Gaming developers Mohegan Sun’s Mark Etess, Wynn Resorts’ Steve Wynn (l.) and MGM Resorts made final presentations last week to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission before the panel awards licenses in May. MGM is a lock, says Chairman Stephen Crosby, since it has no opposition, but Steve Wynn’s vitriol may have a blowback.
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The governor of Osaka Prefecture, Ichiro Matsui (l.), wants his jurisdiction out in front of Japan’s coming casino wave. While lawmakers consider a landmark gaming authorization bill, he’s been talking with industry giants MGM, Caesars and Genting about a multibillion-dollar resort on a reclaimed island in Osaka Bay.
The war of words between the gaming industry and its largest company, Las Vegas Sands, heated up last week as the company circulated a letter issued by the FBI in September warning about participation of terrorist and criminal groups in the iGaming industry. LVS spokesman and former New York Governor George Pataki (l.) says it is proof that online gaming is dangerous.
A conservative group has raised a potential legal roadblock to the expansion of gaming in Kentucky as set out in current legislation, based on a constitutional argument. Governor Steve Beshear (l.), a supporter of gaming, disagrees.
An unexpected drop in the price of Bloomberry Resorts, the parent company of the Solaire Casino Hotel in Manila, led to charges against Global Gaming Asset Management and a suspension of trading. GGAM said it was free to sell whenever it wanted, but Bloomberry’s Enrique Razon (l.) wants access to those shares in light of a pending lawsuit.
The disagreements about online gaming between Las Vegas Sands and Caesars Interactive will be front and center at iGaming North America’s 2014 conference, March 19-21 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The showdown will feature LVS’ Andy Abboud and Caesars Interactive’s Mitch Garber (l.).
New Jersey will have another online casino competing for revenue as Gamesys and the Virgin Group began taking real money bets in the state at virgincasino.com. Gamesys is partnered with Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino Resort to offer online gaming. And Wynn Resorts is ramping up efforts to go online in New Jersey.
Proponents of expanded gambling recently launched an initiative called "Best for Florida," which hopes to educate the public about the benefits of destination casino resorts in South Florida. The anti-gaming group NoCasinos kicked of their campaign with the documentary "Pushing Luck." Former legislator Tom Feeney (l.) is leading the pro-casino movement.
The Catawba Indian Nation's proposed casino in Cleveland County, North Carolina will provide 4,000 new jobs, said Chief Bill Harris (l.) of the South Carolina-based tribe. The tribe considered two other North Carolina counties before settling on Cleveland, because officials there were receptive to the project and understood its economic impact.
Earnings season is supposed to be a time when company executives can explain their strategy and how the quarterly results have demonstrated its success. But too often, executives use the time to lower expectations and offer often conservative guidance.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Joe Hasson, Vice President & General Manager, Graton Casino Resort, California
This week, the GGB Podcast features an interview with Joe Hasson, vice president and general manager of the Graton Casino Resort, in Rohnert Park, California, discussing the opening and the instant success of this new tribal casino.
Experts are as impressed as ever with Vietnam’s potential to become a major Asian casino destination. The country’s small foreigners-only market is flourishing and slated for expansion, and some major new resort projects are on the drawing board. Currently, Ho Tram Grand (l.) , near Ho Chi Minh City, is the nation’s largest casino.
Getting to Macau from China will become faster and easier thanks to a new smart-card technology the government is installing at the border crossings. The card will let travelers on the Individual Visit Scheme enter and leave the city without waiting in line to clear immigration.
As Macau gaming revenues continue to amaze, shares of gaming operators with a presence in the city are rising to new highs. Melco Crown, owner of the City of Dreams (l.), has been leading the pack in recent months, and is the top pick among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Six months after its Hong Kong IPO, gaming and hotel operator Macau Legend Development is returning to investors to raise another $174 million. The money is earmarked for a redevelopment of the company’s Fisherman’s Wharf entertainment complex. Japanese pachinko giant Dynam Holdings is a major subscriber.
With another loan payment coming due, Codere wants a better deal from bondholders and warns that it may file for creditor protection. The Spanish gaming giant is €1.1 billion in debt and hasn’t turned a profit in two years.
Police in Moscow have uncovered another network of illegal casinos and another high-ranking police officer was taken into custody. The city was hit with a major scandal two years ago when 10 law enforcement officers were arrested in connection with a gambling ring that operated across the capital region.
Eight potential developers have indicated their interest in being part of a major expansion of resort gaming in the Australian state of Queensland. Three new licenses will be offered for bid, one in the capital of Brisbane and two more likely centered on the popular Gold Coast. The Aquis (l.) is a proposed development on the Gold Coast.
A Bermuda activist group says that citizens, not politicians, have the right to make the final decision about casinos in the island territory.
A bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature by Senator Ray Lesniak (l.) would Atlantic City-based online gambling sites to accept bets from other states and countries. Proponents hope the bill would allow the state to tap into the $30 Billion global online gambling market.
The UK Gambling Commission wants a block on unlicensed overseas gambling sites, but the country’s major broadband providers have refused. Policing the internet is not their job, they say.
Despite lower than predicted revenue numbers for the first weeks of online gambling in New Jersey, many officials are expecting to see the fledgling industry grow in 2014 as online sites fix technical problems which have plagued the early going and as more marketing campaigns are launched.
Macedonia is banning gambling on websites based outside the country and plans to block access to them. In their place the government is launching a state-run monopoly developed in partnership with Casinos Austria.
A report on CalvinAyre.com suggests that a new DOJ policy may allow PokerStars to resolve its outstanding federal legal issues. That could satisfy New Jersey regulators and allow the online gambling giant to begin operating in the state this year. PokerStars application for online gaming in New Jersey is currently suspended for two years.
An editorial column at Online Poker Report points to three areas that online gambling providers must fix if online poker is to thrive in the U.S.—the use of poker bots, payment issues and clearing up confusion about the legality of online gaming.
British bookmaker William Hill has made a deal with Turf TV to broadcast the company’s U.S. horse race coverage in its 2,400 betting shops. The bookmaker had been using the Racing Network International for its US racing coverage.
A poll by Mobile Gaming Company Probability finds that 70 percent of online gamblers in the UK use mobile devices and 87 percent would recommend the experience to friends.
Konami Gaming and GameAccount Network announced the finalization of a previous partnership to take Konami games online.
Microgaming has acquired the rights develop an online slot game based on the 1991film Terminator 2 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
MD International has announced that it has installed its gaming products in six French casinos including its product pillar MD Poker.
Social game developer Zynga has launched a real-money online poker product on Facebook in the UK and has also announced it is dropping its popular YoVille game from Facebook at the end of March.
Long before MGM opens Maryland’s sixth casino in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the casino site at National Harbor will feature a 175-foot Ferris wheel.
Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa was forced to cancel play in the opening event of its 2014 Winter Poker Open after finding counterfeit chips had been introduced into the tournament. State Police later charged Christian Lusardi, 42, of Fayetteville, N.C., with slipping the chips into the tournament. He was caught after trying to flush more counterfeit chips down an Atlantic City casino hotel toilet.
Sioux City wants to support the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and Hard Rock Casino developers Sioux City Entertainment in Penn National's lawsuit against them. The city already spent $11 million in TIF funds on the Hard Rock project (l.). But the Iowa gaming industry is the center of controversy in several cities today.
The decline of gaming revenue among Detroit’s three casinos, Motor City, MGM Grand Detroit (l.) and the Greektown Casino is complicating the Motor City’s bankruptcy plan, which is based in part on taxes derived from those casinos.
The demolition of the foundation of the proposed $700 million Harrah's-Jimmy Buffet casino project and the construction of a new baseball stadium (l.) are moving forward in Biloxi, Mississippi. Several other renovations and expansions at casinos and entertainment venues are raising hopes high among officials and investors.
Despite a marked lack of support among the business community in Downtown Las Vegas and the casino industry, the longstanding Cordish arena proposal continues to chug along.
In 2013, wagering and admissions taxes at Indiana casinos dropped a combined 9 percent, or $752.4 million, the lowest amount in eight years. Still, casinos are investing in capital improvements and some analysts said the industry will stabilize in 2014.
Boston-based Esplanade Capital continues to make a play for casino owner Archon Corp., despite “stonewalling” from the owners, Paul and Sue Lowden (l.).
Georgia state Rep. Harry Geising said Governor Nathan Deal (l.) may not want to address expanded gambling while he is running for re-election. Geising has proposed a bill to amend the state constitution to allow racing and casino gambling.
The virtual currency Bitcoin will be accepted at Las Vegas’ D casino (l.) and the Golden Gate casino. A co-owner of the two casinos said customers had asked about using the currency and he hopes it will add some excitement to the city.
The stateside business of British bookmaker William Hill reported a 150 percent rise in net revenues for the final quarter of 2013. It was William Hill’s first full year of operations in the United States.
Now that the Illinois Joint Committee of Administrative Rules unanimously rejected the Gaming Board's proposed video gambling reforms, board chairman Aaron Jaffe said he will appeal to the full legislature or prepare new rules. State Rep. David Leitch called Jaffe's proposed blacklist "severely flawed."
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York wants to boost funding for the state Racing Commission in part by raising the surcharge on handle. It could add $2 million of a planned $8.6 million increase.
A $37.4 million casino expansion and renovation project, including a 41,000 square foot gaming floor addition, is under way at Southland Park (l.) racino in West Memphis, Arkansas. Including the current project at the 60-year-old venue, owner Delaware North will have invested more than $100 million there in the last decade.
As early as next month, travelers and workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport may be able to buy lottery tickets using 2,500 electronic tablets already installed in a main-terminal concourse. Minnesota Lottery Director said more tickets are sold at the airport than any other single site in the state.
The troubled monorail in Las Vegas has seen its ups (in 2007) and downs (every year since). Could 2014 be the year it sees a turnaround?
A constitutional amendment allowing voters to decide if they want casino gambling recently was introduced by Nebraska state Senator Russ Karpisek. Proponents said Nebraska is losing revenue to Iowa and South Dakota, but both lawmakers and voters previously have rejected gambling proposals.
The Hard Rock in Las Vegas could face foreclosure if its owner, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, does not make a March interest payment on time.
Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas may not be raking in the big bucks, but its new social club is making big headlines. Rose.Rabbit.Lie. (l.) opened on January 17.
New signs with posted cab fares at McCarran Airport are meant to curtail long hauling, in which taxi drivers take the long way to and from Las Vegas to increase their revenues.
Casino owner Michels Development says the casino closed because of “continuing costs and flat revenues.” The company also faulted increased minimum wage laws and healthcare reform.
Lawmakers in New Hampshire are looking at regulations that might force small charitable gambling operations to call it quits rather than deal with onerous paperwork.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation will not appeal a New York appellate court ruling upholding the state’s right to collect property taxes on slot machines.
As the big business of tribal gaming and revenues continue to grow across the United States more and more tribes are looking at their member rolls with the goal of reducing their numbers.
While outside consultants review the Menominee tribe's plans for a casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been hearing from residents about the issue. He's received more than 7,400 emails and letters, both pro and con.
A Rochester, New York, group called the No More Casinos Coalition says it isn’t against gaming, but wants to protect the interests of local racinos.
The man who once headed the Snoqualmie tribe’s gaming commission in Washington state, William Papazian is suing three casino executives and two tribal councilors, alleging corruption in their action of replacing the commission with the tribal council.
Former president and CEO of the American Gaming Association Frank Fahrenkopf has been retained by CAMS to provide strategic guidance for the multidimensional online gaming provider.
FutureLogic, Inc. announced several changes in its senior leadership, including the appointment of Eric Meyerhofer as the company’s new chairman.
Microgaming Technologies has named longtime casino industry executive Scott Winzeler as the company’s new chief operating officer.
The Rainmaker Group has named veteran hospitality sales executive Chis Lements as the company’s new director of hospitality sales.
The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers announced a new slate of officers under Konami’s Thomas Jingoli, the organization’s longtime president.
GTECH has named two new senior sales representatives for the Peru market, promoting current company employees Gina Macheri and Karina Moral.
Amaya Gaming, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, has appointed attorney Marlon Goldstein to head its legal department.
The Suzo-Happ Group has promoted Harald Wagemaker to a key post in its European, Middle Eastern and African markets.
Las Vegas bookmaking company Cantor Gaming, now known as CG Technology, has agreed to pay $5.5 million in fines to the state of Nevada and plead guilty to 14 of 18 charges.
KGM Gaming won the Excellence in Innovation award at the inaugural Supply Excellence Awards hosted by Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
Michigan’s Soaring Eagle casino has installed the Kai customer service tool from Acres 4.0, which automates customer service functions via mobile technology.
Interblock announced the first installation of its multi-player G4 Organic automatized table game in in Casino du Sud Saint Pierre on Réunion Island.
NEWave has installed its Title 31 Manager compliance software at the Wild Rose casino properties in Clinton and Emmetsburg, Iowa.
Ainsworth Game Technology announced that the Mississippi Gaming Commission has approved its manufacturer and distributor license.
American Airlines, which will soon merge with US Airways, will increase flight capacity into Las Vegas for the first quarter of 2014. McCarran officials hope for more flights from Asia.
Las Vegas-based contractor Penta Building has been contracted to do the $50 million renovation of John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks, Nevada with Cuningham Architecture in charge of design.
Nevada lawmakers convening to assess the impact of new technologies on the gaming industry will look at associated issues, such as entity wagers and betting on elections.
Austria’s Novomatic Group will once again dominate the trade show floor at ICE Totally Gaming with a stand that will measure 4,500 square meters.
International Game Technology will display a complete portfolio of content at ICE Totally Gaming, across all distribution channels.
Intralot will be the lead sponsor of the ICE Conferences, a three-day program of seminars and workshops at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show.
Aristocrat Technologies will display a collection of new slot games carrying licensed brands at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show in London.
Aruze Gaming America announced plans to display new titles on its G-Series video platform as well as a growing library of stepper titles at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show.
Quixant will launch the QX-50 Ultra HD slot platform, which enables ultra high-definition slot screens, at next week’s Ice Totally Gaming trade show in London.
GTECH announced that its Spielo gaming brand will launch two new casino management system solutions at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show.
Innovative Technology will be showcasing state-of-the art cash-handling product at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show in London.
Euro Games Technology announced that its lineup for this year’s ICE Totally Gaming trade show will be one of the event’s largest displays.
Gaming Rewards will launch two new categories of player-loyalty rewards for casinos at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show in London.
The iGaming North America conference and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries announced a strategic partnership.
888 poker, which has just launched an online gaming site in New Jersey, has offered New York Giants wide receiver Offered Hakeem Nicks (l.)—who wears No. 88—an $88,000 payoff his favorite charity to change his name to 888.com.
Elaine Wynn, that’s who. Steve Wynn’s extravagant ex thought nothing of dropping a small fortune for a painting by 19th century artist Francis Bacon.
Work on the 500-foot observation wheel stopped back in the fall of 2012, but the developers insist the project near Mandalay Bay is still alive.
Jay Newnum, an Indiana-based poker blogger has been sentenced to probation for using chopsticks to steal nearly $700 in dealer’s tips from a tip box at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Newnum was covering a tournament event at the casino.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom