Ballot Buster in Massachusetts

An initiative that could repeal the 2011 gaming expansion law in Massachusetts is headed for the November ballot. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled last week that the measure sponsored by Repeal the Casino Deal is constitutional. Current Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley (l.) had kept it off the ballot, pending the appeal.

Featured Stories More

WEEKLY FEATURE: Sports Betting Blow

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear New Jersey’s appeal of a lower court ruling that the state’s sports betting law violates a federal ban. But that may not be the end of it as the state legislature immediately passed a bill sponsored by the issue’s champion, Ray Lesniak (l.), legalizing sports betting that purports to skirt the PAPSA law.

Abe Throws His Support Behind Casinos

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l.) has come out publicly in support of casino legalization in Japan, saying he considers the industry one of the keys to reviving the economy. He said further he will push to get a legalization bill passed in a special session of the Diet scheduled for the fall.

Showboat Shuttered

Atlantic City’s Showboat casino will become the latest victim of the economic decline of the Boardwalk. Showboat owner Caesars Entertainment last week told its employees that the casino will close on August 31. Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (l.) met the media in front of the under-construction Bass Pro Shops and said the Showboat closing is part of the painful process that the city is experiencing due to declining gaming revenue and a transition to a non-gaming based tourism economy.

Echo, Chow Tai Fook Join Forces in Brisbane

Echo Entertainment appears to have outflanked rival Crown Resorts in Brisbane, combining its bid for the Queensland capital’s new casino license with those of Chinese powerhouses Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium. The government is expected to award the coveted license early next year. Echo CEO Matt Bekeir (l.) says the partnership will deliver a “world-class” destination.

Resorts Atlantic City Seeks to Launch PokerStars and Full Tilt Sites in New Jersey

Resorts Atlantic City has reaffirmed its deal with PokerStars to bring the online giant’s brand to New Jersey’s regulated online sites. The casino plans to launch both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker sites, provided that PokerStars—recently acquired by Amaya Gaming—can get licensed in the state. Amaya has already begun the regulatory process for a license.

Nevada Commissioners Shuffle the Deck

The longtime chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission and Control Board has resigned to make way for new blood. Peter Bernhard (l.) will pass the baton to Tony Alamo Jr., whom he says has youth and technological savvy on his side.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Unplug and Play

Mobile betting is growing at amazing rates, but a recently developed “in play” wager makes it even more profitable in countries where sports betting is legal.


Kangwon Land—Korea’s Growth Story

Despite its remote location the only casino open to South Korean nationals continues to show fairly robust growth, according to a new report on the domestic market. The foreigners-only market isn’t growing as much, but that should change with the opening of three megaresorts over the next several years.

Cotai Could Spark VIP Growth

Morgan Stanley says 35 percent of the table games in the next wave of megaresort development on Cotai will be VIP. The bank says the fresh capacity will light a fire under the high-roller segment, which generates two-thirds of Macau’s gaming revenue but has been sluggish in recent months.

Cambodia Weighs Regulatory Reforms

Cambodia is home to a thriving casino industry but a loosely regulated one, and that makes it a scary proposition for foreign investors. The government wants to change that, and it’s reported that comprehensive new rules are being drafted and could be approved this year.

Korean Law Would Regulate Video Games

A meeting was held in Korean to discuss the nation's Game Addiction Law, which would regulate video games like drugs and alcohol. The government is concerned with gaming addiction and the popularity of "PC bang" establishments, where gamers pay less than a dollar an hour to play video games.

Musical Kiosks for Bitcoin in Macau

Macau’s first bitcoin kiosk has moved out of Sands Macao and into a non-casino pawnshop in another part of town. The company behind it says the move was for technical reasons, but news reports say the recent UnionPay scandal may have precipitated the switch.


Scotland Wants FOBT Limits

The controversy in Britain over electronic table games has spread to Scotland, where lawmakers are echoing their counterparts in England and Wales in calling for limits on the spread of betting shops. Wagers on the machines in Glasgow alone totaled more than £200 million last year.

Gala Coral Wants Out of Bingo

The UK’s tax cut on bingo revenue makes the sector an attractive proposition again, says gaming giant Gala Coral, and an opportunity for the company to cash out of its sizable bingo estate. The company is shopping all 133 of its bingo halls and their 1.1 million active customers

Portugal to Create Compulsive Gambling Blacklist

Portugal is proposing a blacklist of compulsive gamblers that online gambling operators must honor by the end of 2014. Sites will have to share data about their players to protect compulsive gamblers, who would be blocked from playing.

Ladbrokes Finalizes Refinancing

Ladbrokes has completed a $169.5 million bond issue to refinance its bank debt. The refinancing extends the British bookmaker’s debt maturities and helps the company’s balance sheet, officials said.


Tinian Owners Sue Saipan Rival

The fight over Saipan’s new casino license has gotten ugly. One bidder, which happens to own the competing casino, the Tinian Dynasty (l.), on neighboring Tinian island, has accused the other of buying favors from Saipan lawmakers and is suing to stop the license award.

Casino Debuts Near Carberry, Manitoba

First Nations' Sand Hills Casino recently opened to the public near Carberry, Manitoba. The third First Nations operation, the property is managed by Hemisphere Gaming, which financed and developed it. All 63 First Nations will share in the casino's profits. The 31,000 square foot property employs 175 people, including 60 percent aboriginal.

Yida International to Invest $2B in Caribbean

A Beijing-based investment group has announced plans to spend $2 billion on the development of a destination resort with a casino on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Yida International Investment has signed an agreement with the islands’ government.

Casino Nova Scotia to Get $10M Upgrade

The operator of Casino Nova Scotia’s properties in Halifax and Sydney will invest $10 million in capital improvements in the facilities by the end of 2015, the Canadian company has announced.


Bovada Poker Pulls Out of Nevada, Delaware

Bovada Poker has stopped taking bets from new gamblers in the three U.S. states that have approved regulated online gambling. The company had previously stopped taking bets from New Jersey, and has now stopped bettors in Nevada and Delaware. However, the company is still honoring pre-existing accounts.

Delaware Improves iGaming Sites

Delaware online casinos can now be accessed through Apple Macintosh computers, and the Delaware Lottery has made several other upgrades to the state’s iGaming sites.

Peppermill Joins Ultimate Poker Online

Peppermill Casino in Reno has joined the online poker room run by Ultimate Gaming. The privately owned company with five Northern Nevada casinos will now be part of the Ultimate Poker platform, which also hosts Station Casinos.

London Hippodrome Debuts Online

London's iconic Hippodrome Casino, founded in 1900 and known for its circus and burlesque acts as well as gambling, now has an online presence, accessible via download, Flash or mobile. Roulette, blackjack, baccarat, slots, poker, progressive jackpots and more, at all levels of play, are available.

Online Gambling Attracts Chicago-Area Players

With no casino expansion in sight, Chicago-area gamblers are turning to online gaming sites like William Hill, which has reported an increase in players from that area. The most recent legislative session ended without an expanded gambling bill due to poor timing and revenue-sharing disputes.

Sports Illustrated Launches Fantasy Sports App

The daily fantasy sports marketplace has entered a new phase with the announcement that Sports Illustrated will launch a daily fantasy sports play-for-cash app. Previously, due to the risky legal environment, only startups offered the games. But with the federal government's hands-off attitude, more public companies may make the leap.

Atari Hoping For Success Online

The developer of Pong and other iconic games, Atari announced plans to become an "interactive entertainment production company." The company, which filed for bankruptcy last year, will develop online gambling and casino apps, as well as venture into mobile gaming, YouTube and gaming hardware licensing.

IGT Partners with

IGT has partnered with digital entertainment to offer IGT’s library of interactive slot games on the platform

Poll Finds Pennsylvanians Oppose Federal Online Gambling Ban

A poll commissioned by Caesars Entertainment has found that 76 percent of Pennsylvania residents think states should decide for themselves if they wish to legalize online gaming and oppose a federal ban. The poll differs from previous polls that found less support for online gaming in the state.

Antigua Again Blasts U.S. at World Trade Organization

Antigua once again has criticized the U.S. at the World Trade Organization for not respecting previous WTO decisions that the country is illegally blocking Antigua-based online gambling sites. But the country again stopped short of using a reverse sanction approved by the WTO against the U.S.


Zero Hour for New York Casino Proposals

One community hoped for an extension of the June 30 deadline to submit its application, but regulators wouldn’t budge. The timeline grows short for the rest of the contenders, including Hard Rock, Mohegan Sun, Caesars, Genting, and others. Even though the threat of an Orange County casino hasn’t dissipated, the Mohegan Sun continues to push for its Catskills casino at the old Concord site (l.).

Commission Holds Hearings on Boston Metro Casino

The end game for the casino license that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will issue for the Boston Metro casino zone is approaching. The panel has begun hearings in the two host cities that are vying for the license, Revere and Everett.

Delaware Patching Casino Support Together

Delaware’s casinos may not get lawmakers to approve the entire $20 million in tax and fee reductions recommended by a state panel, but state senators have found funds to help, with the support of Governor Jack Markell (l.).

Mississippi Commissioners Approve, Deny Casinos

The Mississippi Gaming Commission recently approved the Scarlet Pearl Casino in D'Iberville, after developers at last received financing for the $250 million project, according to CEO George Toth (l.). Commissioners rejected Jacobs Entertainment's proposed Diamondhead casino due to concerns from residents and the state Department of Marine Resources.

Argosy Sioux City Granted Reprieve

The Argosy Sioux City, scheduled to close on July 1, has gotten a reprieve, courtesy of a county judge. The boat’s owner, Penn National Gaming, will now be able to argue the various legal issues that have yet to be resolved.

Beginning of the End for Harmon

It’s going, going, gone for the hotel tower at CityCenter in Las Vegas, which was deemed structurally unsound. A Clark County judge says the Harmon Hotel is finally set to begin deconstruction; for safety reasons, it will not be imploded, but taken apart, piece by piece.

Caesars’ Debt Problems Continue

With a possible forced bankruptcy looming, one group of Caesars Entertainment bondholders ponders a lawsuit while another seeks to negotiate with the operator.

Consultants To Reinvent Deadwood Brand

Consultant Roger Brooks International has been hired by the city of Deadwood, South Dakota for $65,000 to reinvent the Deadwood brand. An assessment, due this summer, will offer a plan to help turn around declining gambling and hotel revenue in the historic town that was the third in the U.S. to legalize gambling, in 1989.

Northeastern States Near Casino Saturation

The northeastern region of the U.S. is becoming saturated with casinos, experts say, and at least a dozen more are in the pipeline. The overpopulation is causing each casino to lose revenue.

Report: PA Horse Racing in Jeopardy

A report by Pennsylvania’s auditor general says the state’s $1 billion racing industry is in danger of a catastrophic shutdown due to diversion of funds and falling revenues.

Casinos Must Track Marijuana-Related Transactions

Strict money-laundering rules always have applied to banks. Now casinos, too, must comply with the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rules in regard to legal marijuana operations. Casinos can ban individuals in the legal marijuana trade from gambling or file a suspicious activity report with the federal government.

Virginia Track To Skip 2014 Season

Colonial Downs will not offer live Thoroughbred racing in 2014, under a plan between the Virginia Racing Commission, horsemen and officials at the New Kent track approving an eight-week schedule in 2015. Meanwhile, the track's OTBs, closed in February, will reopen to start building a purse fund for next year.

Cripple Creek Plans $4.5 Million Renovation

The city of Cripple Creek, Colorado will embark on a $4.5 million beautification and renovation project to create a more welcoming urban environment and offer more events to boost summer tourism. Casino gambling has been legal in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City since 1991.

Golden Nugget Louisiana Changes Mean Later Opening

The Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, Louisiana recently received approval from the state gaming commission to open at the end of the year, not by July 12. Officials from the casino-resort said they want to increase the number of hotel rooms instead of offering other amenities.

Nevada Targets Indian Tourists

The Nevada Tourism Commission may install a representative in the state of India in a bid to attract more Indian visitors to the Silver State. The nation now has about 450 million middle- to upper-class members.

Casino Ship Debuts In Florida

Lester Bullock, chief executive officer of Victory Casino Cruises, recently launched his second casino ship out of Mayport, Florida, near Jacksonville. The 600-passenger vessel offers five- to six-hour cruises twice a day, every day and offers slots, table games, poker, bingo and sports betting. Bullock also operates a 1,100-passenger casino boat out of Port Canaveral.

Revel Asks For August Auction Date

Atlantic City’s Revel casino has asked for an Aug. 6 bankruptcy auction sale date. Lawyers for the casino say the property does not have enough money to continue operating for much longer. Casino officials have said that if a buyer can’t be found quickly, the casino may shut down this summer.

Maryland Live! Begins Hotel Planning

Maryland Live! has begun work toward construction of a $200 million hotel and spa, to include 300 rooms and a spa facility offering a complete range of services.


Iowa Tribe Wins Right to Offer Poker

The state of Idaho recently lost its bid to stop poker at the Coeur d'Alene Casino in Worley. U.S. District Court Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill said the state was wrong to sue the tribe since its gaming compact states alleged compact violations require arbitration within a 60-day period. The tribe's new poker room opened May 2.

Feds Forbid Firearms at Explosive California Reservation

Federal Judge Kimberly J. Mueller issued a temporary restraining order last week to cool down the combative factions of California’s the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians. The order forbids any firearms within 100 feet of any tribal facilities, including the Rolling Hills Casino.

Casino Advisory Vote On November Ballot

Voters in Siskiyou County, California will be able to vote in November on an advisory measure regarding the Karuk Tribe's proposed casino in Yreka, California. Supporters said the outcome could help the tribe's negotiations with the county. Opponents said the casino site actually belongs to another tribe.

Act Not Meant To Aid Casinos, Says Former Congressman

In its recent land-trust applications to the Interior Department, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe cited the Michigan Land Claims Settlement Act of 1997. However, the act's author, former U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, said he would not have sponsored the bill and Congress would not have passed it if it ever, intentionally or not, was used to promote gaming.

Senate Candidates Seek Tribal Support

With 58,000 residents in North Carolina, the Lumbee Tribe is being courted by both candidates for U.S. Senate: Democrat U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Republican North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis. The tribe typically votes Democratic, and is sure to support Hagan if she reintroduces and brings to a vote the Lumbee Recognition Act.


Big Raise for Ralenkotter

The board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says CEO Rossi Ralenkotter has earned another 8 percent raise in pay. If approved, it would put him ahead of the governor of Nevada in terms of compensation.


AGA Applauds Delaware, New York

The American Gaming Association last week commended New York and Delaware legislators for acting to strengthen partnerships with gaming. The AGA is conducting a campaign to have gaming treated like any other business called, “Get To Know Gaming.”

WMS to Debut New Platform

WMS Gaming will debut CPU-NXT 3, the next generation of its slot operating system, along with its new Blade Stepper cabinet, at the Canadian Gaming Summit.

Gamblit Granted Nevada License

Gamblit Gaming, a start-up slot machine and slot game content supplier, was granted a license by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

GLI Europe Approved in Slovenia

GLI Europe BV has become the first foreign-owned company to be approved to test games and systems for casinos in the nation of Slovenia.

GLI Completes Puerto Rico Inspection

Gaming Laboratories International has just completed a three-month inspection of 100 percent of gaming devices and systems in Puerto Rico. The inspection will allow regulators to “create a safer gaming environment for the public,” said company director Karen Sierra-Hughes.

GTECH Re-Ups with Minnesota Lottery

International gaming technology company GTECH has just signed a 12-month contract to continue its instant-ticket printing services for the Minnesota State Lottery. The partners have helped to increase revenues for the lottery, especially with instant-win big-money games.


Wynn Gone Wild

A California appellate court has upheld a $19 million judgment against “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis in a case involving casino magnate Steve Wynn. The video smut peddler had claimed Wynn threatened to kill him; the court has ordered him not to repeat those claims.

Pot and Casinos Don’t Mix (Or Do They?)

What do medical marijuana and gaming have in common? As it turns out, some players in the casino industry are trying to gain licenses to peddle legal pot. But Nevada regulators are warning them to steer clear of the emerging industry, as pot remains illegal under federal law.

Group Calls Out Adelson's Contribution

A liberal political group filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board stating most of Sheldon Adelson's $1 million contribution to a Republican PAC ended up in Governor Tom Corbett's re-election account, in violation of state laws prohibiting donations from casino owners. The PAC later transferred the money to another account.

Navy Ship Awaits Casino Legislation

If the Indiana legislature passes a measure allowing riverboat casinos to move onto land, the Navy vessel LST 325 could move to the current location of the Tropicana Evansville casino boat. Peoria, Illinois also is competing to relocate the ship, which participated in D-Day. Still, a land-based bill could take years to pass and implement.




Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom