Revel Sale Mixed Blessing

A U.S. Bankruptcy court has approved the sale of Atlantic City’s closed Revel casino to a Florida-based real estate firm, but the new buyer may still challenge the sale. Meanwhile, Glenn Straub, the developer behind buyer Polo North Country Club, plans to install the world’s largest water park and operate Revel as a casino, but under a different name, which he plans to bid out.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Wynn Faces Down MA Lawsuits

A total of three cities, with Boston being the third, have now filed suit challenging the November decision off the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarding the license for the Boston Metro casino zone to Wynn Resorts. But the company officially acquired the land in Everett where the casino will be built, and GM Bob DeSalvio (l.) says it’s full steam ahead.

Caesars Creditors Sign Deal; Swaps Go to Arbitration

An arbitration panel will rule on whether Caesars Entertainment will be required to settle $26.9 billion of credit-default swaps prior to a prepackaged bankruptcy, as senior creditors accept the operator’s restructuring plan.

Potential Fourth New York Casino License Filled with Drama

Andrew Cuomo's (l.) letter urging the New York State Gaming Commission to consider a fourth casino in the Southern Tier is being “reviewed.” There is a bit of a push from an anti-gambling group in hopes of no license being granted at all. Meanwhile, local racinos are still worried what these resorts will do to their revenue. New Jersey, on the other hand, is being proactive in countering the heavy competition they now face.

American Gaming Association Adds First Tribal Member

Reversing a long-held policy, the American Gaming Association welcomed its first tribal member last week, the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The admission of the tribe continues the AGA drive to grow membership and continues a push for industry unification.

No Casinos in Okinawa

The Okinawan government has studied legal gaming for more than eight years, but will not allocate funds for the studies this year, says new Governor Takeshi Onaga (l.). But all is not lost for casino supporters. Newly reelected Prime Minister Abe Shinzo remains a fan of gaming as an economic stimulus.

BIA Rules on Wisconsin’s Potawatomi Compact

The Indian Affairs division of the Interior Department last week ruled that a compact between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Forest County Potawatomi tribe is illegal. Walker must decide by February whether to approve a proposed $810 million, off-reservation casino in Kenosha, owned by the Menominee Indian Nation. Walker's decision on the casino is expected by February 19.

Election Defeat in Sri Lanka Sinks Casino Plans

The defeat of longtime the longtime president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa (l.), will bring big changes to the island nation in the Indian Ocean, including the cancellation of a burgeoning casino industry whose principal foreign player was Australian gaming magnate James Packer.

Macau’s Unprecedented Slide

The crackdown on corruption and money laundering by Chinese President Xi Jinping (l.) has wiped billions in revenue from the world’s most profitable gaming destination. As more than half of the city’s VIP rooms close, some say the worst is yet to come.

Make Way for All-New Casino Canberra

Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung, the new owner of Casino Canberra (l.), will transform the outdated property into a Vegas-style resort. Fung bought the casino in December for the bargain price of $6 million.

New Jersey Reports on One Year of Online Gaming

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released a report on the state’s first year of online gaming and announced it will introduce a new credit card code this spring to help players with online deposits. DGE Director David Rebuck (l.) admits that there was a steep “learning curve” for all involved, however.


Moody’s Cautious About Studio City

The decline in Macau’s gaming industry will have a discouraging effect on Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. and its newest project, Studio City on the Cotai Strip. Depressed revenues could hamper the company’s ability to service debt.

Nepal Lawmakers: Reopen Our Casinos

With a number of casinos in Nepal closed due to what the government says are outstanding fees and tariffs, some lawmakers in the Asian republic want the country’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to help.

Philippines Set to Grow in 2015

The Philippines could be the fastest-growing gaming jurisdiction in Asia this year, say industry observers, especially with the opening of City of Dreams Manila (l.). The market could accelerate from $2 billion in 2014 to $2.7 billion in 2015, an upsurge of 9 percent.

Sands China and Macau Officials Find Court a Possibility

Sands China is in hot water to say the least, and the effect may spill over to the U.S. After what former employee Steven Jacobs (l.) claims was a wrongful termination, he has retrieved documents from his former company in hopes of exposing them to ties with organized crime syndicates in China. Sands initially denied any involvement, but is now asking for any documents on the matter to remain confidential.

Pachinko Operator Plans IPO

Japanese pachinko hall operator Niraku GC Holdings has applied to be listed as a public company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to a report. The company hopes to raise at least $US75 million with an initial public offering.

Jeju Island Eyes Integrated Resorts

Jeju Island, a province in South Korea, is planning on using integrated resort development to draw more tourism. For a template on how to do it, it’s looking to the example of Singapore, where Genting, one of the Jeju developers, operates Resorts World Sentosa (l.).

Melco Crown to Delist in Hong Kong

Melco Crown Entertainment has applied to have its shares delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange “for reasons of cost and utility.”


Denmark Establishes Monthly Taxation

Starting next month, licensed operators in Denmark will pay duties for online betting and casino on the 15th of the month instead of weekly. The amendment was agreed to in order to lower the administrative burdens on licensed operators.


Queensland Premier Calls for Early Election

In a snap election scheduled for January 31, casino-friendly Queensland Premier Campbell Newman (l.) will find out how voters feel about his performance over the last three years, including a push for several mega-resorts with gaming.

NSW to Online Bookies: “All Bets Are On”

Racing NSW, the state agency that oversees gaming in New South Wales, has handed down the order to online bookmakers: pay off winning bettors, and continue to take their wagers. Winning punters were irked when their accounts were limited or frozen.


Bitcoin Fund Applies For NASDAQ Listing

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Fund established by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss has filed for shares on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The brothers intend to sell 20.1 million in shares for the exchange-traded fund.

CVC Capital Finalizing Sky Bet Purchase

Equity and investment firm CVC Capital Partners will borrow $588 million through Goldman Sachs' institutional investors to complete its acquisition of sports betting and gaming web sites operator Sky Bet from BskyB. The purchase will be completed in first quarter 2015.

Ladbrokes Withdraws From More European Markets

UK bookmaker Ladbrokes Plc has pulled out of several more European markets including Russia, Finland, Portugal and Romania following a 2014 regulatory operational review of new European gaming laws.


Atlantic City Looks Up for 2015

2014 may go down as one of the worst years ever for Atlantic City as four casinos closed and more than 8,000 casino workers lost their jobs. But 2015 could be a “year of healing” according to the city’s mayor, Don Guardian (l.), as the city puts in place a recovery effort to encourage assistance from the state and federal governments.

New Hampshire Prepares to Debate Casinos Again

It’s becoming an annual tradition in New Hampshire: the debate over whether to legalize a casino in the Granite State. The pro and con forces are forming up for this year’s contest, with Senator Lou D’Allesandro (l.) leading the “pro” forces.

Alabama Lawmakers Open To Gambling

Facing a $700 million budget shortfall, Alabama legislators are considering a wide range of options, including establishing a lottery and allowing Las Vegas-style gambling and a gaming compact with Native American tribes. State Senator Jabo Waggoner (l.) said, "Everything you can think of will be on the table."

Federal Land Deal Near M Resort in Henderson Rejected

A recent bid for a 9-acre site was rejected by Henderson officials. The bid, put in by two development companies, was made in hopes of turning the land into a resort-casino, across from the M Resort (l.). City officials cited a lack of detail and failure to meet the deadline for the rejection, however, the possibility of a future bid being accepted is still on the table.

CES Kicks Off 2015 Las Vegas Convention Year

This past week, Las Vegas welcomed in their largest annual convention, the Consumer Electronics Show, in what is looking like a record-setting year. Numbers are projected to top last year's 160,000 visitors who spanned 140 countries and brought over 20,000 new products and product announcements with them.

Growth Not Slowing At South Florida Parimutuels

Monthly year-to-date increases in net slot revenue continue at South Florida parimutuels, with 4.2 percent growth to $1.6 million in November, featuring Isle of Capri Pompano delivering an impressive 12.5 percent increase. Meanwhile Tampa Bay Downs will buy Tampa Greyhound Park (l.) for its simulcast operations and rumors run rampant regarding Genting's Miami Herald site.

Vegas Restaurants Bigger and Better Than Ever Before

While Las Vegas has become the gold standard for celebrity chef restaurants, the history of this trend is relatively new. Most point to Bellagio for pioneering this trend, back in 1998, as the benchmark of high-end casino restaurants in the city, such as DB Brasserie at the Venetian (l.). Since then, it has become expected that if you plan on opening a Strip resort, you better come well equipped with respected celebrity chefs.

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Welcomes Culinary Union

After a year of protests, Culinary Local 226 have reason to rejoice, as the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas welcomes them in. While the former owner, German-based Deutsche Bank initially had plans for Culinary to provide some 5,000 workers for the non-gaming side of the casino, they backed out last minute, feeling a union contract might hinder their chances of selling the casino.

Smoke-free Cedar Rapids Casino Unlikely

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Mayor Ron Corbett, former Iowa House Speaker, has hopes the legislature will pass a measure telling the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to grant license for a smoke-free casino in Cedar Rapids. But state House Minority Leader Mark Smith said that's "a bit of a long shot."

Casino Must Collect Tax On Free Rooms

Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland, West Virginia recently lost a round in Hancock County Circuit Court where Judge Ronald Wilson ruled the casino must collect the state hotel occupancy tax hotel rooms it provides to gamblers for free. The county claimed it has lost hundreds of thousands of tax revenue dollars.

Las Vegas Sports Books Salivate at College Football Title Game

It has become impossible to deny the prevalence of sports betting, as evidenced by the strong 2014 numbers. Nevada has benefited greatly from being the only state with legalized sports wagering, and has cleaned up this year in football. The new college playoff system has been a boon to the books, and experts feel it's only going up from here.

Officials Close Michigan Raceway

In a move that could be a negotiation tactic, Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek, Michigan ended racing, simulcasting and parimutuel betting by order of the state Gaming Control Board. The racetrack and the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association were unable to reach a revenue sharing agreement.

Controversy Delays Cardroom’s Freeway Sign

Ocean’s Eleven Casino near Oceanside, California, is running up against a brick wall of opposition to its proposed large digital sign that it wants to put it in its parking lot.

Study Ranks States By Gambling Embezzlement

A recently released study indicated California had the most embezzlement cases—seven—related to gambling in 2013, followed by New York with five and Oklahoma with four. A desire for a lavish lifestyle is the primary motivation for embezzlement, followed by gambling, according to the study.

Gaming Industry Study Spotlights Michigan

The American Gaming Association-commissioned Oxford Economics study indicated Michigan's 26 casinos—three state-regulated operations in Detroit and 23 owned by Native American tribes—had an economic impact of $2.8 billion and created 17,000 jobs in 2013.


Financial Picture Grim At Foxwoods

Net revenue in 2014 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut fell 7.7 percent from $1.04 billion in 2013 to $960.1 million. Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville also reported a net revenue decline of 4.5 percent from $1.04 billion in 2013 to $995.1 million Both operations blame competition and the weak regional economy.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Has Huge Economic Impact

A study shows Harrah's Ak-Chin casino in Pinal County, Arizona, owned by the Ak-Chin Indian Community, contributed $205 million of the $500 million economic impact generated by the 2008 Super Bowl. The former farming community now employs 1,100 people at its casino-hotel and also has an entertainment center, airport and world-class golf course.

Turf War Delays Interchange Serving Pechanga Casino

A freeway interchange in Temecula, Riverside County, California has been delayed for months by bureaucratic wrangling, creating gridlock for the Pechanga Resort & Casino, among other tourist destinations.

Idaho Tribes Call Instant Racing Illegal

Instant racing is illegal and “a hoax” according to four Idaho gaming tribes, who say that the state government erred when it allowed the state’s racetracks to deploy the machines, which use “historical” rather than live races as the basis for wagering.

CKST Officials Issue Gambling Reminder

Officials of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are reminding residents and businesses on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana that Class III gaming is illegal on the reservation. Such games include shake-a-day, sports boards, poker, video ken, banking card games and poker variations.


Atlantic City Alliance Chief Steps Down

The Atlantic City Alliance, a casino-funded marketing group for the resort, has lost its CEO, Liza Cartmell (l.), who resigned as a move is under way to dissolve the group. New Jersey is planning to dissolve the alliance and use the group’s budget for tax relief.

Seneca to Lead Seneca Gaming

It’s back to the future as Kevin Seneca has been named to head the Seneca Gaming Corp. He replaces Brad John, who resigned to become Seneca Nation of Indians recreation director.


IGT Shareholders to Vote on GTECH Merger

IGT has scheduled a special meeting of its shareholders for February 10, at which a vote will be taken to approve the merger that will result in the company’s acquisition by GTECH.

AGA Lauds Renewal of Terrorism Insurance

The American Gaming Association joined a number of industry associations in calling on Congress to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which it did last week.

Borgata Hires Manager for Club

The Borgata in Atlantic City announced that Standing Ovation Entertainment will be the new managing partner of the Borgata Comedy Club.

BMM Approved in Kansas

BMM Testlabs has been awarded a license to provide gaming lab testing services for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.


ICE Draws New Exhibitors

ICE Totally Gaming will host a total of 67 new exhibitors from 33 jurisdictions around the world, led by first-time exhibitors from Malta, the U.K., Spain and Gibraltar.




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