Sports Betting Gets NJ OK

New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks can offer unlicensed sports betting under a directive from the administration of Governor Chris Christie. The state Attorney General’s Office—reacting to legal arguments made against the state as it sought to overturn a federal ban on sports betting—ruled that sports betting is legal if not authorized or licensed by the state. The ruling is expected to be challenged by sports leagues, and most casinos and racetracks will likely wait for further court rulings before accepting bets.

Featured Stories More

WEEKLY FEATURE: Birds of a Feather?

Payment processor Global Cash Access Holdings has agreed to acquire slot company Multimedia Games for $1.2 billion in cash, a 31 percent premium on the September 5 closing price of the company’s stock. Some question the synergy since GCA is not in the same business as MGAM.

Crunch Time in New York

New York State’s 16 casino license applicants are doing their best in the final weeks of consideration to win support from their respective communities and state site selectors. All say their resort proposals will bring economic development and plenty of jobs. Some experts believe Empire Resorts’ Montreign (l.) in the Catskills is the favorite.

Casinos in Tokyo—Maybe Not

Analysts believe a Japanese casino industry easily will be worth $10 billion or more, centered on major resorts in Tokyo and Osaka. But Tokyo’s new governor. Yoichi Masuzoe (l.), doesn’t see casinos as desirable for Japan’s capital and largest and wealthiest city.

Bahamas Considers Comprehensive Gaming Regulations

The Bahamian government introduced comprehensive gaming rules to regulate online gambling, streamline casino debt collection and let players bet on sports events after they have started. Baha Mar Chairman Sarkis Izmirlian (l.) says it gives his new property a “competitive advantage.” However, residents still would be banned from gambling at hotel casinos.

Federal Judge Upholds Idaho Poker ban

A U.S. District Judge has granted the state of Idaho an injunction to prevent the Coeur d’Alene Casino from offering poker, which the state contends violates its constitution. Tribal Chairman Chief Allan (l.) says the decision makes all poker players lawbreakers.

Decision Time in Massachusetts

With Bay State voters poised to decide the fate of casino gaming in Massachusetts in November the gaming commission will very soon decide whether to issue a casino license to Steve Wynn or the Mohegan tribe for the Boston Metro zone. Acting Commission Chairman James McHugh (l.) is leaning toward the Mohegan’s Suffolk Downs project.

Antigua to U.S.: Let’s Make a Deal

Antigua’s new government and Prime Minister Gaston Browne (l.) are taking a more conciliatory line with the U.S. in hopes of getting at least some portion of the money the WTO awarded the island nation over the U.S. internet gambling ban. Antigua won the case almost a decade ago and has yet to see a penny.

Reforms Gain Momentum in Mexico

Fixing the rules that govern gaming in Mexico is back on the table, and this time Congress is expected to approve it, according to Fernando Zarate Salgado (l.). Supporters say the new regulations will improve the licensing system and provide greater transparency.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Tracking Trends

Big debt with casino industry vendors, slowing expansion on the operators’ side and new forms of betting, including social gaming, will all have a big impact on the future of the gaming industry.


Macau: The Slump Continues

Analysts expect September will be another down month for Macau gaming revenue as headwinds out of China continue to buffet the world’s largest casino market. If they’re right, it will be the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year declines.

PAGCOR Too Generous, Senator Says

When the Philippines government hit Manila’s new megaresort licensees with corporate income tax, PAGCOR responded by reducing their license fees. Not everyone is happy about that, and Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito (l.) has requested a Senate inquiry.

SJM in Labor’s Sights

A workers rights group representing dealers and casinos floor staff has gone to the Macau government in a bid to bring SJM Holdings to the bargaining table over pay increases and other issues. Workers recently staged a job action at the Grand Lisboa (l.), and more protests are planned.


Tallying the War Against Russia’s Underground

When the Kremlin banished casinos and slot parlors from Russia’s major cities five years ago (a former casino in Moscow now up for lease at left), the industry went underground. To date, police nationwide have closed more than 800 illegal casinos and seized nearly 1 million gambling machines and related pieces of equipment.


Singapore May Outlaw Online Casino Gambling

A bill before Singapore’s parliament would essentially outlaw online gaming in the country and set procedures to block online sites and payment transfers in the country. Prior to the bill, the country had no specific laws on online gambling.

Permira Interested in 888 Holdings

According to reports, the British private-equity firm Permira is looking at 888 Holdings for a potential acquisition now that a new licensing and tax regime for online gaming in the U.K. is in place.

South Korea Blocks Facebook Social Games

In a move seen as an attempt to control the social gambling industry, South Korea has blocked all Facebook social games in the country, even the popular Candy Crush. Game providers must now submit their games for review.

WOF on DoubleDown

International Game Technology’s legendary Wheel of Fortune game is now available on DoubleDown Casino across all platforms, including social and mobile devices.


Revel Buyer Steps Forward as Atlantic City Tries to Regroup

A Florida-based developer has made a $90 million bid for the closed Revel casino and is also looking at the neighboring Showboat casino property. Meanwhile, the fate of the Taj Mahal casino resort, which could close in November, remains uncertain and Donald Trump is reported to be interested in saving the casinos that still bear his name. Meanwhile, Governor Chris Christie (l.) held a preliminary non-partisan summit meeting to discuss the resort’s future.

Caesars Hit With Another Bondholder Suit

A second group of junior bondholders has sued Caesars Entertainment Corporation, alleging the company is circumventing its obligations in its restructuring efforts.

Anti-Fraud Effort Could Target Casinos

Operation Choke Point, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FDIC, is coming after casinos, said Brian J. Wise, senior adviser to the U.S. Consumer Coalition. Wise said the program was designed to combat fraud but could soon force casinos to gather and share with banks "detailed personal information on every patron who plays at their property."

50 Percent Off North Strip Plot

What a comedown! In 2007, a development firm paid $33 million an acre for land on the northern end of the Vegas Strip. Now Triple Five is putting the property up for sale at $16 million per acre, banking on the resurgence of development marked by the opening of SLS (l.).

Report Says Maine can Absorb More Casinos

A report the Maine legislature paid for recommends that the state could allow two more casinos without saturating the gaming market. Some legislators characterize WhiteSand Gaming, which conducted the study, as a casino “cheerleader.”

Both Sides Spending Millions In Colorado

Amendment 68 would allow gambling at three racetracks east of the Rockies in Colorado. Opponents include owners of casinos in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City who so far have raised $16 million. Supporters, led by Coloradans for Better Schools, funded mainly the Rhode Island-based Mile High USA, owners of the Arapahoe Park, have raised $12 million.

MGM Sells Railroad Pass

MGM Resorts International is selling a casino in Henderson, Nevada that is older than the nearby Hoover Dam. Railroad Pass opened as a dance hall with a single roulette wheel, and was granted the fourth casino license in the entire United States.

Illinois Benefiting From Video Gambling

Since the first 61 video gambling machines were installed in Illinois in September 2012, the industry has grown to more than 13,300 machines statewide, generating more than $90 million in state and local tax revenue. Through July, nearly 18,000 machines generated about $104 million. If the trend continues, the year-end tax revenue total could top $180 million.

Mega Shopping District to Open on Strip

By the end of the year, a new 110-shop retail and dining district will open in front of Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip. Developer Larry Siegel wants to attract some of the 20 million people who pass by every year.

Searchlight Nugget to Lose License

Repeated violations of state gaming law mean the owner of the Searchlight Nugget Casino in Searchlight, Nevada must surrender her license. Verlie May Doing has agreed to turn over her license for 50 slot machines by the end of the year.

Another West Virginia County Considers Banning Smoking

In West Virginia, Brooke County may follow its northern neighbor Hancock County, home of Mountaineer Park Casino (l.), by banning smoking in all public places—including video lottery casinos, which are concerned the new regulations could hurt business. Currently restaurants and bars in the county must designate at least 25 percent of their business for smoking.

Deadwood Competition Heats Up

Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort is the new name of the property comprised of the Tin Lizzie Casino and Grill in Deadwood, South Dakota, whose owners recently purchased the Hampton Inn Deadwood at Four Aces Casino next door. The acquisition is expected to increase competition in the historic gambling community.

Club Rio Opens At Casino Miami

Casino Miami recently opened Club Rio, where guests can enjoy electronic blackjack and roulette and live poker, as well as popular DJs and bottle service. Opened in 2012, Casino Miami offers jai-alai, 1,000-plus slots, poker and dining.

Big Deal: Tesla Coming to Nevada

Electric-car manufacturer Tesla will build a $5 billion lithium ion factory in Northern Nevada. One publication called it “the biggest economic news for Nevada since the 2008 recession” (but in a good way). The carmaker will get big tax breaks from the state―at least $400 million.

Alabama VictoryLand Trial Concludes

The fate of 1,615 electronic gaming machines is in the hands of Circuit Court Judge William Shashy in Montgomery, Alabama. He will decide if the gaming machines that were seized in a raid at VictoryLand casino (l.) in February 2013 are illegal and should be destroyed, or returned to their owner who would reopen the casino.

Employment Rebounds in Nevada

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has an encouraging word for the Silver State: the number of people employed in the leisure and hospitality sector could match pre-recession levels by sometime in 2015. Taken separately, casinos have not done as well.


Kaw Nation Opens Oklahoma Casino

After a 24-year effort, SouthWind Casino Braman recently debuted in north central Oklahoma on the Kansas state line. Currently housed in a modular building, the casino offers 100 Class II slots and bingo-style games. A permanent building will open early next year. The casino will provide 300 jobs.

Wisconsin Voters Support Menominee Casino

A majority of voters—49 percent to 35 percent—support the proposed $810 million off-reservation Menominee casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to a recent Marquette Law School poll. Governor Scott Walker has until February to decide if he'll approve it. His Democratic challenger Mary Burke has not said where she stands on the issue.

Cherokee Nation Expanding Beyond Gaming

With the announcement of three new development projects totaling more than $270 million, the Cherokee Nation is looking beyond gaming to create jobs and sustain growth. The tribe has interests in gaming, hospitality, personnel services, distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology and environmental services industries.

Alabama Official In Alleged Laundering Plot

In August Politico published a Republican State Leadership Committee memo indicating Alabama Republicans met with the Poarch Creek tribe, which subsequently donated more than $1 million to the group. Now former Alabama GOP chairman, House Speaker Mike Hubbard (l.), is alleged to have used those "politically toxic" funds to influence Alabama legislative elections.

NY County Exec: No Salt for You

A top lawmaker in Oneida County, NY has excluded the towns of Vernon and Verona from a longstanding winter salt-and-plow contract. The reason? The towns are suing to block an agreement that sets aside 13,000 acres―most of it in their backyard―for the Oneida Indians.


Paddy Power Names McCue Chief Executive Designate

Andy McCue (at left w/ current CEO Patrick Kennedy) will take over the reins at Dublin-based Paddy Power plc online betting firm, effective January 1, 2015. Currently McCue is managing director, retail UK and Ireland at Paddy Power, where he has worked for eight years. He also is responsible for regulatory and public affairs.

Wester Named Churchill Downs Vice President

Churchill Downs Incorporated in Louisville, Kentucky recently promoted Elizabeth Wester to vice president of government relations. Previously Wester served as senior director of government relations at CDI, which she joined in April 2012. Hires Cook

Nevada native Heidi Cook has been hired as vice president of business development at the Las Vegas-based executive search firm Cook was an account executive for 20 years at IGT and most recently was director of business development at Channel-Impact.


AGEM Commissions Slot Study

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers is commissioning a study to examine whether high slot holds by operators have led to declining revenues.


G2E Expands Networking

Global Gaming Expo is expanding networking opportunities for attendees of this year’s trade show, as part of an effort to make the event more valuable for business.

Sphinx 3D Launched in AC, Europe

GTECH has launched its “Sphinx 3D” slot, featuring True 3D technology, in Atlantic City at the Tropicana and in casinos across Europe.

CPI Reveals G2E Lineup

Crane Payment Innovations will display Cashcode note acceptors and several MEI products, including the SC Advance note acceptor.




Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom