Caesars Drama Continues

A group of senior creditors of Caesars Entertainment has sued the gaming operator and filed a default notice as major lenders have accepted the operator’s plan to split into two major entities. Caesars calls the lawsuit and default notice issued by bondholders “meritless.” The plaintiffs say the company has “looted” valuable assets like Caesars Palace (above) in Las Vegas.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Reef Casino Sinking

A multibillion-dollar megaresort with a casino near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in jeopardy following a delay in regulatory approvals for the development group’s purchase of the Reef Hotel Casino in nearby Cairns. The group, led by Hong Kong financier Tony Fung (l.), sees the Reef as critical to its ability to assemble funding for the resort.

Incheon Megaresort Breaks Ground

The first of a new generation of destination resorts in South Korea has broken ground near the country’s main international airport at Incheon. The joint venture between the country’s Paradise Group and Japan’s Sega Sammy is targeting China’s booming tourism market with a 750-room hotel and an array of shopping, dining and other attractions. Paradise Sega Sammy Chief Executive Choi Jong-hwan (l.) says visitors can walk from the airport to the resort.

Icahn Lends Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal $5 Million

In the latest twist in the continuing bankruptcy saga of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal casino, investor Carl Icahn (l.) has agreed to lend Trump Entertainment—the casino’s owner—$5 million to keep operating into January. Meanwhile, Icahn is continuing to say that for the Taj to be saved, Atlantic City’s main casino workers union must drop an appeal of a court ruling voiding the casino’s union contract.

Florida Gearing Up For Gambling Talks—Again

In the next Florida legislative session expanded gambling will be addressed with more intensity, as the state could lose $116 million annually if the Seminole compact expires in July. In addition, parimutuels want the state to help them compete with the Seminole casinos and out-of-state interests still want destination casinos in South Florida. Newly re-elected Governor Rick Scott (l.) has a decision to make.

San Diego Tribe Sued by California Over Online Bingo Site

The state of California has sued the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, based in San Diego County to make it stop offering online Class II gaming, i.e. online bingo. The website was launched on November 4, after a previously planned online poker website was shelved.

America’s Largest Indian Casinos Get New Management

By the beginning of next year the two largest Indian casinos, Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun, will be operating under new CEOs. One CEO has already been installed; Felix Rappaport of Foxwoods, and Mitchell Etess (l.) of the Mohegan Sun announced his retirement last week.

New York: Casinos By Christmas

New York State’s Gaming Facility Location Board may take until mid-December to announce where new upstate casinos will be built. A fourth and final meeting of the panel has been scheduled for December 17, according to New York Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams (l.).

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Revenue Rebound?

For the first time in several years, there is hope that the Great Recession is over for U.S. casinos. National gaming revenues grew in October and regional growth continued as well. What’s the message?


Expanded Hours for Macau’s Border Crossings

With November looking like Macau’s sixth straight month of year-on-year revenue declines, operators and analysts are hoping for a lift from extended operations at the territory’s three main border connections with China.

PAGCOR: Caesars Will Have To Wait

Caesars Entertainment is floating plans for a $1 billion resort casino in Manila, but government regulator PAGCOR says no new licenses will be considered until development of Entertainment City reaches “substantial completion.” Meanwhile, Solaire (l.), the first of the district’s new resorts, has completed its first expansion, adding 312 suites, a theater and more VIP table games.

Falcone Still Involved, says Ho Tram

More than a year after opening on Vietnam’s southern coast, The Grand – Ho Tram is beginning to ramp up, and majority investor Phil Falcone (l.) intends to be there when it does. The U.S. hedge fund tycoon has quit the investment conglomerate he founded but has no plans to leave “my Vietnam casino,” he says.

Casinos Back on Taiwan’s Agenda

Taiwan’s parliament plans to take up the issue of casino legalization on the country’s outlying islands when it reconvenes in December. Draft regulations governing the industry could be approved by the middle of next year.

Guam Investigating Unauthorized Gambling

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo's office insists he only approved two villages for gambling at the Tiyan carnival grounds (a huge sic bo board at left). But the mayors of other villages contend he said they also could offer gambling there. The Attorney General's office is investigating.


Croatia Moves Toward Open Online Market

Croatia’s parliament is set to consider legislation to regulate online gaming in the country. The European Commission has already signed off on the draft bill, which, if approved, will create one of the more open markets for the industry in Europe.


Ho Sets Sights on Casino in Georgia

Lawrence Ho (l.) is bringing his Vladivostok casino investment group together to develop a smaller gaming facility in Georgia. The project, located in the Caucasian republic’s capital of Tbilisi, is pegged at an initial US$50 million and could open early in 2016.

Jamaica Eases Travel Requirements

More Asian tourists are expected to visit Jamaica now that visitors’ visas are no longer required to enter the island nation. Officials are hoping to draw more Chinese nationals on vacation to boost the country’s economy.

No Online Sports Bets in Argentina

Lawmakers and clergy came out against a plan to offer online sports betting in Argentina. The revenues would have funded a new tournament including 30 teams approved by the Argentine Football Association.

Slow Growth of Gaming in South Africa

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers says casinos, a $17 billion annual business in South Africa, will see slowing growth in the years to come. Bingo and sports betting are taking a bigger bite out of the casino business, PwC predicts.


New Jersey Sees Online Gambling Anniversary

New Jersey has now completed one year of online gambling. While revenue is just a fraction of what was hoped for, the state has been able to iron out technical problems and post a regulatory success, according to DGE Director David Rebuck (l.). Now the state is looking to grow the market.

PokerStars to Launch Sports Betting, Casino Games

PokerStars is ready to expand beyond online poker and has announced it will launch sports betting and table games worldwide. Table games such as blackjack and roulette will be offered this month with sports betting going online in early 2015. PokerStars—now owned by Amaya Gaming—has already tested its table games in Spain.

Atlantic City Casinos Oppose Online Gambling Ban

The Casino Association of New Jersey has passed a resolution opposing a federal bill that would outlaw online gambling. New Jersey already permits online gambling, and the association wrote that such a bill would violate the state’s right to set its own gambling laws.

Pala Interactive Goes Live in New Jersey

California’s Pala Indians have launched their online gambling site in New Jersey after a successful five-day test period. They are the first Native American tribe to launch a site in the state. The launch came days after New Jersey regulators ruled that there is no evidence that Pala Interactive CEO Jim Ryan knew about a cheating scandal at his former employer UltimateBet.

NetEnt Licensed in Spain

NetEnt has received a license to enter Spain’s regulated iGaming market after new regulations allowing online games were passed to open the market.

Tatts Group Now ‘UBET’

Lottery and betting firm Tatts Group of Australia, familiarly known as TattsBet, is rebranding its business as “UBET.” The business, founded in 1962, will assume the new moniker in 2015 in an effort to face off with new competition in the sector.

Boylesports Begins Gibraltar Move

Irish sports betting operator Boylesports has been approved to move its online betting operations to Gibraltar. The company says it will base about 20 staff members there.


Massachusetts Sets Southeastern Casino Application Deadline

Applicants for a casino license in Massachusetts’ southeastern zone have been granted a reprieve to turn in completed applications to January 30, 2015. The second part of the application will be due on May 26, with a license issued that autumn. This will be the final license issued under the 2011 gaming expansion law, initially reserved for a tribal project in Taunton (l.).

Alabama Supreme Court Rules Bingo Illegal

Alabama State Attorney General Luther Strange (l.) was vindicated by the state Supreme Court, which recently unanimously supported a raid he ordered on Center Stage casino on July 25, 2012. The justices affirmed a Houston County judge's ruling that the state could destroy 691 electronic games and $288,657 in cash seized in the raid.

Philly Decision Ignored Local Opposition

Officials of Delaware County, home to Harrah’s Philadelphia (l.), were among those opposed to the approval of a second Philadelphia casino by state regulators, alleging that the new casino would put Harrah’s out of business.

Third Developer Unveils Kansas Casino Plans

Castle Rock Casino Resorts is the third developer that wants to build a casino (l.) in the Kansas' Southeast Zone. The legislature lowered investment and fee requirements to attract companies to compete for its fourth and final state-owned casino. Southeast Kansas Casino Group and Phil Ruffin and the Quapaw Tribe's Downstream Casino also have come forward.

Delaware Casinos Turned Down Slot Parlors

A plan floated by Delaware’s governor to permit casinos to use their untapped limit of slot machines to open satellite slot parlors was rejected by the casinos.

South Dakota Drafting New Games Rules

Following voter approval of offering roulette, craps and keno at South Dakota casinos, the state gaming commission will start drafting legislation on rules and regulations. South Dakota Commission on Gaming Executive Secretary Larry Eliason said he's reviewing other states' guidelines on the new games, which should be available July 1, 2015.

Revel Atlantic City Fights Tax Bill, Tries to Save Sale

Revel Atlantic City is trying to block a tax lien sale of about $32 million it owes Atlantic City. The move comes as the closed casino is trying to salvage a $110 million sale of the property after potential buyer Brookfield Property Partners backed out of the deal.

Battle of the Vegas Arenas

As developers plan several giant entertainment venues in Las Vegas, the pitch continues to bring major league sports to the city. Mayor Carolyn Goodman supports the campaign to recruit a pro soccer franchise, which would have its home base at a proposed stadium in Downtown Sin City (l.).

Tahoe: Ready to Rock

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, formerly the Frontier, will open in January. COO and gaming industry veteran Don Marrandino (l.) promises something for locals as well as vacationers, and says the Stateline, Nevada property can compete against nearby tribal casinos.

SLS Continues Post-Opening Adjustments

Scott Kreeger, who just took over from Rob Oseland as the new president of SLS Las Vegas, says the glam property on the northern end of the Strip has been tweaking operations since its big opening in August. A buffet has closed (l.), and staff levels have been cut.

MGM Raises $1.15 Billion for New Developments

In a move applauded by some analysts, MGM Resorts International has raised $1.15 billion of new debt that will come due in 2023. Most of the funds will be used to develop new casino projects in Massachusetts and Maryland (l.). A portion of the rest will pay down existing debt.

Biloxi Regains Margaritaville Land

As part of bankruptcy proceedings, the city of Biloxi will take back control of the land on which the now-shuttered Margaritaville Casino stands. The venue opened in May 2012 and closed on September 19. Operators MLB Holdings blamed the location and lack of a hotel.

Borgata Announces $13 Million Renovation

Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has announced a $13 million renovation that covers everything from the casino floor to the back of the house. Borgata is the leading revenue producer in Atlantic City.

E-Pulltabs Sales Quietly Growing in Minnesota

When the Minnesota legislators approved electronic pulltab games in 2012, they were supposed to generate $100 million a month and help pay the state's share of the new Vikings stadium. Instead players clung to traditional paper pulltabs. But e-pulltabs are quietly growing in popularity, thanks to new technology and better games.

New Jersey Racetrack Turns to Fantasy Sports Betting

Blocked for the time being from offering sports betting due to a federal injunction, New Jersey’s Monmouth Park racetrack has announced it will begin offering fantasy sports betting, but did not state a launch date. The track has hoped to begin sports betting before the injunction, which the state plans to appeal.

Valley Forge to Pay $200K in Fines

Valley Forge Casino in suburban Philadelphia will pay $200,000 in fines for violations of state gaming law including admitting underage gamblers. The casino near the historic Civil War battlefield has hired new managers to ensure the violations are not repeated.

Atlantic City Casinos See Profit Increase

Profits for the third quarter were up for Atlantic City casinos after the closing of four casinos since the beginning of the year. The eight casinos currently operating in Atlantic City posted a gross operating profit of $152.3 million in the third quarter, an increase of 3.4 percent. Caesars Entertainment’s three city casinos, however, saw profits decline for the quarter.


New Mexico Tribes Seek New Compacts

Seven New Mexico tribes want to renew their state gaming compacts in the next legislative session. Several tribes' compacts expired in June, others do not have a compact and the Pojoaque Pueblo, led by Governor George Rivera (l.), is seeking a compact directly from the federal government.

New Law Protects Tribal Members from IRS Harassment

Indian tribes are greeting a new law that makes it harder for the IRS to harass them, the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act (GWE) with optimism. But they are also worried that they may not have much influence on the selection of a committee that will advise the IRS on the law.

Congresswoman Criticizes Putting Washington Tribe’s Land Into Trust

A congresswoman representing constituents who are fighting a casino proposed by the Cowlitz tribe of Washington is objecting to the Department of the Interior signaling plans to put land for the tribe into trust—despite a lawsuit challenging their right to that land. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (l.) recently sent a letter to Department outlining her objections.

South Dakota Sues Over Sales Taxes

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe sued the state of South Dakota in an argument over sales taxes at the Royal River Casino. The state claims the tribe is disobeying a 2006 law requiring tribes to pay use taxes on non-tribal-member purchases on Indian land. The tribe contends Royal River fall under federal—not state—jurisdiction.

Oklahoma Casino Rising On Unwanted Sandbar

A neglected sandbar, owned by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation since the early 19th century, is the site of the $329 million Margaritaville Casino in Tulsa, set to open in late 2016. The beach-themed project will create 800 jobs and generate $135 million annually for the local economy.

Lacking Approval, Wisconsin Job Training Begins

It's likely Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will not announce his decision regarding the Menominee Tribe's proposed $810 million casino in Kenosha until February 19. Meanwhile the tribe and Gateway Technical College have agreed to start providing training for the 3,000 expected employees at the casino, hotel, spa and concert venue.

Saginaw Chippewa Appeals NLRB Decision

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe filed an appeal in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the National Labor Relation Board's ruling that it has jurisdiction over employees at the tribe's Soaring Eagle Casino. The tribe said it is a sovereign nation and the NLRB has no authority. The case could land at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arizona Tribes Discuss Compacts, Technology

Tribal gaming compacts, which begin to expire in 2023, and the impact of technology on Indian casinos were two of the major topics at the recent Arizona Indian Gaming Association's annual meeting in Scottsdale. The AIGA represents 18 of the state's 22 tribes.

NY Court: Tribal Golf Course Not Sovereign

New York’s highest court has ruled that the Seneca Indian Nation’s 250-acre Hickory Stick golf course in Lewiston is not covered by sovereign immunity and therefore may be subject to a lawsuit. The 18-hole course is not part of the tribe’s reservation.


See to Lead Singapore Casino Regulators

Lau Peet Meng will leave the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore and return to the Singapore Police Force as director of operations. He will be replaced by Jerry See (l.), chief executive of the Home Team Academy in the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs, effective January 6.

Halle Leaving Novomatic

Jens Halle, managing director of Novomatic Group’s Austrian Gaming Industries and CEO of its North American subsidiary, will step down by the end of the year.

IP Casino Names McKenzie General Manager

The former general manager at Hard Rock Casino Biloxi, Duncan McKenzie has been named general manager at IP Casino Resort, also in Biloxi. The 30-year casino industry veteran also has served as general manager at casinos in Gulfport, New Orleans and Kansas City.

DeRosa Named St. Jo Interim Manager

St. Jo Frontier Casino in St. Joseph, Missouri, has named Joe DeRosa interim general manager. DeRosa came out of retirement in Chicago to assume the position, which he assumes will last 90-120 days, until Affinity Gaming names a new general manager.

Paddy Power Names McGann Non-Executive Director

The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power recently named Gary McGann as an independent, non-executive director, who also will join the company's audit committee. McGann is group chief executive officer of Smurfit Kappa Group and is chairman of the Aon Ireland subsidiary of insurance company Aon.

Best Sunshine CEO Brown Visits Saipan

Ex-Trump and Sands executive Mark Anthony Brown has been named the new chief executive officer of Best Sunshine International Ltd. Brown resigned as COO for NagaWorld in October, a position he held for 10 months.

IAGR Names 2014/2015 Officers/Trustees

More than 200 attendees met at the recent annual conference of the International Association of Gaming Regulators, held October 27-29 in Philadelphia. Birgitte Sand (l.), director of the Danish Gambling Authority, was named president and Bheki Mlambo, chief executive officer of the Mpumalanga Gambling Board of South Africa was named vice president.


WMS Launches The Flintstones

WMS Gaming has launched “The Flintstones,” based on the legendary 1960s animated prime-time series, at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City.

GLI Registered in Paraguay

Gaming Laboratories International has been registered in Paraguay as a testing and certification laboratory for gaming equipment.

CPI Taps Advanced Gaming Associates

Crane Payment Innovations will used Advanced Gaming Solutions for technical services involving CPI equipment in U.S. casinos and for OEM equipment for slot manufacturers.

Innovation Publishes Gaming Research

The Innovation Group, which developed and co-published the gaming industry’s first comprehensive study of consumer behavior in 2004, will issue a second study of patron practices, and a study of trends in U.S. gaming. A webinar is set for December 10.

CG Analytics, Betradar Announce Partnership

CG Analytics has announced that Betradar will be providing it with access to a comprehensive package of pre-game and live-odds data. CG Analytics is the data analytics subsidiary of CG Technology, formerly Cantor Gaming, and Betradar.



Strip & Bet

This could be a first: a strip club in Las Vegas wants to open a sports book. The Hustler has filed an application with the Nevada Gaming Commission to become the first strip club to offer sports betting on the Las Vegas Strip. The club will even cover up its assets to get the license.




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