Fertitta's Golden Nugget Lake Charles Opens

Tilman Fertitta's $700 million Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana opened on December 8, the fifth Golden Nugget in his portfolio. Located near Houston, San Antonio and Austin, three of the largest markets in Texas, Fertitta said 50,000 of the 60,000 Golden Nugget players club applicants are from Texas.

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Speculation had run rampant that a proposed ban on online gambling backed by billionaire Sheldon Adelson would be attached to a last-minute omnibus spending bill introduced in Congress last week. But the bill was introduced without the ban—called the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA)—attached. The participation of Majority Leader Harry Reid (l.) was missing.

In Manila, the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

The Philippines’ new $1.3 billion City of Dreams Manila held a soft opening over the weekend, treating the region to its first look at the second of four destination casinos licensed for the capital city’s new Entertainment City resort district. A full opening is slated for February to coincide with Chinese New Year, when all the hotels will be open, including Asia’s first Nobu Hotel (l.).

Amaya Raided in Canada

Amaya Gaming and two related financial companies were raided last week in Montreal by Royal Canadian Mounted Police and officials from a Quebec financial regulator. Amaya says it is cooperating with the investigation, which seems to be centered around the company’s purchase of PokerStars.

Goldstein Named LVS Prez, COO

The question of succession at Las Vegas Sands got a little more clear last week when Rob Goldstein, longtime company executive, was named to replace Michael Leven as president and COO. He had previously been president of global gaming operations and president and GM of the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Icahn: Union Concession Due by Monday or Taj Will Close

Potential Taj Mahal owner Carl Icahn (l.) has drawn a line in the sand for the city’s culinary union to accede to his demand. The casino has set December 20 as a possible closing date, and will proceed with that plan if the union does not drop an appeal of a judge’s ruling.

Some See Online Poker Passing California Legislature in 2015

The stars may be coming into alignment for the passage of a bill that would allow online poker in California, according to key legislators and industry experts. Rep. Mike Gatto has filed the first of several bills addressing this issue. But big hurdles still remain, including the roles of racetracks and card rooms (Commerce Club at left).

AGA Study Analyzes Casino Impact

The American Gaming Association recently commissioned Oxford Economics to prepare a state-by-state survey of gambling's economic impact. AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman says the results are dependent upon strong partnerships with policymakers.

Sky Bet Fetches Nearly $1 Billion

Europe-UK pay TV giant Sky has sold its massive Sky Bet gaming division to CVC Capital for the equivalent of $941 million, and the final price may well exceed $1 billion. The deal includes popular sports betting, casino and poker brands and the UK’s leading odds comparison site.


Blue Christmas for Macau

Analysts expect another month of double-digit revenue declines as 2014 winds to a close, the seventh in a row of lower results compared with last year. The new year isn’t looking much better either, as tighter credit in China, stricter visa rules and Beijing’s anti-corruption drive continue to take their toll.

Harsh Words from China Spook Korean Investors

Officials in Beijing have sharply criticized Korea’s casinos, claiming they exploit vulnerable Chinese, and the news sent gaming stocks in the tiny country tumbling. The Korean industry is banking on Chinese play to support billions in new gaming resort development.

Japan? Maybe Never

A lack of broad support combined with Shinzo Abe’s (l.) political woes has spelled doom for casinos in Japan. Legalization has been shelved, and isn’t expected to be revived any time soon, dashing government and gaming industry hopes for a market with a potential to be the second largest in the world.


Councils Lead England Crusade Against FOBTs

England’s powerful Local Government Association is “frustrated” by the proliferation of betting shops nationwide and is demanding greater powers to control licensing. Electronic table games are the focus of the anger, and the group has thrown its support behind calls to slash stakes on the controversial machines.


Cyprus OKs Casino Regulations

The Cyprian cabinet last week approved legislation that regulates the operation of casinos on the island. The bill, which controls the types of games, equipment as well as the actual casino venues will now be submitted to parliament for approval.

Mexico Regs Clear First Hurdle, Move to Senate

The lower house of Mexico’s Congress has passed legislation for governing the country’s loosely regulated gaming industry. The bill, now under consideration in the Senate, is designed to bring transparency to a patchwork licensing system. It also will create a new federal oversight body.

Ban on Casino Ads Proposed in Argentina

Legislation that would prevent gaming establishments in Argentina from advertising has been proposed by National Deputy Omar Duclos. If approved, the plan would bar advertisements for gaming in print, press and online media as well as in public places like shopping centers.

Did P.E.I. Forfeit $1M on Tribal Plan?

A pair of Indian tribes in Canada reportedly solicited and received almost $1 million to investigate an online gaming business. Six years later, the planned business has never materialized, and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy insists it does not have to repay the loan.


California Attorney General, DOJ, Sue Tribe Over Online Bingo

The federal government and California Attorney General Kamala Harris (l.) have teamed up to go to court to try to shut down the online bingo operation opened last month by the Iipay Nation of San Diego County. They both seek injunctions to force the tribe to cease operation of Desert Rose Bingo.

Ultimate Gaming: A Postmortem

Nevada online poker operator Ultimate Gaming lasted less than two years. The Station Casinos subsidiary went down to defeat for several reasons, say analysts: a limited legal online market, and the growing strength of social gaming.

New Jersey Lawmaker Wants Tougher Online Gambling Licensing

A New Jersey legislator has introduced a bill that would require online gaming companies to get full casino licensing in the state. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (l.) wants to see companies like PokerStars get a full-on review before licensing.

Trump Entertainment Settles Up With Online Gambling Partners

Trump Entertainment is close to settling with Betfair and Ultimate Gaming, its two former online gambling partners in New Jersey. Betfair now operates with the Golden Nugget, and Ultimate is out of business. The settlements give the company about $1.4 million.

Packer and Tripp in Online Deal?

Aussie billionaire James Packer’s Crown Resorts may be about to enter the online gaming market, according to reports from Sydney. Packer, who recently licensed a new betting trademark, may do a deal with bookmaker Matthew Tripp (l.).

DerbyJackpot Teams Up with Income Access

DerbyJackpot is teaming with Income Access. The U.S.-based horse-racing brand will launch an affiliate program on Income Access’ acquisition-tracking platform.

Paddy Power Exits Facebook

Paddy Power will no longer offer its social wagering game on Facebook due to a lack of player interest.

Bet365 Partners with Basho

Bet365 will team up with Basho Technology for data storage and processing capabilities. The company will use Basho’s cloud-based technology.


Judge to Rule on Caesars Lawsuit

A Delaware judge said he will rule soon on a lawsuit brought against Caesars Entertainment by second-lien creditors, after Caesars moved to have the case dismissed. The operator is paving the way for January bankruptcy filing that will split the company into a REIT.

New Hampshire to Take Up Casino Issue Again

New Hampshire appears ready to take up the issue of legalizing gaming, with political observers wondering if Governor Maggie Hassan (l.) will repeat last year’s tactic: putting the intended revenues from a casino in the budget before the legislature votes on the measure.

Wynn Resorts Faces Hurdles in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (l.) has answered calls that it should reopen the case of the license it granted to Wynn Resorts by ordering a review of reports that Wynn is being investigated for money laundering by two federal law enforcement agencies. The company has also been sued by neighboring Somerville.

Atlantic City’s Revel: Back To Square One

Revel Atlantic City has apparently written off Brookfield Asset Management as a potential buyer and is now asking a bankruptcy court to approve a sale to a Florida-based developer. Brookfield had been schedule to buy the $2.4 billion property on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk for $110 million, but pulled out after it was unable to reach a deal with the casino’s power supplier.

Horseshoe Baltimore Underwhelms

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is earning far less in monthly revenue than originally projected, and less than half of its nearby competitor Maryland Live!

New Jersey Tax Plan Unfair, Charge Small Casinos

Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta (l.) threatened to sue the state if a plan to overhaul Atlantic City’s property taxes is passed. The bill, proposed by Senate President Steve Sweeney, unfairly benefits the large casinos like Caesars Entertainment properties, and penalizes the smaller ones.

Kentucky Horse Group Opposes Casinos

For the first time since it was founded in 2004 as a single voice for the often-divided state horse industry, the Kentucky Equine Education Project announced it is opposed to casinos at the state's racetracks. The KEEP board said it will focus on historical racing machines instead.

New York Sets the Date: Casino Decision This Week

The nail biting is almost over for 16 development partners who bid on New York casino licenses. A 2013 referendum authorized up to four Class III casinos in the first phase of development, but with a rush of new competition in the northeast, the siting panel may choose fewer than four.

Lakes Calls Ohio Casino Investment ‘Zero’ Value

The performance of the four casino resorts that Ohio’s voters authorized in 2009 is turning out to be disappointing, especially to Lakes Entertainment, which recently characterized its investment in the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland (l.) as having zero value.

NJ Dems Want to Raise Gaming Taxes in North Jersey

Two New Jersey senators, both Democrats, are looking for ways to mine more state funds from the gaming industry. Senator Paul Sarlo, head of the Senate Budget Committee, supports soaking any new casinos with a 66 percent tax rate. Senator Ronald Rice wants to hike lottery taxes.

NY OTB Mum on New Operations

Long Islanders want to know where a new off-track betting site will be located and the hours it will operate. The Nassau County OTB’s president has refused to divulge details of the project, which could cost as much as $100 million.

Atlantic City Showboat Site Gets Casino Deed Restriction

Caesars Entertainment has gone the deed restriction route again by placing a 10-year block on its closed Showboat casino reopening as a casino. The potential buyer—Richard Stockton College—has said it is not interested in operating a casino on the site, but Caesars deed restrictions have still caused controversy in the resort.

Maryland’s Hollywood Casino Thinks Small

Hollywood Casino Perryville in rural Maryland, the first gaming hall to open in the state, has fallen short of initial revenue projections, bringing in about $86 million a year instead of the expected $190 million. The casino is fighting new competition by appealing to locals.

Bowling On a Roll in Las Vegas

Wonder why so many casinos in Las Vegas have bowling centers? It’s no secret: according to casino officials, the family-friendly sport is recession-proof. In response to demand, South Point on the Vegas Strip just opened a 64-lane tournament-caliber bowl-a-rama.

Vegas Arena Partners Woo MLS

Major League Soccer officials have received an expansion proposal from Las Vegas. The city wants to bring more than one major league sports franchise to the city; developers are hedging their bets by building multimillion-dollar-plus sports arenas on the Strip and Downtown.

Atlantic City Tops Nation With 9,900 Jobs Loss

The Atlantic City region has seen the largest total job losses in the country over the past year according to new jobs data. The area has lost 9,900 jobs in the wake of four casino closings since January. The statistics include other communities in the region.

State Flips On Retirement Home Gambling

In April, Giovanni's Catering was granted a gaming license to operate a mini-casino does about-face on video gambling at the Dorchester Senior Center retirement home owned by the Village of Dolton, Illinois. But liquor licensing issues and the presence of a child day-care on-site led the Illinois Gaming Board to change its mind.

Poker Declines in Nevada

Fewer players and diminished profitability have caused a number of Nevada casinos to close their poker rooms. In October, there were fewer than 700 poker tables in the whole Silver State, compared to a peak of more than 1,000 in 2010. The Venetian poker room is at the left.


Opponent Still Gunning for Gun Lake Tribe

Prior to the Gun Lake Casino (l.) opening in 2011 in Wayland Township, Michigan, non-Indian David Patchak sought a monetary settlement from the Gun Lake tribe, claiming it tribe did not properly follow the land-into-trust process. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled his case could go forward although a Congressional act called for its dismissal.

Legislators Not Pressured Over Seminole Compact

A budget surplus is taking the heat off Florida legislators to renew the Seminole compact, which lets the Seminole Tribe have exclusive rights to card games at its casinos (Seminole Coconut Creek at left) in exchange for generating $1 billion for the state over the last five years. The compact is set to expire in July.

NIGC Approves Quapaw Kansas Expansion

The National Indian Gaming Commission will allow the Oklahoma-based Quapaw Tribe to expand its Downstream Casino (l.) into Kansas. The tribe is one of the few in the U.S. whose historic reservation covers more than one state. The $5 million, 40,000 square foot expansion will cross the state line and connect with the existing Downstream building.

Conservatives Fault Walker's Decision Process

The conservative group Wisconsin Family Action recently said Governor Scott Walker seems to have "abandoned his promise to Wisconsin voters" that he would not allow the Menominee Tribe's proposed $810 million off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The group questioned the casino's economic impact and union organizing agreement.

Tohono O'odham Start Casino Construction

The Tohono O'odham Gaming Enterprise has begun construction of the first phase of its $400 million casino resort in Glendale, Arizona. A temporary gaming area, to be completed within 12 months, will offer 1,000 slots, plus restaurants and a bar. That facility will become administrative offices when the permanent structure is completed in early 2016.

