Gaming in Massachusetts had a good week. The state gaming commission chose the defunct Plainridge racetrack as the site of the state’s only slot parlor (l.), with gaming to be managed by Penn National Gaming. And in Revere, a second bite at the apple proved the city really wants a casinos as it approved a revamped plan by Mohegan Sun for a casino at Suffolk Downs racetrack. Mohegan must now defeat Wynn Resorts’ plans in Everett for a full casino license.
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Two of the three states offering online gambling in the U.S. have come together and signed a pact to combine online poker sites and increase their player pools. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (l.) and Delaware Governor Jack Markell announced the pact, which will be the first interstate internet gaming partnership. A date for interstate play to begin was not given, not were any details of how the differing regulations and tax rates would be handled.
New bills to authorize large casinos have been introduced in the Florida Senate Gaming Committee, chaired by Senator Garrett Richter (l.). The three measures would legalize large integrated resorts, allow slots at horse and dog racetracks and a rodeo site, and set up a new gaming agency charged with regulating and controlling gaming in the Sunshine State.
Sheldon Adelson says he’ll spend $10 billion to build a resort in Japan. Rival James Murren (l.) says he’ll match it. Joining them are an A-list of global operators lining up to place big bets on a market that still doesn’t exist.
A legislative iGaming summit convened last week in Sacramento just days after two bills were introduced to legalize online poker in California. The bills have been introduced in both California’s Assembly and Senate. Attendees at the summit heard Assemblyman Isadore Hall (l.) explain how the bills would be considered.
In a unanimous decision, the Nevada Gaming Commission has approved slot wagering using prepaid debit cards directly at the machines. The decision took into account issues raised by the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.
Britain’s bookmaking giants are going on the offensive—or defensive, depending on the point of view. They’re denying opponents’ claims that electronic table games are a leading cause of problem gambling. At the same time, industry executives led by William Hill CEO Ralph Topping (l.) are promising reforms aimed at combating problem gambling.
The battle for Japan is under way. From MGM and Las Vegas Sands to small pachinko companies in downtown Tokyo, everyone wants a slice of the pie. Who is more likely to win? Who knows?
This week, the GGB Podcast features an interview with Derik Mooberry, the senior vice president of games, table game products, and interactive research & development for Bally Technologies, on the company’s international strategies and how the design of games drives them.
Macau casino giant SJM Holdings saw its market lead slip in 2013 but still managed to beat analyst profit estimates on strong play across all segments of the business. VIP revenue was up 9.4 percent for the year. Mass-market table revenue grew by 13 percent.
After starting with a bang back in 2010, Singapore’s two resort casinos were expected to easily overtake the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s No. 2 market. But it didn’t happen, and unless the city-state’s restrictions on junkets and locals play are loosened, it probably won’t anytime soon.
How best to fix Vietnam’s resort gaming problems was the topic of discussion during a recent visit to The Grand – Ho Tram by members of the National Assembly. The talks raised optimism that the government will eventually rescind a ban on domestic play.
The Philippines government continues to downsize its role as a casino operator with plans to close another Manila venue, Airport Casino Filipino, the second in the last year. PAGCOR, the agency in charge, acknowledges that the future belongs to the country’s growing commercial industry.
The Macau government forced the closure of five neighborhood slots parlors last year and says the day is coming when all gambling outlets outside casinos will be shuttered. More than half are slated to be gone this year.
Cambodia’s leading casino operator says it will begin building its casino near Vladivostok early next year. Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp. says the local government supports the $350 million resort, which is scheduled to open in 2018.
A recent news report out of Hong Kong claims that Macau will limit casino licenses to five to 10 years when they come up for renewal beginning in 2020. But those close to the scene say there’s nothing to it.
The Irish Sea resort town that was talked about a decade ago as the launching pad for a British resort gaming industry, may yet get its casino, albeit one considerably downsized from the Las Vegas scale dreamed of a decade ago.
