Massachusetts Mess

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week ruled that Boston is not a host city for the casinos proposed for Everett and Revere, disappointing Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (l.). At the same time the Bay State’s Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments on whether a referendum should be allowed to go to the ballot that could repeal the state’s gaming law. And Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby will no longer have a say in who gets the Boston-area license.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Analysts Say Japan Moving Forward

Despite some unsettling reports to the contrary, investment brokers Union Gaming Research Macau maintain that all is fundamentally well in Japan with the process of legalizing casinos. The firm recently brought Toru Mihara (l.), a highly placed Japanese political advisor, to the U.S. to reassure investors.

Caesars to Restructure Debt

Caesars Entertainment has restructured its debt through a tender offer that creates new notes, a move that will avoid $1 billion in interest payments. During an investors’ call, CEO Gary Loveman (l.) says the company is considering closing one of its Atlantic City properties.

Gaming Legend Burton Cohen Passes

MGM Resorts board member and gaming legend Burton Cohen passed away last week at the age of 90. Cohen played a role in the development of Las Vegas in many of the city’s most prestigious properties.

Macau Casino Stocks Take Hit From Junket Operator, Credit Card Issues

Credit Suisse says the disappearance of a Macau junket operative with something like $1 billion may signal a good time for investors to hold off buying more Macau casino stocks for now. And a report that the Chinese government was going to crack down on cash transfers using the UnionPay credit cards is concerning as well.

Pennsylvania, New York Examine Online Gaming

Two states are getting more serious about online gaming. Members of the Democratic party in Pennsylvania heard about the pros and cons, mainly pros, of legalizing online gaming. And in New York, a companion bill to legalize iGaming was introduced in the state Assembly by Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (l.).

Bally Signs System Wide Deal with Golden Nugget

Bally Technologies will provide systems solutions to all Golden Nugget properties throughout the U.S., connecting to nearly 6,400 slots and table games. The deal includes systems and all Bally games, including the new Titanic game (l.).


Resorts World Manila Approved for Expansion

The Philippines’ biggest casino is set to get a lot bigger. Resorts World Manila is adding more than 400 new table games and 4,100 more slots, expanding its two hotels and planning to build two more.

e-Casino Opens at Macau Jockey Club

A casino has returned to the Macau Jockey Club after a 10-year hiatus, and it’s a 21st-century affair, the table games all-electronic. The SJM satellite is operated by Jay Chun’s (l.) Paradise Entertainment, whose LT Game subsidiary holds a lucrative monopoly in the city in an e-table hybrid featuring live dealers.

Wynn vs. Okada: It’s Back On

A judge in Las Vegas has rejected the U.S. government’s request for a third delay in the civil lawsuit between Wynn Resorts and Kazuo Okada. The Justice Department sought the delay to protect witnesses in its criminal probe of Okada’s dealings in the Philippines.

Singapore Broadens Self-Exclusion

The ability of Singaporeans to curb harmful gambling through self-exclusion has now been extended to the city-state’s slot clubs and betting parlors. The system has been limited to the two casinos, but 21 small operators have signed on and more are expected to join.


Codere Debt Talks at Critical Stage

Codere and its owner, Jose Antonio Martinez Sampedro (l.) and his family, have managed to buy 10 more days to avoid bankruptcy proceedings and reach a settlement with its lenders on a restructuring of the company’s €1.1 billion in debt. Negotiations have dragged on for months as the founding family of the Spanish gaming giant fights to retain control.

Crimea Casinos: Few Takers Expected

Russian President Vladimir Putin (l.) is no fan of the gaming industry, but he wants to make an exception the economically ailing Crimea. Industry experts have their doubts, though, and say the region holds no allure for high rollers.

For Sale: One 375-Year-Old Casino

Venice’s legendary Casino Di Venezia has plenty of history going for it, but not much else, or so it seemed from the resounding silence that greeted the city’s recent attempt to auction if off. Then again, the €500 million price tag may have had something to do with that.


Packer Brawl Could Cost Crown

Industry observers assessing the fallout from photos beamed around the world showing James Packer exchanging blows outside his Sydney apartment with a TV executive and friend. With Crown Resorts pursuing major casino ventures worldwide, some speculate that the damage could be significant.

CEO Out at William Hill Australia

Wholesale changes are under way at William Hill Australia, starting at the top, where both the chief executive and chief operating officers have been ousted. The UK-based bookmaking giant gave no reasons were given for the moves.


Boyd Gaming Expects Online Profit in New Jersey by End of Year

Saying that Boyd Gaming’s early losses in online gaming in New Jersey stem from one-time, startup costs, Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith (l.) says he expects profits from online gambling by year’s end. Boyd’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and its online partner PartyPoker have taken the early lead in online gambling in the state.

Ader Launches Campaign for Change at

Jason Ader, who owns about 5.2 percent of through investment vehicle SpringOwl, has outlined a “Case for Change” at the company on his website (l.). Ader charges the company has failed in its execution and oversight to return a stronger investor value.

Libertarian Group Opposes Online Gambling Ban

The Libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute has come out against a federal bill to ban online gambling in the U.S. The group says the bill will trample individual’s and state’s rights and in no way stop U.S. players from gambling online.

CashBet Launches in UK, Looks to New Jersey

Cashbet and eGambling specialists has launched a real-money gambling platform in the U.K. after receiving approval from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The company also said it is looking for a casino partner to launch online gaming in New Jersey.

Bitcoin Gaining Ground in Las Vegas

The virtual currency Bitcoin is being accepted by more and more Las Vegas businesses—though not by casinos—according to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal. Despite the currencies growing use, regulatory agencies continue to warn users against virtual currencies. California is the latest state to issue a warning against Bitcoins.

Online Lottery Ban Avoided—For Now

The Minnesota House recently left out of an expanded gambling bill a ban on online ticket sales. State Rep. Joe Atkins said the House budget does not include the costs of shutting down ticket sales. Lawmakers and Lottery Director Ed Van Petten have been at odds over the program, which Van Petten said would attract younger players.


Competition for Casino Licenses Thick in Upstate New York

Twenty-two bidders have paid $1 million each in applicant fees for a possible shot at the New York’s four available upstate casino licenses. Owners of the former Concord resort (l.) are in the race. But all is not smooth as questions about the suitability of Orange County, closest to New York City, as a site for casinos is questioned.

New Hampshire House Won’t Budge on No Casinos

A bill that would have allowed two casinos with 5,000 slots in New Hampshire appears to be close to final death, at least until next year. The Granite State House last week voted for a third time on the bill, and once again supporters failed to must enough votes. The only hope will now be a new bill targeting just one casino, supported by Governor Maggie Hassan (l.).

Illinois House Will Decide Expanded Gambling

The fate of Illinois state Rep. Bob Rita's amendments to an expanded gambling bill now rests with his House colleagues. Rita (l.) proposed a single state-run casino in Chicago with 10,000 positions, or a smaller Chicago casino plus five in the suburbs. Neither approach is assured of approval by Governor Pat Quinn.

Former Mayor Part of Plan to Purchase Newport Casino

The former mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, Joseph Paolino (l.), has partnered with two other businessmen to buy the Newport Grand slots parlor, but only if the city’s voters approve of table games for the casino.

Prediction: Ohio Casino Will Build Second Phase

Marcus Glover (l.), general manager of Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, a casino that Rock Ohio Caesars opened in 2012, said last week that the casinos’ second phase could begin in two years, and be completed three years after that.

Golden Nugget Biloxi Celebrates Renovation

A ribbon-cutting, show girls, pool party and relocation of the world's largest gold nugget highlighted the grand opening celebration of the $100 million renovation at the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi (l.). Tilman Fertitta, owner and chairman of parent company Landry's, purchased the property for $45 million in 2012.

New Jersey Has Spent $2.8 Million on Sports Gambling Suit

New Jersey has already paid $2.8 million in lawyer’s fees in its bid to overturn a federal law banning sports gambling. The law firm handling the case is the same one Governor Chris Christie has hired to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.

Hollywood Casino in Kansas Will Build Hotel

Kansas Entertainment, the parent company of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, announced it would break ground on a hotel on October 5. By moving forward on the hotel, the company dodged a $1.3 million penalty under an agreement with the Unified Government Board of Commissioners of Wyandotte County and Kansas City.

Nevada County Again Eyes Tavern Regs

Clark County, Nevada, must impose clear restrictions on taverns to prevent them from raking in the gaming revenue of casinos, but remaining exempt from the fees and taxes casinos pay, says the Nevada Resort Association. How the commission responds is a question.

Argosy Employees Receive Layoff Notices in Iowa

More than 300 employees at the Argosy Sioux City riverboat recently received layoff notices. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered the facility to close by July 1. Officials at Argosy owner Penn National Gaming said the company will continue its legal challenges against the IRGC's decision.

Battle Has Begun Over Colorado Racinos

Signatures are being collected to place on the November ballot two measures to bring casino-style gambling and video lottery terminals to one current and two future Colorado racetracks. Rhode Island-based Twin River Casino has given $1.125 million to fund the campaign, which casinos in in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek are expected to oppose.

Sweepstakes Machines Outlawed in Hawaii

PJY Enterprises lost its lawsuit in federal court to retrieve sweepstakes machines seized by police for violating gaming regulations on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Churchill Downs Increases Take Out

In an effort to fatten purses and draw horsemen, Churchill Downs has raised its cut out of regular and specialty wagers, already at a historic high. Players are not amused.

Nevada Gaming Board: No to Medical Marijuana

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued an official memo to inform casino operators gaming and marijuana do not mix. The decision will force several casino executives to withdraw from the business.

Atlantic City Mayor Wants Permanent Outdoor Stage

With an outdoor beach concert by country artist Blake Shelton one of the major summer events scheduled for Atlantic City, the resort’s mayor, Don Guardian (l.), is calling for a permanent outdoor concert venue.


Idaho Sues Tribe to Prevent Poker

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (l.) has sued to prevent an Indian tribe, the Coeur d’Alene from offering poker at its casino near the Washington border.

Ho-Chunk Will Invest $144 Million in Upgrades

Four casinos owned by the Ho-Chunk Nation will be expanded and improved starting in late summer, following the tribe's decision to invest $144 million in the properties. The tribe's Port Edwards, Wittenberg, Wisconsin Dells (l.) and Black Rivers Falls casinos will get new hotels, expanded gaming floors, parking structures and more, creating 300-plus jobs.

Democrats Won't Ratify Seminole Compact

Democratic lawmakers in Florida said they won't ratify any compact Governor Rick Scott negotiates with the Seminole Tribe unless they can participate. But Scott reportedly has completed negotiations, allowing the tribe exclusive rights to offer blackjack in exchange for a 40 percent increase in proceeds to the state—at least $250,000 million annually.

Tiguas: Entertainment Center Is Legal

The state of Texas says the Tigua Indians' Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso is an illegal gambling operation. The tribe disagrees, claiming people make voluntary donations to play its gaming machines and are not required to buy anything. The case will be heard in federal court in October.

California Gaming Tribe’s Power Struggle Goes Public

The tribe that operates the Rolling Hills Casino in California, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, is in the midst of a power struggle that includes accusations of more than $1 million in misappropriations of funds and the disenrollment of nearly a quarter of its members.

Observers Await Bay Mills Decision

In a closely watched case that could have a dramatic impact on issues of tribal sovereignty, the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to issue its ruling in State of Michigan vs. Bay Mills Indian Community. The High Court heard oral arguments in December.

Oneida Nation Makes First Payment in New York

Recently approved by a federal court, a local share deal with the Oneida Nation in New York has begun with the Nation making an initial payment of nearly $4 million to the host counties for the tribal resort.


Juliano to Head Sands Bethlehem

Las Vegas Sands Corporation has ended months of speculation that it was looking to sell its property in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, naming longtime gaming executive Mark Juliano (l.) as the property’s new president.

Valley Forge Names Pickus Chairman

Valley Forge Casino Resort has named Robert Pickus, managing director of GCA Capital Group, as chairman of the Pennsylvania casino’s board of managers.

Halpenny Named GTA Chairman

Bally Technologies executive Adrian Halpenny has been named chairman of the Gaming Technologies Association, after serving on the organization’s board for three years.

Camelot to Restructure

Camelot Global Services will shift management and split into two divisions following the retirement of chief executive Dianne Thompson.

Lambert Named ReelREV Sales Director

LuAnne Lambert, a 20-year veteran of the gaming industry, has been named director of sales for the Rainmaker Group's ReelREV, a hosted revenue management software and services solution for improved slot performance. Lambert worked for Bally Technologies prior to joining Rainmaker.


Parx Proposes Mobile Wagering in PA Casinos

The owner of the Parx Casino has proposed a plan to offer patrons mobile gaming within the walls of its Pennsylvania casino through Williams Interactive’s BetCloud system.

Kobetron, GLI Announce Partnership

Kobetron, LLC and Gaming Laboratories International have entered into a strategic global support relationship to provide technical support to regulators, operators and suppliers.


TransAct Reveals G2E Asia Lineup

TransAct Technologies will demonstrate its Epicentral Promotion and Bonusing systems as one of the highlights of its G2E Asia display.

TCSJohnHuxley Unveils G2E Asia Portfolio

TCSJohnHuxley will display technology innovations in all of its product areas at G2E Asia, with a focus on Gaming Floor Live, Supernova Progressive and Blaze Gaming Surface Technology.


It Must Be So: Wynn Declares Strip Recovery

In a Wynn Resorts investors’ conference call, Chairman Steve Wynn is reporting the Las Vegas Strip is in recovery with his Wynn/Encore (l.) the most profitable properties, while Wynn Resorts prepares for another giant gaming facility in Macau, where earnings continue to flourish.

Good Will Hunting

Some of the largest casinos in Las Vegas have been given an alert to watch out for a card-counter that was barred last week from playing at the Hard Rock Casino: movie star Ben Affleck!




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