North Jersey lawmakers joined Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen and Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural to unveil the casino plan for Meadowlands racetrack. Meanwhile, a bill to authorize up to three casinos in North Jersey has been introduced into the state Assembly. The bill is short on details but long on enthusiasm.
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Boston has upped the heat of its rhetoric against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and its granting of a license to build a casino in Everett at the same time that the commission has petitioned to have Boston’s lawsuit against the license thrown out. Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria (l.) told Boston leader Marty Walsh to “man up” and said Walsh should just accept the loss and move on.
AGA President Geoff Freeman (l.) marked the organization’s 20th anniversary with a press conference/conference call identifying key issues facing the industry, and explaining why the organization has been so proactive under his leadership.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck (l.) last week issued a memo to affiliates, giving them 150 days to comply with state law, and that if any of them continue to promote illegal offshore iGaming sites they will face enforcement action. At the same time, these sites have until November to “wind down” their relationships with the illegal sites.
A long-awaited report by the General Accountability Office on tribal government gaming has resulted in a suggestion to improve the oversight of the industry by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Illinois lawmakers will address state Senator Terry Link's SB 1382 this summer, allowing a Chicago-owned casino, four others in the Chicago area and smaller "satellite" casinos. Meanwhile SB 777, awaiting the signature of Governor Bruce Rauner (l.), would let Chicago keep city-owned casino revenue for its first seven years for future pension payments.
The casino industry in Macau is marking 12 straight months of revenue declines as the historic slump drags on and on. A looming full smoking ban won’t help, nor will the 3 percent annual cap on table growth. But at least the comps will be easier.
A U.S. bankruptcy judge has given Caesars Entertainment until November to submit a reorganization plan for its largest unit, but a District Court judge’s ruling could unravel part of the plan.
Up to 15 gaming companies may be preparing to bid on a license to operate a casino in Cyprus, according to news reports. Interested parties are said to include international operators including MGM, Caesars and Genting.
In a case between the U.S. government against Hong Kong Entertainment over 158 criminal charges in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a judge has given the U.S. Department of the Treasury authority to regulate casinos on the land. The department immediately fined the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino for violating FinCEN rules.
This week the GGB Podcast features an interview with Joe Asher, the CEO of William Hill US, on the increased buzz about the legalization of sports betting in the United States.
Despite some questions about when some of the Cotai projects would open, Wynn Palace will open on time. Also, Steve Wynn visited Kazakhstan to talk with President Nursultan Nazarbayev (l.) about building a casino resort in that Asian country.
Australia-listed gaming operator Donaco International will pay $360 million to acquire Star Vegas (l.) in Poipet, Cambodia. Star Vegas has 109 tables and more than 1,260 gaming machines, with room to add more. It also has a hotel.
Some analysts say South Korea has limited the country’s casino industry by limiting the opportunities for locals to play. Of the country’s 17 land-based casinos, 16 prohibit South Korean nationals to play.
Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd. will lease a 300-machine EGM business at its NagaWorld (l.) casino resort in Phnom Penh. NagaCorp will get 70 percent of the revenue, and investors will pick up the rest.
The Senet Group, an “independent gambling self-regulator” launched by a coalition of U.K. gaming operators, is rolling out a new series of ads to encourage responsible gaming.
A gaming cruise ship arrived in Malta this week, the first floating casino approved by the Maltese Gaming Authority. The Crystal Serenity (l.) will offer a number of table games as well as slots and video poker.
Lawrence Ho has confirmed that the first casino resort in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone is expected to open as planned in August of this year. The IEZ is expected to tap into a strong Asian gambling market.
Australian casino operator Crown Entertainment has signed a $1 billion agreement with developer Lend Lease to build a massive casino resort at Barangaroo South in Sydney Harbor.
A law that would allow single game sports betting in Canada does not appear likely to be revived in the Canadian Senate (l.), where it has languished for three years since being approved by the House of Commons.
An ugly battle between Deutsche Bank and the Veneto Hotel & Casino (l.) in Panama City is ongoing, in which each party has a different take on the casino's poor numbers.
The Genting Group may be nearing completion of a plan to acquire a larger stake of Echo Entertainment’s Star casino (l.). The company currently owns 6.6 percent of the Sydney property. It needs the government OK’s to buy more.
India’s mobile gaming market could grow to US$571.6 million sometime next year, according to a new research study. That’s a surge of more than 130 percent for the period between 2013 and 2016.
The ASF Consortium is talking with the Queensland government in hopes of advancing its plan to build a mega-casino on Wavebreak Island along Australia’s Gold Coast. The plan was shelved in April.
Imperial Pacific International will spend up to US$7 billion on a casino resort on Saipan, and build the complex within six months. The resort will include two hotels as well as a 200,000-square meter gaming hall.
SkyCity Entertainment Group has seen saw VIP revenues rise by 99 percent to NZD 118 million (US$84.2 million), in part because some Macau high rollers are patronizing its casinos in New Zealand and Australia.
Myanmar, now considering legislation to legalize casinos in the country, is working to transform part of the Mergui archipelago into an eco-tourism destination. Foreigners-only casinos could legally open in luxury hotels.
The war of words surrounding the issue of an online poker bill in California has heated up. The Viejas Band, which is a member of a coalition that supports such legislation, but wants to lock out PokerStars, last week started airing ads attacking the online poker provider.
A bill to legalize daily fantasy sports in Louisiana has drawn some surprise opposition that threatens to derail the measure. The bill would classify fantasy sports as a game of skill, but opponents say luck is still a factor and playing fantasy sports is gambling. The bill will not be heard during the current state legislative session, which ends this week.
Playtech, the gambling software company founded by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi, has made a surprise takeover bid for Plus500 at a price of £460m. The troubled Israeli contracts-for-difference trading business had been forced to freeze customer accounts by the Financial Conduct Authority, which had found there were problems with Plus500's anti-money laundering identity checks.
England’s Daily Telegraph has reported that bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger (l.) could make about 24 million euros is the company goes through with a sale. The company is in negotiations with 888 Holdings and GVC Holding partnered with Amaya gaming to sell the company.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and the Netherlands Gaming Authority are preparing to enter into an agreement on online gambling rules once the country legalizes online gambling. The two organizations have already signed a letter of intent.
BetConstruct has launched a service under which customers will be able to create a fully functional online gaming website and evaluate it before going live.
Malaysian regulators say they have blocked 530 illegal online gambling sites this year.
Playtech has announced it will supply its licensees in the Spanish market with access to its industry-leading slots portfolio. Spanish regulators approved the offering of casino slots games last year, but only recently allowed their online launch earlier this month.
Inspired Gaming has launched two new HTML5 mobile games on William Hill’s omni channel portfolio. The games are “Centurion” and the episodic HTML5 mobile game “Spirit of the Samurai.”
The Spanish gaming regulator has awarded 10 new licenses to companies including Eurobet, Merkur Interactive, SKS365 and Net Ent. The regulator also will announce its first set of approved licenses for online slots.
A measure allowing voters decide if they wanted a lottery and racinos died in the Alabama Senate. Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh proposed the constitutional amendment to help fill the state's $200 million budget gap. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, operators of the Wind Creek casino (l.) in Atmore, offered the state $250 million in exchange for gaming exclusivity.
The First District Court of Appeals' recent ruling that slots be allowed at Gretna Racing in Gadsden County, Florida, could impact the five other counties where voters have approved slots at parimutuels. Currently only the Seminole Tribe and tracks in the southern part of the state are allowed to offer slots.
In less than a month after the Riviera closed, gaming operator Paragon Gaming will move across the street to run the Westgate Las Vegas.
Atlantic City’s Bally’s Wild Wild West casino (l.)—owned by Caesars Entertainment—has announced a new plan to target budget-conscious visitors. A $3 million renovation of part of the casino floor will include and indoor/outdoor bar area as well as low-limit table games. Casino officials say they are targeting younger guests looking for bargains.
Bart Blatstein (l.) invited reporters to view the progress of “The Playground,” to open July 4 at the former site of the Pier at Caesars, and to announce dining and entertainment alliances.
Support is building for approving of the license transfer from New Grand slots parlor in Newport to Twin River, which purchased the rival casino several months ago. The transfer would also make it easier for Twin River to move the casino from Newport to Tiverton, near the Massachusetts border.
