California Tribes Go All In For Online Poker

All but one of the large gaming tribes in California, the Morongo Band, has signed onto a unified bill that would authorize online poker in the Golden State. Morongo and several card rooms continue to oppose the bill, which would lock out their partner, PokerStars. But the “bad actor” clause also contains a “poison pill” that would prevent the stipulation from being stricken from the law.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Still a Pulse for Japan Casino Bill

Amid fading hopes that Japan’s parliament will act this year to legalize casinos, a leading advocate for the stalled bill in the Diet says it could come up for discussion by lawmakers this week. If that happens, there is still a chance the bill could be approved in a special session in the fall, he says.

Pennsylvania Online Gambling With Hearing, Bill

A state Senate hearing in Pennsylvania to discuss legalizing online gambling brought out a wide range of opinions both for and against the idea. State officials also said Pennsylvania would need at least a year to implement any gambling plan. Meanwhile, state Senator Edwin Erickson (l.) has announced plans to introduce an online poker bill to the state Senate.

Massachusetts Could Soon Award First Casino Resort License

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is on pace to award the first license for a casino resort to MGM Resorts (l.), for its proposed project in Springfield. And a possible merger of efforts is on tap for the Southeastern region. But the threat of a repeal of the casino act hangs over the state as campaigns ramp up to support and oppose gaming in Massachusetts.

Craigie Pushes Crown’s China Strategy

Australia needs to raise its game if it’s to capture its share of China’s booming and increasingly affluent market of overseas travelers. That’s the word from Crown Resorts CEO Rowen Craigie (l.), whose company is expanding aggressively across the country and expects to be out in front in attracting them.

Gaming Law Legend Bob Faiss Dies

Robert Faiss, the man some credit as being the father of gaming law, passed away last week at the age of 79 after complications from cancer. Faiss leaves behind a legacy that includes many of the brightest gaming lawyers in the world. Listen to a GGB Podcast with Faiss from 2009.

Hyatt Signs On With Melco in Manila

Melco Crown is partnering with global hospitality giant Hyatt to operate one of the three hotels at Melco’s City of Dreams Manila resort (Hyatt at Macau’s City of Dreams at left). It’s the second big brand—Robert DeNiro’s Nobu is the first—enlisted for the $1.3 billion project, which opens at Entertainment City on Manila Bay later this year.

Bally to Acquire Dragonplay

Bally Technologies will acquire Dragonplay Ltd., a leading player in the social gaming market with top applications for Android, Facebook and Apple iOS.

Ads Off Target, UK Online Survey Finds

What British gamblers want in their online choices and what advertisers are pitching often are two different things, according to a new player survey. One key finding shows that while social responsibility rates high with consumers, marketers have counted it as relatively unimportant in their messaging.


Plot Thickens at UnionPay

Some of China’s state-owned banks may be accomplices in billions of dollars in illegal cash transfers by mainland gamblers in Macau. UnionPay, the company that issues the popular debit card targeted in the transactions, is investigating.

DeNiro’s Out, Mourinho’s In

South Korea’s Paradise group is replacing Robert DeNiro as its advertising face with Chelsea’s famed manager Jose Mourinho. The company is in the throes of developing a $1.7 billion resort casino near Incheon and figures football stars play better with Chinese gamblers than Hollywood screen legends.

Macau’s ‘Disappointing’ $4 Billion May

Macau’s casinos enjoyed one of their best months ever in May, but it wasn’t enough to soothe investors who are increasingly worried that the booming market could be in for a fall. Shares in the six listed operators have been rocked by a spate of bad news in recent weeks.

Vietnamese in Sights of New Cambodia Casino

A new casino has opened on Cambodia’s border with Vietnam with plans to aggressively pursue the lucrative cross-border market. The Roxy Casino in Bavet City also will feature an online offering with eight table games accessible via the internet and similarly targeted at Vietnam.

New Bribery Charge Stalks Okada

One of the three ex-employees Universal Entertainment accuses of wrongdoing in a tangled Philippine bribery case has fired back with a criminal complaint accusing Universal Chairman Kazuo Okada (l.) of ordering the alleged bribes. The case is under investigation on two continents but has yet to result in any actual charges.

