First Jersey iGaming Revenue Report Issued

The first report of iGaming revenue in New Jersey was issued this week. The numbers were far below Governor Chris Christie’s estimate and slightly lower than the consensus of gaming analysts. Poker players represented a larger portion of the revenue than in a land-based casino environment.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Macau Junkets: Who’s Buying Who?

Suncity, reputed to be Macau’s largest junket controlled by Cheng Yu Tung (l.), may be moving onto the Hong Kong Stock Exchange through the back door. A Hong Kong-listed investment group is reported to be negotiating for control of a Suncity-affiliated company, but Suncity could wind up in control of its buyer.

Bermuda Forges Ahead with Casino Plans

The Bermuda government originally planned a gaming referendum, then made the “difficult” decision to make it a legislative vote instead. Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell (l.) says polls showed 70 percent of Bermudians supported casinos anyway, so officials are making plans for a legislative push this year.

Sheldon Adelson Drafts Federal Bill Outlawing Online Gambling

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson (l.) may not be in Congress, but that hasn’t stopped him from drafting a federal bill to outlaw internet gaming in the U.S. Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, has pledged to oppose online gaming claiming it will corrupt minors and destroy land-based casino business.

New Megaresort Coming to Vietnam

An investment group back by the Rockefeller family plans to co-develop a $2.5 billion luxury resort on Vietnam’s south-central coast. It’s not known yet if gaming will be part of the mix. Plans call for more than 700 hotel rooms, thousands of upscale residences and a major marina.

Boston Fights for Casino Rights

New Boston Mayor Martin Walsh (l.) is asking that his city be treated both as a surrounding community and host community by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in relation to the casino proposed by the Mohegan Sun and the Suffolk Downs racetrack.

Judge Rules for Massachusetts Casino Tribe

A federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of the Massachusetts gaming law that gave a special preference to an Indian tribe, the Mashpees, in being licensed for a casino in Taunton (l.).

FANTINI’S FINANCE: NJ Numbers Not Inspiring

Analysts missed the mark by a wide margin when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement posted the first revenue numbers for the state’s nascent iGaming industry. So what’s the problem?


Caesars Wants Back in South Korea

South Korea’s plans to lower the barriers for investments in resort casinos has prompted Caesars Entertainment to resubmit its bid for permission to build near Incheon International Airport. The gaming giant was rejected last year, presumably over concerns about its finances.

GGAM Sheds Interest in Manila Casino

Global Gaming Asset Management, the original managers of Bloombury’s Solaire Resort Casino (l.) in Manila, has sold its interest in the property just months after being ousted by Bloombury’s principal owner, Enrique Razon, in a dispute over operations.

Funding Complete for Planned Cotai Resort

Louis XIII has secured a key loan to allow it to proceed with construction of a super-luxury hotel on the Cotai Strip. Still missing from the picture is a license for the all-important casino.

Rich Get Richer on Macau

The gaming boom has added billions to the net worth of several well-known people who own a piece of it. Forbes’ latest list ranks Galaxy Entertainment Chairman Lui Che Woo (l.) as the second-wealthiest individual in Hong Kong. The Ho clan isn’t doing too bad either.

Casino Talk Proves Cheap in Malaysia

Property giant Berjaya denies any interest in a casino for a resort it plans to build in the Malaysian state of Johor on the border with Singapore. The state’s highest-ranking official already had rejected any chance that gaming might be part of the project.

PAGCOR Bullish on 2014

The Philippines’ state-owned gaming operator looks to be falling short of its revenue forecast for 2013 but is expecting better days in 2014. Increases in gaming revenues, coupled with the impact of City of Dreams Manila (l.), could take its performance above the US$1 billion mark.

Hengqin Ramps Up for Chinese New Year

Hengqin Island’s first hotel opens this month as the largest in China, and will be joined by a theme park and circus. The attractions will boost visitation to Macau, but the hotel rooms should prove even more valuable.


UK’s FOBTs Safe for Now

Britain’s governing coalition defeated a bid by the Labor Party to force it to adopt limits on the spread of a controversial type of electronic casino-style table game in the country’s betting shops. The government hinted that it might take action on its own but is waiting for a new report on the machines due out this spring.

Russia Declares Amnesty for Gambling Ring

Charges have been dropped against six men accused of running an illegal gambling operation in and around Moscow. There were no regulations governing illegal gambling at the time of their arrest, so they’ve qualified for a general amnesty for offenders who merely ran illegal businesses.

Disappointment in Manitoba iGaming Numbers

Competition and technical problems are dimming Manitoba’s hopes for its new online gaming network. A profit of C$1.5 million was expected in the first year, but was tracking at less than half that.


OLG Announces Pre-Qualification Deadline

Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation recently announced Requests for Pre-Qualification for gaming operators for two casinos in the Toronto area will be due March 13, 2014. Intense competition is expected as one provider will operate both casinos and have first right to operate a possible third.

Island Betting Shops Protest Wagering Tax

Numerous betting shops have closed since the government of Trinidad and Tobago passed a 10 percent per-bet tax a decade ago. Bettors now can place tax-free bets online and casinos also offer competition. However, officials say the betting shops actually have taken in billions and paid very little in taxes.


PartyPoker Sponsorship Deal with Devils, 76ers a First in U.S.

PartyPoker, one of New Jersey’s new online gambling sites, has announced a sponsorship deal with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, two teams heavily supported by New Jersey sports fans. The deal marks the first time U.S. sports teams have hooked up with an online gambling site. Bwin CEO Norbert Teufelberger (l.) says they need to do a good job.

New Jersey Online Gambling Sites Looking for Wifi Fix

According to reports, several New Jersey based online gambling sites have traced geolocation problems back to weak wifi signals. Several sites are developing dongles—or attached signal boosters—to help solve the problem.

House of Lords Considers UK Online Gambling Bill

A bill to require all online casino companies operating in the UK to be licensed regardless of their home base has reached the committee stage in the House of Lords. The bill also requires online gambling firms to pay a 15 percent tax on gaming revenue.

Mobile Gaming Growing in China

China's mobile gaming market in 2013 was worth more than $ 1.84 billion, about one-eighth the country’s total gaming market.

Stock Drops for

After analysts cited a stagnation on PartyPoker, shares for have dropped despite a re-launch of its poker platform in September.

Full Tilt Adds Casino Games

Full Tilt Poker has been slowly rolling out casino games to add to its online poker platforms. The company has added roulette and blackjack.

Microgaming Rolls Out New Games

Microgaming releases two new games this month on its HTML5 platform. Centre Court and Isis are the latest slots to join Microgaming’s mobile portfolio.

Minnesota Lottery Going Online

The Minnesota State Lottery is launching online versions of its scratch-off lottery tickets, as gambling opponents protest the move.


Atlantic Club Closes in Atlantic City

Atlantic City’s Atlantic Club casino officially closed last week leaving the Atlantic City market with 11 casinos. The closing leaves more than 1,600 former employees looking for work. The property was opened by Steve Wynn in 1981 as the Golden Nugget (l.).

Florida Lawmakers Consider Seminoles, Genting

Florida legislators have a lot on their plate for the upcoming session. Allowing destination resorts could threaten the Seminole compact, which brings Florida $1 billion over five years. Lawmakers also are taking a stand on Genting Resort World's proposal to open a slots-only casino in Miami, where the company had planned a $3 billion casino (l.) just last year.

Hollywood Casino Gets Hotel Extension

Penn National Gaming and International Speedway Corporation—operating as Kansas Entertainment—will avoid paying a $1.3 million penalty for missing the deadline on a hotel at Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kansas. Kansas Entertainment had committed to build a $200 million hotel within two years of Hollywood's February 2012 opening.

Caesars Entertainment Drops Race Books in New Jersey

According to an agenda item for the New Jersey Racing Commission, Caesars Entertainment has dropped horseracing simulcasts at its four Atlantic City casinos. That leaves only the Borgata Casino Resort & Spa offering simulcasting in the resort.

SugarHouse Casino Temporary Poker Room Hits Snag

Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino has proposed a temporary structure to house poker tables while it continues a major expansion of the casino. However, Pennsylvania state regulators say the casino has to submit detailed plans for the structure as it would in any major expansion.

Vegas Cowboy Saga Continues

Will the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association saddle up for Florida, or remain in Las Vegas, 10-year home of the National Finals Rodeo? The decision could signal a significant decline in visitation and revenues for the gaming capital.

Timetable for Argosy License Still Pending in Iowa

The challenge from Penn National Gaming over the awarding of a new license for Sioux City is getting more serious. As required by law, Penn has partnered with a new non-profit organization and has withheld monies from its previous partner after that partner jumped ship.

Caesars to Target Super Bowl Fans

The head of Caesars Entertainment’s Eastern division says the operator will try to capture business from those attending Super Bowl XLVIII at the MetLife Stadium (l.) in North Jersey.

Committee Denies Illinois Video Gambling Reforms

A little known legislative panel, the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, recently voted to reject video gambling reforms proposed by the Illinois Gaming Board last fall. Aaron Jaffe, Gaming Board chairman, said he was "astounded" and will make the case for the reforms to the General Assembly.

$1 Billion Invested In South Mississippi

Casino operators and developers are spending more than $1 billion to buy, build and renovate Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos, which have weathered Hurricane Katrina, the recession and BP oil spill. Casino revenue for the region could top $1 billion for 2012. Even Tunica got into the act with a new poker room at the Horseshoe (l.).

DeNaples Seeks Lift of Pennsylvania Ban

Pennsylvania businessman Louis DeNaples is asking the state Gaming Control Board to lift a ban imposed in 2012 that prohibits him from doing business with the casino he founded.

Revel Revamps Player’s Rewards

Atlantic City’s struggling Revel casino debuted a new player’s lounge and launched a new player’s card in the hopes of attracting more customers to the casino. Revel officials acknowledged that the casino’s previous rewards system confused players.


California Tribe Goes Hollywood

San Diego County, which has more Indian casinos than another other county in the U.S., may get another one since the Jamul Indian Village has broken ground on a project that will be built by Penn National Gaming.

Connecticut Considers Racinos

Connecticut’s legislature is mulling allowing slot machines at the state’s three off-track betting facilities in order to make up for money the state is losing as revenues continue to fall at Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun (l.) casinos.

Michigan Landowners Focus On Waterfront Casino

Muskegon Lakefront LLC recently got an extension from the Muskegon, Michigan city commission to develop the prime Harbor 31 waterfront property. Commissioners feel Muskegon Lakefront has been more interested in pursuing an Indian casino in downtown Muskegon.

Oklahoma Tribe Wants New Mexico Recognition

The Fort Sill Apache sued New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (l.) in December to force the state to grant recognition. Tribal members live in Oklahoma, where they were forced to move more than 100 years ago, but hope to build a casino on their 30-acre trust land in New Mexico.

Tribe Helped Republicans For Gaming Protection

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians gave $350,000 to a Republican committee to protect its gambling operations in Alabama, the New York Times recently reported. The donation was made to a committee rather than individual candidates to avoid linking them to gambling.

McCrory Briefed On Catawba Casino

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's office said he raised “serious objections” about a proposed Catawba Nation casino and would not lend support to the tribe’s federal land trust application. But he sent top advisers to visit the site, a gaming compact was drafted.

Tribe Plans Renovation and Second Casino

One of the poorest Indian communities in the U.S., the San Carlos Apache Nation is working on two major casino projects. First, it will invest $10 million to renovate the 20-year-old Apache Gold Casino Resort. Second, work is progressing on the $25 million Apache Sky Casino Resort (l.) near Dudleyville.

Cypress Bayou Celebrates 20th Birthday

Located in Charenton, Louisiana and owned by the Chitimacha Tribe, Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel recently celebrated 20 years. Originally a bingo hall, the property is the state's first land-based and high-stakes bingo casino. The 65,000 square foot gaming floor offers 1,300 slots and 34 table games.

Tribes Weigh Casino Smoking Ban

A coalition of tobacco prevention staff from North Dakota reservations along with other anti-smoking groups and the state health department are considering a ban on smoking in the state's Indian casinos. Voters approved a smoking ban in indoor workplaces in 2012, but the law does not extend to reservations.



Novomatic Buys Loontjens

Austria’s Novomatic Group has acquired Dutch gaming operator Loontjens Automaten, which runs nine arcades and 1,300 AWP machines in the Netherlands.

GSA Welcomes New Members

The Gaming Standards Association has welcomed nine new international members, and has enlisted former Barack Obama campaign manager Jim Messina as an adviser.


MEI Announces ICE Lineup

MEI has announced the lineup of advanced cash-handling products the company will display at February’s ICE Totally Gaming trade show.

Suzo-Happ Highlights ICE Lineup

Suzo-Happ has announced its lineup of products that will be on display at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show next month in London.




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