Revel Sold for $110 Million

A bid of $110 million from Brookfield Property Partners—which owns the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas (l.) and the Atlantis casino in the Bahamas—was enough to win a bankruptcy auction for Atlantic City’s $2.4 billion Revel hotel. The company says they plan to reopen the property as a casino. Developer Glen Straub, who made a $95 million bid for the property, says he will contest the auction results in court. A bankruptcy judge must approve the sale.

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Gaming moguls Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson (shown with their wives Andrea and Miriam) sang from the same songbook during their G2E addresses last week. Both praised the other and both reiterated their stance against iGaming, during a trade show and conference that proved once again to be the most important in the gaming industry.

Japan: Closing In on Casino Bill

A leader of the coalition backing casino legalization in Japan’s Diet says he expects it will pass during the current fall session. But Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe (l.) is cool to the idea, and preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics may be an obstacle to a casino gaining an early foothold in the capital.

No Relief for Macau VIP

The Chinese government is reported to be winding down a get-tough campaign targeting abuses within the ruling Communist Party, but at least one gaming analyst warns that the larger anti-corruption drive that’s scaring high rollers away from Macau VIP rooms—Galaxy Macau (l.)—in droves shows no signs of abating.

Down to the Wire

More than 400 concerned New Yorkers testified for and against new casinos in the state at public hearings held last month. The Lago (l.) casino in Tyre was opposed by Oneida County officials because of its location, close to the Turning Stone tribal casino. Four Class III commercial licenses are up for grabs in the state; the licenses are expected to be awarded before the end of the month.

Report: $38 Billion in 2013 Gaming Tax

A new report from the American Gaming Association shows the industry paid out $38 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2013. And for the first time, the study includes tribal gaming. Previous studies were limited to commercial casinos.

Resort Casinos in Mexico’s Future

One of the lawmakers spearheading Mexico’s gaming reforms says full-scale casinos will be part of the country’s new gaming landscape. Designed to boost foreign tourism and investment, the casinos will be permitted in new hotels in Cancun (l.), Puerto Penasco and other popular spots.

Ainsworth Breaks Ground on New HQ in Las Vegas

Ainsworth Game Technologies has broken ground for a new 291,000-square-foot headquarters for Ainsworth North America. Congressman Joe Heck and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval were among the dignitaries attending the ceremonies.


Travellers Breaks Ground in Manila

Construction is under way on Entertainment City’s fourth mega-casino, the $1.1 billion Bayshore City Resorts World. Travellers International Hotel Group, the joint venture that also runs Resorts World Manila (l.), is looking to open it in 2018.

Macau Goes Smoke-Free—Slowly

Heading into this week’s ban on smoking on Macau’s gaming floors, only 12 properties had completed construction of smoking lounges, the government said. Those that haven’t must prohibit all smoking outside of VIP rooms until they comply.

Okada’s Manila Debut Reset for 2016

Kazuo Okada’s Manila Bay Resorts (l.) is not likely to open in 2015 as announced. The Japanese tycoon’s Philippine subsidiaries are struggling to comply with the country’s land ownership laws, and it appears now the multibillion casino hotel’s debut will be delayed a year.


UK’s Big Four Will Rein In Ads

British bookmaking giants William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power will no longer run commercials during televised sporting events promising so-called “free bets” and other controversial incentives. The voluntary ban is designed to head off concerns over a proliferation of gambling ads seen by minors.

Greek Court Backs OPAP

William Hill and other major EU operators have lost a bid in Greek court to open the country’s betting market to private-sector competition. Hills and others have long argued the OPAP monopoly violates EU free-trade guarantees. The court disagreed.


Barrier Reef Resort May Sell Shares

Hong Kong financier Tony Fung is considering an IPO to help fund his multibillion-dollar Aquis resort casino (l.) near the Great Barrier Reef on the north coast of Queensland. A debt offering may also be part of the package, he says.

Manitoba Sees Slight Growth in Online Bets

The Canadian province will see a net profit of about $300,000 from online gambling in its first fiscal year, short of the anticipated $1.5 million. The Manitoba government has predicted that revenues from would grow to $17 million annually by 2018.


EU Court Supports Online Gambling Tax

Challenged by two land-based casino operators, the European Union's General Court recently upheld the European Commission's ruling that the Danish government's lower tax rate for online gambling did not affect the casinos. Therefore Member States could impose different tax rates for online gambling to compete internationally.

PokerStars Introduces Casino Games in Spain

PokerStars has launched a new slate of casino games to go along with its online poker offerings on its Spanish Site. The new games include roulette and blackjack. The move could mean PokerStars will offer casino games in New Jersey, where it is expected to be licensed.

German Sports-Betting Trade Group Formed

Sports-betting operators in Germany have formed a new association to push for better gambling regulations. The new association is a mix of domestic and international operators.

Bet365 Makes Gibraltar Home

Bet365 has moved its online gambling operations center to Gibraltar and left the UK, though it will keep an office open in Stoke-on-Trent. The move was made for licensing reasons, the company said.

Golden Nugget Picks KGM

Golden Nugget Atlantic City has signed an agreement with KGM Gaming to launch the company’s remote game server through integration with Bally Technologies.


Massachusetts Voters Begin Decide About Casino Question 3

With the November elections less than a month away, voters in Massachusetts are beginning to make up their minds whether to repeal the law that authorized three casino resorts and a slots parlor in the state. Question 3 is also spilling over into the governor’s race. Democrat candidate Martha Coakley (l.) refused to allow the referendum as attorney general, but was overruled by a court.

Sports Leagues Finally Reply to New Jersey Sports Betting Move

The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA have filed a court challenge to New Jersey’s latest attempt to institute sports betting. The leagues call the state’s plan—which is basically to allow unregulated sports betting at casinos and racetrack—specious and a blatant violation of earlier court rulings.

Downtown Las Vegas Project Stumbles

The Downtown Project in Las Vegas, spearheaded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, has been hailed as an example of entrepreneurial leadership and investment leading to a domino effect of development in a once-struggling neighborhood. Recent firings suggest it wasn’t all gravy. Tony Hsieh (l.), the chairman of the project, will also step down.

Icahn Makes Union Demands for Taj Mahal, Tropicana

Even as billionaire Carl Icahn (l.) is talking of a bailout of the troubled Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, his company is making concession demands from the city’s unions at his Tropicana casino in the resort. That means Icahn wants concessions at both properties. Meanwhile, he’s also asking for major tax concessions at the Taj, but so far the city isn’t biting.

Davenport Land-Based Casino Moves Forward

A land-based casino in Davenport, Iowa moved a step closer to reality as the city's Plan and Zoning Commission voted to recommend that the city council approve the final development plan. If the council approves the proposed 34,000 square foot gaming floor and seven-story hotel, the development could be completed in spring 2016.

MGM Resorts to See Big Debt Drop

Next year MGM Resorts International could see a big drop in its debt and also say goodbye to some $60 million in annual interest payments. It will happen in April, when the casino company sees a convertible bond mature and convert into MGM stock.

Atlantic City Unveils New Ad Campaign

The Atlantic City Alliance—Atlantic City’s casino-funded marketing arm—has unveiled a new ad campaign. City and marketing officials went to Philadelphia—the city’s largest feeder market—to introduce the plan.

Las Vegas City Council Keeps Stadium Bid Alive

The developers behind a $200 million stadium proposed for Downtown Las Vegas have come up with a new funding formula that reduces the city’s financial investment. Mayor Carolyn Goodman (l.) likes the new deal, and city council agrees, voting 6-1 to keep it going.

Colorado Amendment Study Forecasts $418 Million

A new study forecasts Amendment 68, which would permit a casino at Arapahoe Park racetrack near Aurora, Colorado, would have a statewide economic impact of $418 million and create more than 1,400 jobs. Opponents question the affect the new casino would have on existing operations in Cripple Creek (l.), Black Hawk and Central City.

Nevada Gaming Win Down

A decline in baccarat hold ended a five-month winning streak in the Silver State’s gaming revenue. Online poker revenues remained disappointing, dropping off more than one-fifth to less than $750,000. But slot revenues were healthy.

No Rush On Texas Historical Racing

With a lengthy application process and manufacturers' lead times, plus a lawsuit against the Texas Racing Commission by nonprofits that depend on bingo, Texas racetracks are not rushing to install historical racing machines, which recently became legal. Even if the lawsuit is dismissed, lawmakers could revisit historical racing in the next session.

Indiana Casino Officials, Lawmakers Meet

Meeting with the Indiana legislature's gaming study committee, casino officials requested land-based gaming and tax cuts, particularly an expansion of the "free play" deduction. Gaming tax revenues from Indiana's 11 riverboats and two racinos have dropped from $900 million-plus annually to $694.8 million in the 2014 fiscal year.

Newport Rejects Casino Development Agreement

The Newport, Rhode Island city council rejected 4-3 an agreement with former Providence Mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr. (l.) and two casino development partners who want to buy Newport Grand and expand it into a $40 million casino-entertainment center—but only if statewide voters approve a referendum to allow table games.

Ordinance Would Fight Parking Fee Gouging in Atlantic City

An ordinance before Atlantic City’s City Council would increase penalties for sudden unapproved spikes in parking fees when special events are held in the city. The move comes after free beach concerts were held in the city this summer and several casinos raised their parking fees from $10 to $50.

President Signs Law Ending Michigan Tribe’s Uncertainty

President Barack Obama (l.) recently signed legislation reaffirming the trust status of the Gun Lake Tribe's casino land in Bradley, Michigan. The new law ends the years-long legal challenge by former Wayland Township Trustee David Patchak who claimed the tribe did not exist in 1934, when the federal land trusts law was enacted.

New York Casino Proposal Includes Business Incubator

In an effort to expand the use of casinos, a proposal for a New York Casino includes space to develop new manufacturing jobs. The proposal comes from the Cordish Cos. and Penn National Gaming Inc. for a proposal in Orange County New York.


Shinnecocks Dissolve Gaming Authority

A majority of Shinnecock Nation tribal members voted last month to disband the tribe’s gaming authority, once led by former trustee Lance Gumbs (l.). The authority was first established in 2003 in the hope that the Southampton, New York, Indians would eventually develop a casino in the vicinity.

Failed Seminole Gaming Compact ‘Largest of its Kind’

A tentative agreement between Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, operators of the Hard Rock Casino Hollywood (l.), that was never completed would have been the death knell for commercial casinos in the state.

Connecticut Challenges BIA Proposals

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (l.) and the state's Congressional delegation are united in opposing the Bureau of Indian Affair's proposed rule changes that they say would allow more federally recognized tribes and possibly more Indian casinos. The new rules would change the continuity requirement from 1789 to 1934 and allow tribes that were denied recognition to reapply.

California’s Prop. 48 Impacts More Than One Tribe

When Californians vote on Proposition 48, which addresses a gaming compact between the state and the North Fork Tribe of Mono Indians, more than just that tribe will be closely following the results. The issue of off-reservation casinos, or “reservation shopping,” is at the heart of the statewide campaign.

Groups Sue Arizona City Over Referendum

Groups opposed to the Tohono O'odham Nation's $400 million casino resort in Glendale, Arizona sued the city and City Clerk Pam Hanna for rejecting their referendums, which would ask voters if they agree with the city's 20-year, $26 million deal with the tribe. Hanna said the referendums were administrative, not legislative, and did not qualify for the ballot.

California Casino Sets Expansion

The California-based Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians recently self-certified its environmental statement. It plans to begin construction on its $112 million expansion of the Chumash Casino Resort this month. It will include a 12-story hotel tower, larger gaming floor and a new parking structure.

U.S. Lottery: $17.5B in Online Bets?

The online lottery industry in the United States is potentially worth as much as $17.5 billion in annual sales, according to a new market report. A betting operator commissioned the report to push states toward more emphasis on online lottery sales.


MGM Promotes Thrasher, Fitzgerald, Hoff

MGM Resorts International has announced several promotions at its resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Don Thrasher (l.) has been named president of Park Holdings, LLC; Eric Fitzgerald is the new general manager of Circus Circus; and Ann Hoff has been appointed GM of Excalibur.

Gamblit Installs Yoder in Business Development Role

Gamblit Gaming, technology provider for real-money mobile games, has hired gaming technology veteran Marcus Yoder to head one of its business development teams. Yoder will be in charge of the regulated-markets division.

Martino Named IMGL "Regulator of the Year"

For his role in increasing lottery and gaming revenues by 67 percent during his four-years as Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Director, Stephen Martino recently was named Regulator of the Year for the Americas by the International Masters of Gaming Law. Previously, Martino was executive director at the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

Metric Gaming Names Bali To New Board

Atul Bali, president of the Games Division at RealNetworks Inc., has been named the first member of the new advisory board at Metric Gaming, a leading provider of sports wagering software and services. With nearly two decades of gaming and regulated lottery industry experience, Bali will advise Metric's board in business strategy and market opportunities.

KGM Names Oliva Vice President, Technical Services

With 30 years of technical experience in the gaming industry, Peter M. Oliva recently was named vice president of the technical services division at KGM. Previously Olive was senior director of field services at SPIELO International (GTECH) and held executive positions at WMS Gaming.


IGT Marks Sales in U.S. and Asia

The City of Dreams Manila will install a suite of systems from International Game Technology, including the IGT Advantage casino management system and sbX Floor Manager. And Desert Diamond casino launched IGT’s “James Cameron’s Avatar: Treasures of Pandora” video slot with a special event on the casino floor.

Ortiz Launches ‘O-Circle’

Ortiz Gaming launched its “O-Circle” bingo product with an extravagant video display, including confetti cannons, at the Global Gaming Expo. And the company also placed machines into an Oklahoma casino.

Scientific Games Serves Maine, Delaware Lotteries

Scientific Games recently concluded the conversion of the Maine State Lottery's gaming system for instant and draw games. The company has served the state since 1975. Scientific Games also extended its contract to provide instant games for the Delaware Lottery, which it has served since 1976.

Novomatic Americas Launches Website

Novomatic Americas has launched a new website to present its product range for the U.S. market and to provide technical support contacts for clients.

Gamblit Debuts Platform, Games

At the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Gamblit Gaming, the leading provider of technology for real-money gaming in mobile games, debuted a new proprietary platform to casino owners, operators and game developers, as well as 10 new mobile titles developed by Gamblit or its gaming partners.

Seneca Gaming Announces Promotional Partner

Seneca Gaming has signed a marketing agreement with Bluegreen Vacations of Boca Raton, Florida. Bluegreen's 180,000 members will receive promotions and vacation package offers for Seneca Gaming properties in New York, and Bluegreen will have access to Seneca Gaming’s Player’s Club members.

UNLV Creates Gaming Intelligence Program

Las Vegas-based technology firm eConnect has made a contribution to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to help establish a train program for the “next wave of loss prevention analysts.” The eConnect Associate Analyst program is already under way.

Jackson Rancheria to Install COG

House Advantage will install its “Casino On The GO” interactive player application for use at the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort.




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