Supremes Sustain Sovereignty

In a much-anticipated case, a split U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled the state of Michigan may not sue the Bay Mills Indian Community because it is protected as a sovereign entity. In her majority opinion, Justice Elena Kagan wrote Michigan has other ways to stop the tribe from operating its casino in Vanderbilt, which has been closed since 2011. The ruling supports the inviolable concept of sovereignty that rules in all of Indian Country, but is not the final word in the way states can oppose Indian casinos.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Death in Japan

It looks as though casino advocates in Japan’s Diet have run out of time to get a legalization bill passed in the current session, even as PM Shinzo Abe (l.) visits Singapore casinos on a fact-finding mission. Supporters are now looking to 2015, which means it’s unlikely any resorts will open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But deep divisions within gaming supporters on other issues could postpone legalization for years.

Carving Up iGaming in DC

A bill regulating iGaming at the federal level that would include a carve-out for online poker was floated last week in Washington D.C. Observers say it has the tacit approval of online gaming opponent Sheldon Adelson (l.) and his company, Las Vegas Sands.

Echo, Crown Shortlisted for Brisbane Casino

The state of Queensland is poised to launch the largest expansion of casino gaming in Australia’s history. The government has given tentative approval to two casino plans for Gold Coast and Cairns totaling A$15 billion and has named Echo, Crown and two Chinese groups to the short list for a license earmarked for Brisbane, where Echo already operates the Treasury Casino (l.).

New BIA Rules For Granting Tribal Recognition Spark Concerns

New rules for determining when to give Indian tribes federal recognition are generating controversy among state officials who see many more casinos on the horizon. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn (l.) says it’s the first change to the recognition procedure in 35 years.

Time Runs Out In Illinois

Illinois State Rep. Bob Rita (l.) pulled his two proposed expanded gambling bills from the House agenda, saying he lacked the support to pass them. Rita said either amendment would have helped fill the $1.8 billion state budget gap. Meanwhile, a controversy is rising over video poker machines in Chicago.

Is PokerStars for Sale? Speculation Runs Rampant

Rumors that PokerStars, which is determined to enter the U.S. online gambling market, may be up for sale has fueled so much speculation that one rumored buyer—Amaya Gaming—even saw its stock prices spike. As it stands now, however, a potential sale is still only a rumor.

From Russia With Love—and Casinos

Casino legalization figures prominently in Russia’s plans for reviving the troubled economy of the Crimea, with the Black Sea resort of Yalta designated as the likely location. The government is looking to copy Singapore’s business-friendly approach in hopes of attracting tourism and foreign investment.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: A Dose of Reality

Most observers have played down the slow start of legal iGaming in the U.S., claiming the sample size is too small and adjustments will be made to the marketing. But not 888’s Brian Mattingley, who declares himself “shocked” at the slow start. What’s the message?


Macau To Ban Smoking in Casinos

Macau’s casinos will be smoke-free come October. The ban will replace an experiment in partial restrictions that have failed to achieve the desired improvements in air quality for staff, most of whom say they don’t want to work in the VIP rooms, where smoking will still be allowed.

Big Investor Drops Sands China

A major U.S. fund manager has sold its $1 billion-plus stake in Sands China in favor of an equivalent investment in parent company Las Vegas Sands. Waddell & Reed Financial, which once held more than 6 percent of the Macau operator, said it considers LVS a more liquid bet.

Philippines: a ‘Saturated’ Market?

Experts are wondering whether Manila’s nascent Entertainment City (l.) will grow the Philippines market in line with the sizable hopes attached to it. Solaire has fallen somewhat shy of expectations so far, and doubts are being raised about the country’s appeal for Chinese players.

Korea Needs Locals, Expert Warns

South Korea must open its casino industry to domestic play or risk losing out to other emerging markets in the region, says Korean gaming expert Steve Park (l.). That’s the word from a local expert in the sector, who says foreign investment will pass the country by, especially if Japan moves forward with legalization.

Venetian Macao Receives Sustainability Recognition

The Venetian Macao recently became the first property in Macao to receive ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification. The resort's Green Meeting Concierge team introduces event planners to the Sands ECO360° Meetings program, helping eco-conscious clients create environmentally responsible events.


London Casino Goes Risqué

In a first for Britain’s staid casino industry, the Hippodrome in London’s West End has opened a new venue where dancing girls perform in cages above the gaming tables. Management says it’s part of an aggressive Vegas-style approach to building on the property’s success since opening just two years ago.


Jamaica Pins Hopes on Gambling

Jamaica needs tax revenue and economic growth and is hoping gaming will help provide it. Sportsbetting is set for a major expansion on the Caribbean island, both remotely and on land, and authorities are pushing to legalize casino gambling on the internet to enhance the mix.

Revenue Sharing End Has Repercussions in Ontario

In Ontario, the Liberal government's move to end the Slots at Racetracks revenue sharing program has become a divisive issue in the June 12 election. Conservatives said they would end the "reckless and irresponsible" plan to build 29 new casinos. Liberals said the government has earmarked $500 million over five years to stabilize the racing industry.


California Tribes Agree on Limits to Online Poker Bill

California’s gaming tribes are close to reaching an accord that would allow a bill authorizing online poker to move forward in the legislature. The big issue is a “bad actor” clause that would block PokerStars, which has reached an agreement with the Morongo Band’s Chairman Robert Martin (l.) and several card rooms.

Online Gambling Changes Coming for New Jersey

Online gambling operators in New Jersey say the slow start for online gambling may be due to bad marketing plans as much as technical glitches. Changes may be coming. Reports that player value may be declining, as well as a bad report on customer service all combine to demonstrate the industry needs to be fixed.

States Need Online Gambling Model

If online gambling is to work in the U.S., states need to adopt a uniform model for regulations officials, including New Jersey DGE Director David Rebuck (l.), said at a recent gambling conference in Atlantic City.

FullFlushPoker Exits U.S. States with Regulated Online Gambling will no longer be available to gamblers in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, where online gambling is regulated in the U.S. The company said it is withdrawing from the regulated states so as not to damage their offerings in other states (where iGaming is completely illegal).

PartyPoker Comes Back On Google

Penalties imposed by the search engine Google hurt PartyPokers listings on the service for searches using “poker.” PokerScout, however, has determined that the site is making a comeback in the rankings through other search terms, but is still far below where it was before the penalties.

Social Gaming Trumping Online Gambling

According to a column by Howard Stutz in the Las Vegas Review Journal, companies such as MGM Resorts International are taking a “wait and see” approach to entering the online gaming market while free-play social gaming sites are continuing to rack up revenue.

Gambling Informant Looks to Avoid Jail

Daniel Tzvetkoff, an Australian who was a major informant in the U.S. move to shut down online gambling sites operating in the country, is seeking to avoid a jail term in the U.S. His lawyers have petitioned the court for leniency as Tzvetkoff has already served four months in jail.

Williams Interactive Adds to Library

Williams Interactive has added Montezuma, a Las Vegas-style slot theme, to its library of online titles for the company’s Remote Game Server.

Greentube to Launch U.S. Social Casino

Greentube will launch a social casino in the U.S., as part of the effort of the supplier and its parent, Novomatic Group, to penetrate the North American market.

Titan Gaming to Launch Bingo

The Titan brand will launch its own bingo product, Titan Bingo, powered by Virtue Fusion, a bingo software platform owned by Playtech.

Tabor Buys BetVictor

Racecourse owner Michael Tabor has acquired sports-book operator BetVictor for an undisclosed price.


New York Casino Bidders Court Host Communities

The number of casino bidders in New York state has dropped to 19, and only three project developers have proven to regulators that they have the support of their host communities. The rest have until June 30 to drum up the necessary backing, and submit detailed project plans. Caesars Entertainment is pitching a facility in Orange County (l.).

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Seeks Reforms to Casino law

Some provisions of the 2011 Gaming Expansion Act may make it too difficult for a casino operator to make a profit in Massachusetts, the Bay State’s Gaming Commission says. It has asked the legislature in the state capital to consider amending the law. But Mohegan Sun CEO Mitchell Etess (l.) says his company can work with the existing regulations, while competitor Wynn Resorts is more strident about a change.

Nevada Commissioners OK Genting

Gaming commissioners in the Silver State have approved a plan by Malaysia-based gamimg group Genting to build a multibillion-dollar resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The $4 billion Resorts World will replace the scuttled Echelon development.

Missouri Celebrates Two Decades Of Casino Gambling

On May 27, 1994, the Admiral (l.) became first riverboat casino to open in Missouri on the Mississippi River. Today 13 casinos operate in the state, generating a gross income of $1.7 billion annually and tax revenues that benefit education and local communities. But detractors note schools remain underfunded and compulsive gambling remains a problem.

Hard Rock Interested in Revel

The chairman of Hard Rock International told a trade conference audience that the company would be interested in buying Atlantic City’s Revel casino “if the price is right.” Sources tell GGB News a sale could be completed this week.

Arkansas Legislators Want Keno Ban

In response to pressure to raise more money for college scholarships, the Arkansas Lottery Commission plans to offer in September fast-paced Keno games players can follow on monitors. But a group of legislators said they'll introduce a bill banning the games at an expected summer session.

‘Gaming Cafes’ Rile Officials, Casinos In Several States

So-called "Grandma casinos" appeal to woman age 40-plus with a low-key atmosphere. But as they proliferate in Las Vegas and beyond, local officials and large casino operators say the popular video gaming cafes are breaking the rules. Still, Dotty's, Penny's, Stella's, Jackpot Joanie's and other cozy-sounding gaming cafes are popping up in strip malls faster than lawmakers can keep up with them.

Loophole Allows Florida Poker Room

A loophole in Florida's 30-year old parimutuel law could pave the way for a poker room and possible slots casino in Miami Dade County. The Court of Appeals in Tallahassee ruled 3-0 that Magic City parent company West Flagler Associates could get a summer jai alai permit and operate one game to be eligible to open a poker room.

Detroit Casino Backs Off Renovation Plans

Greektown Casino in Detroit has cut back on renovation plans after suffering the largest revenue declines of the city’s three casinos. Owner Dan Gilbert will now spend a maximum of $50 million to update the casino rather than the previously announced $150 million.

Atlantic City First Quarter Earnings Down 8.4 percent

Atlantic City casinos saw a dip of 8.4 percent in earnings for the first quarter. The decline is traced to startup costs for online gambling and the closing of The Atlantic Club casino in January. Without the Atlantic Club figures and some online losses, however, the city’s 11 casinos actually saw an earnings increase.

Downtown Casinos Avert Union Strike

As time ran out on a June 1 strike deadline set by the culinary and bartenders unions, Downtown Las Vegas casinos flocked to the table to avoid walkouts and picket lines. The last to sign was the Golden Gate Casino, following the lead of all other Downtown casinos that had already agreed to new 5-year contracts.

Churchill Downs Gaming Suit Heads to N.J. Federal Court

A suit by Churchill Downs racetrack alleging that it was shut out of New Jersey’s online gambling market after signing a deal to partner with the Showboat casino hotel (l.) in Atlantic City that failed to materialize has been moved to a New Jersey federal court by a Kentucky federal judge.

Locals Market Looks Good in Vegas

Smaller “locals” casinos, like Boyd Gaming’s Orleans (l.), are benefiting from an economic resurgence along the Las Vegas Strip. All the markers are positive, with housing and employment on the rise, and an additional $8 billion in development planned for the thoroughfare.

Indiana Lottery Director Spreads Positive Message

Indiana Hoosier Lottery Director Sarah Taylor is touring the state to tout the benefits of the program, which will turn 25 this year. The Hoosier Lottery set a record in fiscal 2013, generating $228 million for state and local governments. This year, $248 million is projected.

World Series of Poker Gets Under Way

The 45th annual World Series of Poker is underway, starting off with an employee tournament and encompassing 65 events from now until the Main Event championship beginning July 5. For the first time, the Main Event carries a $10 million first prize guarantee.

Baccarat to the Rescue in Vegas

In Nevada, gaming revenues flat-lined in April, falling less than 1 percent from 2013. But in Las Vegas, a championship boxing match led to a 3 percent increase. And analysts remain bullish about Vegas for the calendar year.

D Casino in Vegas Installs Bitcoin ATM

The new automatic teller machine, at the D casino in Downtown Las Vegas, will allow ATM users to top up their Bitcoin accounts and also exchange the alternative currency for cash. Bitcoin has yet to be approved for casino trade.

Police Chief Says California Tribe 'Under Siege'

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians is in a “state of siege” according to its recently hired police chief. Millions of dollars are walking out the door of its Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California, and the lives of tribal members, the public and casino employees are at risk, says Chief Clay Parker.


Developers Release Kenosha Casino Plans

Although Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has not approved it, officials revealed the Menominee Tribe's proposed $810 million Hard Rock hotel and casino in Kenosha (l.) will include a 400,000 square foot gaming floor with 2,700 slot machines, 100 table games and 24 poker games, plus an entertainment venue and retail space. A temporary casino will be open during construction.

St. Regis Mohawks Expand New York Territory

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York State has reached an agreement with the Cuomo administration and St. Lawrence County lawmakers to buy about 5,000 acres of land and add it to their territory.

Ho-Chunk Wants To Join Lawsuit

Ho-Chunk Inc. and other groups trying to bring a casino to downtown Sioux City (Ho Chunk’s Warrior Casino Hotel at left), Iowa asked a Polk County judge to let them join Penn National's lawsuit against the Iowa Racing and Gaming commission. Ho-Chunk's attorney said the process that ultimately awarded a gaming license to Sioux City Entertainment was "grossly flawed."

Seneca Gaming to Run Southern Tier New York Casino

The owners of a resort in Union, New York, now vying for one of four casino licenses up for grabs in the state, has announced it has brought in Seneca Gaming Corp. as its casino operator. No financial partner has yet been announced.

Awaiting Margaritaville, River Spirit Renovates

Major renovations are under way at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, including a Johnny Rockets diner opening by June 30, plus updating, moving or adding several bars. Meanwhile the tribe is moving forward with its plans for a $335 million Margaritaville Casino at the location.

Carolina Tribes Collaborate On Construction, Recognition

The South Carolina-based Catawba Tribe hired Metcon, a Lumbee Indian contractor in North Carolina, to build its new bingo hall. Meanwhile, as the Catawbas await approval from the Interior Department for a proposed casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, the Lumbees also have petitioned for full federal recognition to build a casino.

Connecticut Tribes Fighting Effects of Competition

Massachusetts plans four casinos and other neighboring states of Connecticut are building new casinos as well. Competition is threatening the long dominance of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casinos in the state.


Gomes Leaves Jupiters in Australia

Echo Entertainment has dismissed Aaron Gomes from his post as managing director of its Jupiters Casino on Australia’s Gold Coast. No reason was given for the departure, but includes Geoff Hogg as MD over Jupiters and Brisbane’s Treasury Casino.

Dan Lee Out at Palms

The former main man at Pinnacle and Mirage CFO has resigned his position as CEO of the Palms resort in Las Vegas. Dan Lee resigned after less than one year on the job.

Claremont: Treanor’s Past Not a Factor

Michael Treanor, the casino executive who stepped down from his position as CEO of the proposed Nevele Casino and Resort after the New York Post uncovered a sexual indiscretion, has been reinstated.

Wynn Names Cootey CFO

Wynn Resorts has named Stephen Cootey, its head of corporate finance, as the company’s new chief financial officer, replacing Matt Maddox.

LaRocca, Lambert Join NYRA Management

Lynn LaRocca has joined the New York Racing Association as its “chief experience officer,” or CXO. Joseph Lambert has also joined NYRA as its general counsel.

Playtech Appoints Retail CEO

Playtech has appointed Shay Segev as the chief executive officer of its retail arm, operated by its Videobet subsidiary.


AGA Launches Informational Campaign

The American Gaming Association has launched an aggressive new campaign to promote the benefits of gaming across the nation, and to dispel myths about casinos. The group held a “fly-in” with industry executives to explain the campaign and get their feedback.

Gaming Market Advisors Acquires Galaviz & Company, Creates New Company

Gaming Market Advisors, one of the gaming industry’s leading consultants has bought a competitor, Galaviz & Company, to create Global Market Advisors, an enhanced operation with a worldwide reach. Galaviz principal Jonathan Galaviz (l.) has had an Asian focus for gaming development.

Fieri to Debut at Bally’s AC

Award-winning celebrity chef Guy Fieri will debut his first Atlantic City restaurant, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse, at Bally’s early this summer.

UNLV Student Sells Game to Konami

Domino Dragon, a slot game developed by a student at UNLV’s Harrah Hotel College under the school’s Gaming Innovation Program was sold to slot-maker Konami Gaming.

ACEP, Graton Pick FutureLogic

American Casino Entertainment Properties and California’s Graton Resort have selected the GEN3 Evolution printer from FutureLogic for all slots.

Table Trac Signs Cahto Contract

Table Trac has announced a contract to install its CasinoTrac casino management system for California’s Cahto Tribe Red Fox Casino.

GTECH Extends West Virginia Deal

GTECH has signed a two-year extension on its deal with the West Virginia Lottery to maintain existing systems and terminals and deliver new self-service products.

SG Gaming Launches WMS Titles

SG Gaming has launched the first two titles from WMS Gaming to be included in SG Games’ licensed betting shops, arcades and bingo locations.




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