A Trump-less Atlantic City

Two Atlantic City casinos closed over the Labor Day Weekend and a third is scheduled to close later this month, but the announcement this week that Trump Taj Mahal (l.) could close in 60 days shook the Boardwalk once again. The closings of Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza will put about 6,000 casino workers out of their jobs. The closure of Trump Taj Mahal would send another 2,800 to the unemployment lines. Still analysts see the closings as a necessary move to stabilize Atlantic City’s casino industry, which continues to decline.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Controversial Arizona Casino Breaks Ground

After 14 lawsuits over five years and fierce opposition from Glendale, Arizona officials and leaders of other tribes, the Tohono O'odham Nation recently broke ground at its $400 million West Valley Resort and Casino (l.). The new casino will create 3,000 permanent jobs and bring the city $25 million over 20 years.

Horseshoe Baltimore Opens

Maryland’s fifth casino opened to great fanfare as Horseshoe Baltimore welcomed celebrities and dignitaries to its grand opening. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks while Horseshoe GM Chad Barnhill, Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman, Rock Gaming Chairman Dan Gilbert and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley listen.

Multi-State Progressives Launched

Casinos in Nevada and New Jersey are online with the first multi-state progressive jackpot system, with two links from Bally and IGT. New Jersey DGE Director David Rebuck (l.) says the system will provide “huge jackpots.”

Caribbean Plans $1B Resort

Beijing investors are bringing mega-bucks to the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. The Yida Group’s planned Singulari casino resort would encompass some 1,600 acres and be spread across a number of islands.

LVS Eyes South Korea

Las Vegas Sands likes South Korea’s resort gaming potential and has identified a site in Seoul where it would build something on the scale of Marina Bay Sands. LVS executive George Tanasijevich (l.) doesn’t like the government’s ban on locals, though, and won’t invest unless it changes.

Walker Urged To Approve Casino Now

Supporters of the Menominee Tribe's proposed $810 million, off-reservation casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin recently held a rally urging Republican Governor Scott Walker (l.) to approve the project and provide thousands of jobs immediately. The same day a survey indicated the majority of residents support the casino.

PokerStars, Others Ready for New Jersey Launch

PartyPoker (l.), which is partnered with the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for online gaming in New Jersey, has announced a major upgrade of its platform with an eye towards improved tournament play in anticipation of competition from PokerStars, which could be operating by the end of the year.

Foxwoods on Brink of Default

The Mashantucket Pequot tribe, owner of the largest resort casino in the U.S., is increasingly burdened by debt―a billion dollars and counting―and may face a near-term default on loan payments. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, also in Connecticut, are both feeling the pinch.


Macau: Revenue Down, Labor Costs Up

Macau’s casino boom is hitting stiff headwinds, with revenue down year on year for a third straight month and no rebound in sight before early next year. At the same time, worker discontent is at an all-time high, and with labor in short supply, the cost of doing business is going up.

Hollywood Coming to Macau

Talk about star power, how about Robert De Niro (l.), Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt together in a film directed by Martin Scorsese? That’s the plan as Melco Crown pulls out all the stops to promote next year’s opening of Studio City in Macau’s booming Cotai resort district.

Vietnam’s Locals Ban May End Soon

The Vietnamese government is crafting new casino regulations for the prime minister’s approval, and it’s expected they’ll include provisions for opening the industry for the first time to the country’s 90 million citizens. The reforms are designed to spur foreign investment and boost tourism.

Entry Fees Proposed in Philippines

A lawmaker in the Philippines wants the country’s citizens to pay Singapore-style entry fees to enter casinos. The bill is aimed at protecting those who can least afford to gamble, he says.

Jeju Governor Halts Genting Casino

The new governor of South Korea’s popular resort island of Jeju, Won Hee-ryong (l.), has stopped Genting’s planned casino hotel from breaking ground. He’s concerned the island has too many casinos already and wants a review on whether the project should proceed.

India Awaits Critical Poker Ruling

Authorities in India differ on whether poker and rummy are games of skill or gambling games, and the Supreme Court to expected to issue a ruling that could be decisive. A ruling that exempts the games from current gambling laws could open up a potentially huge online market.


Gala’s Bingo Clubs for Sale

Britain’s Gala Coral Group wants to sell its 135 bingo clubs, the largest portfolio in the country. The deal could fetch more than £250 million and clear the way for a public listing of the group’s much larger betting business.


Jamaica Casino Bidders Down to Two

Just two of five prospective casino investors remain active in Jamaica, including Harmony Cove (l.). One candidate pulled out of the running and two were disqualified for unpaid bid fees. The investor who withdrew has promised to try again.

Aquis Cleared To Buy Reef Casino

Competition authorities in Australia have signed off on Tony Fung’s purchase of the Reef Casino in Cairns (l.). For the Hong Kong financier it’s the first step toward realizing his plans for an $8 billion megaresort complex on the north Queensland coast.

Atlantis Preparing For Competitor Baha Mar

Battle lines are being drawn in Nassau, the Bahamas as Atlantis, the region's largest destination casino resort on Paradise Island, gets ready for fierce competition from the $3.5 billion Baha Mar, set to open next spring. Atlantis recently joined Marriott International's Autograph Collection of independent hotels in a move to enhance its appeal.

South African Malls Want Gambling

The public comment period recently ended on whether a dozen shopping malls in KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa should be allowed to offer electronic bingo terminals. The KZN Gaming and Betting Board will hold public hearings on the matter. Meanwhile, the People's Forum Against Electronic Bingo, a coalition of anti-gambling groups, was formed in protest.

Crown’s Melbourne License Renewed

Crown Resorts’ Melbourne flagship (l.) has won a renewal of its license through 2050. The decision comes with approval for more table games and slot machines but will cost Crown A$900 million over the life of the license.


888 Plans Delaware, Nevada Shared Poker Network

888 Poker has confirmed that it plans to launch a shared poker network combining its Delaware and Nevada players. The two states have signed a compact to share online player pools. A date for a launch has not been set. Meanwhile, Delaware saw a decrease in online gambling revenue in July.

MTR Expands INClub Platform

MTR Gaming Group has expanded its free-play INClub platform with the addition of new mobile games and a new poker title.

UK Suspends PokerCent's License

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has suspended the gambling license held by Silverline Interactive Technologies Plc, the company that runs the independent poker room PokerCent. The suspension comes after the UK Gambling Commission reviewed the company’s operations.

eCOGRA Licensed in Croatia

eCOGRA's has received accreditation from the Republic of Croatia, is the 12th European licensing and regulatory jurisdiction approval obtained by the advisory and testing agency.

Williams Interactive Launches Roman Chariot Slot

Williams Interactive has launched the Roman Chariots online slot game, the first game added to the Williams Interactive Game Server library powered by the offline hit game engine, Supercharged Reels.


Political Energies Focus on Massachusetts Casino Vote

With the showdown between supporters and detractors of Massachusetts’s gaming laws set for November, polls show that the pro-casino forces currently have the edge. But with liberal U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (l.) declaring support for the casino repeal, a vigorous campaign is guaranteed.

A Tale of Two Cities

Two upstate New York cities are vying for the support of a third when it comes to their casino proposals. Both Rensselaer and East Greenbush have promised to give millions in development funds to Albany, the state capital and seat of government, if officials there support their bids. But Rensselaer’s partner, Hard Rock (l.), is having investor troubles.

MGM Settles With New Jersey Regulators

MGM Resorts International will pay a combined $225,000 settlement to New Jersey gaming regulators as it seeks to regain its Atlantic City gaming license. The settlement covers a nearly decade-old criminal case involving Los Angeles attorney Terry Christensen (l.), a former MGM board member and a legal confidant to MGM founder Kirk Kerkorian.

Dayton Racino Opens: Ohio’s Sixth

Several years after Ohio passed the law that allowed for its seven racetracks to be converted into racinos, the seventh is preparing to open. Number six, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway (l.), opened last week.

Titus Demands Appeal of Handle Tax

Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (l.), who was irked when she couldn’t discover what happened to millions in taxes collected by the feds from sports books last year, has crafted a bill that would repeal the handle tax. Titus said the $9 million assessed in 2013 “went into some black hole.”

Michigan Charities Fight Emergency Rules

More than two dozen plaintiffs filed suit against the Michigan Gaming Control Board over emergency rules they consider "a naked attempt to strangle and suffocate the state's charitable gaming industry." The plaintiffs said MGCB Executive Director Rick Kalm is circumventing a Court of Claims judge's ruling that previously blocked similar regulations.

Two States Weigh Historic Racing Machines

The four horseracing and three dog racing tracks in Texas recently received the state racing commission's permission to allow betting on historical or instant racing machines. The commission must approve each racetrack's plans for adding the machines. And Nebraska has set a vote on the devices for November.

Lion’s Share Hits, Ending Era

The storied 20-year-old progressive jackpot on the “Lion’s Share” slot machine at MGM Grand hits, granting a $2.4 million payoff and ending an era.

Duluth Considers City-Owned Casino

Duluth, Minnesota City Councilor Howie Hanson will present a revised proposal for a city-owned casino. The casino could replace $6 million in annual tax revenue the city lost when the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa quit paying a portion of proceeds from its Fond du Luth casino.

Downtown Vegas Could Regulate Street Performers

Street performers don’t quite outnumber pedestrians at the Fremont Street Experience, but the city of Las Vegas is considering limiting the number of people allowed to sing, dance or otherwise put on a show for donations. That number has increased since the recession.

Clarion Closes

The Clarion Hotel Casino in Las Vegas has closed yet again. The star-crossed property, which first opened in 1972, has never caught on despite multiple owners and changes in brand identity. The resort was owned briefly by entertainer Debbie Reynolds, and branded the same (l.).

Smoking To Cease At Mountaineer Casino

Starting July 1, 2015, patrons may not light up at Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino in Hancock County, West Virginia, where the board of health recently voted 5-0 to ban smoking in public places—without exception. MTR Gaming President Joseph Billhimer stated, "There is no empirical evidence anywhere that states that smoking bans improve casino revenues."

Vegas Could Hit 40M Visitors in 2014

Fabulous Las Vegas is on a winning streak, with visitation likely to break the 40 million mark by the end of the year. July was a record-breaker, with 3.5 million visitors coming to the city. June was also one for the books.

Lower Casino Revenue Impacts Mississippi County Budget

Dozens of Tunica County employees recently attended a meeting of the county council, concerned that their jobs could be cut due to a proposed 2015 budget that's $3 million less than 2014. About 10 million fewer gamblers visit area casinos from 2008-2013, resulting in lower tax revenue.

Vegas Council Tables Soccer Talk

Las Vegas City Council was set to vote on a multimillion-dollar soccer stadium for the city’s Downtown last week. The vote was postponed as city leaders ponder a plan that includes a stiff bill for the taxpayers.

THEHotel now the Delano

THEHotel in Las Vegas last week officially assumed the swanky Delano brand, losing the moniker that just never caught on. The change and renovation were done in partnership by MGM and Morgans Hotel Group.

Casinos Moving From Water To Land

Casinos are moving off the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, off the Mississippi River in Iowa and possibly off Lake Michigan in Indiana. The Mississippi and Iowa gaming commissions recently approved land-based sites for the Diamondhead and Rhythm City casinos, and Indiana state Senator Earlene Jones said despite Governor Mike Pence's opposition, she'll re-introduce a land-based casinos measure next year.

Golden, PT’s Add to Assets

Golden Gaming and PT’s Entertainment Group continue their acquisition strategy with the purchase of four Irish-themed taverns in the Las Vegas Valley. All will be rebranded under the name Sean Patrick’s Pub & Grill.

Ohio Casino Operator Fined and Faces Federal Lawsuit

The operator of the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati has been fined $200,000 by Ohio’s gaming regulators for failing to disclose a refinance deal. The same casino is being sued for a former customer who says he was falsely imprisoned.

Trop Greenville Ahead of Schedule

The $10 million expansion at Trop Greenville, in historic downtown Greenville, Mississippi, is ahead of schedule and will open Friday, October 10. The property will offer 300 additional slots, bringing the total to 600-plus, a high-limit slots area, new table games and a Max & Erma's restaurant, VIP lounge and 40-room boutique hotel.

Florida Governor Candidates' Gaming Stances Unclear

As the Disney corporation lobbies Florida legislators to oppose expanded gambling, Las Vegas Sands has its sights set on a destination resort in Miami. But where do Republican Governor Rick Scott and his gubernatorial challenger, former Governor (and former Republican) Charlie Crist (l.) stand? No one knows—yet.

New York OTB Hires Consultants Union Gaming

Nassau Regional Off Track Betting of Mineola, New York recently hired Union Gaming Analytics of Las Vegas to help it gear up for opening a mini-casino featuring 1,000 video slots and electronic table games next year. Nassau OTB President Joe Cairo said the location has been narrowed down to three choices.

Slots Concern Illinois Casinos, City Governments

Illinois casino revenue fell 5.3 percent in 2013, the first full year of legal slots in licensed bars, restaurants, truck stops and veterans and fraternal organizations. With more than 18,000 slots and hundreds more coming along every month, the $1.6 billion casino industry is not happy, nor are communities where even florists offer the games.

Colorado Casino Expansion Opponents Launch Campaign

Coloradans for Better Schools launched a TV campaign supporting Amendment 68, which would allow a casino at Arapahoe Park (l.) in Aurora, with a portion of income going to education. Opponents claim Arapahoe owners Mile High USA, a subsidiary of Twin River Worldwide Holdings of Rhode Island, plus other casino-owner "carpetbaggers" are just protecting their interests.

Atlantic City Casino Profits Up

Atlantic City casinos saw increased profits in the second quarter of 2014, but most of the increase can be traced to a major tax settlement by the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Most of the city’s other properties saw a decline in profits.


Aquinnah Tribe Claims it Never Gave up Gaming Rights

The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe of Martha’s Vineyard in legal briefs filed in a federal lawsuit claims it never gave up its rights to offer gaming on the island. Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais (l.) said gaming isn’t a panacea, but “you need money to make money.”

Southeastern Kansas Casino Getting Attention

Developers have avoided Kansas' southeastern region due to competition from the Quapaw Tribe's Downstream Casino Resort in Oklahoma, whose parking lot is in Kansas. The legislature lowered the required casino investment and fees earlier this year to attract investors, and attracted a partnership between Phil Ruffin Jr. (l.) and none other than the Quapaw Tribe.

Cherokee Nation Expands in Oklahoma

The Cherokee Nation is growing in Oklahoma with its eighth and ninth casinos. The eighth will be a $10 million, 17,000 square foot facility in South Coffeyville, near the Kansas border. The ninth will be part of the $170b million Cherokee Springs Plaza (l.), a one-million-square-foot-plus development in Tahlequah, also featuring a hotel, convention center, restaurants and retail.

Status Reviewed In Gun Lake Lawsuit

Attorneys met to review the status of David Patchak's lawsuit against the government and the Gun Lake Tribe whose Wayland, Michigan casino potentially could be closed if Patchak prevails. His 2008 lawsuit was dismissed but reinstated in federal court and upheld in 2012 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Senecas Reveal New Brand

Seneca Gaming Corp. of New York, which operates three casinos in the state and is planning a fourth, has revealed new branding that includes new logos, a new name―Seneca Resorts & Casinos―and a new advertising campaign with the tagline “It’s Time to Play.”

Washington Tribe Must Pay

The Supreme Court of Washington State has ruled that tribal sovereignty does not mean the Nooksack Indian Tribe does not have to pay its debts. The tribe cited its sovereign status in seeking to avoid payments on a $15 million loan.

Eastern Shawnee Tribe Reopens Bordertown

Following flood-related remodeling, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma said it will reopen Bordertown on February 1, 2015 in West Seneca, Oklahoma near the Missouri border. The casino will offer 600 slots and create 65 jobs.

Seminole Revenues Reach $2.1 Billion

Based on reports to the state, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is expected to take in $2.1 billion in gaming revenues for 2014, an increase of 6.8 percent over $1.97 billion last year. The state will receive $256.8 million as a result. The Tampa Hard Rock (l.) generated 42 percent of the seven Seminole casinos' revenues, or $887 million for the most recent fiscal year.

Possible Catawba Casino Concerns Cherokees

As the Catawba Nation of South Carolina awaits a federal decision on its application to open a $339 million casino on ancestral land in North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, owners of Harrah's Cherokee Casino, are keeping an eye on the potential competition—even though the Catawbas' casino would located 130 miles away.

Poarch Creeks' Earnings, Influence Growing

The Poarch Creek Indians' empire is spreading throughout Alabama and into Florida, where neither state will negotiate a gaming compact. In 2012, the tribe's gaming and hospitality operations, including Atmore, Alabama’s Wind Creek casino (l.), generated $600 million in revenues in 2012, and its casinos brought in $322 million in net earnings, the fifth year of increases.

Twin Arrows Earns Three Green Globes

The Green Building Initiative recently awarded Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Flagstaff, Arizona its Three Green Gloves environment rating, for energy efficiency, sustainable practices and green architecture. Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer at Navajo Gaming, said building sustainability, land stewardship and effective energy use are important to Navajo Gaming leadership culturally and professionally.


Carstanjen CEO of Churchill Downs

The board of directors of Churchill Downs has named the organization’s president and COO, William C. Carstanjen, as its new chief executive officer. Carstanjen is replacing Robert L. Evans, who had been CEO since August 2006.

Gaming Lawyer Switches Firms

Gaming attorney Mark Clayton has left Lionel Sawyer & Collins to join the global gaming practice of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Wu Named General Manager at Seminole Tampa

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino recently named 20-plus year gaming industry veteran Peter P. Wu as general manager. Wu has held management positions at Baha Mar in Nassau, Las Vegas Sands in Macau and Black Gaming and Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas.

Baha Mar Names International Marketer Pariente

With more than 20 years' experience in international casino and resort marketing, Alex W. Pariente will lead Baha Mar Casino & Resort's international marketing division as executive vice president. The $3.5 billion integrated development in Nassau, the Bahamas, is expected to be the Caribbean's largest casino.

Affinity Gaming Names New CEO

Affinity Gaming has selected Michael Silberling to serve as the company’s new chief executive officer. Silberling, a longtime Caesars Entertainment executive, replaces David Ross, who left the company in July. Three new board members were also appointed.

Carano Now Silver Legacy GM

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Glenn Carano has been promoted to general manager of the Silver Legacy Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada. Carano, who served as director of marketing since the casino opened in 1995, took the position last month.

Florence Joins eConnect

Douglas Florence has been named vice president of strategic operations for eConnect, a Vegas-based software security company. Florence has worked in security for M Resort, the Hard Rock in Las Vegas and the Mirage.

Arnold Recognized As Outstanding Businesswoman

The Denver Business Journal reverently recognized the Innovation Group's Partner/Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Arnold as one of its Outstanding Women in Business in the Large Business Owner category. Arnold is a leader in the American Gaming Association's Global Gaming Women program among other gaming-related activities.

GLI Names Asia Development Manager

Gaming Laboratories International has named Tom Chan as business development manager for Asia, working out of the company’s Macau laboratory.

Konami Promotes Executives

Konami gaming has promoted three of its executives to the director level—Lori Olk in regulatory compliance, Scott Richards in system sales and David Schwartz in engineering.

Rainmaker Names McIntosh Director of Sales

Sofya McIntosh, a 16-year veteran of the hospitality industry, has been named director of sales for the Rainmaker Group, which develops automated profit optimization software and services for the gaming and hospitality industries.

IGRG Names Chairman

Great Britain’s responsible gaming group IGRG has named Barry Hardy COO Barry Hardy as its new chairman, replacing Clive Hawkswood.

Mr Green & Co Names Enhörning

This fall, Niclas Enhörning will take over chief executive officer duties at the Swedish online casino group Mr Green & Co Technology AB. Previously he worked at Klarna and Bwin.


OLG Picks Bally System

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has selected Bally Technologies as the supplier of the lottery’s central management system.


EGT Reveals G2E Lineup

Euro Games Technology announced the lineup of games it will display at Global Gaming Expo, highlighting new game series and cabinets.




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