Tony Fung (l.), the billionaire Hong Kong investor proposing a megaresort on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is buying up casinos in the country. Last year, he made a bid for the Reef Casino not far from his own planned development, and now he’s added Canberra’s casino to his cart.
Good thing for James Packer (l.) that Macau exists because his home markets in Australia are struggling to overcome the effects of a down economy and intensifying competition for high rollers.
The Pacific island of Saipan needs revenue badly but has been unable in three tries in the last four years to get a casino bill through the legislature to help. Undaunted, the leader of the House of Representatives is giving it another go.
An appeals court has sided with the owners of 132 domain names that Kentucky is trying to seize to combat illegal online gambling in the state. The court put the seizure on hold by ruling that the site owners do not have to fight the seizure individually, but can be represented by the trade group the Interactive Gaming Council, a breakthrough for associations.
Governor Chris Christie (l.) had estimated that New Jersey would bring in $160 million in new tax revenue form online gaming. The projection now is about $34 million by the end of the state’s fiscal year in June. Officials admitted the projection was too rosy.
Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has partnered with Income Access Partners and founder Nicky Senyard (l.) to create an affiliate recruitment program for its online gambling sites in New Jersey. The casino will launch BorgataPartners.com.
A champion of legalizing online gaming in California, Rod Wright, has taken an extended leave of absence from the Senate while he awaits sentencing on eight felony counts. He avoided expulsion however.
The International Poker Network, one of the longest running online poker networks, has announced it will close after 10 years. Also known as Boss Media, the network is to close by the second quarter of this year.
According to reports, gambling consultant Christian Kalb has advised the Singapore government to be selective in banning online gaming sites and allow three or four major operators. But he also advised the government that online gaming is hard to police and should be handled carefully.
In a recent budget speech, the Isle of Man’s minister of economic development pointed to internet gaming as the principle driver of the island’s economy.
The sudden disappearance of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox—which later filed for bankruptcy—has severely damaged the virtual currency and left Mt. Gox depositors with little hope of recovering their losses. Proponents of bitcoins say the loss of Mt. Gox weeds out a bad exchange, but others worry that governments will move quickly to strictly regulate virtual currencies in the wake of the closing.
The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has published eight principles for online and app-based games. The principles clarify the games industry’s obligations under UK consumer protection laws.
Online gambling software company Playtech announced that its revenue increased 16 percent in 2013 and profits increased 26 percent. The company announced it will pay a special dividend to stock holders of 122 million euros.
The Cordish Companies and Penn National Gaming are looking at sites in Orange County, less than 50 miles from Times Square. One of the sites adjoins the popular Woodbury Common, an outlet shopping center. Catskill casino developers are crying foul. And in western New York, an existing racino is making waves.
Two independent studies of Iowa gambling, commissioned by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, both stated new casinos in Cedar Rapids and Jefferson would cannibalize existing casinos' market share. That's bad news for the Cedar Rapids Development Group and Wild Rose Entertainment (rendering at left).
Las Vegas has qualified as a finalist, and continues to court members of the Republican National Committee, who will decide where the GOP will hold its 2016 presidential convention. It could mean a $400 million economic boost for Nevada.
A panel formed to study ways to provide relief to Delaware’s struggling casino industry canceled its February meeting, pushing back its recommendations to lawmakers. Chairman Tom Cook (l.) now says the report will be ready before the legislature convenes on March 18.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s 2014-15 budget plan counts on increased revenue from gambling, including tavern games, video keno, racing and the lottery.
As Des Plaines, Illinois councilmen wrote checks for $5.8 million to 10 needy South suburban communities and for $10 million to the state, local officials said the arrangement—which brought Rivers Casino (l.) to the city--is unfair. Des Plaines is the only casino host city that pays annual allotments.
A class-action lawsuit representing players has been filed against the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa charging the casino improperly supervised the opening tournament of last month’s Borgata Winter Poker Open, which was suspended after counterfeit chips were found in play. More than 4,000 players entered the tournament, but play was suspended with only 27 players left in the field. The suit seeks restitution for all players.
Contracts have been reached for the major Strip casino operators. But progress has been slow with Downtown and stand-alone properties. Culinary Union members could vote to strike this month.
The Peppermill in Reno was assessed a $1 million fine for corporate espionage after a slot employee used a common slot “reset” key to access information from competitors.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has held that the state’s Horse Racing Commission has the authority to regulate instant racing, but declined to rule on the legality of the machines.
Faced with strong competition from casinos expected to come online in the next few years in Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino is taking some defensive actions.
Roulette, keno and craps could be allowed in Deadwood, South Dakota casinos if the legislature approves a statewide referendum to change the state constitution that currently permits only slots, poker and blackjack. Supporters said the new games are needed so Deadwood can compete with casinos in Iowa and Colorado.
A study by the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey finds that luxury spending is up in Atlantic City even as casino revenue shrinks. The study contends that Atlantic City’s visitors are staying longer and spending more on dining and accommodations while gambling day-trippers are declining.
Tourism officials in the Silver State are making progress in their ongoing campaign to bring in more Asian travelers. The effort that started in China has now expanded to India.
The Las Vegas casino company Gaughan Gaming has acquired a 50 percent ownership stake in the Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall in Ely. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Atlantic City’s Claridge Hotel—once a casino property—is scheduled to reopen in May with new restaurants, a lobby bar and new entertainment. TJM Atlantic City purchased the 500-room hotel from Caesars Entertainment in October.
The Cromwell, Caesars Entertainment’s new boutique hotel-casino, a mid-market property on the Las Vegas Strip, is gearing up for its grand opening in May. Its Drai’s nightclub operation (l.) will hire an additional 300 people.
Lawmakers in Connecticut are mulling a bill that would repeal the recently adopted measure that would have allowed the state lottery to introduce keno to the state’s taverns and eateries.
The Valley Forge Casino Resort has begun a $1 million renovation and technology upgrade for its 55,000 square feet of convention and meeting space.
The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which said it should not be taxed on ticket royalties. A Clark County district court had previously upheld the tax.
The Golden Nugget Atlantic City held an “emergency” job fair to find 50 new employees. More than 1,300 applicants turned out.
A Nevada couple attempted to sue a Georgia DEA agent for seizing $97,000 in gambling winnings. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled they cannot file in Nevada, but must take their suit back to Georgia.
Bass Pro Shops, under construction in Atlantic City, had expected an opening in between fall 2014 and spring 2015. The company announced on its website the store will not open until 2015.
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians cannot proceed with their proposed $245 million Kewadin Landing Casino, following Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's (l.) appeals court victory allowing the Sault casino case to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on another controversial Michigan case involving the Bay Mills tribe.
When the New Mexico Senate rejected in one hour a compact with Navajo Nation that took two years to negotiate with Governor Susana Martinez' staff, the tribe was back to square one. Lawmakers and other tribal officials objected to a provision allowing the Navajos to build additional casinos over 15 years. The current compact will expire in 2016.
The Grand Forks, North Dakota city council will present to the state the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa's casino proposal. The tribe said the casino could generate $100 million in gaming revenue and create 1,000 jobs. The governor must approve the plan that requires changing state law.
The Narragansett Indians of Rhode Island have been subpoenaed by a federal appeals court. No information has been revealed about the sealed case, but the tribe has a history of legal problems.
The New York tribe Oneida Indian Nation is spending $15 million to install thousands of new slot machines. Some of the new machines will be linked to other casinos, which could lead to bigger jackpots for Turning Stone patrons.
The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma recently purchased 160 acres in Little Rock, Arkansas, where it owned land before being removed to Indian Territory in 1850. The tribe operates the Downstream Casino Resort (l.) in Quapaw, Oklahoma, and may be considering building one in Arkansas. Chairman John Berrey said, "I would never say never."
A small fire in an electrical box led to the evacuation and 12-hour closing of the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana on February 15. No patrons were injured and damage was minimal, said spokesman Bryan Williams.
Although Navajo Nation police will provide primary law enforcement when a crime is committed on the 405-acre Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort near Flagstaff, Arizona, Coconino County sheriff's deputies now will be able to legally intervene. The officers will be required to complete 16 hours of training on Navajo laws.
The Forest County Potawatomi's two Wisconsin casinos generated $226 million in profit in 2012, allowing the tribe to make per capita payments of $80,000. The Menominee tribe paid each member $75. The tribe believes Governor Scott Walker's approval of its proposed Kenosha casino could change that.
A federal judge has authorized the newly constituted tribal council of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians to seek protection from the Madera County Sheriff’s office to protect itself from death threats from an illegal faction that claims to run the tribe.
Several California tribes think that state Attorney General Kamala Harris (l.) stepped over the line in opposing some tribal applications to put land into trust.
The Massachusetts tribe on the outside looking in has reaffirmed its desire to build a small casino on its reservation in swanky Martha’s Vineyard. Even with new chairman, Tobias Vanderhoop (l.), the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) narrowly voted to continue the process to turn a community center into a Class II casino.
A statement by a former assistant secretary of the Air Force, Terry Yonkers, has taken the wind out of the sails of opponents of the Spokane Tribe of Indians’ proposed casino near Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington.
Robert DeSalvio, the first president of Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, resigned last week. DeSalvio failed to give a reason for his departure, but the company said it was not related to the recent hacking incident, in which Sands Bethlehem was a focal point.
Chett Harrison has been named general manager at Boomtown Biloxi Casino and Casino Bay St. Louis, Mississippi Gulf Coast properties owned by Penn National Gaming. Harrison replaces Boomtown Manager Kees Eder who is retiring. Also, Steve Lambert has been named general manager at Hollywood Casino Tunica.
Two veterans of the hospitality industry have joined the team at the Downtown Grand Las Vegas. Cinthia Pedroza is coming from the Four Seasons, and Max Vilsaint from the Westin Lake Las Vegas.
Juergen Reutter has been named Online Operations Director for William Hill. He was formerly director of mobile operations for William Hill Online.
Galaxy Gaming has named 30-year gaming industry veteran Steve Venuto as the company’s Northeast regional sales manager.
GamblingCompliance has appointed James Kilsby, a seven-year member of the organization, to the position of managing director-Americas.
Suzo-Happ has named Thomas Steiner to the position of key accountant and business development manager for the company’s EMEA region.
New Jersey regulators have authorized progressive slot jackpots to be linked across state lines, following Nevada in pursuing huge, multi-state jackpots.
Ohio’s Miami Valley Gaming has selected Bally iVIEW Display Manager and Elite Bonusing Suite as a system solution for its 1,600 slots.
IGT has reached an exclusive agreement with partner Anchor Gaming to extend the arrangement under which the two companies jointly produce multi-hand video poker products.
FutureLogic has signed an extension of its distribution and service agreement with Modern Gaming, which distributes the company’s printer products in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.
Interblock USA has installed its first product in the Pennsylvania market, a six-station G4 Organic roulette unit at the Mount Airy Casino Resort, and the company has upgraded its installation in Manila.
NEWave announced the installation of its eLearning software at the Hacienda Hotel in Boulder City, Nevada, and a new compliance software installation at 4 Bears in North Dakota.
BMM Testlabs is accepting submissions for testing of gaming equipment and systems in Colorado, with its approval as a Certified Vendor in the state.
The New Mexico Lottery has extended the contract for the lottery gaming system supplied by Intralot USA, extending the contract three years to 2018.
Spain’s Comar Group has named JCM Global as its preferred supplier of bill validators, and has named the iVIZION validator as its preferred product.
World View Experience, a space-tourism company, has opened an office in Las Vegas. Its owners think the city’s reputation for luxury tourism make it a perfect location.
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