5’O’Clock Nowhere

The two-year-old Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi will close in September, due to the landowners' unwillingness to renegotiate the lease, officials said. The closure will force 371 people to find new jobs. Although it's the second Mississippi casino to close this year, Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey said coastal casino investment and revenue is strong.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Can Atlantic City Be Saved?

As Atlantic City faces a continuing decline in casino revenue and the threat of three of its 11 casinos closing by the end of the summer, state and local officials are searching for ways to turn the resort’s fortunes around. State Senator James Whelan (on left along with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and Senate President Steve Sweeney) wants to keep the closing casinos open another three months to lure potential buyers. And proposals to expand casinos into northern New Jersey—with provisions to help Atlantic City—are gaining ground.

Japan Moves Closer to Casinos

A special task force is being assembled in Japan to help develop regulations for the country’s nascent casino industry. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (l.) says they will be studying other countries on which to model its recommendations.

Putin Signs Crimea Casino Bill

The prospect of casinos in the Crimea and Sochi is moving closer to reality now that Russian President Vladimir Putin (l.) has signed the legalization bill. Both economies are hurting and need the boost gaming could bring them.

Labor Troubles at Sands China

A group representing Macau dealers and pit staff staged a public protest against what they claim are pay inequities and arbitrary promotion policies at Sands China’s casinos. The company denies the allegations.

California Card Clubs Support Online Poker

After months where only gaming tribes expressed their opinions about online poker, 25 card rooms, led by the California Grand Casino (l.), have entered the fray with a letter urging the legislature to legalize the practice.

Crown Partners for Brisbane Bid

The battle for a resort casino in Brisbane (l.) is down to rival joint ventures by Crown Resorts and Echo Entertainment. Crown is partnering with China property giant Greenland, Echo with a consortium led by retail jewelry conglomerate Chow Tai Fook.

SugarHouse Breaks Ground on Expansion

Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino has broken ground on a $164 million expansion that will add an event venue, new restaurants, a 30-table poker room and a parking garage. General Manager Wendy Hamilton (l.) called it a “huge milestone” for the company.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Experiential Success

The malaise affecting casinos across the country must have something to do with how they are treated and what they want. Do we want to constantly rely on “less bad” results?


Manila Resort Mulls Expansion

City of Dreams Manila hasn’t opened yet, but the resort casino’s local joint venture partner is already negotiating with nearby landowners to add to the property’s holdings. The resort is slated to open in the fall on about six hectares and could grow by 13 more in Phase 2.

Nepal Casinos Back in Business

Nepal will allow the casino industry it shut down in April to reopen in order. The move signals the government is retreating from a new, tougher stance on licensing and fee payments in order to protect jobs.

Movie Studio Plans Casino in Korea

South Korea’s gaming expansion push has a new player—20th Century Fox, which is looking to develop a movie-themed leisure park with a casino near the southern city of Busan. Plans call for a six-star hotel, a water park, a cinema, retail shopping and a golf course.


Quebec Casino Workers to Strike

More than 1,000 employees at two casinos in Quebec will likely walk off the job for 24 hours this Monday. It’s a show of force without much muscle, as ongoing declines in gaming revenues are forcing a number of casinos to downsize, including Casino Montreal (l.).


Sites Banned in Hungary, Turkey

Hungary and Turkey are working together to crack down on unlicensed internet gambling in their countries. Leading operator Ladbrokes is among the victims, banned from both countries, which have blacklisted more than 100 web sites to date.

Netherlands Sets Online Tax at 20 Percent

The Dutch government plans to tax online gaming revenue at 20 percent once the market is opened to competition as part of a sweeping series of reforms. Holland Casino, which is losing its land-based monopoly, is expected to join the web market.

New York State Proposes Virtual Currency Regulations

New York would be the first U.S. state to adopt regulations for virtual currencies under a draft proposal from the state Department of Financial Services. The regulations would treat virtual currency exchanges much like any traditional financial institution.

PartyPoker Launches New Mobile App

PartyPoker has launched a new fast-fold mobile application for fast-forward tables players. The app is available for iPad and iPhone in the UK, Ireland, Austria and Sweden.

Amaya Platform to Be On Full Tilt

Amaya games has entered into an agreement to provide the gaming platform for Full Tilt Poker. The agreement is separate from Amaya’s pending purchase of the rational Group, owners of Full Tilt.

Parx to Launch Free-Play Site with GameAccount

Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino has partnered with GameAccount Network to launch a free-play site on GameAccount’s Simulated Gaming platform. GameAccount’s Dermot Smurfit (l.) says the company’s regulated systems make the different.


Hard Rock Comes to Lake Tahoe

The iconic Hard Rock brand is taking Lake Tahoe; a new resort bearing the world-famous name will be open by the time the first skiers arrive. The Park family of Neva One LLC bought the former Horizon (l.) and will spend $60 million on renovations.

Council Approves MGM’s Maryland Casino

The Prince George’s County Council has approved MGM Resorts’ plan for the $925 million MGM National Harbor resort (l.), which could break ground in a few weeks. The casino will be the closest gaming resort to Washington D.C.

Fitch Releases Pessimistic Gaming Report

A recently released report by Fitch Ratings said long-term growth in regional markets is unlikely due to market saturation, stagnant wages, disposable income choices and less interest in gambling among younger generations. The report said new casinos in regional markets are likely to cannibalize revenues from existing ones.

Iowa Supreme Court Shuts Down Argosy as State Revenue Continue Slide

The Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino will close this week as the Iowa Supreme Court refused allow it to stay open while conducting the legal fight. Sioux City’s new Hard Rock Hotel (l.) will open on August 1. And the recently ended fiscal year delivered more bad new for Iowa's 18 state-licensed casinos.

Detroit Casinos Lose Employees, Revenue

Last year Detroit's three casinos reported a combined 7,633 workers, a drop of 4.4 percent or 350 employees compared to 2012. Total revenues at the three properties declined from $1.42 billion in 2012 to $1.35 billion last year. New competition in Ohio was to blame, Detroit casino officials said.

Layoffs Coming to River Palms

Several hundred employees of the River Palms Resort Casino in Laughlin, Nevada will be permanently laid off starting in the first week of September. Some of them may be hired back, according to the new owners.

$2 Million Awarded to Atlantic City Projects

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has awarded $2 million in grants and loans for Atlantic City projects. The grants will help maintain tourist attractions such as the city’s Absecon Lighthouse (l.) and loans will fund improvements to The Walk shopping district.

Coloradans Question Twin River's Motives

Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide Holdings has spent millions to support Initiative 135, which would raise more than $100 million for Colorado schools by allowing casino gambling at its Arapahoe Park (l.) horseracing track. Opponents—namely Colorado gaming interests—also have spent millions and allege that Twin Rivers is using the education issue as a front.

Will Vegas Ban Smoking?

Sin City without smokers? Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Andrew Zarnett says it could happen if a smoking ban planned for Macau doesn’t cause substantial declines in revenue. In that case, Las Vegas may be next to take the healthier approach.

Two Plans to Bring MLS to Sin City

Two groups have announced plans to bring Major League Soccer to Las Vegas. Justin Findlay and the Cordish Companies want to build in the Symphony Park area of Downtown Vegas, but have disclosed no plans to finance it. Jason Ader says he would finance the deal himself.

Greyhound Racing on the Ropes in Florida

The handle from dog racing in Florida has dropped from almost $1 billion in 1990 to $258 million in 2013. That decline, along with efforts by animal rights lobbyists to end the sport, has track owners doubtful about their futures.

Upstate New York Casinos Seek Tax Breaks

Three New York casino developers say hefty property tax breaks will help them compete with casinos developed in Orange County. Orange County is closer to the New York City metropolitan area, and could siphon off patrons who otherwise would travel upstate. 

Vegas Goes Country

MGM Resorts International and Live Nation have partnered on a kickass country music festival. The three-day Route 91 Harvest will feature superstars Dwight Yoakam (l.), Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and more.

Prison Time for Palms Race Book Super

A former race and sports book supervisor at the Palms in Las Vegas has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for participating in a betting scheme that cost the resort $800,000. Michael Albanese must also help to repay more than $230,000 in restitution.

Mountaineer Smoking Ban Draws Comments

The Hancock County Board of Health in West Virginia recently opened the floor for public comments about its proposed smoking ban in casinos, bars, clubs, outdoor festivals and other venues. Mountaineer employees fear the ban would lead to fewer customers and potential layoffs.

Horseshoe Bomb Threat Not A Hoax

A bomb threat phoned in to Horseshoe Southern Indiana turned out not to be a hoax, but a training exercise by the casino's Philippines-based security vendor. Caught in the middle was Bloomington resident Ken Surface who was staying in the casino hotel room where the bomb allegedly was placed. Surface intends to sue the casino in federal court.

Borgata Answers Phil Ivey

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has filed a brief answering Phil Ivey’s motion to dismiss the casino’s lawsuit against him which seeks to recoup $9.8 million the professional card player won from the casino. Borgata alleges that Ivey cheated through a technique known as edge sorting.

Illinois Town Limits Social Club Progressive Raffles

Last February, after a social club's progressive raffle jackpot topped $210,000, aldermen in Aurora, Illinois approved a six-month moratorium on the games. Now they recently voted 9-2 to limit progressive raffle prizes at the clubs to $500 or less. Several of the clubs say they may have to close as a result.

Nebraska Historic Racing Draws Supporters, Opponents

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is pushing for the passage of the proposed Horse Race Wagering Amendment on the November ballot, which would allow historic racing machines at state-licensed racetracks. The group Gambling with the Good Life is traveling the state urging voters to oppose the amendment.

As Casino Ship Dislodges, Investigations Begin

Tradewinds Casino Cruise's Escapade casino ship dislodged itself from the sandbar it hit on its maiden voyage out of Savannah. All had been safely rescued by the Coast Guard, which will investigate the accident. Other officials want to know if passengers gambled illegally after the boat was stranded, more than a mile from international waters.

Slot Temporarily Shuts Lumière Place

Tropicana Entertainment's Lumière Place casino in downtown St. Louis, Missouri closed for nearly 12 hours starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, due to slot machine failure. Customers were paid manually as casino technicians went to work on the problem. Officials said they are "working with the manufacturer to resolve the issue."


Catawbas Re-Open Bingo Hall

For the first time since 2006, when the Catawba Indian Nation closed its bingo operation in Rock Hill, South Carolina, bingo is back in a former grocery store. Meanwhile, the tribe faces opposition over its land-trust application for a casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

Cherokee Nation Announces 8th Casino

The Cherokee Nation will start construction next month on its eighth casino, located on a restricted Indian allotment one mile south of the Kansas border in South Coffeyville. The operation will create 100 jobs and offer up to 300 gaming machines in a modular building.

Mashpee Chief Skeptical About Casino

The chief of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, Vernon “Silent Drum” Lopez (l.) is mainly supportive of the tribe’s proposed $500 million casino in Taunton, Massachusetts, but he is also skeptical.

Major Renovations At Sandia Pueblo

When New Mexico's economy rebounds, Sandia Pueblo near Albuquerque will be ready, thanks to a major building boom going on now. Projects include remodeling the casino to include a new poker room and a huge covered parking garage, plus constructing new tribal offices, infrastructure and roads. "It's time to expand," said Sandia Governor Stuart Paisano.

Menominees Await Kenosha Casino Decision

While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (l.) has until February 19, 2015, to make a decision about the Menominee Tribe's proposed off-reservation casino in Kenosha, things are not getting any better on the tribe's reservation. It covers the entire county, which has the highest poverty rate, the worst healthy and nearly the highest unemployment in Wisconsin.

U.S. Senator’s Biggest Donor is a Casino

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, owners of the San Pablo Lytton Casino think so highly of Alaska’s U.S. Senator Mark Begich (l.) that they are his largest campaign donors.

Oklahoma Tribe Will Re-Submit Application

The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma said it agreed with U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson that its lawsuit, claiming the U.S. Department of Interior unreasonably delayed addressing its land-to-trust application, should be dismissed. Interior Department officials rejected the tribe's application but will allow it to re-apply and clarify accounting issues that led to the rejection.


Former Caesars CFO Adds Extended Stay to His Resume

Former Caesars CFO Jonathan Halkyard (l.) is the interim chief financial officer for Extended Stay America filling in for Peter Crage, who has resigned for personal reasons. He will stay on in an advisory capacity until the end of the year.

William Hill Names CEO for Australia

Not content to buy out Australian competitor TomWaterhouse.com, betting giant William Hill has named Waterhouse himself to head its operations in the country. The country is an important one for Hills and was instrumental in boosting the company’s World Cup results.

Ralph Reed Joins Adelson Coalition Against Online Gambling

Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed (l.) has joined with Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and 11 state chapters of Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition are now listed as part of the Coalition, according to Buzzfeed.


Muckleshoot Selects Bally; Mohegan Sun Adds Bally Tables

Washington’s Muckleshoot Casino will deploy Bally’s iVIEW Display Manager (l.) with Elite Bonusing Suite across more than 3,100 slots. And Bally Technologies has installed the world’s largest single-property table game progressive at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun.

Innovation Group Partners With Fujimoto

The Innovation Group has formed a strategic partnership with casino and integrated-resort research and specialty advisor Kotaro Fujimoto of the Institute of Amusement Industry Studies at Osaka University of Commerce. Fujimoto has helped the firm secure several government and commercial advisory contracts in Japan.

Ride Genie OK’d in Nevada

The Nevada Transportation Authority has approved an “e-hailing app” that lets customers call for a limousine with a smartphone. Integrity Vehicle Solutions’ Ride Genie app was unanimously OK’d by the three-member board.

Poydras, Southern Ace Partner For Video Poker

Poydras Gaming Finance and Louisiana-based Southern Ace will form a partnership to acquire video poker machines. The $600 million Louisiana video poker market currently consists of about 13,800 machines in restaurants, bars and truck stops.

Problem Gambling Group Awards Seminoles

The National Council on Problem Gambling awarded the Seminole Tribe of Florida with its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the recently held National Conference on Problem Gaming in Orlando. It was the first time in the organization's history that the meeting was held in the southeast.

Novomatic Joins WLA

Austria’s Novomatic Group was accepted as a Gold Contributor of the World Lottery Association, the third world lottery association to which it now belongs.


Government Endorses Macau Gaming Show

The Macao Gaming Show has lined up expressions of support from casino regulator DICJ and a government agency dedicated to promoting trade an investment. Organizers of the industry trade event, which debuted last year, said the endorsements recognize the show’s role in diversifying the local economy.




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