Washington Warning

Jon Porter (l.), a former congressman from Nevada and now a lobbyist for online gaming, told an iGaming conference in Atlantic City last week that the effort to ban online gaming in the U.S. is real and dangerous. Meanwhile, the forces supporting and opposing the measures ramped up their campaigns.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Caesars Downgrade

A group of Caesars Entertainment Corp. lenders and bondholders is taking a closer look at the company’s recent strategy of creating subsidiaries in an effort to manage its debt. Some fear that breaking the company, led by Chairman & CEO Gary Loveman (l.), into units could leave some parts vulnerable to bankruptcy.

Melco in Talks for $5 Billion Tokyo Casino

Melco Crown Entertainment says it will spend $5 billion or more to open a resort casino in Tokyo. The Macau casino giant (Crown Macau at left) envisions a joint venture that will open in time for the 2020 Olympics and is talking with several prospective Japanese partners.

New Hampshire House Mulls Two-Casino Plan

The New Hampshire House’s Ways and Means Committee has begun holding hearings on a proposal to allow two casinos in the Granite State, a bill that has already passed the Senate. Jerry Gappens (l.), GM of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, says a casino could help to add other attractions to his facility.

Kerzner to Retire

Sol Kerzner (l.) will retire as chairman of South Africa’s Kerzner International Holdings after a 45-year career in the casino hotel industry.

Mass. Gaming Commission Delays Key Decisions

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has bowed to circumstances and voted to delay two key decisions, the issuance of gaming licenses in the southeastern and Boston metro casino zones. The Boston area decision was caused by a challenge from Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to have the city declared a host community.

Aquis Discounts Environmental Concerns

Environmentalists are worried about the fragile ecosystem of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef if Tony Fung’s $4 billion Aquis megaresort goes ahead in northern Queensland as planned. Aquis contends its impact will be minimal.

Unauthorized Offshore Gambling Sites Trying to Poach New Jersey Online Gamblers

The head of bwin.party, which is licensed to provide online gambling in New Jersey, says several unlicensed international online gambling sites (raketherack.com at left) are trying to lure in New Jersey’s online gamblers with aggressive promotions. State regulators say they are aware of the problem and preparing a course of action.

Senator Introduces Carcieri ‘Fix’ Legislation

For five years the Carcieri v. Salazar decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has been an irritant and an outrage to many Indian tribes. Senator Jon Tester (l.), chairman of the committee in charge of Indian affairs has introduced a bill to “fix” Carcieri.


South Korea’s Provinces Want In

At least four local governments in South Korea are planning or considering hosting resort-scale casinos. Each wants its piece of the expanded industry envisioned by the government of President Park Geun-ye (l.) and believes it has what it takes to make a successful market.

India’s Largest Casino Set To Open

Delta Corporation has opened a destination resort in Daman on India’s Arabian Sea coast and is awaiting licensing for the resort’s casino. A Delta official said that will happen “very shortly,” and when it does, Daman will be home to the largest casino on the subcontinent.

Banner Year for Belle

City of Dreams Manila (l.) is still some months from opening, but Belle Corp. is already reaping the benefits. Revenues for the PSX-listed subsidiary of Philippine retail giant SM were up fivefold last year, thanks largely to payments from Melco Crown Entertainment, which will operate the resort.

Macau’s Critical Mass

The deeper Macau’s casino market penetrates into China the more its mass market grows. That was the story of the first quarter’s revenue boom, which was paced by a 39 percent growth on the mass said versus a 12.5 percent increase in VIP.


FOBT Crackdown Coming

Birmingham officials have been told there is nothing they can do to stop more FOBTs from coming to its major shopping streets. At least not until the central government proceeds with its planned crusade against the lucrative and controversial electronic table games.

UK Study: Gaming Research in Thrall to Industry

Objective research into gaming’s social impacts is largely non-existent in Great Britain, according to a new report. The problem, it says, is that the gaming industry funds most of the research.


Australia Studies Gambling Habits

A new study from Gambling Research Australia has found that the country is home to the world’s most avid gamblers. The study found 64 percent of Australians gamble and on average lose $1,000 a year. Still, the study found insufficient evidence that online gambling was connected to problem gambling.

Saskatchewan Casino Revenues Plunge

SaskGaming has released its numbers for 2013, and they’re nothing to cheer about. Bottom line: revenues at Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw are down more than $10 million for the year.


New Problem for Online Gamblers: Paying Taxes on Winnings

Winners on online gambling sites in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware—the three states that have legalized online gambling—now face having to pay taxes on any winnings in 2013. Many players choose to have casinos withhold taxes for them.

Two States Consider iGaming

The gaming committee of the Mississippi House has delegated a study on internet gaming to a diverse task force, while Pennsylvania is studying whether to legalize online gambling. Several lawmakers said the idea has little support in the state legislature right now. Instead officials want to expand “small” gambling in bars and taverns.

GameAccount Network Teams with Osage Casinos

GameAccount Network has partnered with Osage Casinos for a new promotional online casino in the U.S. GameAccount expects to launch a simulated gaming website with Osage Casinos in the second-half of 2014.

Bwin.party Head Faces French Fines

According to a report on Calvinayre.com, a French court has recommended two top executives at bwin.party digital entertainment, including CEO Norbert Teufelberger, each pay a €40k stemming from their 2006 arrests for illegally accepting wagers from French gamblers.


Federal Crackdown Alarms Casinos

The United States federal government is planning to take a closer look at large cash transactions. That’s making casino owners nervous, because it could discourage high-rolling whales from patronizing their properties.

New York Casino Developers Must Act Fast

Bidders for New York State’s first four Class III gaming licenses have until April 23 to pay a $1 million application fee, and an additional two months to provide extensive information about their respective projects. Flaum Management (President Asher Flaum, Chairman and CEO David Flaum and COO Michael Palumbo) is planning several bids.

Atlantic City Hotel Values Questioned

The sale price for an Atlantic City hotel, combined with a study from a local union, has raised questions about what Atlantic City casinos are really worth. The previously undisclosed price for Atlantic City’s Claridge Hotel (l.) was $12.5 million. Atlantic City’s largest casino workers union issued a report on the city’s Revel casino hotel saying it is worth $25 million to $73 million.

Ohio Casinos See Revenues Improve

One of the worst winters in decades on the eastern part of the U.S. hammered down profits at Ohio’s four casinos and at its racinos. March saw casinos such as the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland (l.) and Hard Rock Rocksino, stick their heads out of the winter snow and not see their shadows, reversing a cold trend that continued until February.

Illinois Casino Numbers Fall Short

Bans on gaming in Chicago and other communities are one big reason Illinois casino revenues have failed to meet expectations. State lawmakers will revisit a gaming expansion plan at a meeting later this month.

Gulfport Seeks New Casino Developer

Rotate Black insists it has lined up all the necessary funds to build a $130 million Hemingway-themed casino in Gulfport, Mississippi. But it missed a critical deadline, and now the state is seeking another developer.

Florida Goes After Internet Cafes

Internet café operators in the Sunshine State may have thought they could resurface after the 2013 veterans’ charity scandal. But police in Florida are cracking down on the storefront casinos, and warn that they will continue to enforce the law.

Borgata Introduces High Tech Poker Chips After Cheating Scam

After an alleged counterfeit chip scam disrupted Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Winter Poker Open, the casino has introduced new high-tech chips for its Borgata Spring Poker Open, which got underway last week. The new chips carry identification visible only under ultraviolet light and are more colorful and intricate than previous tournament chips.

Florida Track Barred From Adding Slots

The Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track (l.) in Bonita Springs, Fla., will not be adding slot machines this year. While the legislation may have been successful, lawmakers were concerned about conflicts with a possible compact being negotiated with the Seminole tribe.

Casino Operator In Violation, Detroit Says

City leaders in Detroit claim Rock Gaming violated a gaming regulation in taking over the Greektown casino hotel (l.). The company bought the distressed property last year.

Blue Skies Are Bad News in Tahoe

Several winter months without snow have taken a financial toll on the Lake Tahoe casino industry. The fair weather has kept some vacationers from coming to the resort community. And California gaming halls are also siphoning business.

New Jersey Sports Betting Appeal Delayed

New Jersey may have to wait until September to find out if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its appeal challenging a federal ban on sports betting. Professional sports leagues and the U.S. Department of Justice have been granted an extension until May 14 to file their case against New Jersey’s petition.

Former Rhode Island Mayor Interested in Casino

The former mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, Joseph Paolino, announced that he is part of a group of business investors who want to buy the Newport Grand slots parlor, but only if they can install table games.

Illinois Town Overturns Video Gaming Ban

Trustees in the Village of Lake Zurich overturned a ban on video gaming machines, allowing the city’s 24 bars and restaurants to host up to four video gaming machines.

Will Adelson Bring GOP Convention Home?

Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Adelson is putting his money where his mouth is. With the billionaire’s influence and big bucks, Las Vegas has become a leading contender for the 2016 Republican national convention.

Las Vegas Unions Plan Pickets

The Culinary and Bartenders unions, which represent hospitality workers in Las Vegas, planned to picket 10 casinos in Downtown Las Vegas last weekend. MGM and Caesars properties have signed new agreements, but a number of independents have not.

Casino Earnings Fall 35 Percent in Atlantic City in 2013

Atlantic City’s struggles continued in a big way in 2013 as final figures show casino operating profits fell 35 percent for the year compared to 2012. The 12 casinos that operated in 2013 saw operating profit of $235 million, down from $360 million in 2012.

Florida Politician Decries “Decoupling” Plan

The former lieutenant governor of Florida says legislation that would allow the state’s dog racing tracks to put an end to live races but maintain gambling facilities could lead to a massive expansion of gaming. It could also hurt the state’s family friendly image, says Jeff Kottkamp.

New Sign System for Atlantic City

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has unveiled a new color-coded sign system to direct drivers to various sections of Atlantic City’s Tourism District.

Garden State Film Festival Enjoys Atlantic City Debut

The recently completed Garden State Film Festival was held in Atlantic City after years in Asbury Park. Organizers were so pleased with the resort—which had several other big events running at the same time—that they declared Atlantic City the festival’s permanent home.


California Tribe Plans $100 million Casino Expansion

A tribe in California’s Santa Barbara County, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, is pushing a plan that would allow it to spend $100 million to increase the size of its existing hotel and casino by a factor of three.

Group Opposes North Carolina Casino

Opponents of a proposed Catawba Nation casino near Kings Mountain (l.) say economic promises from the tribe are inflated, and a local gaming hall will cannibalize local business. But the mayor and many residents want the project to move forward. It could create 3,000-plus jobs.

Wisconsin Governor Continues to Stall Casino Decision

It’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke (l.) versus incumbent Republican Scott Walker on the subject of a Menominee Indian casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Walker can’t make up his mind if he wants the casino, and wants to table the decision until after the election.

Duluth Files Suit Against Fond Du Lac Band

A federal lawsuit was filed by the city of Duluth because the city contends Fond du Lac Band is dodging its financial responsibilities in a dispute that stretches back years.

Arizona Gaming Tribe Celebrates Centennial of Reservation

Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation is celebrating its centennial and the 30th anniversary of its first casino, Desert Diamond (l.) in Tucson. The tribe is also awaiting final resolution on court cases that will determine its future gaming activities.

California County Seeks to Discover if Tribe Plans a Casino

Officials in a Northern California county, Sonoma are trying to find out if the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians is trying to put 277 acres near Petaluma into trust so it can build a casino. So far, its efforts have been frustrated.

New Casino Proposed Near Prescott Arizona

Arizona's Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe has announced plans for a new resort casino on a 12-acre site near Prescott Arizona. The proposed casino would offer 50,000 square feet of casino space and up to 80 hotel rooms. Plans call for a 2016 opening.


Arneault Is New Diamondhead Chairman

Ted Arneault, a certified public accountant and former chairman of MTR Gaming Group, has been recruited to replace Deborah Vitale as chairman of the board of Diamondhead Casino Corp. in Mississippi.

Schweinfurth Named Sci Games CFO

Scott Schweinfurth, the longtime executive vice president and CFO of WMS Industries, has been promoted to the same position at parent company Scientific Games.

New Jersey CRDA Names New Special Improvement Division Head

New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has named a former head of casino security to lead its Special Improvement Division. The SID oversees landscaping and beautification projects in Atlantic City’s tourism district and runs the city’s Boardwalk information personnel.

San Manuel Digital Names New CEO

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has hired iGaming veteran Matthew Cullen as Chief Executive Officer of San Manuel Digital, LLC.

ARJEL Appoints CEO

French gambling regulator ARJEL has promoted Gilles Crespin to chief executive officer following the retirement of CEO Frédéric Epaulard.

Swedish Authority Names Director

The Swedish Gambling Authority has named Håkan Wall as a director, replacing deputy chairman Per Blinder on the organization’s board of directors.

ITL Names Business Development Manager

Innovative Technology has named Martin Cookson as the cash-handling equipment supplier’s senior business development manager for gaming and amusement.

SK+G Hires Lineveldt

SK+G Advertising of Las Vegas has named Mark Lineveldt, a 24-year advertising industry veteran, as the firm’s executive creative director.


Turning Stone Picks Konami

Konami Gaming has received a major order from New York’s Oneida Indian Nation for both its Synkros casino management system and 120 new Class III games.