When the New Mexico Senate least week defeated a gaming compact negotiated between the Navajo Nation and Governor Susana Martinez, reaction was swift and bitter. Navajo President Ben Shelly threated legal action and criticized other tribes for opposing the Navajo measure. The Navajos would have added three casinos to their Fire Rock Casino (l.), outside of Gallup.
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New Jersey has filed a challenge to a 22-year-old federal law that prevents sports betting in the state with the U.S. Supreme Court. While there is no guarantee the court will hear the case, the petition does address the division between state and federal laws—a legal point that may interest the court.
Nevada Senator Dean Heller (l.) last week criticized online gaming in a meeting with the Las Vegas Review Journal editorial board. He says online gaming represents the “wild West” of gambling and that it represents a threat to Nevada’s land-based casinos.
At the last minute, two iGaming bills were introduced into the California legislature last week. One is a rewrite of a bill introduced by Senator Lou Correa in the last legislative session. The second, sponsored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (l.), is a new bill, supported by a consortium of tribes. The next session opens on February 22.
While leaders of the state legislature have different ideas of how to determine if Florida will welcome expanded gaming, the real decision rests with Florida Governor Rick Scott (l.), who is up for re-election this year. Scott, however, is making a new gaming compact with the Seminole tribe a priority and may let casino expansion talks slip to next year.
Genting Singapore is pursuing a resort casino on the South Korean island of Jeju and hopes to have the project’s $300 million first phase open by 2017. The target market, China, is growing into the island’s principal source of foreign tourists.
The federal government has stepped in to try to force warring factions of the Chukchansi Indians, who operate the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino (l.), to get along by naming a new tribal council.
Despite a prevailing opinion that expanded gaming in Kentucky is dead for the legislative session, Governor Steve Beshear (l.) is not giving up the fight.
Hakkasan Group, which runs the hugely successful nightclub/restaurant at MGM Grand (l.) in Las Vegas, has bought out Angel Management Group, which operates a number of nightlife and entertainment venues in Vegas and Atlantic City. Hakkasan wants to build its portfolio in North America.
Baha Mar, the largest destination resort under development in the Western Hemisphere, is slated to open in the Bahamas in December at a cost of $3.5 billion. Chairman Sarkis Izmirlian (l.) wanted more than just hotels. Chinese money is funding it, and Chinese labor is building it. All it needs now are Chinese gamblers to fill it.
This week, the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Eric Tom, the executive vice president of global sales for IGT, on his company’s success in the international and the online markets.
Robust increases in both VIP and mass-market play lifted MGM China Holdings to a banner fourth quarter. The Macau operator controlled by MGM Resorts International booked $238 million in EBITDA during the period, a 35 percent increase, on $926 million in net revenue.
Critics of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (l.) accuse him of reneging on a campaign promise to rid the Indian state of its floating casinos. They say he’s far too friendly to the industry.
Vladivostok is a long way from Phnom Penh, but Cambodia’s NagaCorp Chairman Tim McNally (l.) is ready for the challenge. The company said it will start next year building a $350 million casino near the largest city in Russia’s Far East.
The growth of Macau’s casino industry is outstripping the city’s supply of dealers, and the situation will only get worse as Cotai expands. Importing labor would be one solution, but groups representing casino workers oppose it.
Gambling dropped by 2 percent in the UK in 2013 according to a UK Gambling Commission report, but online gambling showed signs of growth.
With local governments in the UK demanding more powers to limit the spread of betting shops, industry giant Ladbrokes has decided it may have overbuilt. It plans to ax as many as 50 locations nationwide and expects other operators will be doing the same.
Two Saskatchewan Indian tribes aren’t waiting for the province to sell them economic revitalization via gaming, now that the opposition party is opposed to Premier Brad Wall’s (l.) plan. They’re pursuing casino projects on their own.
The Italian Senate has approved a ban all gaming-related ads on television and radio. The legislation is now in the hands of the House of Representatives.
The provincial government is looking into possible conflicts of interest in the case of former B.C. lottery chief Michael Graydon (l.). Graydon recently accepted a job as president of a private casino company.
Analysts and casino officials hope the increased use of cell phones, mobile devices and tablets will keep New Jersey’s online gambling revenue growing. Atlantic City casinos—which offer the state’s online sites—have been slowly launching apps and technology to increase mobile play.
Michael Gaughan’ South Point casino in Las Vegas has launched Realgaming.com in Nevada. It is the third company in the state to go live with real-money online gambling in the state.
Peter Howitt, CEO of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association criticized new UK laws on online gambling in a recent editorial. Howitt said the new rules will deal a “hammer blow” to Gibraltar’s economy.
Virgin Casino was one of the last of New Jersey’s 14 online gambling sites to make a real push for players. But Virgin officials for the site say that since the early revenue has been about poker—which the site doesn’t offer—they expect to find a comfortable niche in the market.
Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino announced a free-to-play gambling platform for smart phones and computers. Connecticut does not allow real-money online wagering, but the casino certainly seems to be preparing should the law change.
Dutch ministers have passed the first hurdle in adding online gaming to the country’s menu of wagers. The betting will center around lottery and sports wagers.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes in Oklahoma have dropped ties to PokerTribes.com which had been seen as a way to bring online poker to the state. Reports point to a change in philosophy by the tribe’s new leadership.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment has signed an agreement with KGM Gaming under which KGM will provide its server and suite of games for Caesars online casinos in New Jersey.
GTECH SpA has agreed to acquire mobile gaming company Probability PLC for £18 million in a deal approved by the Probability board.
Caesars Interactive has purchased Israeli-based social gaming business Pacific Interactive continuing its expansion into the free-to-play market.
PokerStars has become the first online poker site to be licensed under Bulgaria’s new gaming laws. They are the third online gambling site to be licensed in the country.
Spain’s top regulatory body had drafted an order that would expand the online market by adding slot machines and exchange betting. The industry is struggling mightily with the weak national economy.
A new poll by the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protections finds most Americans feel online gambling should be left up to the states to approve or disapprove and do not want a federal ban.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (l.) has penned an editorial stating his opposition to online gaming and to fight any move to allow online gambling in the state. In neighboring Mississippi, a bill to allow online gambling in the state has died in committee. It is the second year in a row such a bill has failed.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie projected that online gambling would bring $160 million to the state in tax revenue in this year’s fiscal budget. That actual figure is likely to be about $10 million. New Jersey’s Bergen Record analyzed the disparity.
Recent federal investigations into virtual currency websites have raised serious concerns that the use of the currency is attracting criminals. Investigators say criminals are using the sites to conceal their identities and transactions.
Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino & Resort has launched a new mobile app for its New Jersey online gambling site. The app means gamblers can play from their iPhone or iPad as well as at home or on the go, the company said.
Core Gaming announced a partnership with Sky to produce online table games. Their first release is a roulette game.
It took longer than first expected to get multiple websites for the Las Vegas Sands Corp. up and running after a cyber-attack. The sites were down for about a week, and internal systems were compromised.
Voters in Revere, Massachusetts February 25 will decide for a second time whether they want a casino resort in their town, this one operated by the Mohegan Sun (l.). Even though the first one passed, there is no assurance that the new vote will be positive.
MGM Resorts International has submitted detailed plans for its casino resort at National Harbor in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, which include the participation of a local architecture firm.
The only new twist in a longstanding debate in New Jersey on whether the state should expand casino gaming outside of Atlantic City before a state Assembly panel last week came when the committee head blasted Atlantic City casinos and charged they’d been bleeding the resort dry for decades. Still, opponents of the idea want to give Atlantic City time to finish a five-year push to revitalize the resort before considering new casinos, including one at the Meadowlands (l.), near New York City.
The Peppermill Casino in Reno will fork over $1 million in fines to the Nevada Gaming Control Board for spying activities by an employee. He used a slot machine reset key to get info from competitors’ slot machines.
Polk County District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom recently ruled the $128 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City can keep its gaming license and proceed toward a late-summer opening. Previously another judge had granted a stay until Argosy's lawsuit against the state gaming commission was concluded.
The 2014 could be the year of decision for Rock Ohio Caesars, the year it decides on whether to go forward with Phase II (l.) of its Horseshoe Casino Cleveland and whether to move its ThistleDown Racino from North Randall to the Akron-Dayton area.
Projects in the planning stages include a Symphony Park arena; another near the Las Vegas Strip; a minor league baseball stadium, and a stadium at UNLV (l.). A local hockey team also wants its own home ice.
The threatening Mass appeal of casinos in the Bay State is forcing Rhode Island’s Twin River casino (l.) to change its modus operandi to deal with the competition.
New Jersey state Senator James Whelan (l.) says Caesars Entertainment is trying to ensure that the Atlantic Club—which it purchased late last year—never opens as a casino again. Whelan says the company is trying to squash competition rather than safeguard Atlantic City’s future.
Nightlife impresario Victor Drai new club at the Cromwell in Las Vegas will be open 24/7. Drai promises a change from many dayclubs and nightclubs, which have become showcases for high-priced DJs.
Keno in Connecticut appears to be dead now that Governor Dannel P. Malloy has withdrawn his support and key lawmakers say they want to repeal it before it takes effect. But will that gaming be replaced with “sweepstakes” cafes? Not if state Senator Joan Hartley (l.) has her way.
As tax revenue from Ohio's four casinos declines, its soon-to-be seven racinos are prospering. But that's not necessarily good news for local governments that depend on casino tax revenue for a wide range of services. Racino revenues are controlled by the Ohio Lottery, which directs all profits to schools.
Bally’s Atlantic City (l.) has completed a $5.6 million renovation of its casino floor, the first remodeling of the space in more than a decade. Casino officials say the new look should re-energize the property. It includes a WSOP poker room in the Wild Wild West portion of the hotel.
The South Dakota House recently rejected a bill that would have raised the video lottery bet limit from $2 to $5. Supporters said the increase was necessary to offset declining video lottery revenue.
A family from south Florida visiting Harrah’s Atlantic City has filed lawsuits claiming security guards at the casino attacked and wrestled them to the ground in several incidents, breaking one family member’s nose. Security videos of the altercations were posted to Philly.com
Casino dealers at Paris Las Vegas, Bally’s and Harrah’s_all located on the Vegas Strip_have approved a multi-year contract with parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp.
At yet another well-attended City Council meeting, Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen said council members would revisit a 2012 resolution that gave official support to full-scale casino gaming in the city.
The Vegas-based gaming company, which has no casinos in its home state, is doing great in regional markets. Its $2.8 billion acquisition of Ameristar has paid off big-time, with impressive 4Q results.
South Dakota lawmakers are considering three bills to help Deadwood better compete with other gaming destinations. In addition, a marketing consultant recently assessed the situation and offered suggestions to help Deadwood freshen its image and reinvent itself.
Blake Sartini, the CEO of the Nevada-based tavern-and-slots operation Golden Gaming suggests the company may one day expand into neighboring states such as Arizona and California. For now, it’s still growing in the Silver State.
A sell-off of Wynn Resorts shares by top-tier executives is only good news for the company. The stock’s value recently hit a 52-week high. And insiders are making a killing.
Resolution of the dispute over the opening of a tribal casino in Lansing, Michigan (l.) will be waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the Michigan vs. Bay Mills Indian Community case, which would have a bearing on the off-reservation plans of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Lansing.
David Flaum (l.), a noted developer in Rochester, New York, reportedly has been promised a $3 million “success fee” if he builds a fourth casino for the Seneca Nation. Lobbying law prohibits such fees.
The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians are bringing back a failed proposal for an off-reservation casino in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Similar plans went down to defeat in 2004 and 2009.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians leaders and local law enforcement officers are coordinating efforts to ensure public safety before a portion of the tribe's new Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino (l.) opens in Murphy, North Carolina. The casino will be completed in mid-2015 and create 900 new jobs.
An attorney for the Catawba Indian Nation recently told the South Carolina Supreme Court that the state's Gambling Cruise Act gives the tribe the right to open a bingo hall on its reservation. The state's attorney said the state legislature must authorize gambling that currently is not permitted.
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Chief George Wickliffe recently stated Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker betrayed the UKB by filing an injunction preventing UKB land from being taken into trust. But Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said he made the decision to file the lawsuit.
Presque Isle Downs casino in Erie, Pennsylvania, announced the appointment of Jeff Favre as the new vice president and general manager.
Betfair has appointed Paul Cutter as chief technology officer. He is the third appointment to that position in the past five years.
Galaxy Gaming has been licensed in Arizona to distribute its table game and side-bet products, overcoming a previous rejection by California regulators. Robert B. Saucier (l.) says the state’s regulators exhibited professionalism.
Amaya Gaming Group has closed its acquisition of Diamond Game Enterprises, a global designer and manufacturer of gaming products.
Before Hurricane Katrina struck, Crooked Letter beers were brewed on-site at Coast Brewing Company at Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Now, after a year of development and taste-testing, the casino will offer three new Crooked Letter beers.
IGT has launched the latest title in its series of slots based on the hit TV and film series Sex and the City, with a new MegaJackpots game installed at 13 casinos.
By the summer of 2014, Las Vegas businesses will be able to utilize the web extension .Vegas. City officials have joined with Dot Vegas Inc. to create the branded domain extension.
The new multimillion-dollar El Loco rollercoaster has opened at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Initial reviews have been great for the thrill ride, which includes a 90-degree sheer drop.
America’s largest online gaming conference, iGaming North America, will feature several discussions about online poker at the event, March 19-21 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
An aide to the ex-wife of the sultan of Brunei denies stealing jewelry from her. But she did help sell some of it, as she told a court in London, to pay for her employer’s alleged £1 million day gambling habit.
Small Nuggets of News
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