Caesars Bankruptcy Sets Legal Battle

As the largest operating unit of Caesars Entertainment files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to implement a prepackaged restructuring, lower-level creditors attempt to force a second filing in Delaware by accusing Caesars of “plundering” the unit. CEO Gary Loveman (l.) said the plan is in the “best interests” of all the shareholders.

Featured Stories More

WEEKLY FEATURE: Family Affair at Studio City

Batman and other comic-book superheroes have been recruited to draw families to Melco Crown’s new casino in Macau. The company has teamed with Time Warner to open a kid-friendly family entertainment center at its new Hollywood-themed Studio City resort, which will also include Asia’s largest observation wheel. Melco CEO Lawrence Ho (l.) announced the details at a press conference last week.

Macau Cuts Costs to Save Cash

Macau casino operators are looking for ways to trim expenses to account for the historic decline in gaming revenues accompanied by rising employment costs. In 2014, operators raised employee pay by as much as 20 percent in anticipation of new openings on the Cotai Strip (l.).

Four Bidders May Seek Bay State’s Final Casino License

As many as four commercial bidders could be vying for the remaining casino license to be granted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which has set a January 30 deadline for final applications. A new bidder in Somerset is led by longtime Harrah’s executive Dave Hanlon (l.).

Tracy Steps Down at Sands China

Ed Tracy, the president of Sands China, has decided to retire. Tracy was hired by Las Vegas Sands in July 2010, following the debacle with previous president, Steve Jacobs. Tracy is credited for turning around the massive Sands China infrastructure.

SkyCity Convention Center Raises Questions

The operator of the SkyCity Casino Hotel in New Zealand struck a deal to build and operate a convention center for the government in return for keeping more of its gaming profits. Along the way, the design has changed and the cost has risen, from $402 million to $470 million or more.

Alabama Appeals Poarch Band Decision

In its pursuit of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' slot machines in the tribe’s Wind Creek (l.) and other casinos, which it considers illegal, the state of Alabama is appealing a federal district court's claim that the state has no authority in Indian lands. The tribe said its games are just electronic versions of bingo.

Washington Online Poker Bill Introduced

Playing online poker is a felony in just one U.S. state: Washington. But that could change if lawmakers pass H1114, a bill recently introduced by state Rep. Sherry Appleton (l.) that would legalize and regulate online poker. Curtis Woodward of the Washington Internet Poker Initiative, helped draft and is lobbying for the measure.


December gaming revenues in the U.S. weren’t half bad, which is something to say after a year of declining numbers. But will it continue?


Auditors Slam PAGCOR Investments

Philippine auditors are taking the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to task for developing employee condos that didn’t sell, for launching a slot parlor that underperformed, and for other questionable business practices. PAGCOR says it’s working to resolve the problems.

Will Philippines Replace Macau?

As the gaming industry in Macau continues to decline, business in the Philippines is holding steady, according to Resorts World owner mogul Andrew Tan (l.). Tan says there are more than enough “regular customers” to fill his hotels in Manila.

Mega Stars Bets on Marianas

The isle of Tinian in the Marianas Islands may be the site of a new hotel-casino complex. Mega Stars Overseas Ltd.’s Hong Kong parent company has announced it’s thinking about the development, and could team up with a Macau operator to help manage the property.

Naga Exits Buddhist Land

A temporary storage facility belonging to casino developer NagaCorp. has been removed from the site of the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh. Last year the company acknowledged it was interested in acquiring some of the land, a move that angered the faithful.

DiCaprio, De Niro Shill for Packer Casino

Film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro (l.) appear in a promotional ad for James Packer’s new City of Dreams casino in the Philippines. The actors were reportedly paid more than $15 million each for their endorsements. And legendary director Martin Scorsese put it all together. (SEE VIDEO)

Macau on the Hunt for Lawbreakers

In keeping with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s new crackdown on corruption and money laundering in the world’s premier gaming destination, Macau’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak says territorial police will enhance surveillance at casinos and hotels.

Ho Relative Arrested on Prostitution Charges

A nephew of Chinese casino mogul Stanley Ho has been arrested in Macau on charges he was involved in operating a large prostitution ring at SJM Holdings Ltd.’s Hotel Lisboa. Several hotel executives were arrested along with Managing Director Alan Ho.


Cyprus Readies Casino Approval

A bill to allow a casino in Cyprus has been approved by the Council of Ministers and presented to the House of Representatives for enactment.

Bookies Self-Police to Ward Off Regs

British bookmakers have come up with a novel approach to ward off increased government regulations: an all-out campaign against problem gambling. The multimedia campaign is being sponsored by the biggest bookies in the business.


Sri Lankan President Nixes Crown Casino

The election of New Democratic Front candidate Maithripala Sirisena (l.) as president of Sri Lanka could put the brakes on Crown Resorts’ plan for an island casino. Before his victory at the polls, Sirisena vowed to cancel any license promised to the Australian gaming company.

Canberra Vies for Top Spot in Machine Inventory

The Australian capital city of Canberra has more poker machines per adult than any state or territory with the exception of New South Wales. The government’s gaming minister says a new cap on machines will result in “the biggest reduction in history.”


Mississippi Legislator Introduces Online Gaming Bill—Again

The third time could be the charm for Mississippi state Rep. Bobby Moak (l.), who once again introduced a bill legalizing online poker in the state. His proposal would penalize individuals and companies offering illegal online gambling, and players who bet on illegal sites, which drew the displeasure of the Poker Players Alliance.

WSOP and 888 Combine Player Pools in New Jersey

Two of New Jersey’s online poker sites— and 888poker—will team players pools for some tournaments in an experiment designed to increase online prizes and player bases. Though both are partnered with Caesars Entertainment properties in the state, they haven’t shared player pools until now. Pulls Facebook Game will pull its Sportster social betting game off Facebook. The move comes after bwin announced it is seeking to sell its social gaming development studio.

Belgium Cracks Down on Live-dealer Online Casinos

Belgium has announced that it will begin enforcing laws requiring that live dealers at online gambling sites be based in the country, as opposed to being remotely beamed in from abroad. The country—seen as one of the most tightly regulated in the EU—is also working on new rules for offering new casino games.

South Africa Considers Online Gambling Bill

Amendments to South Africa’s online gambling laws are scheduled to be heard in Parliament next month. The bill would legalize, regulate and license online gambling sites.

Ontario Lottery Starts Online Gambling Site

Ontario Lottery and Gaming has launched, a new online gambling sites for province residents that includes casino games such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette, slots and video poker. The site also allows users to purchase lottery tickets online.


Confusion, Anger, Alleged Discrimination Over Fourth NY License

The Gaming Facility Location Board has decided to re-open the bidding process for a fourth New York Casino, but will only accept proposals from the Southern Tier. Tioga Downs (l.) is not only the current front-runner, but also the only casino with a bid planned. While it is still early, other operators will have an opportunity to propose bids. The state's NAACP branch cites discrimination with the bid going to the Southern Tier as opposed to other struggling areas.

S.C. Legislator Wants Casino Referendum

South Carolina voters could determine if the state should end its ban on casinos under legislation pre-filed by state Rep. Todd Rutherford (l.). He proposed that casino revenue go toward repairing roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The Myrtle Beach chamber and conservative legislators strongly oppose casino gambling.

Nevada Regulators Petitioned for Legal Wagering on Olympics

Next week South Point casino boss Michael Gaughan (l.) will meet with Nevada Gaming Board members to go over a proposal, which would allow sports books to accept wagers on Olympic Games. Their petition mentions other countries that currently allow wagering on the Olympics, and claim it's about keeping pace with them. In addition, summer months tend to be the slowest for sports books, and Olympics wagering would boost revenue.

Indiana Riverboats Could Move Ashore

In light of a 13 percent drop in gambling revenue in fiscal 2014, Indiana lawmakers are seeking ways to support the gaming industry while avoiding expanding gambling. Among the considerations are allowing riverboat casinos (Tropicana casino in Evansville, l.) to move ashore, extending a promotional-play tax deduction, replacing the admission tax and allowing live dealers at racinos.

Atlantic City Sees Eighth Straight Yearly Casino Revenue Decline

Revenues for Atlantic City casinos were down 4.5 percent in 2014 capping the eighth straight year of revenue declines and bringing the city down to a total casino revenue level not seen since the 80s. Still, with four casinos closing in the resort in 2014 the results were better than expected. Altogether, the city’s casinos took in $2.74 billion.

Delaware Panel Delays Recommendations

A state panel entrusted with recommending legislative measures to aid Delaware’s struggling racinos has delayed its recommendations to lawmakers.

New Orleans Considers Smoking Ban

A committee of the New Orleans city council recently heard the pros and cons of a smoking ban that would prohibit smoking in most public places, including Harrah's Casino (l.). The committee voted 3-2 to send the measure to the full council, which will review the proposal on January 22.

Atlantic City Race Course Closes

New Jersey’s horseracing industry lost one of its four remaining tracks as Atlantic City Race Course closed its doors last week. Track officials said the track has been losing money for eight years and can no longer operate offering just simulcasting, as opposed to out-of-state tracks that offer slot machines and other gambling.

Deadwood Casinos Want Legislators' Approval

South Dakota voters approved keno, craps and roulette in Deadwood casinos by 57-43 percent. But legislators will have the last word. Some groups hope new lawmakers will help stop the games, but Deadwood Mayor Chuck Turbiville noted most legislators do not like to go against voters' wishes. The new games could debut July 1.

Atlantic City Reaches Deal With County on Casino Tax Plan

Atlantic City has reached a deal on paying county taxes under a proposed tax plan for city casinos. The intergovernmental deal should keep Atlantic County taxpayers outside the city from seeing a tax increase under the casino tax plan, officials said.

New York Racinos Slide in 2014

While the talks about the future of racinos seem to revolve around the three massive casino resorts popping up in 2016, there may be additional concerns to be addressed before even worrying about the competition down the road. While poor weather hurt business early in the year, and the massive November snowstorm in Buffalo didn't help, nearly all racinos showed decreases in net win on the year.

Atlantic City Wants More Sports Events

Atlantic City has formed a new Sports Commission to actively try and bring more sporting events to the city. The move is part of the city’s efforts to diversify its attractions away from casinos and provide mid-week attractions to attract visitors.

Casino Queen Reduces Staff, Hours

Illinois' casino industry is feeling the impact of video gaming in bars and restaurants. For example, the Casino Queen, which opened in 1993, recently laid off 20 workers and cut operating time by two hours. President and General Manager Jeff Watson said, "There is a direct correlation" between video gambling growth and casino revenue declines.

Las Vegas Much Better, but Still Losing

Las Vegas is rebounding, and rebounding quick. However, the 2014 numbers recently released by the Nevada State Gaming Control Board show there is still an uphill battle ahead. While the top casinos reported losses of $1.3 billion in 2013, 2014 saw that number shrink down significantly to $743.7 million. Casinos hope 2015 will see a continuation in record number for revenue.

Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall Scores High for Midsize Venues

Atlantic City’s casino industry had a terrible 2014, but the resort still has some kick in it as its 14,000-seat Boardwalk Hall arena was ranked the second busiest in the country for its size. The hall saw a 26 percent increase in events in 2014.

New York County Miffed at Being Passed Over for a Casino

Officials in Orange County, New York say that their neighborhoods are just as poor and economically distressed as those in the state’s Southern Tier. They don’t like being passed over by the state’s gaming board, which is considering the state’s fourth casino in the Southern Tier.

Federal Grant to Help Atlantic City Workers

Atlantic City has received a $29 million federal grant to help city workers laid off after four casino closings in the city. The grant provides money for worker retraining.

Strip's Restaurant Scene Evolving and Expanding

Everyone knows that Las Vegas is doing their best to appeal to the younger crowd. There may be no better example of that than in the recent restaurants unveiled on the strip. Coincidentally, Shake Shack and White Castle are debuting their own respective franchises west of the Mississippi, both on the strip. Caesars Palace, meanwhile, has revamped their food court to a massive 28,000 square feet.

Las Vegas Council Rejects Stadium Opposition Ballot Question

The proposed $200 Symphony Park stadium, which was to be build in hopes of luring a Major League Soccer expansion team, may be put on hold. Councilman Bob Beers, along with four others, have formed a committee, and put together a petition to add a question to June 2 ballot which asks voters if they want public money to be used for the construction of the stadium.

Connecticut Bingo Profits Down

Profits for bingo in Connecticut has eroded steadily the last two decades, severely cutting into funding for charities, church schools, and municipalities who get a share of the taxes on the activity.

Nevada County in the Black for 2014

Washoe County has reason to celebrate, as they surpassed $30.3 million in profit for 2014. The number, pulled from the Nevada Gaming Abstract 2014, marks a 4,112 percent increase from the $719,420 of profit from 2013. Only casinos with at least $1 million in gross gaming revenue are factored in, while the profits have been spread around to all non-gaming revenue streams.


Acoma, New Mexico Negotiate Compact

New Mexico and the Acoma Pueblo recently reached agreement on a proposed 22-year gambling compact. The current compact, which allows the pueblo to operate the Sky City Casino (l.) 75 miles west of Albuquerque, will expire in June. Like the new Navajo compact, it will increase the revenue sharing percentage.

Potawatomi Will Sue BIA Over Compact

The Forest County Potawatomi said they will sue the Bureau of Indian Affairs over the agency's rejection of a proposed amendment to the tribe's gaming compact. It would hold the state of Wisconsin—and ultimately, the Menominee Nation—responsible for any losses at the Potawatomi's Milwaukee casino (l.), if Governor Walker allows the Menominee's Kenosha casino.

Seminole Compact Renewal Not Guaranteed

Florida legislators are deciding whether to renew the Seminole compact, which expires July 31 and gives the tribe banked card game in return for revenue sharing. Or lawmakers could do nothing and allow destination casinos and parimutuel expansion. Governor Rick Scott (l.), who has the final say on the compact, has not started negotiations this year.

Tribe Benefits Greatly from Overnight Hotel Fees

While many people remain skeptical on what exactly overnight hotel fees go towards, The St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council has proven you can actually do good with the extra money. The tribe is projected to collect $816,000 in fees throughout 2015, which come in at a flat $10 a night fee per hotel room.

Creek Nation Plans Golf-Themed Complex

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation will build a $22 million golf-themed entertainment complex in south Tulsa, directly across the Arkansas River from the tribes River Spirit Casino and Margaritaville development. Located at the RiverWalk Crossing, the project will offer an indoor electronic driving range, family activities, restaurants, sports bar and meeting rooms.

Twin Arrows Casino Opens Arcade

The new arcade at Twin Arrows Casino Resort (l.) in Flagstaff, Arizona offers 15 stations with internet capability, high definition 42-inch monitors and Rocker gaming chairs. Xbox1, Xbox 360, Wii U, Play Station 3 or 4 plus a wide selection of video games are available to rent. Admission is $5 per person, per hour.

Minnesota Lodging Names Treasure Island #1

Owned by the Prairie Island Indian Community, Treasure Island Resort & Casino recently was named Property of the Year by the Minnesota Lodging Association. Opened as a small bingo hall, the property has continuously expanded and now offers a casino, restaurant and buffet, luxury hotel, marina, RV park, cruise ship, events center and bowling alley.


Merkur Names Halle CEO

Gauselmann Group subsidiary Merkur Gaming has named former Novomatic executive Jens Halle as the company’s new chief executive officer.

Suzo Happ Elevates CEO

Suzo Happ promoted President and CEO James Brendel to chairman of the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

AGEM Elects New Officers

AGEM has elected a slate of new officers under the leadership of Konami executive Thomas Jingoli (l.), the organization’s president.


AGA Welcomes FinCEN Guidance

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) last week offered advice on the operations of sports books, and urged further scrutiny of illegal sports betting. The risk of money laundering in the vast, illegal sports betting market is far greater than in the highly regulated, legal gaming industry, says the agency.

Kansas Taps GLI

GLI has signed a new contract with the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission as a certified testing laboratory for the state-owned casino business.

Terrorism Insurance Bill Passes for Las Vegas

Congress recently passed a bill to renew financial protection for casinos due to a terrorist attack. The bill, which would see the government step in to help pay for damages exceeding $200 million, was signed into law by President Barack Obama last week. Most insurance companies would not provide coverage otherwise, and without the insurance, casinos would struggle to obtain loans from banks to rebuild their properties.

Amaya to Divest Cadillac, Diamond Game

Amaya Gaming Group is exploring opportunities to divest B2B assets that include Georgia-based slot manufacturer Cadillac Jack and game producer Diamond Game.


ICE IMGL Master Class Planned

The IGML Master Class is being offered as a free-to-attend seminar on gaming law featuring a roster of international gaming law experts.

Comtrade Arrives at ICE

Comtrade Gaming will showcase solutions based on open platforms for online, mobile and terminal play at the upcoming ICE Totally Gaming show.




Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom