IGT: Sold

Slot market leader International Game Technology will be acquired by lottery giant GTECH S.p.A. in a $6.4 billion deal that creates another new industry behemoth. The deal continues a trend that began last year with the acquisition of WMS by Scientific Games, another big lottery operator, and the combination of Bally and table-game provider SHFL entertainment.

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Nevada Regulators OK Plan to Expand Online Poker

Online gaming has failed to meet expectations in three U.S. states where it’s legal: Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Now Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings has proposed linking poker rooms through an online network to grow the patron base. Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett (l.) welcomes the advances.

Boston Mayor Pulls out of Wynn Arbitration

Mayor Martin J. Walsh (l.) has pulled out of surrounding community arbitration with Steve Wynn for the casino resort he proposes for Everett. Since Walsh has boycotted the process that leaves it up for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to decide how much Wynn should pay the city.

Saipan Awards Casino License

The road to Saipan’s first and only casino has been a bumpy one. There have been allegations of favoritism and shady dealings in connection with the bidding process. But the license has finally been awarded, and that’s a big step forward.

Holland Casino Soon To Be History

The government of the Netherlands is breaking up its casino monopoly and opening the market to competition. Lotteries and online gambling also will be put out for bid.

New Partner for Ho Tram

Vietnam’s largest casino hotel has a new investor in budget hotel tycoon Chien Lee. The Grand – Ho Tram (l.) has struggled in the absence of domestic play, but it is expanding, and Lee calls it the “one of the most exciting tourism developments” in the region.

Isle of Capri Shakes Up Management

In a move that will reduce annual corporate expenses by $2.5 million, Isle of Capri eliminated the executive chairman of the board, chief strategic officer and other senior corporate positions. Jim Perry (l.) will remain on the board and Robert Goldstein is now (non-executive) chairman. Eric Hausler succeeded Dale Black, who left the company, as chief financial officer.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Global Convergence

The purchase of IGT by GTECH means more than just another massive gaming deal. It demonstrates the acceleration of globalization and convergence of all gaming sectors.


New Research Points Up Risks of ‘Side-Betting’

Macau needs to improve its regulatory oversight of side-betting in VIP rooms and of the unlicensed investors in the profits the rooms generate. A local law professor Jorge Godinho (l.) says the government has been slow to act, and the rules are rife with “gaps and shortcoming”.

Triads Infiltrate Hong Kong Casino Cruises

Triad criminal gangs have muscled into Hong Kong’s casino cruise ship business, are competing for mainland gamblers and raising concerns among police that a turf war could erupt. Police recently raided dozens of locations and boarded two ships as part of an ongoing investigation.

Regulator Defends Macau’s Slots

Slot machine malfunctions have become fodder for discussion in Macau’s Legislative Assembly. Two lawmakers are concerned about perceptions that players are being cheated. The city’s top regulator maintains that most breakdowns are “minor” and don’t involve jackpots.


EC Sets Out Social Responsibility Code

The European Commission has issued a number of recommendations to guide Member States in developing policies to protect online gambling consumers. The proposals, which are non-binding, stress social responsibility at all levels.


Boomtown Sydney

Sydney is enjoying a surge in new hotel construction that will see room supply in Australia’s largest city grow by 20 percent before the decade is out. Overseas visitation is driving the demand, occupancy and room rates are climbing to new highs.


Ultimate Gaming Grows Online Poker

Ultimate Gaming, which operates Ultimate Poker.com, is expanding its base of clients and casino operators in Nevada. With the addition of the historic El Cortez in Downtown Vegas, customers can now access their accounts at more than 20 locations in the state.

Brazil, Argentina Propose Online Gambling Changes

Brazil has introduced a bill to legalize online sports betting, casino games and bingo. Meanwhile, neighboring Argentina is seeking to bring its patchwork of online gaming rules under a national regulator.

Betfred partners with GTECH

GTECH will provide the technology platform for Betfred’s new Australian interactive sports betting operation with its MarginMaker platform.

Bwin.party Gives Mixed Revenue Report

Bwin.party reported a mixed bag of revenue results for the second quarter. Sports betting was up for the company, but online gambling declined and online bingo stayed flat. The company still expressed a hopeful outlook for the year and said it will continue with cost saving cuts.

Greentube Release Social Game in U.S.

Greentube has launched its first U.S.-based social game, Magic Key Casino, developed in collaboration with BlueBat Games and available on Facebook.


Referendum on Northern New Jersey Casino Introduced

A bill that would put a public referendum on the New Jersey Election Day ballot to allow casinos in the state outside of Atlantic City has been introduced, but a deadline for this year’s ballot is just two weeks away. Meanwhile, reactions to a proposed $4.6 billion casino in Jersey City proposed by former Reebok Chairman Paul Fireman (l.) has been largely positive and the state could move to have a referendum in place by November 2015.

Cuomo: Market Will Dictate Casino Success in New York

As Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the nationwide casino industry from stable to negative, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) said none of the 17 would-be operators in upstate New York would spend millions or billions on businesses that won’t be profitable.

Kentucky Candidate Backs Gaming

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway (l.) says he will campaign for casino gambling as part of his bid for governor in next year’s election.

Nevada Slot Route Operator ‘Blindsided’ By Pot Problems

Nevada Gaming Partners owner Bruce Familian says he took heed when the state Gaming Control Board warned those in the casino industry to stay away from the medical marijuana business. Because his wife is in the pot biz, says Familian, he’s getting penalized for it anyway.

Billionaire Betting on Lake Las Vegas

In recent years, Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada has lost its casino, one golf course and many surrounding businesses. But there is new hope the community can survive, now that billionaire investor Gary Paulson has purchased 1,100 acres of land in the community.

Atlantic City Sees Casino Revenue Rise in June

Atlantic City casinos got some rare good news as the state reported that casino revenue was up in June by nearly 4 percent. However, if you factor in revenue from the Atlantic Club, which closed in January, revenue was actually down by 5.7 percent.

Opponents Mobilize Against Historic Racing in Nebraska

Gambling with the Good Life members are hoping to defeat a November ballot initiative that would allow historic racing machines at Nebraska racetracks. Group members said the machines resemble casino-style slots. Supporters, however, said the games could revitalize the state's struggling horseracing industry and help preserve its jobs.

Ground Broken For Mississippi Coast Casino

Ground was broken in D'Iberville, Mississippi for the $250 million Scarlet Pearl Casino, which will create 500 construction and 1,100 permanent jobs. The resort will feature two world-class miniature golf courses which CEO George Toth (l.) said will distinguish the property, in addition to a casino, 300-room hotel, dining, retail and conference and entertainment areas.

Boom in Reno Conventions

Despite a big decline in government convention business, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority says it has tabulated a 49 percent increase in room sales in the market for fiscal 2103-14. More than 60 percent of that was new business.

Hoover Dam Lodge Could Add to Staff

The Hacienda resort near Boulder City, Nevada is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation under its new owners, Nevada Restaurant Services, the owner of the Dotty’s chain of slot parlors. When the upgrade is complete, the resort will change its name to Hoover Dam Lodge and possibly hire on several dozen new staffers.

Stockton College Interested in Atlantic City Casino Sites

Richard Stockton College in Galloway Township New Jersey has been looking into opening a second campus in Atlantic City and could choose a former casino site if the price is right, college officials said. Three casinos could close in the resort by the end of the summer.

Missouri Casinos Will Offer Credit

Starting August 28, qualified players at Missouri casinos will be able to take out loans for a minimum of $10,000. The casinos will run credit checks for the zero-interest loans, which must be repaid within 30 days. Applicants who appear visibly intoxicated would be denied credit. Governor Jay Nixon (l.) let the bill become law without his signature.

Wisconsin Gambling Council Offers Grants

Qualified organizations may apply for grants of $2,000 to $5,000 from the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling to fund projects that can reach more people with gambling problems. The council operates a 24-hour helpline, distributes information, organizes an annual statewide conference, makes presentations and conducts training sessions for treatment providers.

LVS Sued for Allegedly Stealing Trade Secrets

A former Macau partner of Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. says the Sands stole proprietary information when it walked away from the business alliance. Sands originally joined with Asian American to win a Macau gaming license, then joined with Galaxy Entertainment.

No New Rail Service for AC

New Jersey Transit will not add new rail service between Atlantic City and Philadelphia. The current rail line is the least-traveled NJT rail route, and also among the least profitable.

Sioux City Casino Remains Open—For Now

Argosy Sioux City in Iowa will remain open at least a few more days thanks to Polk County District Judge Eliza Ovrom's latest ruling, following a 10-day stay she granted late last month. Next week she'll decide on Argosy's appeal to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which had the riverboat casino, closed by July 1.

Mississippi Town Can Now Discuss Casinos

Officials in Waveland, Mississippi recently changed the city charter to remove the ban on casinos, even though no casino developments are planned at the moment. Mayor David Garcia said previously, even discussions with casino interests would have been prohibited. Waveland is part of the Gulfport-Biloxi metropolitan statistical area.

Casino Revenues Belong To Detroit

A federal judge ruled casino tax revenue, as much as $15 million a month, belongs to the bankrupt city of Detroit, and therefore is inaccessible to bond insurer Syncora Guarantee. One of the last creditors to arrange a settlement, Syncora said it would suffer "massive losses" by not having access to casino tax revenues.

Twin Rivers Prepares For Massachusetts Gambling

With the $250 million purchase of Hard Rock Biloxi completed, Twin River Casino in Rhode Island is getting ready for the coming crush from Massachusetts gambling. The company also is pushing a proposed ballot initiative in Colorado that would allow slots and table games at the company's Arapahoe Park racetrack.

West Virginia Casino Could Go Smokeless

The Hancock County, Pennsylvania Health Board has proposed banning smoking in businesses including casinos. MTR Gaming President Joseph Billhimer said that means Mountaineer Casino could lose revenue and jobs. However, research indicates gamblers are just as likely, or not, to smoke as any other adults.

Illegal Gambling Bust at Caesars Palace

The FBI arrested eight people for allegedly running an illegal gambling ring, using Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as its base of operations. The suspects, who have been linked to Chinese organized crime, were taking bets on World Cup soccer.

LEX Opens at Reno’s Grand Sierra

In a bid to draw high-spending clubbers to the Reno market, the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino has opened its luxe new LEX nightclub. The $15 million watering hole was designed to appeal to young patrons coming to Las Vegas from the California market.


Glendale Council Switches on Casino

The city council of Glendale, Arizona has dropped its opposition and lawsuit against a casino adjacent to the town proposed by the Tohono O'odham Nation. The Desert Diamond Glendale (l.) is now closer than ever.

California Tribes Anticipate New Federal Rules

While new rules proposed by the federal government for recognizing tribes that existed after 1934 would have a wide-ranging effect nationally, several California tribes are watching their progress with interest.

Mass Town Seeks to Join Federal Lawsuit

The Martha’s Vineyard town of Aquinnah has asked to be allowed to join the lawsuit between the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the State of Massachusetts over whether the tribe is allowed to offer gaming on its reservation.

Progress At Oklahoma Indian Casinos

Stream-bed issues requiring approval from the Army Corps of Engineers will push the opening of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's $335 million River Spirit Casino (l.) in Tulsa to 2016. Construction is on track at the Cherokee Nation's $78.5 million Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland where crews filled in groundwater pockets.

Twin Arrows Receives Four- Diamond Status

AAA recently bestowed upon Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Flagstaff, Arizona its coveted Four Diamond Rating for its unique architecture, customer satisfaction and Navajo influences in amenities and decor. Only five percent of the 29,000-plus AAA-approved properties achieve the highly esteemed honor.


Novomatic CEO Stepping Down

Novomatic Group has announced that Franz Wohlfahrt will resign his position as general manager and CEO of the company effective September 30.

Management Changes At Coastal Casinos

Familiar names have new positions at Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos. Chett Harrison (l.) has been named general manager at Golden Nugget Biloxi, following Jim Hoskins' departure to become divisional vice president of gaming for Golden Nugget Casinos. Also, Anthony Carlucci now is general manager at Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis and Boomtown Biloxi.

Ultimate Gaming Names New Marketing Chief

Ultimate Gaming has named former 888 Holdings vice president Todd Kobrin as the company’s new chief marketing officer. Kobrin has experience in foreign and domestic U.S.. jurisdictions, and brings more than 18 years of industry savvy to the role.

Greene Named GM at Trop Greenville

Industry veteran Roscoe Greene has been named general manager at Trop Greenville in Mississippi, which will complete a $10 million renovation in October. Greene worked for Caesars Entertainment for 25 years before becoming senior vice president and assistant general manager at Penn National Gaming's Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

Primm Promotes Tucker, Hall

Primm Valley Casino Resorts has promoted Shana Tucker to vice president of marketing and Kenji Hall to vice president of operations, effective immediately. Both are longtime veterans of the Clark County, Nevada gaming company.

Hannibal, Harding to Lead Gaming Business Group

A new strategic organization in the United Kingdom has announced the appointments of two top executives: “industry heavyweight” and former BACTA president Nick Harding, who will serve as chairman; and gaming veteran Peter Hannibal, who will be the CEO.


Northern Quest Picks IGT

The Northern Quest Resort & Casino has signed an agreement to install IGT’s Advantage 9.1 casino management system and sbX Media Manager.

Magazine to Offer Slot Tech Training

A professional magazine for slot technicians will hold regional four-day training sessions designed for slot employees at small, regional casinos.

LT Games Wins Court Case

A Macau court has dismissed an appeal from SHFL entertainment (Asia) Ltd., which had sought an injunction halting LT Games’ multi-game monopoly efforts.

SG Extends JenningsBet Deal

SG Gaming has extended its agreement with U.K. bookmaker JenningsBet, under which JenningsBet uses SG Gaming terminals throughout its estate.

GLI Streamlines Lottery Testing

Gaming Laboratories International has refined its processes to streamline its testing services for the international government lottery industry.

Spectrum, Tottenham Offer Global Consultancy

Two leading gaming consultancies, U.S.-based Spectrum Gaming Group and U.K.-based Tottenham & Company, recently formed a one-stop global consultancy offering gaming-related services and solutions to private clients and governments worldwide.


Gaming Regulators To Meet In Philadelphia

The historic city of Philadelphia will host the 2014 annual conference of the International Association of Gaming Regulators, October 27-29. Members from gaming jurisdictions worldwide will discuss the challenges of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of gambling oversight.


Era of Gambling Ships was a Romantic Time in California

There was a time at the beginning of the Great Depression when gambling ships plied the waves on the Southern California coast just outside of the reach of the law (SS Rex at left). It was one of the most colorful periods in the history of Los Angeles.




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