Eastern Shoshone Announce $25 Million Expansion

Eastern Shoshone officials announced a $25 million expansion, including a 65-room hotel, at the Shoshone Rose Casino (l.) near Lander, Wyoming, on the reservation the tribe shares with the Northern Arapaho, owners of the Wind River Hotel and Casino. The expansion will also will include a new gaming floor and space for a future events center

Connecticut Gaming Tribes Meet With Lawmakers

Representatives of the Connecticut’s two casino resorts met with legislators last week to discuss possibly adding to that number as a defense against casinos that will soon be built in neighboring states.

Trend in Indian Casinos Diversifying

As gaming proliferates in the United States, many gaming tribes are seeking to diversify by building retail operations that complement gaming while also protecting the tribes’ assets in case the market becomes saturated.

Rhode Island Tribe Appeals Casino Law

A Rhode Island tribe that wants to operate its own casino is challenging the state’s right to operate two slots casinos through private companies. The Narragansett tribe has taken its challenge to the state’s highest court.

Michigan Will Sue Tribal Leaders

A federal judge will dismiss four counts in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's 2012 lawsuit against the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Schuette said the tribe's proposed $245 million casino in downtown Lansing undermines a compact provision. In exchange the tribe will allow Schuette to sue tribal officials.

Alabama Rep Wants Lottery, Compact

In Alabama, state Rep. Craig Ford (l.) said in the next legislative session he once again will introduce a bill establishing a lottery to help fund education. Ford also said he will introduce a measure authorizing a gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to help fill the General Fund gap.

Court Challenge to Hire of Disgraced Ex-Treasurer

The Mashantucket tribal court will decide a challenge to a man hired by the Foxwoods Resort Casino who was once convicted of misusing $178,000 in casino funds when he was the casino’s treasurer. The woman who didn’t get the personnel job given to former treasurer Steven Thomas filed the lawsuit.

Kuro Coming To Seminole Hard Rock

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood will open the $12 million Kuro upscale Japanese restaurant in January. Alex Becker, also the resort's culinary director who has worked at Nobu and Katsuya, will head the establishment . Shuji Hiyakawa, who worked in "Iron Chef" Mashara Morimoto's restaurants, will be executive sushi chef.


Nazarian Squeaks By to Win Board OK

Sam Nazarian, developer of the new SLS Las Vegas, faced hours of grilling on drug use and shady dealings by the Nevada Gaming Control Board December 3. Despite concern about his past, the board ultimately recommended that Nazarian get a limited gaming license.

Lipparelli Appointed to Nevada Senate

The Clark County Commission has voted unanimously to appoint former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli to a vacant state Senate seat in Las Vegas. Lipparelli will fill the seat once occupied by Mark Hutchison, newly elected lieutenant governor.

Unwin to Exit Cosmo

As Blackstone Real Estate prepares to buy the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, CEO John Unwin has announced he will leave his job at the Strip resort by the end of the year. Unwin will continue on as a consultant during the transition. No successor has yet been named.

Codere Names Pascual Executive In Europe

Codere Group, a Spanish company in the private gaming sector with operations in eight European nations and America, named Alejandro Pascual as chief operating officer in Europe. Pascual joined Codere in 2000 as director of corporate administration.

Gibson to Head Nevada Gaming Division

Nevada Attorney General-elect Adam Laxalt has named J. Brin Gibson to oversee the state’s gaming division, which advises the Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission and regulatory matters.

Özer Named Global Sales Director for Apex

Kubilay Özer has joined Apex Gaming as its new direction of global sales. The Austrian manufacturer and operator is restructuring the upper ranks, and recently recruited Max Pessnegger as its new chief operating officer.

Magic Leap Appoints Henry CFO

Technology startup Magic Leap, Inc. has named Scott Henry as the company’s new chief financial officer. The veteran financial executive previously worked as CFO at Las Vegas Sands.


Scientific Games Wins SHFL/LT Case

A Nevada district judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by an affiliate of Macau’s LT Game against Scientific Games subsidiary Bally Technologies over hybrid table games. The conflict first appeared at G2E Asia in 2012 when then SHFL Entertainment was forced to cover its products with sheets (l.).

Interblock Expands in Holland

Interblock announced that it is expanding its market in Holland with the introduction of the G5 MiniStar multi-player roulette product.


ICE Will Replace German Trade Show

German gaming machine manufacturers say the cancellation of the IMA trade show will make ICE Totally Gaming, the annual London event, the German industry’s international trade show.

TechFest 30 Open for Registration

A new seminar program has been designed for TechFest 30, which will be held at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Minnesota, May 27-29.




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