China Cracking Down on Illegal Web Gambling

China’s nationwide anti-corruption campaign has locked onto illegal online gambling as one of its targets. Beijing is calling on local governments and police to pursue and shut down gambling web sites, servers and providers of technical support and payment services.


Tinian’s Owners Decry Lack of Local Support

The war of words is heating up between Tinian Dynasty’s new owners and local regulators on the western Pacific island. The owners say they saved the ailing casino from closing and are prepared to invest $600 million to remake it, while regulators say the group has failed to comply with licensing rules.

Bermudans Wary of Casino Plan

A new plan to develop a casino resort on an old Club Med site (l.) in Bermuda has met with skepticism if not downright disbelief. Lawmakers have been promising such a development for years with no result.

Jamaica Gaming Generated $4.5 Billion

In the past three years, gaming revenue has rising to $4.5 billion in Jamaica and the island's Minister of Finance and Planning Horace Dalley said there's room for more. He said Jamaica officials plan to expand sports betting with phone and text wagering in time for the World Cup.

Bahamas Gaming Board Tours Baha Mar

Construction on Nassau’s Baha Mar has progressed and the $3.5 billion complex will open before the end of the year. Last week, the owners showed it off to the Bahamas’ Gaming Board, at left.

Snoqualmie Tribe Sues Fiji Developer

Washington’s Snoqualmie Tribe is suing Fiji resort developer Larry Claunch to recover $1.5 million invested in a casino project from which the tribe pulled out.


New Jersey Online Sites Still Hashing Out Rewards

With New Jersey’s online gambling revenue seen to be underperforming, the state’s gambling sites are trying to figure out their reward programs. A recent survey suggest that tying promos to land-based casino rewards is the most effective, like tickets to see.

China Issues Online Betting Licenses

China will issue licenses to sports lottery operators around the country to offer World Cup betting products online, with several companies already approved

Minnesota Continues Online Lottery Sales

Thanks to Governor Mark Dayton's (l.) recent veto, online scratch-off lottery games and lottery ticket sales at gas pumps and ATMs will continue in Minnesota, despite a bill passed with large Republican majorities on the last day of the session. Legislators had complained the lottery director launched the games without their approval.

Online Wagering Benefits Arkansas Racetracks

Oaklawn Park racetrack in Hot Springs, Arkansas waited more than a decade for legislative approval to launch a website. debuted last December, and in the track's first 53-day live racing season, January through mid-April, the site raised $9.1 million in wagers. Southland racetrack (l.) is also benefitting.

Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun Step Into Online Gaming—But Without Cash

The two mega casinos in Connecticut, Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun, are both operating online casino games, but not for money, at least not yet. The rivals are using both to accustom patrons to gaming on their website should online gaming ever become legal in the state.

Will the WSOP help Online Poker in New Jersey?

New Jersey continues to see a decline in players in its now legal online poker rooms. asks if the biggest live event in poker, the World Series of Poker, will help online play.

Realistic Launches Mobile Keno

Realistic Games has launched a video keno game designed for mobile phones and tablets, including a turbo mode and an auto-play feature.

Web Poker Bill Draft Makes Rounds in Washington

A draft of a bill to legalize online poker is making the rounds on Capitol Hill, but there is no indication the bill will come before Congress or even who is supporting it. Nevada Senator Dean Heller (l.) says Caesars is the source.

Microgaming Premiers ‘Terminator 2’

Microgaming has launched a new online slot game based on the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Terminator 2, featuring an all-way betting format with 1,024 ways to win on each spin.

Gaming States Group Releases Online Gambling Framework

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States has released a first draft of its framework for online gaming laws in individual states. The group released the draft saying that if online gaming is to work in the U.S., there must be uniformity in state regulations.

Full Tilt Poker Remissions Approved

The next round of Full Tilt Poker claims to be paid out has been approved. About 3,500 players will receive a total of about $15 million in funds.

Kiggit Considering For-Money iGaming

After creating a popular social game that allows players to bet virtual currency and challenge friends on football matches, Kiggit is eyeing the real-money online gaming space.


Illinois Blowback

The failure of a bill to legalize casinos in Illinois was a mystery to some observers. Sponsor state Rep. Robert Rita (l.) had added amendments that he hoped would gain support, but they failed to move. He says he’ll spend the summer lobbying for the bill and try again next fall.

New Jersey Presses Sports Betting Case

With a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether to hear New Jersey’s challenge to a federal ban on sports betting imminent, the state has filed its latest legal brief arguing that the current ban violates state rights and the entire law needs to be reviewed. The court may decide whether it will hear the case this month.

Harrah’s Casino Tunica Closed

Harrah's Casino Tunica in Mississippi closed at midnight, Sunday, June 1. The former Grand Casino was the biggest casino between Las Vegas and Atlantic City when it opened in June 1996. The closure puts up to 1,000 people out of work. Caesar's Entertainment has been seeking a buyer for four years.

New York Report: Don’t Count Casino Money Yet

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (l.) has issued a report warning residents to be wary of optimistic revenue projections from would-be casino developers. In Albany, officials are wondering what’s happening with one proposed developer. And who is funding anti-casino campaigns? Casinos, of course!

SBE Entertainment Inks Loyalty Partnerships

As the grand opening of its SLS Las Vegas hotel-casino nears, the Los Angeles hospitality company has announced alliances with the Preferred Hotels & Resorts loyalty program, and with Hilton Worldwide. The Strip property outstrips every other SLS hotel for size, with 1,620 rooms.

SugarHouse Chief: No Second Philly Casino

Wendy Hamilton (l.), the general manager of Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino, disputed the findings of a recent study funded by legislators, saying a second city casino would cannibalize the market.

Michigan Judge Stops Charitable Gambling Regulations

Stricter regulations on charitable gambling events have been put on hold by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Pat Donofrio. Several charities filed suit to stop the new rules, claiming they would lose several million dollars in revenue. Donofrio scheduled a June 12 pre-conference regarding the matter.

Foxwoods Philly Group Sues for Fee Refund

The partners in the doomed Foxwoods Philadelphia project have filed a federal complaint through bankruptcy court seeking a refund of its $50 million licensing fee.

Iowa Developers Plea for a Chance

The rejection of new gaming licenses by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has come under scrutiny as the board considers other proposals. Meanwhile, the new Hard Rock Sioux City is getting ready to debut.

Casinos a Factor in New Hampshire Election

A New Hampshire politician, Rep. Marilinda Garcia, is finding that a vote she took opposing a casino bill in the Granite State, is affecting her run for the 2nd Congressional District.

Gambling Exclusion Bill Advances in New Jersey

A bill to allow problems gamblers to exclude themselves from New Jersey casinos and online gambling sites without admitting they have a gambling problem has been passed by a state Senate Committee and now goes before the full Senates.

Vegas Visitors Younger, Less Likely to Gamble

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has released its visitor profile for 2013. The average Vegas visitor last year spent more on food and drink and less on gambling than in years past. But those who gambled spent more playing their favorite games.

Nevada to Allow Bets on Video Games?

Nevada gaming regulators are considering a proposal that would allow gambling on video game competition. “The market is huge,” said a Las Vegas video game operator, and a change in legislation would enable the state to tap into a younger player demographic.

Wynn Wins in Macau, Vegas

First-quarter earnings were robust for the Vegas-based gaming company. Wynn Resorts saw revenues contract slightly in Sin City, but grow by double digits in Macau (l.). That trend should continue as CEO Steve Wynn increases his presence in the Chinese gaming enclave.

Casino Permit Granted In Great Falls

The River City Casino, which was demolished in June 2012, recently received a conditional use permit to re-open in Great Falls, Montana. The special permit was required since the casino would be located less than 600 feet from a Catholic church.

Iowa Law Ends Greyhound Subsidies

Greyhound racing will end at the Bluffs Run racetrack at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa on December 31, 2015, and Mystique Casino will hand over management of the Dubuque Greyhound Park to the Iowa Greyhound Association. Governor Terry Branstad signed the law that will let the two casinos stop paying $13 million to subsidize the tracks.


NIGA Watches Congress After Bay Mills

Following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, upholding tribal sovereign immunity, the National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens (l.) said his organization is planning to closely monitor Congress' reaction. The tribe had opened an off-reservation casino on land not covered by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Seminoles Cancel Bank Purchase

The Seminole Tribe of Florida wants to buy a bank where it could deposit its $2 billion in annual gaming revenues and use the cash liquidity to make loans, especially to tribal members. But Valley Bank of Fort Lauderdale will not be the one, since the tribe abruptly canceled its May 27 application to purchase the undercapitalized operation.

North Dakota Cancels Grand Forks Casino

North Dakota officials recently told Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians leaders that the state would not make exceptions to state law and allow an off-reservation casino in Grand Forks. Turtle Mountain Chairman Richard McCloud said the tribe is busy enough developing a casino on tribal-owned land in Trenton.

New York Tribal Land Deal Ruffles Feathers

An agreement between the Saint Regis Mohawks, New York State, and St. Lawrence County was meant to settle longstanding disputes between the Indians and the local governments. The fallout proves you can’t please everybody. Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council Chief Paul O. Thompson (l.) said it provides opportunity for his tribe.

California Casino to Default on Bonds

River Rock Casino, which has been hit hard by the opening of a massive rival in Northern California, has announced that it will default on its May bond payments.

Mohegan Tribe Will Soon Only Pay Itself

When 2015 dawns, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut will have finished paying off the casino development company that helped it build and manage the Mohegan Sun, Trading Cove Associates. Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown (l.) said the tribe is looking forward to the last payment.

Arkansas Choices Expand

Western Arkansas, an area devoid of casinos, is the target of Native American casinos across the border in Oklahoma. Those casinos are adding more options to serve the expanded market.

Indian Casino Closest to Yellowstone Park Wins TripAdvisor Award

Wyoming's biggest casino, WindRiver, recently received TripAdvisor's 2014 Certificate of Excellence Award, an honor bestowed upon only 10 percent of TripAdvisor's featured listings. Operated by the Northern Arapaho Tribe, WindRiver is located within driving distance of Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons.


Auriemma Joins MGM Compliance Committee

MGM Resorts International has appointed Thomas N. Auriemma to its Compliance Committee. Auriemma is a gaming industry veteran_a former deputy director for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and former assistant attorney general for the state.

Wolf Resigns From Odawa Casino

Officials at Odawa Casino in Petoskey, Michigan recently announced David Wolf, general manager since 2014, has resigned and will join a gaming operation in Illinois. Roger Borton, director of finance, has been named interim general manager at the property, operated by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

Duetto Names Casino Sales Director

Duetto has named Rory Fagan to the position of director of casino sales, as the company continues to expand the utilization of its GameChanger software.

JCM Adds to Sales EMEA Team

JCM Global added two sales representatives, Jim Foster (l.) and Alan Lee, to its sales and service team for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


Caesars’ Total Rewards Adds Live Events to List

Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards loyalty program is now partnering with TR Live Events to card holders the chance to earn discount points for concerts, sporting events, and other entertainments in the U.S.

Novomatic Licensed in Illinois

Novomatic Americas has been approved as a licensed supplier of both the riverboat casino and video gaming terminal markets in Illinois.

Mono Wind Picks Aristocrat

California’s Mono Wind Casino has selected Aristocrat Technologies’ Oasis 360 casino management system to replace a competitor’s system.

VGT Launches XSpin Platform

VGT has launched a high-tech video platform for Class II casinos which it says delivers the design quality of any Class III technology.

Mexican Authorities Probe GTECH Bid

A bid for lottery services won by subsidiaries of GTECH is being investigated by Mexican authorities after rival bidders complained of irregularities in the review process.

Surveys by Smartphone at Linq

Caesars Entertainment joins companies including Starbucks and Casio to get customer feedback through smartphones at its new Linq development on the Las Vegas Strip. The California technology provider Osurv provides to capability.


Finding a Fix

Investigations into an alleged attempt to fix a World Cup match combine with illegal betting concerns to give the world’s most popular sports event news well beyond sports.

White’s Winning Streak Over, By Request

The Palms in Las Vegas has once again banned UFC President Dana White from gambling at the casino. This guy is just too lucky. On his last visit, he walked away with almost $2 million.

Such A Deal

If you play the ponies, you may be glad to know that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, horse racing’s lobbying arm, wants the Internal Revenue Service to give you a tax break. If the IRS agrees, bettors on races would be able to use the full cost of wagers to calculate tax liabilities.




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