Developer Glen Straub (l.), who bought Atlantic City’s Revel casino, talked about a number of plans for the casino recently that in his usual cryptic way contradicted previous statements and continues to leave the future of the property in doubt. Straub, for example, said he has no plans to sell the property, but might if offered $200 million for the $2.4 billion site.
Las Vegas casinos have continued to partake in business practices that help the environment and promote sustainability. Some anti-gambling parties, however, feel this is not enough.
The bungled sale of Atlantic City’s Showboat casino has led to a call for tighter oversight of casinos in New Jersey. In the sale, Caesars Entertainment knew the property had a legal requirement in place that it always be used as a casino, but sold it with a deed restriction that it cannot be used as a casino. Officials want the state Casino Control Commission to monitor such sales in the future.
Ohio’s gaming revenues have been growing dramatically now that all seven of its racinos and four casino resorts are online. The growth appears to be at the expense of casinos in neighboring states.
The three developers competing to build a state-owned casino in Kansas' Southeast Gaming Zone recently made presentations to the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, the panel that will make its choice known on June 23. Following a background check the state gaming commission will have 10 days to announce its final decision. Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin (l.) is one of the bidders.
The numbers are in for Nevada in April, and overall, they look quite positive, particularly in Downtown Las Vegas (l.). Some areas showed dips in gaming revenue, but overall, tourism grew.
Although the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa opened last August, Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Chairman Jeff Lamberti only recently visited the $128 million facility. In November 2013, following a heated competition, the commission granted the Hard Rock group a license to develop a land-based operation in Woodbury County.
A 15-point plan for transportation improvements has been unveiled by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. The improvements would take anywhere from one to 20 years to be fully implemented.
In the little border town of Falfurrias, Texas, hundreds of law enforcement officials recently raided a dozen illegal casinos that attracted hundreds of daily visitors. The casinos' gambling machines are legal but under Texas law, it's illegal to award cash prizes or prizes above a certain value. In a related move, the American Gaming Association and AGEM have joined forces to battle illegal gambling in Texas.
Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh has proposed a plan to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board which would see the addition of a $50 million hotel to the property. Meanwhile, workers inside are demanding better working conditions.
Although Harrah's Casino Hotel (l.) in Tunica closed last year the gaming industry there is "vibrant," said Tunica County Administrator Michael Thompson. Most of the 1,300 Harrah's employees found jobs in other casinos. But the barges and buildings will be dismantled soon, leaving a $15 million hole in property taxes.
Machines which can be found inside gas stations and convenience stores in parts of Utah are under investigation for which some feel cross the lines into gambling.
With overall gaming revenue up nearly 5 percent for January-April 2015 compared to 2014, casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota are anticipating even better results once keno, craps and roulette make their July 1 debut. Dealers are attending special training to get set for the games.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs, New York recently broke ground on its $34 million, 108-room hotel expansion, expected to open next summer and compete with the future $300 million Rivers Casino Schenectady. The 123,000 square foot expansion will include a 4-star style hotel, providing 500 construction and 300 permanent jobs.
A new event for the 46th annual World Series of Poker, dubbed the “Colossus,” drew 22,374 official entries setting a new record for a live poker tournament event. The WSOP launched 50 days of tournaments culminating with the main event championship at the Rio casino in Las Vegas in July.
A proposed “vertical” rollercoaster for the Atlantic City Boardwalk has caused a stir as it comes just as the resort is trying to diversify its attractions. The news also came as Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein announced that his plans for a major entertainment venue at the city’s former Ocean One Pier Mall are still on track for a July 4 opening.
The Big M I casino cruise ship is sailing from Fort Myers Beach to assist the Big M II, based on the Little River in Horry County, South Carolina, for the summer. Big M Casinos bought the SunCruz Casino last year after SunCruz and the county reached a settlement over boarding fees.
The highly anticipated Yellow Brick Road Casino has opened in Chittenango, New York. At a cost of $20 million, the investment was small for what should be a bread and butter operation for the Oneida Nation.
The Connecticut legislature has passed a bill that creates a process for the state’s gaming tribes to seek interested communities that might host a satellite casino. The legislation will be signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy (l.), according to a spokesman.
The chairman of the House Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, Don Young, has put the process by which the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognizes tribes under the microscope. This criticism prompted a spirited defense of the process recently by Kevin Washburn, who heads the BIA.
Severe flooding in Oklahoma led the Comanche Nation to close its Comanche Nation Casino in Lawton for a day on May 24. In addition, the Apache Nation rescheduled its Memorial Day Truck Giveaway at the Apache Casino Hotel to Sunday, May 31. And Louisiana State Police are monitoring Mississippi River conditions to determine if casinos should close.
The 792-member Tejon Tribe recently confirmed that it hopes to open a casino in Kern County, California. County supervisors unanimously voted to draft a Memorandum of Understanding with the tribe, and tribal officials said they plan to apply to have land in the area taken into federal trust.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently amended a lawsuit aimed at preventing the Quapaw tribe from extending gaming at its Downstream Casino in Oklahoma to the parking lot in Kansas. The National Indian Gaming Commission filed a brief in federal court stating the tribe can do whatever it wants with its Kansas trust land.
St. Croix Casinos, an enterprise of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, announced effective June 8, Danbury, Hertel and Turtle Lake dropped the legal gambling age from 21 to 18. Leva "Dino" Oustigoff Jr., Turtle Lake general manager, said the decision was made to better compete with Minnesota casinos.
Miccosukee Tribal Chairman Colley Billie (l.) lost a round in appeals court, which ordered him to give the IRS documents regarding $300 million in annual gaming distributions, about $100,000 paid to each of the tribe's 600 members between 2000 and 2005. Besides claiming sovereign immunity, Billie said the distributions are "general welfare payments" and not taxable.
Mike Bowman, current chief executive officer and president of Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania, is leaving that post to head the region’s tourism board.
DEQ Systems Corporation named former Affinity Gaming chief David Ross as board chairman, and elected directors in an organizational restructuring.
Aristocrat Technologies has named Clark Warren vice president of system sales, Ron Rivera as vice president of strategic accounts and Pat Schmidt as director of system solutions sales.
After a six-month search, Downtown Grand has found their new chief executive officer, Jim Simms.
James Elison, a former veteran of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Technology Division, has been named as director, technical compliance of BMM Testlabs.
Real Madrid and Portugal soccer star Christiano Ronaldo has signed on as a spokesman for PokerStars. Ronaldo will be promoting PokerStars in advertising campaigns and is slated to make special appearances at major live poker events and online poker tournaments.
Rush Street Gaming did not need to look far for their Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor General Manager, naming in-house Mary Cheeks to the position.
Betsson CEO and President Magnus Silfverberg has resigned. The company will conduct a search for a successor.
The chief engineer of Atlantic City’s Revel casino has resigned saying he’s “Revel’d out” from the long fight the closed casino has had to try and re-open.
Betfair has named its COO Mark Brooker as executive director of its board.
Scientific Games has officially launched the National Shuffle Master Classic qualifying events, that will lead to the $250,000 Three Card Poker National Championship in Las Vegas.
Amaya, Inc. competed the sale of its Cadillac Jack slot manufacturing subsidiary to AGS for an aggregate price of $476 million. Meanwhile, Amaya has come under scrutiny from Canada—where it is based—and now must deal with an investigation of its CEO David Baazov (l.) and CFO over the $4.9 billion acquisition.
NYX Gaming Group announced an extension of its agreement with Scientific Games that allows the company to distribute NYX Poker in a “free-to-play” mode to its customers. Meanwhile, Sportech has sold its 50 percent stake in Sportech-NYX Gaming to joint venture partner NYX Social Gaming for $18.3 million.
With the passage of Senate Bill 9, which allows for video game-esque elements of skill to be incorporated into slot machines, slot manufacturers are working quickly to bring millennials into casinos.
Table Trac Inc., which manufactures table games management systems, was recently contracted to provide the system to a casino in Colorado and one in California.
Pachinko operator Dynam Japan Holdings Ltd. is waiting for Macau to approve its plan to bring “next generation” slots and pachinko machines to the city. Dynam’s CEO says the games could help boost the mass market.
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