Bi-Coastal Decisions

While there were not many gaming issues on the U.S. ballots for the 2014 mid-term elections, there were two very important ones for the gaming industry in Massachusetts and California. Several other states conducted referendums on state-specific issues and most were decided in favor of gaming. Also, some politicians were elected or defeated that may impact gaming in those states.

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Revenues in the Chinese casino hub continue to suffer from a government crackdown on corruption, and the impacts now are being felt in the mass market. Win was down more than 23 percent in October, the fifth consecutive month of declines, and year-on-year comparisons are getting tougher.

Casinos in Japan: Maybe Next Year

Opposition appears to have doomed Japan’s casino legalization bill in the current session of the Diet, exploiting political weaknesses of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l.). Reports are that backers of the bill will take up the fight again in the regular session in January, but their chances don’t look too promising then either.

Judge Rejects Revised Taj Mahal Bankruptcy Plan

Trump Entertainment will have another week to finalize a bankruptcy plan that could transfer ownership of its Atlantic City casinos to Carl Icahn after a judge refused to approve the current plan. Meanwhile the company is still fighting for concessions from the state and city to keep the Taj Mahal casino open past December 1.

U.S. Election Results Could Hurt Online Gaming Chances

With Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate after last week’s general election in the U.S., the chances for legislation to legalize online gambling seem bleak, analysts say. The night was seen as a big win for Sheldon Adelson (l.), who vehemently opposes online gambling. But Republicans may not have won big enough to enact a ban on online gambling.

Decision Drags On in New York

The commission that will choose where to locate up to four new commercial casinos in upstate New York was originally expected to announce the winning projects by the end of October. Without word from the casino siting board, the 16 bidders and communities continue to wait. Sullivan County says two is better than one, and wants both proposals OK’d including Mohegan Sun at the Concord (l.).

Isaacs: Sci Games/Bally Deal On Track

Following what the company said were bogus reports that its financing was in question, Scientific Games CEO Gavin Isaacs (l.) said the deal to acquire Bally Technologies is on track.

Santa Ysabel Introduces Real Money Online Bingo

The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel has gone ahead with plans for real-money online wagering in California. The tribe has launched a bingo website rather than an initially planned poker website. The site is being operated in conjunction with Great Luck and is a VPN-based product.


Solaire Adding More Rooms, Tables and Slots

Solaire Resort & Casino, the first of Manila’s four Entertainment City megaresorts, has found its VIP legs and is slated this month to open a second hotel tower and complete an expansion of its gaming floor.

Indian State Eyes Casinos

The state of Andhra Pradesh on India’s Bay of Bengal coast is considering applications from several operators seeking licenses for casinos in the state. The industry isn’t legal there, not yet, but officials are weighing the pros and cons of the becoming the country’s fourth regulated market.

Tough Times Ahead for Singapore

Fitch Ratings Agency says things will get worse for Marina Bay Sands (l.) and Resorts World Sentosa before they get better. Chinese patronage has fallen, and that’s hurting VIP, but improvement is expected in 2015.


UK Bookmakers Promise FOBT Reforms

Britain’s bookmakers are under political fire over their lucrative but controversial electronic table games and they’ve joined forces to propose limited restrictions on the games in hopes of fending off much tougher government restrictions.

Gambling Included In Health Survey of England

For the first time, the Health Survey of England included questions about gambling. Results showed 68 percent of men and 61 percent of women gambled in the last 12 months. Some communities, like Gloucestershire, are offering free help for problem gamblers.


Hotel Sale OK With Bahamas' Christie

Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie (l.) had a strong response to former Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette's concern that the iconic British Colonial hotel in Nassau had been sold to China State Construction Engineering Corporation. CSCEC is an equity partner with Baha Mar and lead contractor for the vast casino-resort.

New Online Gambling Legislation Expected in Mexico

Mexico's National Action Party and the Party of the Democratic Revolution have reportedly reached an agreement on new gambling legislation in Mexico. The agreement should set a new framework for gambling and protections against money laundering.

Century Acquires Stake In MCE

Century Casinos Inc. and the Argentina-based Mendoza Central Entretenimientos have signed a deal giving Century a 7.5 percent stake in the company plus the option to raise that to 50 percent. MCE receives revenue on 600 slot machines it leases to the Casino de Mendoza, owned by the Province of Mendoza.

Evidence Mounts in Probe of South African Regulators

Lawmakers in South Africa have found boxes of shredded documents at the offices of the country’s National Gambling Board, which is under investigation in connection with charges of mismanagement and possible illegalities. The entire board was suspended last month.


New Jersey to Get New Online Gambling Provider—California’s Pala Indians

New Jersey regulators have approved California's Pala Indians to team with Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to offer online gaming in the state. While the tribe still hopes to offer online gambling in California, it plans to enter the New Jersey market to gain regulatory credibility and test its platform.

Gamblit Approved in U.K.

Gamblit Gaming has been approved by the U.K. Gambling Commission for its license to operate a U.K.-facing online casino from Alderney. Eric Meyerhofer (l.), CEO of Gamblit, says the company will launch the site soon.

Politics Charged in PokerStars New Jersey Delay

PokerStars has not received the quick licensing approval expected for online play in New Jersey and that has led to charges that politics may be the problem. New Jersey state Senator Raymond Lesniak (l.) charges that Governor Chris Christie doesn’t want to upset billionaire Sheldon Adelson—who staunchly opposes online gambling—since he needs his support for a 2016 presidential bid. But nothing is proven and PokerStars and regulators may be just moving carefully.

Ontario to Launch Online Gaming

Ontario is the latest Canadian province to offer a regulated online gaming system. The site, PlayOLG, will launch in the coming weeks.

Playtech Unveils Campaign Manager

Playtech has introduced Campaign Manager to its IMS platform. The manager is designed to streamline and optimize marketing efforts for the company’s clients by highlighting player journeys across their products.

New Jersey Online Gambling Study Funded

Rutgers University has been granted $1.3 million to study online gambling in New Jersey. The state went live with online gambling one year ago. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement is funding the study.

NYX Launches Football Site

NYX Gaming Group has launched the website, providing a fully integrated online sports offering for the U.K. market.

Caesars Interactive Fined in New Jersey

Caesars Interactive has been fined $10,000 in New Jersey for soliciting online gamblers who had asked to be excluded from online gambling in the state. The state maintains a “self-exclusion” list for problem gamblers.

Study: Mobile Casino Players Spend More

A study of 3,000 mobile-game players in the United States showed that mobile casino players spend close to four times more per month on mobile games than the average non-casino social/mobile player.


Boyd Considers REIT

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp., which operates 22 casinos in eight states, may spin off some of its gaming interests into a separate unit through the establishment of a real estate investment trust, or REIT, according to CEO Keith Smith (l.).

Decision Soon on Second Philly License

The Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board has scheduled a hearing next week that will determine the fate of a second license in the city of Philadelphia. Four projects are being considered if a license is actually awarded, including the Provence (l.) in downtown Philly.

New Jersey Fires Back on Sports Betting

New Jersey says its three main gambling regulatory agencies will not regulate sports betting in the state—a provision the state says is key to getting around a federal ban on sports betting. The state maintains the ban only applies to regulated sports betting. New Jersey’s sports-betting law privatizes the wagering. The country’s professional sports leagues and the NCAA have opposed the law.

Southeast Kansas Attracts Second Developer

Las Vegas Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin and the Quapaw Tribe are not the only developers interested in Kansas' fourth and final state-run casino. The Pittsburg city council recently approved the Southeast Kansas Casino Group's petition for a casino at U.S. Highway 69 and Kansas Highway 400.

Indiana Committee Recommends Land-based Casinos

Land-based casinos, live racino table games and extending the $5 million annual "free play" tax deduction through 2018 are among the proposals unanimously recommended by the Indiana General Assembly's Gaming Study Committee. Chairman Tom Dermody (l.) said Indiana's 10 riverboat casinos need help to compete with new operations in neighboring states.

CHDN Purchases New York, Colorado Presence

CHDN recently purchased, for $30.6 million, a 25 percent interest in Saratoga Casino Holdings, giving it a stake in Saratoga Casino and Raceway in New York and Saratoga Casino Black Hawk (l.) in Colorado. Gaming accounts for about 40 percent of CHDN's portfolio as online gambling and racing keep growing.

Iowa Group Presents Dog Racing Plans

The Iowa Greyhound Association presented its case for a license to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Dog racing will end in Council Bluffs but the IGA will operate the Dubuque Greyhound Park. Casinos, which no longer will subsidize the dog racetracks, will split $72 million between the IGA and a retirement fund for dog owners and breeders.

Illinois Commission Targets Illegal Slots

The Chicago Crime Commission is going after about 100 unregulated sweepstakes machines, which are similar to legal slot machines. Despite that small number, the state's 10 casinos, which currently offer 29,000 slots, are growing increasingly concerned about the 18,000-plus video gambling machines offered in 4,500 statewide businesses.

Atlantic City Revel Auction Challenged

Glenn Straub, a Florida developer who lost an auction to purchase the $2.4 billion Revel hotel casino in Atlantic City, has filed a formal appeal of the auction results. Straub charges the auction was not conducted fairly, that Revel’s attorneys had a conflict of interest and that he is ready to top the winning bid.

MGM, NHL: A Winning Team?

As former NBA star Jackie Robinson plans a billion-dollar-plus hoops arena on the Las Vegas Strip, MGM Resorts International continues discussions that may bring major league hockey to Sin City. MGM is also building an arena (l.).

Casinos to Delaware: Lower Taxes

A panel of officials of Delaware’s three racinos is asking the legislature to revisit the revenue-sharing model to create a tiered slot tax with a lower table tax.

Atlantic City Travel Falls

In the wake of four casino closings, traffic to Atlantic City by visitors fell substantially in September when three casinos closed at the beginning of the month. Traffic fell across the board counting car visits, rail visits and airport visits.

With Laughlin Events Center, Everybody Wins

Casinos in Laughlin, Nevada don’t mind promoting an entertainment venue owned by rival casino owner Anthony Marnell III, who has two gaming halls in town. Why? The Laughlin Events Center brings in big stars and big bucks, which means increased revenues for all.

Ohio’s Casinos Generate $1 Billion in Revenues

Now that all of Ohio’s casino resorts and racinos are open and operating, including Horseshoe Cincinnati (l.), critics note that they are failing to live up to the promised revenues when they were sold to the voters in 2009. This is the first year that all have been operating.

Rock in Rio to Launch in 2015

Brazilian promoter Roberto Medina, founder of the multi-day Rock in Rio USA festival, will bring acts like Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Metallica and Ed Sheeran to Vegas to liven up two weekends in May next year.

Cal Neva Set for Facelift

A Texas financier has raised $29 million of the $150 million it will take to restore the historic Cal Neva Lodge on the border between Nevada and California. In the early 1960s the resort was owned by singer Frank Sinatra and frequented by his Rat Pack buddies.

Hard Times in AC

With the recent loss of 10,000 casino jobs in Atlantic City, Atlantic County now ranks higher among urban areas in terms of unemployment. Of 372 metro areas surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Atlantic County was No. 369, with a September jobless rate of 10.8 percent.

UNLV to Rodeo: Sign Here

Las Vegas Events pulled out all the stops this year to keep the popular National Finals Rodeo in Sin City for 10 more years. It expects to finalize the deal before the rodeo starts next month. The rodeo is expected to stay at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

New Flights Coming to Reno

Starting in December 2015, Thomas Cook Airlines will begin three months of biweekly nonstop service from Reno, Nevada to London. The new flights have been established to serve Europeans in search of ski holidays, according to state tourism officials.

MontBleu Upgrades Almost Complete

The MontBleu casino in Stateline, Nevada is nearing completion on a $24 million renovation that will upgrade more than 400 guest rooms and 36 suites as well as the casino floor and other amenities. The Edgewood Companies property is operated by Tropicana Entertainment.


Supreme Court Wavers on Tribal Sovereignty

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the sovereignty of a gaming tribe in Michigan, the Bay Mills Indian Community, but in such a way that some tribal attorneys find troubling. The high court ruling that a state cannot sue a tribe due to sovereign immunity leaves many question to be answered, they say.

Arrests Made in Case of Feuding California Gaming Tribe

Arrests have been made in the case of the first California Indian casino to be closed by court order since Indian gaming was approved in the Golden State. Fifteen men are accused of false imprisonment and kidnapping in the case of a tribe that is torn apart by feuding factions.

Voters Oppose Fourth Seneca Casino

Voters in the suburbs of Rochester, New York responded to a newspaper poll saying they don’t want a fourth Seneca Nation casino to be built in their backyard. The Indians bought a 32-acre tract in Monroe County, but say they won’t build there unless the people want the project.

Washington Tribe to Open $27 Million Hotel In December

A five-story, 125-room hotel is under construction at the Puget Sound-area Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington, Washington. Owned by the Stillaguamish Tribe, the $27 million hotel will open in December. General Manager Travil O'Neil said guests have been asking for a hotel at the 10-year old casino.

Tribe Approves Ohio Land Purchase

A consultant at the brokerage firm for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma said the tribal council recently approved an agreement to purchase 150 acres of land in Monroe for millions of dollars to build a casino. The tribe would require a gaming compact, and Governor Bob Taft has said he opposes expanded gambling.

Coos Bay Casino Set For May Opening

Weather permitting, the Three River Casino Coos Bay in southwestern coastal Oregon is set to open next May. The 15,000 square foot facility, operated by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, will attract tourists and create 120 full- and part-time jobs.

Arizona Tribes Celebrate Increased Revenue

An increase of 0.8 percent in revenue for third quarter 2014 over 2013 was just one of the numbers celebrated at the recent Arizona Indian Gaming Association's Expo. The Arizona Benefits Fund has received more than $1 billion in shared revenues in the past 11 years from tribal gaming, AIGA Executive Director Valerie Spicer announced.


Muller Joins NIGA Show Producer

Former G2E director Courtney Muller has joined Urban Expositions, producer of the NIGA trade show, as executive vice president.

Casino Technology Names CFO

Slot-maker Casino Technology has named former longtime Bally Wulff managing director Sascha Blodau as the company’s new chief financial officer.

Brown to Head Saipan Casino

Veteran casino executive Mark Brown has been named president and CEO of the Imperial Pacific casino resort project in Saipan.

Apex Names Pessnegger CEO

Apex Gaming has named Max Pessnegger, the former chief technology officer, to the position of chief executive officer, effective November 1.

Meier Replaces Kohn At Nevada Gold & Casinos

James J. Kohn has resigned as chief financial officer and secretary at Nevada Gold & Casinos, Inc. The company hired James D. Meier, most recently vice president of strategic planning and financial analysis at Full House Resorts, as vice president, chief financial officer and secretary. Kohn will stay on during the transition.

Two Promoted At Wind Creek Hospitality

Arthur Mothershed recently was named vice president of business development and Tim Ramer was named property manager for Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Hospitality recently announced. Both are members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama.

Valley Forge Hires Jennifer Galle

Hospitality marketing professional Jennifer Galle has been hired as chief marketing officer at Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Previously Galle was vice president of marketing at Horseshoe Hammond in Chicago, and director of marketing at Caesars Atlantic City.

Former Pequot Chairman Guilty

A federal appeals court last month upheld the conviction of former Mashantucket Pequot chairman Michael Thomas, who was found guilty of embezzling more than $100,000 from the tribe. The Indians own and operate the Foxwoods Resort Casino in southeastern Connecticut.

Foxwood Tribe Reelects Colebut-Ingram

Roy Colebut-Ingram has been reelected to the tribal council of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe of Indians, who own and operate the Foxwoods casino enterprise in Connecticut. Richard E. Sebastian also was elected to council.


Konami Launches in Sweden

Konami Gaming has launched its first games in Sweden, through distributor International Casino Management, at the state-owned Casino Cosmopol.

GTECH Launches New Website, Reduces Loan

GTECH has launched an integrated, end-to-end website to serve lottery and casino gaming customers with a single source of information on the company’s solutions.


IAGA Concludes 2015 International Gaming Summit

Almost 300 delegates hear from key industry decision makers at the International Gaming Summit produced by the International Association of Gaming Advisors. Speakers addressed many of the crucial issues facing today’s gaming industry,




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