Macau to Back Off Tobacco Ban?

The Macau government may finally be hearing the concerns of casino operators in the SAR. After 13 straight months of decline in the gaming industry, lawmakers have eased up on visa restrictions, and may even reconsider a planned full smoking ban after opposition from SJM director and legislator Angela Leong (l.), the wife of Stanley Ho. Analysts are hopeful that these moves represent a turning of the gaming tide in Macau.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Caesars Close to Restructuring Deal

The second-largest shareholder of Caesars Entertainment is reportedly in talks to salvage the bankruptcy restructuring plan of the company’s largest operating unit. A company controlled by billionaire John Paulson (l.) is leading the effort the save the company from Chapter 7.

888 Set to Win Tussle

Even with a lower offer than rival GVC Holdings, 888 Holdings last week achieved the agreement of the board of director of entertainment to buy the once-dominant iGaming company for $1.4 billion. The difference was apparently more certainty.

Boston: Wynn Knew Of Mob Ties

In a court fight that’s turned downright nasty, new materials released by the city of Boston in its bid to block Wynn Resorts from opening a casino in the suburb of Everett allege the company knew a mob associate would profit from a land deal to secure the site. Steve Wynn vehemently denies that allegation and has threated to sue Boston Mayor Martin Walsh (l.).

Brisbane Poised to Award License

It’s Crown versus Echo for a gaming license in the Queen’s Wharf section of Brisbane (Echo’s design at left). The license could be awarded any time now that the state has released its budget to the public. Packer “going the extra mile.”

Cyprus Casino Approved

The Cyprus parliament has passed legislation approving the Mediterranean island’s first casino resort. Lawmakers voted 29-22 in favor of the law, which they hope will stoke the regional economy. Some of the world’s largest casino companies are reportedly eyeing the development.

Online Poker in California—Maybe in 2016

Another legislative session and another disappointment for backers of online poker in California after Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (l.) threw in the towel. There is still no bill everyone can agree on, and only two months remain before lawmakers adjourn for the year.

Aristocrat Hires Ramsey

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. has named former Multimedia Games CEO Patrick Ramsey to the position of chief digital officer, effective January 1, 2016.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Turning Tide in Macau?

Is the yearlong nightmare that has engulfed Macau over? The share value of gaming companies located there have jumped in the past couple of weeks and good news is finally coming from the government. And how about DFS? What impact will it have on gaming?


Casinos in Coloane? Macau Says No

The government of Macau says it will not approve new casinos in the Coloane section of the territory. A hotel project in the vicinity has created interest in a possible gaming element. But with the city in the 13th month of an historic decline, new gaming seems redundant at best.

Dueling Forecasts for Philippines

Philippine gaming regulator Cristino Naguiat (l.) says gross gaming revenue in the country could rise by as much as 20 percent this year. But some analysts say the Macau slump could prove contagious.

Hai Phong Casino Plan Confirmed

A leading real estate firm in Vietnam has announced plans to develop an $870 million resort off the coast of Hai Phong. The project will reportedly include a casino, golf course, and eventually a casino.

Galaxy Opens Premium Mass

Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. has debuted a new premium mass table games area at its flagship Galaxy Macau resort on the Cotai Strip.

Sky Plaza a Plus for RWG Malaysia

The investment brokerage Maybank Kim Eng has high hopes for Resorts World Genting’s premium mass-focused Sky Plaza casino, set to open in mid-2016.


Anti-FOBT Law No Priority?

A proposed law that would reduce the stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (l.) may not be considered by the UK parliament any time soon, according to reports. FOBTs have been compared to crack cocaine, and are the biggest moneymakers among all betting types in the UK.

Rank Loses £30M VAT Appeal

The UK Supreme Court has tossed out a claim by gaming operator the Rank Group that it overpaid millions of pounds in value added taxes to the government between October 2002 and December 2005.

EU Court to Rule on POC Tax

The legality of the UK’s point of consumption tax has been called into question and will be referred to the European Court of Justice. The tax is imposed on foreign gaming operators.


Sun Int’l Wraps Times Square Plan

South African gaming operator Sun International has finished Phase I of its plan to relocate the Morula Sun Hotel and Casino to Menlyn Maine, despite a legal challenge to its plan to transfer the accompanying gaming license.

Woodbine Casino To Be Ontario's Biggest

Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack will undergo a major expansion, doubling slots and table games and adding a hotel, dining and retail. The plan, approved 25-19 by Toronto city councillors, also will direct casino revenue to a fund helping low-income neighborhoods. Officials in Niagara and Fort Erie protested the Woodbine plan.

Canadian Casino Opening Delayed

The grand opening of Kamloops’ newest casino, the Cascades, has been pushed back to mid-August due to construction delays. The project of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment will replace the Lake City Casino.

Tanzania Lottery to Create 10K Jobs

The Tanzanian national lottery, set to launch in November, will add thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the country, which now derives 3 percent of its GDP from gaming.


Yahoo, Amaya Latest to Offer Fantasy Sports

It seems you can’t go very far without hearing about the Daily Fantasy Sports craze sweeping North America. Two massive internet companies; Yahoo and Amaya Inc., which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, have decided to start up their own DFS services.

FanDuel Gets $275 Million From New Investors

Daily Fantasy sports operator FanDuel has secured about $275 million in new investments and now has a total of $363 million. Major investors include KKR & Co, Time Warner Investments, Turner Sports and Google Capital.

Details Emerge on Canada’s Amaya Gaming Investigation

Canada’s AMF seized computers and records during its investigation of Amaya gaming, according to recently released court details. The regulators launched the investigation into trading of Amaya Inc. stock ahead of its takeover last summer of PokerStars.

Online Gambling Suit in UK Referred to EU Court

A suit by Gibraltar-based online gambling site’s challenging new gambling regulations in the UK has been referred to European Union courts. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association has challenged the UK’s new “point of consumption” tax.

32Red Acquires Roxy Palace Casino

32Red has announced its purchase of Roxy Place for ₤8.4 million. 32Red said it has purchased the customer database, intellectual property rights and other assets of the online site.

666Bet Out of UK

The UK Gambling Commission has confirmed that 666Bet will stop its operations in the UK market after it was reported that parent company Metro Play will fold. The site has been suspended in Britain since March while under investigation by UK regulators.

Unibet Acquires Stan James for £19m

Unibet Group plc will buy the online gambling business of Stan James Group plc together with full rights and ownership of the brand for a reported ₤19 million.

OpenBet Signs Contract with Singapore Pools

OpenBet has signed a seven-year contract with Singapore Pools to provide sports betting products and services. The company hopes to get an exemption in Singapore to allow online sports betting.

Greentube Partners with Genesis

Greentube announced a content agreement with Genesis Software International Ltd., under which Genesis content will be included in Greentube’s online offerings.

Pariplay Launches Stooges Slot Game

Pariplay, in partnership with C3 Entertainment, owner of the rights to the Three Stooges brand, has developed a new online slot game based on the legendary comedy team.


It’s Official: No Casino Expansion Vote in New Jersey this Year

New Jersey Senate President Steven Sweeney (l.) has confirmed that a referendum to allow casinos to expand beyond Atlantic City in the state will not go before New Jersey voters this November. Several competing proposals have clouded a chance at a consensus plan, leaving lawmakers to now shoot for a 2016 referendum.

Moody’s: U.S. Gaming Stabilizing

Moody’s Investment Service has raised its rating of the gaming industry from negative to stable, citing rising revenue, cost-cutting and fewer new casinos.

Detroit Casinos Restore the Roar

The three casinos in Detroit have all experienced a great first half of 2015, showing overall growth of 4.8 percent in revenue over 2014. The largest increase was seen by MotorCity Casino Hotel, which showed a growth of 5.4 percent.

Court Ruling to Delay New York Casino

A ruling has been handed down by the Fourth Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court in Rochester, which will delay the construction of the Lago casino (l.). It was found that the developers circumvented proper procedures to ensure the property would have no negative environmental impacts.

Mirage Volcano Tamed

The free volcano show seen outside the Mirage will cut the shows from every half hour between dusk and midnight to just two shows a night between Sunday and Thursday, with three on Friday and Saturday. The company will look at how much money and energy will be saved, in addition to consumer reaction.

Atlantic City Casino Tax Plan Still Undecided

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has yet to act on a package of bills that would set a fixed payment in lieu of taxes for Atlantic City casinos. The delay comes as reports say an emergency financial manger appointed by Christie to oversee Atlantic City’s finances wants changes to the bill.

Senator: Alabamians Ready For Gambling Vote

Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said citizens are "ready" to vote on gambling. He introduced in the current special session a constitutional amendment to let voters approve a lottery and casinos. Governor Robert Bentley called the session early to avoid giving gambling proponents time to mobilize public opinion.

Mandalay Bay and Monte Carlo Receive Upgrades

MGM Resorts International continues to make moves, this time by investing $100 million in upgrades for its 3,211 rooms at Mandalay Bay (l.), and the addition of a 5,000-seat theater at the Monte Carlo. MGM Resorts did not disclose how much the theater will cost.

Atlantic City’s Casinos See 5.5 Percent Revenue Increase for June

Atlantic City’s surviving eight casinos saw a revenue bump of 5. 5 percent in June over 2014. But, counting three casinos that closed since June 2014, the city’s overall revenue was down 8.2 percent. Still, the numbers continue to indicate that the downsizing of the market has helped the remaining casinos.

Top Wynn Shareholder Jumps Ship

The former largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd. Stock, T. Rowe Price Group, has sold off more than 12 million shares of stock since April, leaving the company with just a 4.6 percent stake in the company, down from a peak of 16.8 percent.

University Can Seek New Buyer for Atlantic City’s Showboat

An Atlantic County Superior Court Judge will allow Stockton University to look for another buyer for the former Showboat casino in Atlantic City. The judge, however, also gave time to developer Glenn Straub—who had previously agreed to buy the property—to show cause why the school should be held to its agreement to sell the property to him.

Twin River Completes Buy of Newport Grand

Twin River has completed its purchase of rival Newport Grand and plans to move its license to a larger venue proposed for a town not far away. For now, Newport Grand and its jobs are safe, Twin River says. But the fate of the new casino rests with the state’s voters.

Atlantic City Sees Rise in Conventions, Hotel Bookings

Atlantic City’s convention business is up through the first six months of the year with hotel bookings related to conventions up 37 percent. The city is trying to increase convention business in the wake of falling casino revenue.

Roulette, Keno, Craps Come To Deadwood

On July 1, craps, roulette and keno officially came to casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota. Craps are stirring up the most excitement, said David Schneiter, general manager at Cadillac Jack's Gaming Resort. And the four roulette wheels in town are among the first in the U.S. with a unique new design.

MGM Maryland Revenue to Aid Schools

The Prince George’s County Council in Maryland has voted to reserve half of all gaming revenue tax generated by the new MGM National Harbor to public schools.

Northwest Indiana Casino Revenue Drops Again

Northwest Indiana's five casinos posted revenue declines of 3 percent, from $78.5 million in June 2014 to $76.2 million in June 2015. January through June, revenue increased 0.3 percent to $493.8 million. Horseshoe Hammond General Manager Dan Nita (l.) blamed the "general softness" on the proliferation of non-casino slots in Illinois.

Tax Breaks Lure Call Center Jobs to Atlantic City

With thousands of recently laid off casino workers in the area, New Jersey has used economic development tax breaks to lure a call center business to Atlantic City creating 300 jobs. Officials for the company said the availability of the former workers was a factor in their decision to locate in the resort.


Senate Panel To Take Up Indian Gaming

U.S. senators will be weighing in on the state of tribal gaming in a hearing scheduled for later this month. The occasion is the release of a GAO report critical of regulatory oversight of the industry, and it’s expected the National Indian Gaming Commission will be in for a rough time in the first hearing chaired by Wyoming Republican John Barrasso (l.).

Tohono O'odham Lawsuit Hearing Set For September 4

Federal District Court Judge David Campbell will hear arguments September 4 in the Tohono O'odham Nation's lawsuit against the state of Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich (l.) and state Gaming Department Director Daniel Bergin. The tribe wants the court to tell Bergin to “quit playing politics" with its $400 million casino under construction in Glendale.

New Mexico, Tribe Locked In Fight Over Revenue Share

Thirteen Indian tribes have agreed to a 2 percent increase in New Mexico’s share of their gaming revenues. But the tiny Pueblo of Pojoaque have not. The state says their casino is illegal and wants it closed. The tribal council (at left, led by President Joseph Talachy) refuses and has vowed to fight.

Tribes Subject to Affordable Care Act, Court Says

Wyoming’s Northern Arapaho Indians object to new federal rules that apply certain coverage obligations to tribes under the Affordable Care Act. But their attempt to overturn them in the courts has not met with success.

A Casino For Recently Recognized Pamunkeys?

All eyes are on the Pamunkey Indian tribe of Virginia, which recently received federal recognition. Will the 208-member tribe open a casino? Acting Chief Bob Gray said, "We haven’t put anything on or off the table." Virginia is one of just 10 states without a casino.

Seminole Dilemma Clouds Florida Revenue Forecasts

With the banked-cards provision of the Seminole compact ending this month, Florida economists are unable to prepare revenue forecasts. The tribe gave the state $1 billion over five years in exchange for exclusive rights to banked card games. Now the state faces mediation or a lawsuit if the situation goes unresolved.


New Leader Takes Over LIGHT Program

The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at Stockton University in New Jersey has named Rummy Pandit as executive director.

Noel Hayden steps down as Gamesys CEO

Founder and CEO of Gamesys Noel Hayden will step down as CEO and become executive chairman of Gamesys Group. The company’s COO Lee Fenton will take over as CEO.

Charles Hiten Named Merkur MD

Charles Hiten has been named managing director of Merkur Gaming Americas, replacing the late Jens Halle as the company seeks to enter the North American market.


VGT Launches Oklahoma WAP

VGT will launch its first-ever wide-area progressive slot, Mr. Money Bags Easy Money Jackpot, in casinos across Oklahoma this week.

Yellow Brick Road Picks Synkros

The Oneida Indian Nation’s Yellow Brick Road Casino in upstate New York has selected the Synkros casino management system.

Orenes Grupo Chooses JCM Global

The Orenes Grupo Casino Division has named JCM Global as its preferred supplier of bill validators for its casinos in Spain and Mexico.

DEQ, Talisman Settle Lawsuit

DEQ Systems and Talisman Group announced a joint settlement of the lawsuit filed by Talisman over the DEQ EZ Baccarat brand and solutions.

Elexus Chooses Interblock

Interblock will install its 24-station Diamond Roulette game at the new Elexus Hotel Resort Casino in Cyprus, in the game’s first installation on the island.

Machine Zone Coming to Las Vegas

The company known for creating the mobile app “Game of War: Fire Age,” will open an office in Southern Nevada. It will also make $50 million in investments in the state, primarily through the purchase of 4,000 servers.


Sydney to Host Australasian Expo

The Australasian Gaming Expo will take place at the Sydney Exhibition Centre August 11-13, featuring more than 165 exhibitors.

G2E Asia 2015 Set Records

This year’s G2E Asia tradeshow logged the largest attendance in the trade event’s history, according to producer Reed Exhibitions.




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