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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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 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.
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.
Sol Kerzner (l.) will retire as chairman of South Africa’s Kerzner International Holdings after a 45-year career in the casino hotel industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GGB PODCAST: Joe Pappano, Senior Vice President, Director of Merchant Sales and Managing Director, Vantiv Gaming Solutions
This week, the GGB Podcast features a re-broadcast of a discussion with Joe Pappano, the senior vice president, director of merchant sales and managing director for Vantiv Gaming Solutions on the role of payment processing in the gaming industry, land-based and online alike.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Microgaming is adding three new HTML5 mobile slot games to its collection this month. They are High Society, Hitman and Eagle’s Wings.
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has completed its acquisition of Australian bookmaker Betstar in a 15 million euro deal. Ladbrokes has been working to strengthen its Australian presence.
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.
Bwin.party digital entertainment has selected Williams Interactive as a global strategic supplier of content to its online casinos.
A new report shows that social casino games are among the top-grossing categories among all casino-related mobile applications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Colorado casino industry has formulated eight proposals calling for local votes and preventing gaming monopolies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The proposed Cedar Crossing Casino (l.) in Iowa has garnered a lot of attention and the gaming commission is scheduled to make a decision April 17.
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.
Missouri casinos may soon be offering its elite players $10,000 lines of credit, as a bill permitting the advancement of credit passed the state Senate.
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 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.
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.
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.
Governor Sam Brownback is considering a casino bill that would allow the development of a gaming facility in southeast Kansas.
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.
South Florida gains a second casino gaming ship offering a full range of table games and slots as the Island Breeze—formerly the Black Diamond—set sail from Palm Beach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Court of Tax Appeals in Kansas has declared the value of Star Casino’s property and ordered Sumner County to refigure the casino’s taxes.
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.
South Carolina senators, in an effort to change outdated laws, have approved a bill to permit social card games such as bridge and canasta.
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.
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.
Harrah’s Resort Southern California last week held a ribbon cutting for its $160 million renovation and the unveiling of its new hotel tower.
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.
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.
Southern California’s Viejas Casino and Resort has opened what may be the first bingo hall in a shopping mall, the Viejas Outlets. The bingo hall has 400 seats and also offers slots.
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.
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.
The Poarch Band has written Governor Rick Scott (l.) a letter in the hopes they can meet with Scott to discuss a Class III gaming compact.
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.
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.
Former Aristocrat Americas CEO Atul Bali has been named president of the Seattle-based digital media group RealNetworks.
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’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.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has hired iGaming veteran Matthew Cullen as Chief Executive Officer of San Manuel Digital, LLC.
Wynn Resorts has named Las Vegas community advocate Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher as the company’s new director of community relations.
French gambling regulator ARJEL has promoted Gilles Crespin to chief executive officer following the retirement of CEO Frédéric Epaulard.
The Swedish Gambling Authority has named Håkan Wall as a director, replacing deputy chairman Per Blinder on the organization’s board of directors.
Innovative Technology has named Martin Cookson as the cash-handling equipment supplier’s senior business development manager for gaming and amusement.
SK+G Advertising of Las Vegas has named Mark Lineveldt, a 24-year advertising industry veteran, as the firm’s executive creative director.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation has unveiled a philanthropic effort that includes donations to the hotel management program at UNLV and donations to Clean the World.
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.
CG Technology and Logrand Group have announced a joint agreement to place CG sports book systems in eight Latin American casinos.
Small Nuggets of News