MGM: Delay Casino Fees

MGM Resorts, which is the only remaining bidder for a license in the Western casino zone in Massachusetts, last week asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission delay granting it a license. MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis (l.) suggested that the commission issue a provisional license so MGM can avoid having to spend as much as $200 million in casino fees until a challenge to the casino law is completed.

Featured Stories More


Baltimore-based mega developer the Cordish Companies and the Pennsylvania-based national gaming company Penn National are putting their act together and taking it to Orange County, New York, where they hope to build a $750 million casino resort. The two companies were once bitter rivals in Maryland, where David Cordish (l.) developed Maryland Live!

IGT Launches Powerbucks

IGT has launched the first interstate wide-area progressive, partnering with Boyd Gaming and Caesars Entertainment to launch Powerbucks slots in New Jersey and South Dakota.

Osaka Takes Lead in Japan

Osaka has jumped out in front of Tokyo in the race to secure a casino license in Japan’s nascent gaming market. With the national parliament set to debate a bill to legalize the industry, the city has identified a site on Odaiba Bay (l.) as its preferred location and says its ready to entertain proposals.

Alabama Can't Prohibit Indian-Land Casinos

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians won a much-watched case when U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins recently ruled the state of Alabama does not have the authority to ban casinos on Indian lands. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (l.) said the state will appeal immediately.

O’Farrell Out as NSW Premier

In New South Wales James Packer had the most powerful friend a gaming developer could want. But the chief executive responsible for making Crown Sydney happen, Premier Barry O’Farrell (l.), has been forced to resign over a lobbying scandal.

Iowa Gaming: No To Cedar Rapids , Argosy Sioux City

The verdicts are in: The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 against the proposed $164 million Cedar Crossing Casino (l.) in Cedar Rapids, claiming it would hurt existing casinos. Commissioners also unanimously rejected the Argosy Sioux City’s challenge to renew its gaming license and said the riverboat must close by July 1. Hard Rock Sioux City is slated to replace the Argosy and open in a few months.

MGM, Hakkasan Launch Global Partnership

MGM Resorts International and the Hakkasan Group have partnered to form MGM Hakkasan Hospitality, which will develop luxury hotels in nations around the world. The two companies worked together to bring the successful Hakkasan nightclub (l.) to MGM Grand last year.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Jumping on Japan?

The “next big thing” in the gaming business is the legalization of gaming in Japan. But when will it happen? How big will it be? Who will play there? The answers are beginning to be answered.


Universal: Manila Bay Resorts Still on Track

Kazuo Okada’s Philippine partnerships have unraveled, but not his plans for a megaresort on Manila Bay. The tycoon’s Philippine subsidiary said the $2 billion complex (l.) will open on schedule in 2015.

Nepal’s Casinos Resist Tax Hikes

Nepal’s casinos have won another delay in their fight with the government over stricter regulations and higher taxes. They say they can’t afford the increases, and a compromise could be on the horizon.

Credit Crunch in China Hits Wynn Shares

High rollers in Macau could curb their betting as China puts more limits on borrowing, according to a Wells Fargo analyst. Wynn Resorts, which makes most of its money in the Chinese enclave, fell 3.6 percent April 15; MGM and Las Vegas Sands also slipped.


FA Seeks Ban on Betting

The governing body of English football wants a total prohibition on betting by any of its members anywhere in the world. The crackdown by the Football Association follows a series of scandals involving players and coaches.

OPAP’s Monopoly Under Fire

The Greek government has promised the new owners of OPAP a monopoly on online betting in the country, but the plan has hit two big obstacles. Prospective competitors in the rest of the EU are suing, and the European Commission is investigating the deal.


Niagara Mayor Opposes Toronto Casino

The mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Jim Diodati (l.), says a casino in Toronto, being pushed by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, would have “dire” results for his city’s economy.

Casino Proposal Misplaced in Jamaica

Jamaica’s government thought it had four casino proposals to consider, but it turns out they have five. The fifth application was submitted on time but never found its way to the right officials.

Echo Forecasts Strong Quarter

The tenure of Echo Entertainment’s new CEO, Matt Bekier (l.). is off to a strong start. The Australian casino giant said an increase in gaming revenue and cuts in costs will boost earnings in the latest quarter.

Tinian Casino Clashes With Regulators

Tinian Dynasty Casino’s new Chinese owners have fallen out with regulators on the U.S. Pacific island territory. They complain they’re not getting the staff approvals they need, but regulators say they’re only doing their job.


Massachusetts: Not This Year

While the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is paying attention to online gaming, one commission says it is unlikely that the state would legalize it this year. Commission member James McHugh (l.) believes the legislative landscape is changing.

Ader Criticizes Bwin Board, Nominates New Members

Jason Ader, whose Spring Owl firm has acquired 6.1 percent of online gambling company, has criticized the company’s board for failing to return shareholder value. He has also called for a new management team at the company.

New Jersey’s Online Gambling Revenue Continues to Grow

New Jersey’s online gambling sites took in $11.9 million in March, up from $10.3 million in February. While the growth is slow, the state added another about 45,000 new gambling accounts during the month. Meanwhile, Atlantic City-s land-based casinos—including their online operations—took in $233 million for the month, down about 2.2 percent from last year.

PPA Launches Website to Fight Proposed Online Poker Ban

The Poker Players Alliance has launched a national call to action campaign to encourage Americans to oppose recently introduced federal legislation to ban online poker. The Alliance has created an interactive website to help the public contact their elected officials and oppose the ban.

Denmark Blocks Five Illegal Gambling Sites

According to reports, Denmark has moved to block five online gambling sites illegally operating in the country. They include,,, and

Bitcoin Casino Launched

Bitstars Entertainment Company has launched an online casino that accepts Bitcoins. The company plans to add HTML5 games for the mobile player market.


Chicago Casino Plan Considered at Hearing

Illinois state Rep. Bob Rita (l.) has revised his expanded gambling legislation to offer two proposals. One plan would allow a Chicago-only casino with 10,000 gaming positions. The other would allow a 4,000-6,000 position Chicago casino plus smaller 1,200-terminal casinos in four counties and slots at certain racetracks. The plans are drawing both praise and outrage.

Sands Bethlehem Sale Rumors Swirl

Rumors that Tropicana Entertainment is in negotiations to buy the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem have been downplayed by Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez.

Penn CEO: Ohio a $2 Billion Market

Penn National Gaming CEO Timothy Wilmott (l.) recently predicted that the Ohio would eventually become a $2 billion market once it shakes out all its demons. Meanwhile, Ohio’s lawmakers previously clamped down on internet cafes, now it faces the challenges of skill game cafes that have sprung up to take their place.

Report: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas for Sale

The German bank that financed and completed the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas is ready to unload the property, says a source. Deutsche Bank foreclosed and took over operations after the original developer defaulted on a loan.

New Hampshire Casino Supporters Lobby House

The New Hampshire House for the second time this year is considering a bill to authorize gaming in the state; this time two casinos, rather than the one that it voted down last month. Gaming supporters are lobbying lawmakers to pass the bill.

Gaming Interests Fund Florida Republicans, Democrats

Three days after the first-quarter fundraising deadline, Florida Senator Garrett Richter said expanded gambling legislation was dead this session. Before that, gambling interests gave the Florida GOP $682,000 and the Democratic Party $572,000. The Seminole Tribe gave $150,000 to each party and $500,000 to Governor Rick Scott (l.), who's negotiating a new compact with them and running for re-election.

Reno Market Looking Up

Gaming revenues will never return to pre-recession levels, but Reno has adjusted to new competition from tribal casinos in Northern California. And gaming executives there say they will continue to be competitive, because of a “more complete” destination experience. Siri’s Casino (l.) opened last week.

Caesars Sells Atlantic City Country Club

Caesars Entertainment has sold the 117-year-old Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield New Jersey to a southern New Jersey golf course operator. The deal still reserves special privileges at the course for Caesars Total Rewards members.

Detroit Casino Revenue Continues Downward

As revenue from Detroit's three casinos continues downward, experts blamed the weather, the economy and new gambling options. In 2013, combined revenue from MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel (l.) and Greektown Casino-Hotel fell 4.7 percent to $1.35 billion compared to 2012, and in March revenue dipped 7.3 percent versus 2013.

Las Vegas’ Red Rock Resort to Expand

Red Rock Resort, a Station Casinos property in Las Vegas, is undergoing its most extensive and expensive renovation since it opened in April 2006. The $925 million overhaul is opening in phases and will be complete by October.

Atlantic City’s ‘Do AC’ Marketing Campaign Changes Approach

Atlantic City’s “Do Ac” marketing campaign is entering its second year with a new focus. The $20-million campaign will emphasize special events and concerts and use social media to attract a younger crowd to the gambling resort. Previously, the campaign focused on promoting the resort as a clean and safe place to visit.

Caesars Growth Partners Raises $675 Million in Bond Sale

A subsidiary of the Las Vegas casino company, which carries more than $23 billion in long-term debt, is selling bonds that will enable it to buy four casinos from its own parent. Analysts and some debt holders say the strategy is dubious.

Lottery Delays New Bingo Rules

The Texas Lottery Commission postponed voting on a controversial measure that would let bingo players use "video confirmation" to show if they have a winning pull-tab ticket. Opponents said the bingo machines are too similar to slots. Supporters said the proposal could raise more money for charities by attracting more people to bingo halls.

Nevada Union Members Take to the Picket Lines

In keeping with their warning to picket Downtown Las Vegas casinos that have not yet signed new contract deals with their unionized employees, about 2,000 members of Culinary Local 226 recently walked in front of 10 casinos, carrying picket signs. They have also signed a strike authorization.

Borgata Ordered to Repay Players in Poker Tournament Cheating Case

Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has been ordered by state regulators to refund the $500 buy-in to more than 2,000 players in a January poker tournament that was marred by an alleged counterfeit chip cheating plot. The state’s investigation, however, found that the casino did monitor the tournament properly and was not at fault.

Biloxi Golden Nugget Opens With 3-Day Party

A three-day party will celebrate the $100 million renovation and expansion at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, May 1-3. Upgrades include a new casino floor, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Morton's the Steakhouse and the H2o outdoor pool and Ultra Lounge.

Agency Grants $5 Million in Airline Subsidies to Atlantic City Airport

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is planning $5 million in airline subsidies to help draw new carriers to Atlantic City International Airport. Airlines will be able to compete for grants. Meanwhile, Caesars Atlantic City has launched charter flights from Montreal.

Monitor Lottery Gets No Vote in Arkansas

Members of the Arkansas Legislative Lottery Oversight Committee approved a motion of "non-support" for a bill that would let players watch monitors in stores, restaurants and bars and bet on numbers drawn every four minutes. Lottery Director Bishop Woolsey said commissioners are seeking ways to boost declining sales and award more college scholarships.

Colonial Downs Faces Horseless Season

Although thousands of horseracing fans attended the Dogwood Classic at Colonial Downs, the New Kent County, Virginia racetrack does not have an agreement with a horsemen's association, making a horseless season a real possibility. Racetrack officials said they're willing to pass on this season to offer a better one next year.


New Mexico Orders Governor to Recognize Apache

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (l.) has insisted for years that the Fort Sill Apache tribe is indigenous to Oklahoma, not New Mexico. Now the state Supreme Court has ordered Martinez to formally recognize the tribe, which received federal acknowledgement and a 30-acre reservation in 2011.

Walker Receives Kenosha Decision Extension

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (l.) has an extra six months to make a decision about the Menominee Tribe's $800 million off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The new deadline, February 19, 2015, takes some pressure off Walker who's running for re-election in November. The federal government approved the Menominee's application last August.

Maine’s Tribes Want Place at Gaming Table

The three tribes of Maine demanded and got a place at the table of gaming expansion in the state. They have been included by name in a study of the feasibility of adding to the state’s two casinos authorized by a bill that has passed the House and now goes to the Senate.

Cherokees Clarify Gaming Commission Duties

An amendment recently passed by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council in Tahlequah, Oklahoma limits the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission to regulating only gaming activities. The council also voted to comply with National Indian Gaming Commission minimum internal control standards and established an advisory board.

Oregon, Tribe Announce Gaming Compact

The Cowlitz tribe, which hopes to build two casinos in La Center, Oregon, has concluded a tribal state gaming compact that would allow it to operate gaming on 152 acres.

Washington County Seeks Another Study on Casino

Reacting to information recently uncovered by a Freedom of Information request, Spokane County, Washington, has requested that the Bureau of Indian Affairs reopen studies on the safety of a casino being proposed near the flight path of Fairchild Air Force Base in Airway Heights. The Spokane Tribe proposes the casino.


Penn National Promotes Patel

Penn National Gaming has promoted Ameet Patel from GM of its Columbus casino to the position of senior vice president of regional operations.

Zynga Names CFO

Zynga has appointed former Best Buy executive David Lee to the position of chief financial officer, replacing outgoing CFO Mark Varnish.

California Gaming Tribe Hires New CEO for Interactive Initiatives

A 20-year veteran of interactive gaming and social gaming has been hired as chief operating officer by San Manuel Digital, a subsidiary of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Southern California. He will be in charge of interactive and mobile initiatives for the tribe’s casino operations.


Golden Gaming, Hard Rock Cut Marketing Deal

Following the lead of major casino companies, Golden Gaming has entered a marketing partnership with the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. Now customers of Golden’s 49 Southern Nevada taverns can use their rewards points at the rock-and-roll themed casino-hotel.

Redwood Chooses Table Trac

The Redwood Hotel Casino in northern California has chosen a casino management system by Table Trac for slot accounting and player tracking functions.

Duetto Launches ‘GameChanger’

Duetto has launched “GameChanger,” a cloud software module with a web-based revenue management application developed for casino hotels.

Astra Acquires Extreme Live Gaming

The Novomatic subsidiary Astra Gaming Group has acquired a majority stake in Manila-based Extreme Live Gaming, a supplier of live-dealer gaming solutions.

Atlantic City’s Borgata To Open Borgata Baking Company

Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will open a new bake shop, the Borgata Baking Company, under the direction of Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois. The shop will be located in the casino’s retail plaza and offer “accessible sweets and eats.”

TransAct Signs Epicentral Deal

TransAct Technologies has signed an agreement to install the Epicentral promotion and bonusing system on 900 slot machines of a multi-site operator.


iGaming Super Show Adds Events

June’s iGaming Super Show in Amsterdam has added four extra events to its program, bring the total events to nine for the June conference.




Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom