Revel Is History

Atlantic City’s Revel casino announced that it failed to find a buyer in a bankruptcy auction and will close September 1. The closing will put about 3.100 employees out of work. Revel officials later announced that they are still in negotiations with potential buyers, but any sale would come after the closing. Meanwhile, Governor Chris Christie announced a state summit to discuss the resort’s future.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Domestic Tranquility in Vietnam

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has drafted new gaming regulations for consideration that include a provision for allowing the country’s citizens to patronize casinos for the first time. The market potential is believed to be huge, but it’s not the first time lifting the ban has been proposed, and observers are cautious. The final decision belongs to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (l.).

Solaire Expansion Nearly Complete

Manila’s Solaire Resort and Casino will be more than twice as big before the year is out. Entertainment City’s first destination casino will be offering more hotel rooms, retail shopping, a theater and nightclub and expanded gaming.

Macau Slowdown Hitting the Mass Market

Analysts are rethinking their forecasts for the second half as growth in Macau’s vaunted mass market appears to slowing down. Events in China were thought to be affecting only VIP, but the ripples now look to be spreading much wider

Caesars Cuts Deal With Senior Bondholders

Caesars Entertainment Corporation has completed a deal with bondholders to buy back notes to cut its indebtedness by $548.4 million. Caesars still will owe more than $21 billion. CEO Gary Loveman calls it an effort to “deleverage.”

California May Wait Until 2018 for Online Poker

California lawmakers last week dropped efforts to pass a bill legalizing online poker in the Golden State. The differences separating the various groups who favor such a bill proved insurmountable in the current session. With many legislative supporters leaving, efforts to unite the sides may be put off for years. Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (l.) didn’t make much of an effort this year.

Ho Bidding for Barcelona Casino

Macau casino tycoon Lawrence Ho (l.) is looking to expand into Europe with a bid for a resort casino at Barcelona’s proposed BCN World tourism and residential complex. A company Ho controls is partnering with the Spanish group behind BCN World. Hard Rock International and Caesars are also bidding.


Suddenly the booming Macau gaming economy is hitting snags left and right. Investors are bailing and the future of the only city in China to permit gaming is in doubt. What’s happening?


South Korea Moves to Spur Casino Investment

The government of South Korea and President Park Geun-hye (l.) is looking to drive more tourism and more development in the gaming resorts that attract it. Plans are to ease regulations to make the country more investment-friendly.

Theme Park Operator in Japan Casino Talks

The company behind Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan theme park (l.) wants in on the country’s prospective casino boom and is looking for partners for one or more license bids if the industry is legalized. MGM Resorts, Caesars and Genting are reported to be in the discussions.

Labor Peace Costing Macau Casinos Plenty

Mass protests by labor groups are forcing Macau’s casinos to raise their compensation packages as they struggle at the same time to retain staff in the midst of an acute shortage of workers. The impacts are starting to tell on profits.

MGM Targets ‘Mid-2016’ for Cotai

MGM China Chief Executive Grant Bowie says the company’s $2.9 billion Cotai resort (site at left) is on track to open midway through 2016. The company will also spend $100 million to refurbish MGM Macau.

Melco Subsidiary Charged in Taiwan

Macau casino giant Melco Crown says its Taiwan subsidiary is under indictment in connection with transfers of funds to the company’s Macau casinos that Taiwan prosecutors claim were illegal. The company denies the charges and says they’ll have no effect on operations.


$3 Billion Casino Plan for Saipan

The Macau junket investor behind Saipan’s first casino has pegged the cost of the project at $3 billion. Imperial Pacific International Holdings won the sole license for the western Pacific island in a contentious bidding process against another entity with Macau casino ties.


Tabcorp Looks at Online Gaming

Australian gaming company Tabcorp is considering offering live online betting services in retail venues down under. The proposed plan is in response to a decline in betting in both states. Currently, bettors can only play through phone and in person. What’s the Hold Up?

Last year the state of Oklahoma and the Cheyenne & Arapaho tribes reached an agreement prohibiting state-based online poker but allowing an internationally accessible site,, to be operated by the Two Tribes. To date the state and the tribes have not launched the site, leaving a void to be filled by outside interests.

Russia to Ban Virtual Currencies

Russia is no friend to the Bitcoin as the government has announced it plans to criminalize its use. Russians using virtual currencies could face jail time under a new law.


Mass Gaming Commission Removes Boston’s ‘Surrounding Community’ Status

The gamesmanship levels between Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission ratcheted up another notch last week as the commission removed the “surrounding community” status it once gave the city for Steve Wynn’s Everett casino proposal—because Walsh won’t negotiate with Wynn. James McHugh (l.), in charge of the Boston consultations, said the commission has an obligation to move forward.

Then There Were 16

A New York casino developer asked for too many concessions from the state’s casino siting board. Florida Acquisition Corp., which hoped to develop a property in Montgomery County, has been eliminated from the race.

MGM Resorts Looks to Re-enter Atlantic City

MGM Resorts International could resume its partnership with Boyd Gaming in Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (l.) if approved by state regulators. The company was forced to withdraw from the resort in 2010 over its dealings in Macau, but regulators are now expected to recommend the company be allowed back into Atlantic City.

Las Vegas Casino May Cost Crown Resorts Dearly

Crown Resorts Ltd.’s planned casino resort in Las Vegas could cost $4 billion, according to multiple reports. Add that to several other developments in the company’s pipeline, and it could mean a crunch in cash flow for Australian billionaire James Packer. Andrew Pascal (l.), the former Wynn Las Vegas president, will run Packer’s Las Vegas operations.

Isle—Now Golden Nugget—Celebrates 22 Years

The former Isle of Capri Casino in Biloxi was the first casino in Mississippi and the Southeast (l.), opening on August 1, 1992 with a blast of the steam whistles from the two 1880s riverboats it was located on. The Golden Nugget bought the property in 2012 and has invested $100 million in updates and expansions.

Lesniak Responds to Christie Sports Betting Veto

State Senator Raymond Lesniak (l.), the principal sponsor of a bill to allow sports betting in New Jersey says he’s shocked that the bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. The governor said he did not want to violate federal law, but proponents say they were exploiting a loophole in the law.

Syncora Seeks Pre-Trial Deal With Detroit

The bankruptcy trial for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history will start August 21 in Detroit. Major creditor Syncora, which claims $400 million of Detroit's $18 billion debt, hopes it can reach an agreement with the city prior to that, "before more scarce resources are squandered," said the company's attorney James Sprayregen.

Foxwoods “Edge-sorting” Case Involves Ivey Partner

Another “edge-sorting” alleged cheating case is scheduled to go to court—this time in Connecticut—and features Phil Ivey's alleged partner in a high-profile case in New Jersey. Cheng Yin Sung and two other players are suing Foxwoods Casino Resort for $3 million they say the casino owes them. Foxwoods says the players cheated.

Hard Rock Helping Sioux City Businesses

Open for just over one week, the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in downtown Sioux City, Iowa already seems to be having a positive impact on other area businesses.

Nevada Regulators OK SLS

SLS Las Vegas, soon to open on the Strip, has been approved for a gaming license by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. But the casino revenue owned by SBE must go into escrow until CEO Sam Nazarian is OK’d as a casino owner.

Florida Isle Sues Over Poker Room Tips

On July 21 the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering put into effect at the state's 23 poker rooms a new rule subjecting "dealer add-on" tips, typically earned during tournaments, to the state's 10 percent tax on poker-room income. The Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach promptly filed suit, calling the policy change "arbitrary and capricious."

NYRA to Place Self-Betting Machines in NYC

The New York Racing Association and state lawmakers are considering allowing self-betting machines in New York City. The machines would be available only to members of NYRA’s rewards program. There is speculation NYRA also may be planning to suspend racing at Aqueduct.

Station Posts Earnings Spike

Station Casinos of Nevada saw revenues rise 2.4 percent in the third quarter. The Las Vegas locals company posted revenues of $324.2 million and earnings of $55.4 million for the period, factoring in revenues from its new Graton Resort & Casino in Northern California.

Michigan’s Millionaire Party Rules Remain Unchanged

New rules that would have placed restrictions on charitable gambling at so-called millionaire parties have been blocked by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Pat Donofrio. The Michigan Gaming Control Board issued the rules to protect charities from being exploited. But charitable gambling operators said they would have lost millions of dollars under the new rules.

Northern Nevada Casino to Open At Last

A casino in Minden, Nevada that first got under way before the Great Recession may finally be ready to make its debut. The C.O.D. Casino will have 300 slot machines and a museum recalling the property’s past as an historic garage and auto lot.

Sands Must Produce Documents in Jacobs Case

Score one for Steve Jacobs (l.) in his ongoing legal battle with former boss Sheldon Adelson. The Nevada Supreme Court has ordered Sands Macau to turn over records relating to the executive’s tenure, which ended in 2010.

Clark County OKs Resort/Arena Zoning

Former hoops star Jackie Robinson is a little closer to realizing a longstanding goal: to bring a billion-dollar nongaming resort and arena to the Las Vegas Strip. Local lawmakers have OK’d a zoning change at the site of the former Wet ‘n Wild, next to SLS Las Vegas.

Northstar Misses Illinois Lottery Goal—Again

The private firm hired to run the Illinois Lottery, Northstar Lottery Group, posted a net profit of $738 million, nearly $250 million less than it promised to deliver for fiscal 2014, and less than it generated in fiscal 2012 and 2013. The company is $480 million behind in its commitment. State Rep. Jack Franks said, "This is an epic fail by the governor."

MGM: Strip Outstrips Macau

MGM Resorts International’s single Macau casino has been the biggest revenue producer for the Vegas-based gaming company in recently quarterly financial reports. But a dip in VIP gaming in Macau and a resurgence of action on the Las Vegas Strip has changed all that.

Vegas Touts Medical Tourism

A group called the Las Vegas Regional Strategic Plan for Medical and Wellness Tourism is pushing Southern Nevada and Sin City not just as destinations for wealthy clients willing to travel for first-class medical treatment, but others who may seek experimental medicine.

Texas Lottery Approves Card-Minder Changes

The Texas Lottery Commission approved new rules that will allow bingo players to purchase additional cards through card minders, hand-held devices that "mind" electronic versions of paper bingo cards. New software, once approved by the Lottery, is expected to be installed on thousands of card minders throughout the state within six months.


Glendale Approves Tohono O'odham Deal

The Glendale, Arizona city council voted 4-3 to approve a deal with the Tohono O'odham tribe that will bring in $26 million for the city over 20 years. The city fought the proposed $400 million casino for more than four years. Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. (l.) said barring court rulings or federal legislation, the casino resort could open in 2016

Walker Lets Casino Decision Ride

Don't expect Wisconsin Governor Walker (l.) to make a decision expected on the Menominee Tribe's proposed $800 million Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha casino before he faces re-election in November. He said he plans to take full advantage of the federal government's six-month extension, moving the decision deadline to February as he studies economic impact reports.

New Rules Could Fast-Track Recognition

New rules proposed by the Obama administration could require less financial investment and speed up the time it takes for a Native American tribe to become federally recognized—the first step toward opening a casino. If the rules are adopted, more than 200 tribes potentially could earn recognition status. Currently 566 tribes hold that designation.

Foxwoods Angles for More Senior Citizens

Foxwoods Resort Casino hopes to cement its relationship and expand its market with senior citizens with its marketing partnership with that was announced last week.

Keweenaw Bay President Suspends Judges

Don Shalifoe, president of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, suspended two tribal judges via text message as they were about to hear a lawsuit brought by Fred Dakota, father of Chief Judge Brad Dakota, against Shalifoe. Dakota said the tribal council's vote to purchase the Baraga Lakeside Inn for an Ojibwa Casino was illegal.

California Tribe Ends Stand-off Peacefully

Two members of the tribal council of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians in California, owners of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino were persuaded to peacefully end their occupation of tribal buildings last week.

Report: Alabama Conservative Group Laundered Money

Politico recently revealed documents indicated "alleged misconduct by multiple Republican State Leadership Committee RSLC officials during the crucial 2010 election cycle." The report said the RSLC directed campaign funds from the Poarch Creek Band of Indians, which operates tribal casinos in Alabama, to several conservative state PACs plus an anti-lottery group with ties to Jack Abramoff.


Dion Cancels Vegas Shows

Citing family illness, the superstar songbird has announced she will cancel all scheduled performances, including those at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, through March 22, 2015. Dion’s husband and former manager Rene Angelil is battling cancer.

Brunner Replaces Treanor as Nevele CEO

For the second time in months, Michael Treanor has stepped down from his post as CEO of Nevele Investors, which has proposed a $640 million casino in Ulster County, New York. He has been replaced by Angelique Brunner, a Washington D.C.-based investor.


AGS Acquires War Blackjack

American Gaming Systems enters the table game market with the acquisition of Casino War Blackjack, Inc. and its portfolio of table games headed by War Blackjack.

IGT Partners with LT Game

International Game Technology has entered into a three-year agreement with Macau-based LT Game to assemble, market and distribute LT Game table game systems.

Galaxy Gaming Enters Czech Republic

The Las Vegas-based company continues to expand its presence in the European Union. Galaxy Gaming’s entry into the Czech Republic constitutes the company’s first installations in Eastern Europe. Company execs say the market has major potential.

GLI Completes Lottery Certification

Gaming Laboratories International’s audit resulted in a World Lottery Association security controls certification for the California Lottery.



Why Cities Shouldn't Want Casinos

A recent article by David Frum in the Atlantic magazine spelled out several reasons why cities shouldn't want to welcome casinos. Frum said casinos have reached the saturation point, they're closing right and left, the ones still open are losing revenue, they lead to problem gambling, they wreck property values, they prey on old people and so on and so forth.




Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom