888 Holdings is the latest player to bid for bwin.party, the company has confirmed. GVC Holdings, partnered with Amaya Gaming, has also bid on the company setting up a bidding war. Bwin said it will decide on the new bids in the “coming weeks.” Once the leading poker site in the world operating as PartyPoker, the site has lost its luster in the past few years as it concentrated on legal, regulated iGaming and exited any grey markets.
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Last week’s G2E Asia crystalized, for many members of the gaming industry, just what is happening in Macau. And when Melco Crown’s Jamie Packer (l.) became the latest casino owner to admit that Macau’s problems won’t be solved overnight, attention turns to the attitude of both the Chinese and the Macau governments when addressing issues affecting casinos in the SAR.
The Connecticut Senate has passed a bill that would authorize the state’s two gaming tribes to move towards opening a satellite casino in the state by communicating with communities that might be interested in hosting such a casino. The bill now goes to the House. Attorney General George Jepsen (l.) appears to be satisfied the bill is constitutional.
A bill allowing for slots with the highest awards based on skill rather than luck has passed the Nevada legislature, and was immediately signed by Governor Brian Sandoval. The bill was supported by the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) and the American Gaming Association.
The massive Baha Mar resort being developed in the Bahamas will not open until September, according to the latest reports. The opening of the resort, reportedly the most expensive resort in the islands’ history, has been postponed four times since 2011. But an unverified report says that Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie (l.), attending the groundbreaking of Resorts World Las Vegas earlier this month) has brokered a deal for Genting to buy a controlling interest in the property.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (l.) is standing firm on raising taxes to fill the state's $280 million budget gap. Another option is Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh's bill proposing a state lottery and gambling at the state's four dog tracks. And the Poarch Creeks still are offering $250 million for exclusive gambling rights.
Philippine-based Century Properties has settled its dispute with Universal Entertainment Corp., run by Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada. The companies once planned to work together on Okada’s Manila casino, Tiger Resorts (l.). Okada, meanwhile, is said to have found a new partner.
Jens Halle, the Merkur Gaming CEO and longtime head of Novomatic’s gaming equipment manufacturing subsidiary, has died suddenly at the age of 57.
The proposal from Land & Buildings Investment Management, which would see MGM Resorts International vacate four board chairs, has come to an end after the company received heavy opposition from MGM board leaders. And forget about selling MGM China, says Bill Scott (l.), president of MGM Asia, Pacific and Diaoyutai MGM.
The opening of the second phase of Galaxy Macau will kick off the second phase of Cotai expansion and begin to answer some questions about how the SAR will respond to additional capacity as demand continues to shrink.
This week, the GGB Podcast hears from A.G. Burnett, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, on the issues before his agency and how it has handled iGaming as the first state to legalize the wager.
The government of Jeju in South Korea will analyze the tax yield from the island’s eight casinos with a goal of maximizing revenue. It isn’t known if the government can or will raise the tax rate. The study is due to be complete in July.
As Japanese lawmakers press for legal casinos in the country, the U.S. gaming industry is lending a hand. The American Gaming Association sent representatives, including SVP Sara Rayme (l.), to Tokyo to argue the case and reassure critics that casinos do not lead to massive social problems.
Stricter reins on advertising and the addition of responsible gaming measures show the industry in the U.K. is ready to grow, says Roy Ramm (l.), a Caesars Entertainment exec who once worked at Scotland Yard.
Lawrence Ho’s Tigre de Cristal casino resort in Russia will be completed by the end of June and be ready to open by August 28, according to a filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Socrates Kokkalis, chairman of Greek betting services company Intralot, has submitted a proposal for a national lottery to Hellenic Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis. The proposed system would be state-owned but privately operated.
The European Commission says it does not see a need for gaming regulations that apply to all members of the European Union, nor will it launch an across-the-board awareness program.
A group of landlords for Ladbroke’s gambling shops have come together to seek better terms from the bookmaker as Ladbrokes seeks to close about a third of its shops. The bookmaker wants to pay rent only until the shops are closed.
In 2012, Germany issued 20 licenses for online sports betting providers. The licensing process has since been called into question, and an administrative court is calling for a do-over.
With VIP rooms in Crown Perth and Crown Melbourne (l.), Macau junket operator Iao Kun Group has officially penetrated the Aussie market. The company plans to import high roller clients who once patronized Macau.
A dramatic uptick in gambling in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe has caused the government to put a moratorium on new gaming licenses. The country has a reported unemployment rate of up to 90 percent, including the underemployed.
Although numbers have been steady at Casino Windsor, the casino will lay off over 60 employees. Nearly 40 jobs though have recently been posted at the property.
Several actions happening in Sacramento, the state capital of California, leads gaming experts to give odds that this will be the year that the legislature adopts a bill legalizing online poker. Rincon Chairman Bo Mazzetti (l.) says it’s all about consumer protection.
The Sheldon Adelson-backed bill AB 414, has died in the committee before reaching a May 15 deadline. The bill sought to limit online gambling.
A report by Germany’s yStats predicts that online gambling—as well as regulations governing it—will continue to grow worldwide. Europe remains the biggest online gaming market the study said, a fact supported by another study by the American Gaming Association. But who is profiting? Legal or illegal operators?
New Jersey gaming regulators have issued full online license to three companies—bwin.party, Sportech and CAMS. The state first issued conditional transactional waivers to online gaming companies when online gambling started in the state in 2013.
Russia has passed amendments to its gambling laws to clamp down on illegal offshore online gambling sites reaching Russian bettors that want to participate in a new sports betting market to be introduced this year. The sites would have to locate servers in Russia.
A group of Democrat state Senators in New York are urging the state’s congressional delegation to oppose the Sheldon Adelson-backed push to outlaw online gambling. The group says the bill tramples state rights and could keep New York’s lottery from offering online games. The letter also comes as New York considers another online gambling bill.
The Poker Players Alliance has released results of a poll it says shows Pennsylvanians support legalization of online gaming by a wide margin.
DraftKings has inked a deal to become the daily fantasy sports partner of NASCAR. The three-year deal lets DraftKings develop NASCAR fantasy sports games while the racing league will provide the site with up-to-the-minute information and statistics.
The World Series of Poker will offer 11 new events this year including an online championship that will award a traditional WSOP bracelet to the winner. Players have to be in Nevada to play.
Apple will reinstate gambling apps at the Swedish App Store after removing them due to complaints from the country’s gaming regulators. The apps are being restored after an intervention from the Swedish operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts has challenged the legality of some of the machines that will be deployed at the Plainridge Park Casino (l.) when it opens next month. It has asked the attorney general to look into its complaint.
The Woodlands racetrack in Kansas City, Kansas could reopen thanks to the state Senate's 24-12 vote to lower gaming taxes to 22 percent. The track closed in 2008 after the legislature voted to allow slots with a 40 percent tax rate. The House now will consider the bill.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said 20 percent of all tourists are international in Las Vegas, and has plans of raising that number to 30 percent in the near future by offering more custom amenities.
With dealers just about trained and a legislative committee set to give final rules approval, casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota will be ready for keno, craps and roulette July 1. Silverado Franklin, Tin Lizzie's, Cadillac Jacks, Gold Dust and Mineral Place have said they definitely will offer the new games.
Two gambling-related bills became law in Indiana without Governor Mike Pence's signature. He let pass a bill allowing riverboat casinos to move onto land, and another that helps the Indiana Horse Racing Commission promote the industry. Pence vetoed a bill that would have permitted online horserace wagering.
Since video gambling terminals went live in Illinois in fall 2012, they have generated $355 million in state and local tax revenue, according to a report by the Illinois Gaming Operators Association. Tax revenue from the games will reach $300 million annually by 2020 without major expansion, the report said.
Tropicana Atlantic City held a Boardwalk bash to celebrate completion of a $50 million renovation project creating new suites, casino areas and a state-of-the-art fitness center (l.).
Philadelphia “Tomato King” Joseph Procacci has agreed to rescue the Lawrence County racino project abandoned recently by Penn National Gaming as its owner was granted a licensing extension.
A committee of unsecured creditors appointed in Caesars Entertainment’s bankruptcy case has asked a federal judge to validate an involuntary bankruptcy petition.
The parcel of land which was to feature the Las Ramblas resort, is back on the market, and has a chance of finally getting off the ground, a decade after it was conceived. The site was supposed to host a casino resort that included actors George Clooney and Brad Pitt as investors.
The $60 million expansion project at historic Hialeah Park Racing & Casino is moving forward with the recent opening of the Kings Court VIP Poker Room, which now offers 33 tables. The Fountain Terrace and horseracing simulcast area also will be updated.
Station Casinos received tentative approval from the Gaming Control Board to be treated like other casinos with private owners. The Nevada Gaming Commission will decide May 28 on a final decision.
Biloxi, Mississippi was the third-largest gambling market in the U.S. when Hurricane Katrina hit in September 2005. Now, having survived the storm, followed by the BP oil spill and the economic recession, Biloxi casinos are generating increasing revenue and expecting greater returns thanks to New Orleans' smoking ban and low gas prices.
A report from the Deutsche Bank—by gaming analyst Andrew Zarnett (l.)—says New Jersey should break Atlantic City’s casino monopoly in the state and allow casinos in northern New Jersey. The report says one or two new casinos could generate over $500 million in revenue.
The growing trend these days in Reno is non-gaming hotels, which have grown at a startling rate.
Several bills have appeared in the most recent Nevada legislative committee, even though gaming has not been the top priority. Funding education has taken front seat, although some gaming bills could shape the future of the industry.
Atlantic City will form a non-profit corporation to spur economic development. The corporation is modeled on one formed in New Brunswick New Jersey that brought $1.8 million in projects to that city. Officials say the Atlantic City Corporation will explore bringing a medical college to the resort. The city is also offering bonds for sale backed by the state of New Jersey.
Lauren Proctor lost $700,000 playing illegal video poker at two South Carolina restaurants. A state court upheld her right to sue to recoup the money. But the two restaurants asked the state Supreme Court to determine if a gambler can sue for recouped losses on an illegal game. "It's uncharted territory," said the restaurants' attorney.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced a bill to allow on-site fantasy sports at the state’s casinos. The bill only covers daily fantasy sports contests.
The new Stadium Sports Bar & Grill recently opened at Ameristar East Chicago, celebrating the history of Chicagoland sports with memorabilia, 70 draft and craft beers and a special menu. It's the fourth Stadium location at Pinnacle Entertainment properties.
Churchill Downs Inc. which runs the Kentucky Derby, has sued the Daily Racing Form for allegedly illegally taking bets on the races at its racetrack.
Indiana lawmakers failed to list any expenses or in-kind contributions for more than 20 events held at an off-track betting facility owned by Centaur Gaming, which lobbied for live dealers at its two racinos. Legislators also failed to mention in-kind contributions from Centaur's lobbyist. Many said they would file amended campaign finance reports.
Tanger Factory Outlets recently opened at Foxwoods Resort Casino in eastern Connecticut. Developed in partnership with Gordon Group, creators of Caesars Las Vegas' Forum Shops, it's the nation's first enclosed Tanger center--considered by observers to be the Mashantucket Pequot tribe's attempt to prepare for Massachusetts casino competition.
Opponents of a casino resort at the Jamul Indian Village in San Diego County saw their lawsuit shot down by a federal judge last week. The judge ruled that the land put into trust for the tribe is actual Indian land, unlike what the Jamul Action Committee and Jamul Community Church claimed.
Connecticut towns that fear new federal rules for recognizing Indian tribes will lock out the ability of communities that might be affected by such recognition from presenting their concerns made their case recently to the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB is giving the rules a final review before they become effective.
The struggle by the Tohono O’odham Nation to operate a casino in Glendale, Arizona has morphed over the years from a political battle, to a legal battle, and finally a political battle to be decided by Congress. A bill that would prevent the tribe from opening its casino is now active in both the Senate and the House. The sponsor of one of those bills, Senator John McCain (l.), denies he has been influenced by lobbyists.
Construction could begin in August on a $35.2 million expansion at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe's Fort Hall Casino & Hotel in Idaho. The plan includes a new casino, hotel and bar, and converting the current casino into a bingo hall. Tribal members will vote May 29 if liquor may be sold at the new casino.
Cherokee Nation Businesses, owners of Cherokee Nation Entertainment, recently posted 2014 revenue of $829 million, an increase of $48 million over 2013 and a new record. In addition, a study indicated the tribe had an economic impact of $1.55 billion in northeast Oklahoma, a 50 percent increase since 2011.
A report by the Mississippi Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Task Force indicated a lottery and sports betting are more likely to be offered than online poker. House Gaming Committee Chairman, state Rep. Richard Bennett, established the group last year to review the financial, legal and technical impact of internet gambling and sports betting.
After 31 years at the Gordon Silver law firm, Jeff Silver has left for Dickinson Wright. He brings over 40 years experience as a gaming attorney.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood has named gaming industry veteran Bill Wright as the new president of the Florida property.
Olivia Brown, who has spent 25 years in the hospitality industry, has been named general manager of Bellagio.
Brian Mattingley will leave his post as chief executive officer of 888 to become the executive chairman at the online gaming operator.
Tina Littleton, who has been executive director of the California Gambling Control Commission for four years, has resigned her job, possibly due to conflicts of interest deriving from an investigation of a former head of the Bureau of Gambling Control, Robert Lytle.
Greenberg Traurig has hired Emily A. Mattison, former general counsel of the Illinois Gaming Board, as counsel in the firm’s gaming practice.
A group of Muscogee (Creek) Nation members attempting to remove Principal Chief George Tiger from office recently did not meet the 32,000-signature requirement. The group accused him of working with a competing tribe, bribery and embezzlement. Meanwhile, Tiger said he will run for a second term.
Melina Leong, chief operating officer of Cotai Water Jet, a subsidiary of Sands China Ltd., has resigned from the company, where she has worked for the past 10 years.
Pechanga Resort & Casino has named a member of the Pechanga Band and a twenty-year veteran of the casino, Pam Toscano, to head its food and beverage division.
Vernon Small, chairman of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe's gaming council, recently was named acting gaming manager at the Charging Horse Casino in Lame Deer, Montana. Small replaces long-term gaming manager Lori Limberhand who recently was terminated.
Slot manufacturer International Game Technology has revealed its plan to sell its corporate headquarters campus in Las Vegas as consolidation continues following its merger with GTECH.
GLI has doubled the size of its lab facility in Barcelona, Spain, in response to increased demand from Spain’s casino industry for the lab’s services. GLI Spain head Martin Britton (l.) says the move will improve service levels for customers.
Amaya Inc. reported a huge jump in quarterly revenues the company attributed to its acquisition of the parent company of online gaming giants PokerStars and Full Tilt.
Konami Gaming has installed its first games in Northern Cyprus casinos, as Merit Crystal Cove and Merit Royal have added its SeleXion multi-game machines.
Innovative Technologies has formed a partnership with Jade Entertainment and Gaming Technologies Inc. to distribute gaming machines in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year’s Global Gaming Expo will feature an event called “The Integrated Resort Experience,” using an interactive forum to demonstrate non-gaming offerings.
One of the new additions to G2E Asia was the inaugural edition of the All Asia Dealers Championship to honor the front line of the Asian gaming industry. Deals with Las Vegas Sands copped most of the top awards, with the team from Marina Bay Sands (l.) winning the top award.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank of Australia has finally walked away from a six-year, $3 million lawsuit against Crown Melbourne. The case revolved around funds stolen from a bank employee and used to gamble at the casino.
Fantasy sports have been existing in a fantasy world. Most observers agree that fantasy sports is gambling, but unless the operators take a more reasoned position toward regulation, the entire industry could crash and burn.
The total court-approved compensation for Revel Atlantic City’s bankruptcy lawyers will likely top $10 million. The lawyers have already been approved for just under $10 million and are requesting $3.2 million more.
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