looks at Dotty’s Model, Again

It’s back: the debate about Dotty’s chain of taverns in Nevada. Critics say they are thinly disguised slot parlors. Dotty’s and similar eateries derive more revenue from slots than food.

Atlantic City Airport Offers Lowest Fares, But Visits Fall

Atlantic City International Airport has been named by the U.S. Department of Transportation as offering the lowest fares of the top 100 U.S. airports. The airport is served by only one carrier—Spirit Airlines—a discount airline. Despite the low fares, a recent report has visitation to the resort continuing to decline.

South Dakota Puts Muscle Behind Bans

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a measure making it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a banned player to re-enter a Deadwood casino. Starting July 1, violators could face a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Lake Tahoe Casino to Be Remodeled

The Horizon, with more than 530 hotel rooms, has seen better days. The resort has operated under several names since the mid-1960s. It has recently been acquired by Warner Hospitality.

Want Nightlife? Vegas Rules

Sin City boasts seven of the 10 top-grossing U.S. nightclubs, according to the trade pub Nightclub & Bar. A total of 24 Vegas clubs made the Top 100. MGM’s Hakkasan (l.) is slated to make almost $100 million this year.


Gaming Experts Watching Five Indian Gaming Issues

Experts see five issues that will be front and center for gaming tribes this year. Online gaming, off-rez casinos and expiring compacts are just the start. California Senator Dianne Feinstein (l.) wants to ban off-rez gaming.

Without A Compact, Navajo Nation Regroups

The Navajo Nation is considering its next steps after the New Mexico Senate rejected a new compact. The current compact ends June 30, 2015. Pueblo tribes objected that the Navajo compact would be used a template, and that it allowed the Navajos to build three casinos over 25 years. Navajo Gaming CEO Derrick Watchman (l.) says it will cause problems for the tribe.

Walker Requests Kenosha Casino Extension

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is running for re-election, requested a six-month extension on the Menominee tribe's proposed $800 million Hard Rock project in Kenosha. If Assistant Secretary of Interior for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn (l.) approves, Walker's decision deadline would be February 19, 2015—well past the November elections.

North Carolina County Gets Ready For Casino

Business and government officials in Cherokee County, North Carolina, recently held meetings regarding the economic affect of the $110 million Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel, opening in Murphy in 2015. The property will create 900 construction jobs and 900 permanent jobs in an area with 10.5 percent unemployment.

Oneida-New York Deal Approved

An agreement between the Oneida Indians and New York State has been ratified by a U.S. District Court judge. The deal could mean $50 million in annual gaming revenues for the state.

Sault Tribe Asks Court To Reconsider Stay

In its ongoing legal battle with the state of Michigan over its proposed $245 million Kewadin Landing Casino, the Sault Ste. Marie tribe asked the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its stay allowing state Attorney General Bill Schuette to prepare an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cherokees Raise Tribal Minimum Wage

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker wants the tribe to be the employer of choice in northeast Oklahoma. To that end, he recently signed an executive order raising the Nation's minimum hourly wage from $9.00 to $9.50 over two years. The federal minimum wage currently is $7.25 per hour.


GLI Appoints Tribal Development Director

Gaming Laboratories International has named Russell Witt as the company’s new national director of tribal development, which serves the needs of tribal regulators.

Aruze America Names Executives

Aruze Gaming America has named Kelcey Allison its new chief operating officer, and has named Jamison Hill as vice president of sales for North America.


NEWave Wins Oklahoma Contract

NEWave has won a contract to expand its relationship with a multi-property client in Oklahoma to install its Tax Forms Validator software at two casinos.

AGEM Offers Scholarship

The Association of Gaming Equipment Managers is sponsoring a $10,000 scholarship to Drexel University for students interested in pursuing a gaming career.

Galaxy, BofA Settle Loan Dispute

Galaxy Gaming has settled legal issues over a disputed business loan with Bank of America over the bank’s allegations that false statements were made in a loan application.

Players Network Sues Comcast

Players Network has filed a $150 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against Comcast, alleging the cable company failed to provide space for agreed-upon programming.


Big Spenders

Sheldon Adelson (l.), the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. made Forbes’ billionaires list for the first time in seven years. His net worth is now about $38 billion.

Slot Machines Good For Indian Kids

A new study shows that adding slot machines to Native American casinos in California resulted in a modest reduction in tribal childhood obesity.

Drunken Stupor

Sports fan Mark Johnston, who lost a reported half-million dollars betting during a Super Bowl trip to Vegas, says he was too drunk to be held liable. Johnston played at the Downtown Grand.

Some Timely Thoughts on New Jersey’s Sports-betting Push

Though taped more than a year ago, a recent Showtime report on sports betting quotes identified former bookies as saying that casino sports betting in Atlantic City will barely affect illegal bookies in New Jersey. Casinos and bookies are looking for completely different types of gamblers, they say.




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