A major behind-the-scenes fight to locate a northern New Jersey casino has broken out, even though legislation—and voter approval—for the idea could be a long way off. As several areas for a potential casino are named, no clear consensus on the state’s first non-Atlantic City casino has come forward. Any expansion beyond Atlantic City requires a statewide constitutional vote. Senate President Steve Sweeney (l.) has many reasons to postpone any vote until 2016.
Featured Stories More
As a fifth online gaming bill has been introduced in the legislature, the push toward legal iGaming in Pennsylvania is gaining momentum. Caesars Interactive official Michael Cohen (l.) told a hearing in Harrisburg that legal iGaming in New Jersey has actually increased visits to the company’s Atlantic City casinos.
When it comes to Macau, gaming analysts are sounding more like politicians these days. One firm said the market has shown “the first glimmer of the beginning of a potential bottoming of fundamentals.” In May, after a yearlong decline, Macau “experienced sequential improvements.” But challenges still remain.
The tiny Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on a small offshore island will learn soon if they can build a Class II casino with no oversight from the state, but the OK from the federal Department of the Interior. Kevin Washburn (l.) says the application is undergoing a “legal analysis.”
Paragon Gaming, fresh after taking over operations at the Westgate Las Vegas, have begun construction on the $600 million Parq Vancouver casino resort (l.) in Canada’s British Columbia, a project five years in the making.
Popular television host of “Mad Money” Jim Cramer (l.) set the gaming world on fire recently speculating a possible merger between Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International. The speculation has been brushed off by both companies. Cramer is known for his bombastic predictions, few of which come true.
The National Fantasy Football Convention, slated to take place in mid-July in Las Vegas, has been canceled by the National Football League, due to the fact it was to be held inside a casino and included players like Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (l.), not because it is actually gambling, a fact the fantasy leagues vigorously deny.
She may not be Santa Claus, but Virginia McDowell has provided solid leadership through difficult times. Her company, Isle of Capri has performed well, bringing a higher stock price, increased earnings and EBIDTA, and clearly understands its core customer.
This week, the GGB Podcast features Scott Kreeger, the president and COO of SLS Las Vegas, the year-old property that was shaped from the former Sahara, on how it has been performing and what changes have been made since opening.
Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. is said to be weighing a buyout of its minority investor in the US $3.2 billion Studio City project (l.) on the Cotai Strip in Macau. Buy would make sense since Melco would have to think long and hard about directing players from its other properties to one it only partially owns.
Now under construction in Kazakhstan, the Tengri Resort Casino (l.) will feature casinos, hotels, residences, retail, golf, horseracing, marina and entertainment park. Big Lifestyle and Development Sales will be the exclusive sales and marketing partner for the property, located on the new superhighway and high-speed rail extending from Beijing to Amsterdam.
The government of Vietnam has told potential casino investors and local governments to refrain from submitting gaming proposals until a regulatory framework has been established and approved. One province rushed to be first in line for a casino.
The city of Incheon, South Korea will partner with a Chinese real estate firm to apply for a casino license. And the Incheon International Airport is working with the U.S.-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority to develop a casino there.
A theme park planned for Macau’s Cotai Strip adjacent to SJM’s Lisboa Palace is still waiting for approval from the local government. The family-friendly project includes an indoor beach with wave pool, amusement rides, horseback riding and a convention center.
The vice chairman of Success Universe Group Ltd. says the company will replace two VIP gaming tables with 100 electronic baccarat machines at its Ponte 16 casino (l.) in Macau. The move reflects the continuing loss of VIP gaming and revenues in the world’s leading casino market.
The court battle between Sands China Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands with former employee Steven Jacobs continues to spiral out of control as the media has asked the court to unseal documents which may expose Sands to criminal ties overseas.
The republic of Cyprus has announced it will accept bids for one casino resort and one regional casino by the end of the summer. The previous government took a hard line against casinos, but new president, Nicos Anastasiades (l.), has encouraged them. The new administration hopes to tap into more than 2 billion potential gamblers in the region.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago is considering stronger regulation to rein in its casino industry, which is said to be overrun by organized crime. Finance Minister Larry Howai (l.) says legitimate operators have shied away from the Caribbean nation because of its criminal element.
Starting in 2020, only poker inside of casinos or from regulated operators will be legal. The legislation comes as the country continues to fight problem and illegal gambling.
The debate over what form iPoker will take in California has gotten nasty, with one California tribe releasing radio ads that use the term “online conmen” to criticize PokerStars, a possible provider of real money poker. The conflict may make passage of an iPoker bill in California hopeless.
Scientific Games and online casino operator Gamesys Group have launched the Scientific Games remote game server in Spain’s new iGaming market.
Betfred has joined the bidding process for Ladbrokes Ireland according to reports in the Irish media. Boylesports has already announced its own bid for the division, which is in examinership—similar to bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Ladbroke’s has also submitted its own rescue plan to the courts.
The Peruvian Gaming Control Board is preparing draft legislation for online casinos according to the head of the country’s Gaming Control Board. The legislation would tax online gambling sites at 15 to 20 percent, according to local reports.
Danish national gambling regulatory body Spillemyndigheden has entered into a partnership with the UK Gambling Commission to cooperate on projects and share information.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke will enter the online gaming industry through a partnership with Sorts interaction.
Odey Asset Management, the largest shareholder in Plus500 Ltd, announced it is against accepting Playtech takeover bid for Plus500 because it “materially undervalues” the Israeli trading platform. The company called for Plus500 to seek more bidders.
Bookmaker William Hill has pulled its online services out of Romania due to new regulations in the market.
PokerStars has received provisional licenses from the Spanish gaming regulators and can begin offering sports betting and slots games in the country. PokerStars already holds licenses in Spain to provide poker and casino table games such as roulette and blackjack.
According to a recent report, the online gaming industry remains a significant economic player on the Isle of Man, but steps must be taken to protect the island’s status as a home for the industry.
A gaming expansion bill being drafted the Pennsylvania state Senate would allow racinos to place up to 250 slot machines at off-track betting parlors. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (l.) is one of several racinos that could use their excess slot allowance to expand into new area’s of the state.
As the Bay State’s first casino, Plainridge Park Casino (r.), in Plainville, prepares to roll out next week, voters in the historic whaling town of New Bedford will be voting on whether to support a casino resort there.
Concerns over an unfavorable ruling in the bankruptcy trial of its largest operating unit have sent Caesars Entertainment stock plunging to a 52-week low.
Bill Paulos (l.), one of the owners of Pennsylvania’s Meadows, casino is asking for regulatory changes that will make it easier to court high-end play with comps and perks.
Officials at Petoskey, Michigan-based Rotate Black gave shareholders a look at the company's status. The report said certain financial developments are benefiting the progress of the Hemingway Casino Resort (l.) in Gulfport, Mississippi. Also, its SlotOne subsidiary is successfully serving the $26 billion Native American casino market.
The owners of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem have begun work on a master plan to build out the remainder of the former steel mill (l). It was a pledge made prior to licensing and now the company is coming through.
Gaming revenues from the four casinos in Ohio appear to have leveled off, although the seven racinos continue to see increased profits, perplexing experts who predicted the racinos would be a smaller alternative to the larger casinos.
New Jersey regulators have cleared the way for billionaire Carl Icahn (l.) to take control of Atlantic City Taj Mahal casino. Icahn then quickly warned the city’s main casino workers union that he is ready to close the property if the union is successful in restoring workers benefits that a bankruptcy judge allowed the casino to terminate.
The five casinos in Northwest Indiana showed a revenue increase of nearly 2 percent in May 2015, up from $87.59 million last year to $88.24 million. However, admissions dropped 5.6 percent. Steve Cox, director of admissions for Horseshoe Hammond (l.), said, " Overall, people are not coming out to casinos as much."
Any references to historical racing soon will be removed from the rulebooks of the Texas Racing Commission. A final vote will be taken in August. The commission approved the machines last year but since then lost one of two lawsuits and its budget was nearly eliminated by state Senators.
Alabama lawmakers expect Governor Robert Bentley (l.) to call a special session in August, and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh hopes his proposed constitutional amendment allowing a lottery and four racinos will be included. Bentley recently vetoed the legislature's budget that would have cut $200 million.
Both St. Louis, Missouri-based Isle of Capri Casinos and Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming recently reported excellent quarterly results, sending their share prices upward. The two companies' results beat larger global casino operators.
New Orleans' smoking ban, which went into effect April 22, has caused a decline in revenue of 16 percent for May 2015 versus May 2014, said officials at Harrah's New Orleans Casino (l.). Before the ordinance passed unanimously, Harrah's officials told the city council New Orleans could lose more than $500,000 in sales tax revenue as a result.
Dan Kehl's three Iowa casinos will merge into one operation called Elite Casino Resorts, a ruling that recently was approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (l.) perceived the action as an opportunity for his city to pursue its goal of a state license for a local casino.
A package of bills designed to help Atlantic City’s finances and stabilize its casino tax base were approved by the New Jersey Assembly. The bills create a set payment in lieu of taxes for the city’s casinos in an effort to stop casino tax appeals and fluctuating assessments. The bills will be voted on in the state Senate later this month.
With public safety and millions of dollars at stake, Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones and State Police officers recently toured riverboat casinos in Shreveport-Bossier City to assess flooding on the Red River. It crested above flood stage at 37 feet but the casinos are expected to remain open.
Consultants from Union Gaming Analytics and Cummings & Associates, hired by the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, recently presented their reports regarding the competitors for a state-owned casino in Crawford or Cherokee county: Castle Rock, Kansas Crossing and Camptown Casino. The board will announce its decision on June 23.
Developer Glen Straub and ACR Energy have reached another temporary deal to keep Atlantic City’s closed Revel casino powered, but a long-term solution to the building’s power needs has still not been found.
The owners of Walker's Bluff Winery (l.) in Williamson County have hired a lobbyist to help move legislation allowing a $200 casino resort in southern Illinois. Lawmakers are considering a measure allowing a city-owned Chicago casino, four more in the suburbs and two in the southern part of the state.
Atlantic City officials are pitching the slogan “The Turnaround Begins” to convention planners as the resort doubles down on a new strategy of attracting conventions to the city. Results show conventions are already up significantly in the resort this year. Officials also announced two major conferences for meeting planners to be held in the city.
A federal appeals court said the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians must follow federal labor laws at its Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. But a National Labor Relations Board panel said the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma is a sovereign nation and stated the NLRB has "no special expertise in construing Indian treaties."
The U. S. Department of the Interior recently approved gaming compacts between New Mexico and the Navajo Nation, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, Mescalero Apache Tribe, Pueblo of Acoma and the Pueblo of Jemez, allowing the tribes to operate casinos in the state for another 20 years.
One of Idaho’s gaming tribes, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, is challenging Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s veto of a bill that would have banned instant horse racing machines. The tribe has asked the state Supreme Court to rule on the issue.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy (l.) is expected to sign a bill that will allow the state’s two gaming tribes to seek a host community for a satellite casino that both will operate. The purpose of the legislation is to give the tribes a leg up in resisting a casino challenge from Massachusetts.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has made a ruling that, while not that well known, could have far-reaching ripples on as many as half of the Indian tribes in the U.S., but, from their standpoint, in a good way. The ruling prevents states from fighting casinos by reaching back to challenge fee into trust land rulings.
Derek Schmidt (l.), Kansas attorney general, requested extra time to respond to a brief filed by federal attorneys who want the state to drop its suit against the Quapaw Tribe. The tribe wants to expand its Downstream Casino in Oklahoma to federal trust land in Kansas, currently the casino parking lot.
Governments and organizations in Baraga and Marquette counties in Michigan recently received distributions of more than $280,000 from the Keweenaw Bay Indiana Community. The biannual distributions represent 2 percent of slots profits at the tribe's two Ojibwa Casinos, and are required by its state compact.
In a cost-cutting move, Duluth, Minnesota will use in-house counsel to get the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians tribe to reinstate its payments of 19 percent of annual casino revenue for its Fond-Du-Luth casino (l.). The city has spent nearly $1 million and lost every legal battle against the tribe.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior, Quapaw Tribe Chairman John Berrey said the tribe "has no plans to seek approval to conduct gaming" on land it owns near Little Rock, Arkansas. Berrey said the tract, currently used as farmland, contains Quapaw graves and artifacts.
Shoshone-Bannock tribal voters on the Fort Hall, Idaho reservation recently elected Marcus Coby to replace Business Council Chairman Nathan Small, who served on the council since 2009. Voters also approved liquor sales at the future $35.2 million casino and existing event center. Beer and wine sales were approved in 2012.
Aristocrat Technologies has named Brooks Pierce as managing director of the Americas, where he will lead a renewed focus on the company’s Class III game development and operations.
Penn National gaming has named Bob Sheldon president of Las Vegas operations, and has moved Anthony Marnell, current president of the M Resort, into a strategic consulting role.
Gaming Laboratories International has named IT professional Steve Bonilla as the company’s new engineering development manager.
Seminole Gaming has promoted John R. Eder, formerly senior vice president of finance, to the position of chief financial officer.
Gaming Innovation Group has named Robin Reed as its new chief executive officer, replacing Kjetil Myrlid Aasen, who has left the top position after 12 months.
Aristocrat Technologies premiered its new Carded Mystery jackpot solution at the Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, Maryland.
TCSJohnHuxley has installed tables, custom wheels and number displays, among other equipment, at Galaxy Entertainment Group’s expanded Galaxy Macau and Broadway Macau.
The Downstream Casino resort has installed the Bally CoolSign media-management solution to deliver integrated digital communication and marketing displays.
Traffic Generation has announced new contracts for technology and services with NYX Gaming Group and software company kCura. CEO Andy Caras-Altas (l.) believes the deals are a validation of the company’s technology.
Amaya, Inc. began its listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange as the company benefits from its sale of slot subsidiary Cadillac Jack and faces a Canadian securities investigation.
A three-year deal has been struck by Caesars Entertainment Corporation's Total Rewards Air with Sun Country and Via Airlines. The deal will help Caesars expand to more cities domestically.
When it comes to wanting legalized sports betting on a federal level, Adam Silver (l.), commissioner of the National Basketball Association, is all for it. The same can't be said for Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League.
A less robust growth of world gaming revenues is predicted for next year, according to a report by Global Betting and Gaming Consultants.
On June 4, the 16th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, users of a Chinese internet messaging service found they could not transact any money transfers if they were in the amounts of “64” or “89.” Both numbers are thought to refer to the 1989 protest.
One of the top story lines from the 2015 World Series of Poker surrounded the inaugural Colossus event, with a $565 buy-in and a $5 million guaranteed prize pool. The future of the event is in jeopardy after being run not so smooth. But winner Cord Garcia (l.) is happy when he gets a kiss from his mother.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom