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
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
This week, the GGB Podcast joins with Steve Park, the managing director of KORE Company, a Korean consulting company focused on the Korean casino industry and its growth potential.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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'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.
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.
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.
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 has partnered with bwin.party digital entertainment to offer IGT’s library of interactive slot games on the bwin.party platform
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 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.
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.).
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’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.).
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.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, originally pegged for a fall 2014 opening, will open August 26 as Maryland’s fifth operating casino.
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.
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.
With a possible forced bankruptcy looming, one group of Caesars Entertainment bondholders ponders a lawsuit while another seeks to negotiate with the operator.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Resorts Atlantic City has made a settlement with Atlantic City on its tax assessments, which will likely save it $1 million this year and see the assessment fall by one third. The casino’s assessment will fall to $110 million by 2015.
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.
The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City—now a non-casino hotel—has announced it will open a Holtzman Art Gallery on property this fall. The space will feature a public exhibit of the original works of over fifty artists and have separate parking.
More than just the public good was at play when the Ohio legislature last year approved of a law that effectively banned internet cafes in the Buckeye State. About a million dollars spent by both sides in donations to lawmakers played a part as well.
A study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors predicts that Atlantic City will be among the weakest growing metropolitan areas in the country through 2020. The slow growth is connected to the declining fortunes of casinos in the resort.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Gaming, a start-up slot machine and slot game content supplier, was granted a license by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
CG Technology will offer over/under season wins, odds to win conference championships, and other new wagers for the upcoming college football season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom