Two developers have dropped out of the race to win one of the four Class III casino licenses in New York State. That still leaves a big field of contenders, all of whom must now win support from their chosen communities, and complete detailed proposals. Deadline for full applications is June 30. Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) said that casinos should be used to help struggling regions, seemingly limiting casinos closer to New York City.
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Last week’s G2E Asia turned the attention of the gaming world on Macau. Keynote speaker and MGM China Co-Chairwoman Pansy Ho (l.) took the opportunity to emphasize that Macau needs to grow beyond its success as a place to gamble and become an all-around resort. AGA President Geoff Freeman echoed her remarks and offered Las Vegas as a model for diversification as a convention destination. Record numbers of attendees and exhibitors proved once again that G2E Asia is the region’s most important trade show and influential conference.
Riots in several Vietnam cities targeting Chinese nationals and businesses may spell the end of plans to target Mainland VIPs as customers for junket operators, severely impacting the business plans of prospective Vietnamese casinos and integrated resorts. The situation may affect the Philippines, as well.
Michael Leven (l.), the president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., has announced he will retire at the end of the year, initiating an executive search by the company’s board. A succession plan will be critical to company’s future success.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has set June 13 for the first date when it will award a casino license for the Western gaming zone. The only remaining applicant for the license is MGM Springfield (l.) and the city of Springfield. The more controversial decisions will be made later this year and in early 2013.
Pro-casino lawmakers in Japan say the window is closing on passage of a legalization bill in the current session of the Diet. The bill must pass by the end of May, they say, but is being delayed by higher-priority legislation. Supporter Sakihito Ozawa (l.) only gives the bill an even-money chance to move on.
Bwin.party announced that it had settled its dispute with activist investor Jason Ader, just days after three of its board members, including co-founder Manfred Bodner (l.), stepped down after an independent review. Ader will get at least one of his nominees on a revamped board as the company tries to halt a free-fall in its stock price.
Proposals for multibillion-dollar resort casinos on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are causing supporters and opponents to get hot and bothered. With new casino licenses up for bid, Queensland will grapple with who gets the licenses and how they are weighed. Perhaps the Aquis (l.) is the most ambitious and controversial.
With less than two weeks remaining in the Illinois legislative session, state Rep. Bob Rita (l.) has asked his colleagues to support his expanded gambling proposals, both calling for a state-run Chicago casino. One plan calls for a single mega-casino in Chicago. The other would allow a smaller Chicago casino plus four more in the south suburbs.
Atlantic City’s woes may not be over as more competition is slated to open within the next several years. Experts believe more casinos need to close before the market bottoms out.
This week, the GGB Podcast brings in Dermot Smurfit, the CEO of the innovative online gaming company, Game Account Network, on how he grew his organization without catering to grey and black-listed iGaming sites in Europe.
A top Macau official has dismissed news reports that the government wants to curb the use of China’s state-backed UnionPay cards in the territory. The card has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as a source of billions in illegal transactions by gamblers intent on evading China’s currency controls.
Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment says work on its $1 billion Manila resort (l.) is moving forward after a Philippine court ruled in its favor in a dispute with former partner Century Properties Group. The ruling could free Universal to secure new partners to comply with Philippine limits on foreign ownership.
A new survey of Macau casino employees finds a high number are dissatisfied with their jobs and would like to quit. The problem is that gaming is the city’s only major industry, and it also pays the best.
Getting to Macau from Mainland China is going to get easier with the coming introduction of electronic immigration. The system could be up and running at border crossings next month and will allow visitors going both ways to use a smartcard instead of traditional passport-like booklets.
Gambling by Macau residents is down almost 10 percent from three years ago, according to a new survey. The research suggests that local interest has declined as the industry has grown and says low unemployment and responsible gaming programs have also played a part.
Gala Coral says the British government’s crackdown on the spread of electronic table games in betting shops will force it to close many of its outlets, and that will cost jobs. William Hill and Ladbrokes say they’ll do the same as debate continues to rage over the proliferation of the games.
The Mexican government is updating its 70-year-old gambling laws and cracking down on illegal gambling. As a result, 24 gambling operations were shuttered in northern Mexico, including the Playboy Club casino (l.) in Cancun, all owned by EMEX whose head is Juan Jose Rojas-Cardona, the so-called casino czar.
Though he was once in favor of online poker in California, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (l.) has joined Billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Brown says he changed his mind after learning of how gambling sites attempt to lure in young people. Meanwhile, the debate over online gambling continues to bring in supporters for both sides.
Online gambling in the U.S. has attracted illegal unlicensed operators who are poaching players from states like New Jersey, which has legalized online gambling. CardsChat.com advertises legal WSOP.com atop of blacklisted sites like Bovada.com. Still, panelists at a recent Atlantic City gambling conference remained optimistic about online gambling’s growth in the U.S.
A looming budget deficit is causing Pennsylvania regulators to consider legalizing internet gaming, although passage would be an uphill battle. Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (l.) sees significant revenue at stake.
Online gambling operators located outside the UK, but wishing to take bets from UK gamblers must obtain a license. The change has received Royal Assent and is awaiting legislation to implement the act.
South Carolina Democrats will reportedly put a non-binding referendum on primary ballots asking voters views on online gambling.
The Swiss government has introduced a draft of a new gaming bill, which includes online gambling. The bill allows for home poker games, but would not allow foreign companies to offer online gambling.
The Minnesota legislature overwhelmingly voted to end the purchase of scratch-off lottery tickets online, at gas pumps and at ATMs. If Governor Mark Dayton signs the measure it will go into effect October 30. The move could cost the state $12 million or more.
John Godfrey, the outgoing chairman of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission penned a warning that overlapping international regulations for online gaming sites will lead to a frustrating morass of regulations that offer little consumer protection.
Spin Games and KGM Gaming announced the successful launch of six new HTML games in the New Jersey online gaming market under a previous deal with Caesars Entertainment.
Online gamblers can no longer use HSBC Malta credit cards under a new edict from the bank. Officials said they are blocking the transactions out of legal concerns about unauthorized gambling.
A report from the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security claims as much as 80 percent of all sports bets are made illegally and about $140 billion is laundered through illegal bets annually.
Alderney has approved Betdigital for a Core Service Provider Associates Certificate, which means the company can provide services for online gambling sites based in the English Channel Island.
As state lawmakers begin a budget debate by searching for ways cut spending to head off a deficit, proposed tax cuts for the Delaware’s struggling racinos, including Dover Downs (l.), take a back seat.
Gaming analysts say the sale of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas will lighten the load for outgoing owner Deutsche Bank, and could be a bonanza for the new owner Blackstone Group LP. Blackstone paid the equivalent of 50 cents on the dollar for the struggling resort.
On May 20, after receiving approval from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Caesars Entertainment Corp. completed the sale of its Harrah’s New Orleans to Caesars Growth Partners. At the same time it also refinanced a loan used to buy three Las Vegas properties.
In Las Vegas, the era of supersized casinos designed to appeal to the masses could be drawing to a close. That wide-net approach is giving way to “narrowcasting,” in which smaller niche properties go after a very specific, smaller patron demographic.
Federal legal filings in response to New Jersey’s attempt to overturn a federal ban on sports betting before the U.S. Supreme Court say the state missed its chance to approve sports betting when the ban was first passed. The law gave New Jersey a one-year window to approve sports betting, but the state did not act and should not get a second chance now, the filings argue.
Indiana legislators will form a study committee this summer to review how the state's gaming industry—its third largest source of revenue—can hold its own against competition from new casinos in neighboring states. Proposals could include permitting casinos to move off rivers and onto land and allowing racinos.
The Culinary and Bartenders unions in Las Vegas warn that they are ready, willing and able to organize a strike of hospitality workers at Downtown casinos if new contracts are not reached. Nine casinos remain unsettled.
Claiming it will lose $110 million if the Argosy Sioux City riverboat is forced to close by July 1 deadline, as ordered by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission, owner Belle of Sioux City LP, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Belle officials listed liabilities of $110 million to 100-199 creditors.
The Louisiana legislature has passed a measure creating the Casino Support Services Fund, which would create a permanent source of funding for police and other support services related to Harrah's Casino in New Orleans. Governor Bobby Jindal (l.) has vetoed similar bills for four previous years, forcing city taxpayers to fund the casino services.
A plan by the Cordish Companies to build a $390 million, 20,000-seat indoor arena in Downtown Las Vegas has been yanked off the drawing board, replaced by a soccer stadium (l.). But the Baltimore developer hasn’t given up on Sin City.
Rhode Island appears poised to revisit allowing table games at the Newport Grand casino two years after residents rejected the idea. The difference? A potential buyer says it won’t make the purchase without the games.
Casino industry insiders and market analysts speaking at a regional gaming conference in Atlantic City all sounded a similar note—Atlantic City needs to close its unprofitable casinos and downsize to fit new market realities. Meanwhile, Hard Rock executives speaking at the conference said the company is interested in buying the slumping Revel casino hotel, but only if the price is right.
Florida-based Tradewinds Cruise Lines recently announced its Escapade casino ship will begin cruising from Savannah in early June. The three-deck, 425-passenger casino boat will off five-hour cruises daily except Monday, with 220 slots, 12 blackjack tables, roulette, craps and poker.
The Casino M8trix card room in San Jose, California, could lose its license over allegations that its owners are hiding profits from state regulators and from taxation.
Iowa's five female casino general managers and other women in the state's gaming industry recently held their first summit, hosted by the Iowa Gaming Association. Nancy Ballenger, vice president and general manager at Isle of Capri Casino in Bettendorf, said 44 percent of casino executives and managers in Iowa are women.
To launch Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino, formerly Grand Biloxi Casino Hotel & Spa, the property will present a free concert by Darius Rucker on June 21, followed by fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico. The grand opening event also will introduce the facility's expansion and boardwalk addition.
Forty-eight properties around the Revel casino were auctioned off last week in Atlantic City. The sale is seen as an indicator of Atlantic City land values and interest in the resort’s future.
Another California tribe, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, has become embroiled in a power struggle between factions; a struggle that has led to its Rolling Hills Casino (l.) being closed until who legally runs it is sorted out.
The Seneca Nation of Indians bought 32 acres in the town of Henrietta, New York last month, with plans to build a fourth casino in the state. Widespread opposition to the proposal has compelled the Indians to pull out. But they’re leaving the door open to a future development.
The Northern California Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians says it plans to go forward with plans for a $320 million casino in Cloverdale, poised to challenge the largest casino in the state, the Graton Resort and Casino (l.).
Winemakers in California’s Napa Valley like their agricultural valley just the way it is. They are prepared to fight the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley, which has sued in federal court for recognition—and the possibility of building a casino.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (l.) recently petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse an appellate court decision in the case of Michigan vs. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The tribe wants to open a $245 million casino in Lansing. Schuette said the case has implications regarding tribal sovereignty and state gaming compacts.
The Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin recently broke ground on an $8 million renovation project at its Keshena facility. Plans include centralizing the table games area, updating slots, installing a new ventilation system and building a new resort entrance. The tribe still is waiting for Governor Scott Walker's decision on its proposed $800 million Kenosha casino.
As business continues to drop, Foxwoods Resort Casino announced table games and some slots will be closed at Rainmaker Casino on weekdays and a number of employees will be laid off. Chief Executive Officer Scott Butera said more changes are to be expected as new casinos open in nearby states.
Only a few hundred of Oklahoma's estimated 60,000-80,000 problem gamblers receive treatment every year, even as the number of Native American casinos continues to grow. Only 45 certified counselors work at about a dozen state-funded treatment centers, less than half of the required number, experts said.
Funds that have provided gaming revenue to non-gaming tribes and mitigation funds to communities affected by Indian casinos are running out of money.
Kip Levin has been named as the new chief executive officer of Betfair’s U.S. operations. He takes over Betfair’s U.S. businesses TVG, America’s Horseracing Network and Betfair Casino, the firm’s online casino in New Jersey.
Brian Parrish, a 26-year veteran of the gaming and hospitality industry, has been hired as chief operating officer at Navajo Gaming, operators of New Mexico and Arizona casinos. Previously Parrish was chief executive officer at Quechan Casino in California and Paradise Casino in Arizona.
Cherokee Nation Businesses has named Cherokee Nation citizen Charles Garrett as its executive vice president. Garrett joined CNB, the Nation's holding company, as senior vice president of business development in 2013.
Michael Lim is the new casino systems sales manager for GTECH’s Asian region, responsible for accounts in Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan
Whitaker Askew (l.), vice president of government relations at the American Gaming Association, said the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's decision to not consider patent reform legislation is "a step backward" that will cause the U.S. gaming industry "to fall victim to the abusive, frivolous and costly litigation asserted by patent trolls."
Europe’s oldest casino hosted the launch of Aristocrat’s thick-client downloadable gaming solution, Aristocrat On Demand, with more than 60 initial titles.
Amaya Gaming Group has released The Zombies, a new video slot game featuring advanced 3D graphics and a high-quality audio system.
Genesis Gaming Solutions has partnered with Living it Loving it Ltd. to produce a full-service online registration system for poker events worldwide.
Ortiz Gaming supported the Osage Foundation’s charity golf tournament by serving as the sponsor of one of the holes and fielding players.
Gala Bingo has selected OpenBet to provide the platform to power the launch of its new Flutter betting platform, in time for the 2014 World Cup.
Japan’s Sega Sammy Creation, a manufacturer of lot and pachinko machines, has joined the Gaming Standards Association as a Platinum member.
Even as New Jersey’s challenge to a federal sports-betting ban awaits Supreme Court action, state Senator Raymond Lesniak (l.) is planning a new bill to allow sports betting in the Garden State. Lesniak argues that even under federal law, New Jersey can simply choose not to stop private sports betting operations.
As Baby Boomers age, casino operators worry about attracting younger players who prefer table games to slots and are less interested than their parents in visiting casinos. Reaching Millennials through gaming devices is possible, but the regulatory process also needs to change, experts agree.
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