Last week computer hackers gained control of Las Vegas Sands websites in Vegas, Pennsylvania, Macau and Singapore. The hackers threatened CEO Sheldon Adelson over remarks he made about Iran last year. Although the company insisted customer data was not compromised, the hackers published personal data about many of the company’s executives.
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In a surprising turnaround, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (l.) said he would support an expanded gambling measure—if it included two key provisions. First, voters would have to approve a constitutional amendment approving any future expansion. Second, Governor Rick Scott would have to negotiate a Seminole compact this year.
A subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp. is working with investment bank Lazard Ltd. to restructure $23 billion in long-term debt. The massive debt load is a record for the industry and inhibits the company’s efforts at expansion.
Macau casino giant SJM held a ceremonial groundbreaking last week (l.) for its megaresort on Cotai. The company, still the city’s market-share leader, is targeting a 2017 opening and plans to begin construction in the booming gaming district over the next few weeks.
Despite a challenging first year, Manila’s Solaire Resort & Casino will be expanding to the tune of 300 new hotel suites, a shopping mall, a showroom and a nightclub. The casino is also being enlarged to accommodate 200 more machine games and 65 tables.
Menominee Chairwoman Laurie Boivin (l.), who recently replaced Craig Corn, delivered a noncontroversial “State of the Tribes” speech, barely mentioning her tribe's proposed $800 million Hard Rock casino in Kenosha. Governor Scott Walker is expected to decide if he will allow the casino after the November elections.
The year 2014 may be one of many “firsts” when it comes to Massachusetts gaming, such as the first slots and casino resort licenses being issued and possibly a vote to overturn the casino law. But according to Stephen Crosby (l.), the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, it’s all going swimmingly.
A drive to build a new facility for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV got a jump-start with a $2.5 million gift from Konami Gaming.
Ernie Stevens (l.), the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, is insisting that gaming tribes should have a place at the table as the federal government decides whether to legalize online gaming.
New Zealand casino giant SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison (l.) may take on Australian rivals Echo and Crown for a shot at a new casino license being offered in Brisbane. The company isn’t sure yet if it will bid, but it has notified Queensland officials that it’s interested.
What happens when you fail to match the estimates from the respected gaming analysts? Your share prices jump? Here’s why the regional gaming companies keep expectations high.
GGB PODCAST: Joe Pappano, Senior Vice President, Director of Merchant Sales and Managing Director, Vantiv Gaming Solutions
This week, the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Joe Pappano, the senior vice president, director of merchant sales and managing director for Vantiv Gaming Solutions on the role of payment processing in the gaming industry, land-based and online alike.
Still vastly underserved in terms of Chinese visitation, Macau will continue to boom as a supply driven casino market, according to an especially upbeat new report from Nomura Securities. The Lunar New Year holiday alone saw revenues surpass $1 billion.
Slumping revenues have prompted the Macau Jockey Club to speed up plans to reopen a casino that closed 10 years ago at the thoroughbred track. Management is also looking to grow online betting, which has emerged as a significant business for the club.
The good news is that Macau’s casino workers are more experienced and efficient than ever. The bad news: casinos are no longer seeing the gains in productivity they’re used to, and it will begin to tell on profit margins.
As the Philippines becomes a more compelling commercial resort market the country’s state-owned casino operator is finding it more difficult to compete. PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. (l.) says he recognizes the challenges, which extend as well to its other job as national gaming regulator.
Hengqin Island’s first tourist attraction—a theme park with a supporting resort hotel—is less than a month old and already it’s proving a massive success. What does this mean for neighboring Macau? Possibly as many as 1 million more tourists this year alone.
A card room is being proposed for the Philippine resort island of Boracay, but community groups and the Catholic Church are against it. The local government is waiting for more details and hasn’t taken a stand either way.
Officials in Sweden are looking to new consumer technologies to reverse three years of revenue declines in the country’s betting and gaming markets. Problems are, the population is gambling less, and unlicensed foreign operators are draining millions from the regulated industry.
Hundreds of municipal councils in England and Wales, organized as the Local Government Association, are pressing for more powers to curb the proliferation of betting shops in their jurisdictions. Their new watchword: “cumulative impact.”
Investors are taking a bath on the more than $50 billion spent to prepare the Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Some see casinos as a way to help recoup those losses. Russian President Vladimir Putin (l.) is not one of them.
Spanish gaming and betting giant Codere has balked at a plan by creditors to take control of the company in exchange for reducing the company’s hefty debt load. The next step could be a filing for bankruptcy protection.
Leaders in Niagara Falls contend that a plan to spread casinos all over Ontario will hurt the two casinos, including Niagara Fallsview (l.), in their town that have been a financial mainstay for the city for many years.
The New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan says the provincial government is seeking its support to push through a sale of Casinos Regina (l.) and Moose Jaw to First Nations.
Casinos and charitable gaming operations will now be able to play blackjack three hours longer than before under newly adopted regulations. Not everyone is happy about that, however.
A report published by H2 Gambling Capital predicts that global gaming revenue will rise by €14.8 billion this year, to €332.4 billion, fueled in part by online and mobile gaming.
Revenue from online gambling grew in January and helped offset a steep decline at Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar casinos for the month. Even with $9.5 million in online revenues, the city’s 11 casinos saw a 4.6 percent decrease in total revenue. Borgata (l.) again led the way online and offline.
A Pennsylvania legislator has proposed tough penalties for players gambling online in the state. The call was immediately backed by Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Recent research into the launch of legal online gaming sites in New Jersey shows that almost 35 percent of players who had already been gambling online have switched from unregulated overseas sites to play on New Jersey sites. Advocates say that proves legal online gaming can re-capture tax revenue being lost to the overseas sites.
The Turkish Parliament has passed reforms to its internet laws that will make it easier for the government to block online sites and also allow it to record individual browser histories for two years. The measures are already being seen as part of Turkey’s ongoing corruption scandal and a move by the government to quash dissent. Online gambling sites, however, could also be effected.
The Minnesota Lottery's new online game, Spicy, earned nearly $1,000 its first day, with minimal promotion. Players may win up to $777 in the tic-tac-toe-style game. Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten said the game is designed to attract younger players. Opponents said the legislature must approve new games.
Many critics ask why California state Senator Roderick Wright, the legislature’s biggest supporter of online poker, has not been expelled from that body since he was recently convicted on eight counts of fraud.
Online gambling Revenue was down slightly in France for 2013, but online poker revenue was down 18 percent.
Zynga announced an expansion of its Zynga Casino franchise with a new mobile social slots game titled Riches of Olympus.
With online gambling spreading in the U.S. a study by Juniper Research finds that online gambling on mobile devices and tablets will grow to $62 billion by 2018.
The virtual currency bitcoin saw its price plunge after digital marketplace Mt. Gox halted withdrawals after detecting “unusual activity,”
Yggdrasil Gaming has reached a deal with Mr Green to provide the online casino operator with the company’s full suite of 25 games.
A gambler seeking to recoup online gambling losses by challenging the operator in court for violating Austrian law could set a precedent affecting online gambling in the European Union.
Amaya Gaming Group announced one of its subsidiaries sold WagerLogic Malta Holdings Ltd. To Goldstar Acquisitionco for $70 million and other considerations. WagerLogic is an online casino operator through its InterCasino Business. Amaya Gaming Group is an entertainment solutions provider for the regulated gaming industry.
An expanded gambling bill, similar to one that died in committee last year, has a good chance of moving forward in the Illinois legislature. State Rep. Bob Rita's (l.) measure calls for five new casinos, including one in Chicago, plus slots at the state's horseracing tracks and O'Hare and Midway airports.
A year after her first efforts to bring a casino to New Hampshire failed, Governor Maggie Hassan (l.) isn’t afraid to try again. The Senate has passed a casino bill, but as usual, the House is the big hurdle.
With the state Senate short several votes and uncertainty in the House, the prospects of a constitutional amendment to legalize casinos in Kentucky are fading fast.
James Featherstonhaugh, part owner of Saratoga Raceway, is looking outside the historic community for casino sites. Many Saratoga residents oppose a casino in their town. Saratoga Springs is in one of the zones open to casinos in upstate New York.
Two Pennsylvania House members and one Philadelphia city councilman have endorsed the Market8 casino proposal as the best for the city and state.
MGM Resorts has presented plans for it $925 million casino to officials in Prince George’s County, Maryland. MGM won a license to build at National Harbor near Washington, D.C.
A proposed bill could save gamblers some self-admitted shame by removing a requirement that anyone signing up for the list state that they have a gambling problem. Advocates say the simple change would take away some of the stigma of signing up for self-exclusion.
Two state gaming agents watching a game of roulette at the Aria were told they were “not welcome,” according to a two-count complaint. The law mandates that all gaming be public.
The Atlantic City Alliance—the city’s marketing arm—announced a new set of hotel packages and discounts in the hopes of attracting tourists back to the city. Included are “Taste of Summer” deals designed to bring visitors to the resort in the winter.
Sin City’s convention business is booming. Last year, more than 5 million conventioneers visited Southern Nevada, and generated almost $7 billion in revenues. This year will be even better.
SLS Las Vegas will open Labor Day weekend. The $415 million resort, which overhauled the historic Sahara, is a project of SBE Entertainment of Los Angeles.
In 2000, Arizona Senator John McCain pushed to prohibit betting on Olympic sports. Amid excitement about the Winter Games, a Vegas sports book director calls that ban “outdated.”
Sal Semola, president of the proposed Foxwoods Catskills Resort, told a crowd in Liberty, New York that the project would fit in with the mountain setting and return the area to prosperity.
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney says Atlantic City needs the time to complete its five-year push—which is entering its fourth year—to turn tourism around in the resort. However, he also said that if New Jersey voters eventually approve expanding gambling in the state, several cities in northern New Jersey would benefit from casinos.
The parent company of the Stratosphere, two Arizona Charlie’s casinos and the Aquarius in Laughlin has released its fourth-quarter 2013 results early, in hopes of lowering its interest rates.
Connecticut state and local policy cracked down on two sweepstakes cafes in twin raids conducted last week in Enfield and Bloomfield.
Texas lawmaker Bob Deuell doubts that it’s legal for the state lottery to host a game in which the state can be the jackpot winner. He has asked the state attorney general for an opinion.
A bill that recently passed the Iowa Senate State Government Committee would allow Iowans to win cash and other prizes playing fantasy sports. About 264,000 Iowans play the games, which are offered through major league sports websites, ESPN, Yahoo and other online content providers.
In a 3-2 vote, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed Evansville's smoking ban that exempted the Tropicana riverboat casino. The majority said the casino exemption violated the state's Equal Privileges clause. Dissenting justices claimed Evansville could lose more than $4.3 million in tax revenue and $6.3 million in casino employee wages.
A Nebraska legislative committee recently heard testimony regarding a proposal to let voters decide if they want to legalize casino gambling. State Senator Russ Karpisek, sponsor of the bill, said casino tax revenues could help fund education and offer property tax relief.
A bill that recently passed the South Dakota House of Representatives by a 36-33 vote would allow 24-hour liquor sales in bars in Deadwood hotels with 10 or more rooms. Saloon owners said the measure favors large casino resorts. A Senate committee will take up the measure on February 26.
A $50 million renovation has begun at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada, including a western-themed Gilley's, sports bar, bingo area and sports book, all to be completed this year. John Ascuaga sold the property last December after operating it for 54 years.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King will investigate the 25-year lease signed in 2011 granting racino operator Downs of Albuquerque to open a larger casino at the state fairgrounds. State Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller, who requested the investigation, said the lease may not be valid.
When Detroit arranged a swaps deal with two banks, using casino tax revenue as collateral, officials never expected interest rates to drop, costing taxpayers more than $200 million since 2009. Now Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr will offer a debt-reduction plan that includes $170 million in annual gambling tax revenue.
In an analysis of the Miss America Pageant’s finances by the Press of Atlantic City, the paper found the pageant organization’s expenditures and top executive salaries fluctuate wildly even as the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is pumping $7.5 million into the pageant, which returned to Atlantic City this year.
Two Arkansas racinos posted record revenues for 2013. Thoroughbred racetrack Oaklawn in Hot Springs posted a 10 percent increase in wagers of $1.154 billion, and greyhound racetrack Southland in West Memphis posted a 16 percent increase of $2.074 billion compared to 2012.
Chatham Asset Management received approval from New Jersey regulators to operate the Revel casino hotel in Atlantic City. The company is part of a lender group that emerged from revel’s bankruptcy procedures with an ownership stake. The company is still expected to sell the casino.
Five county legislatures have officially come out against a Seneca Nation gaming hall in Monroe County, New York. They fear a loss of revenues by the Western Off-Track Betting Corp.
The Jamul Indian Village in San Diego County has broken ground on a tiny 6-acre lot for a $300 million casino.
The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Council in Baraga, Michigan is reconsidering several options regarding its current casino situation. The tribe could purchase the Baraga Lakeside Inn (l.), upgrade its Ojibwa Casino or find an off-site location in the Marquette area, a plan that previously was rejected by Governor Rick Snyder.
At a recent meeting of a Grand Forks, North Dakota city council committee, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa presented an off-reservation casino plan similar to one proposed a decade ago. The state's largest and poorest tribe, Turtle Mountain operates Sky Dancer casino on its reservation near the Canadian border.
Sky Boat LLC, led by Wallace Cheves (l.), is working with the South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation to develop a proposed casino in North Carolina where the tribe contends its service area covers six counties. Cheves said he has secured financing and will hire lobbyists on behalf of the proposed project.
The National Labor Relations Board has cited Casino Pauma in San Diego County with violating rules against anti-union activity.
MGM Resorts International has elected veteran Maryland-based gaming industry equity analyst Mary Chris Gay to its board of directors.
David Ross, who has headed Affinity Gaming since it was founded in late 2010, will leave the casino operator in July, the company has announced.
International Game Technology has named former Zynga game executive Jim Veevaert as its vice president of games for its DoubleDown Casino division.
A college president and two former government officers have joined New York’s casino siting board. The three constitute a quorum, and can begin work right away. Two others will be named.
Casino critics and others see a possible conflict of interest as Michael Graydon, former CEO of the British Columbia Lottery Commission, takes over a proposed $535 million casino.
Bally Technologies reports that Bally’s earnings more than doubled for the 37 days of 2013 after finalization of its acquisition of SHFL entertainment.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited announced that it will implement a new leadership structure, including appointment of a global chief operating officer. In addition, Atul Bali (l.) has resigned as president of the company’s Americas division, replaced by Rich Schneider, the chief product officer.
Inspired Gaming has signed an agreement with Italian operator Cogetech to supply VLTs for Cogetech venues across the country.
Quixant will supply a series of operating platforms for new slot machines to Ainsworth Game Technology under a new five-year partnership agreement.
Sportech announced that it has completed a major upgrade of its MyWinners.com website for Connecticut race wagering, and opened a new OTB facility in Bradley.
Despite a 48-hour public transit strike, the ICE Totally Gaming trade show in London set a new attendance record of 23,981, a 7 percent increase.
The largest iGaming show in North America had a conference on social gaming to its lineup, recognizing the impact this segment has had on the iGaming industry.
The name of Caesars Entertainment’s new boutique hotel in Las Vegas sounds very high-class. But so far, the name Cromwell has received jeers for recalling a bloody English ruler.
Donald Trump, the billionaire former casino owner and “Apprentice” star is openly wooing the GOP in New York State. Trump says he would consider a run for governor if the Republicans really want him.
Why do people line up to play a 20-year-old slot machine at the MGM Grand in Vegas? Because the progressive Lion’s Share slot has never produced a jackpot. And many think it’s overdue.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom