Echo Edges Crown in Brisbane

Some last-minute forecasts had Crown Resorts winning Brisbane’s second casino license. They were wrong. Echo Entertainment Group Ltd., which already holds a license in the city, now will have the market to itself. This follows a win for Crown, which received approval to build a casino resort in Sydney, where Echo currently enjoys a monopoly.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: For GLPI, Second Time’s a Charm

The offer Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. made to acquire Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.’s real estate assets has been accepted by Pinnacle. The transaction will be for $4.75 billion in all stock. The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2016. GLPI Chairman Peter Carlino (l.) calls Pinnacle a “leading gaming operator.”

Bahamas PM to Take Over Baha Mar

Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie (l.) says he will take over Baha Mar, an unfinished multibillion-dollar casino resort in the capital city of Nassau. The $3.5 billion Baha Mar project is now in bankruptcy. Christie calls it a matter of “utmost national importance.”

Caesars Lawsuits Can Go Forward

The judge in the bankruptcy case of Caesars Entertainment’s largest operating unit has ruled that lawsuits against the operator can go forward during the case, threatening the company’s restructuring plan. Caesars’ shares plummeted by more than 50 percent in reaction to the ruling.

Massachusetts Casino Developer Drops Out

The casino landscape in Southeastern Massachusetts underwent a massive earthquake last week as KG Urban abruptly pulled out of its proposal to build a casino resort in New Bedford (rendering at left). It cited the difficulty in attracting enough capital. The group had partnered with Connecticut’s Foxwoods.

888 Lands for £900m

888 Holdings has won the bidding war for in a deal valued at just under ₤900 million. 888 outbid GVC Holdings, which was partnered with Amaya Gaming. Though GVC had a higher bid, apparently chose 888 for the takeover due to a more experienced management team, including Brian Mattingley (l.), who said the deal was “all about scale.”

Ladbrokes and Gala Coral About to Merge

A multi-billion merger of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral is imminent, according to reports with former HBOS chief Andy Hornby set to be named COO of the new Ladbrokes Coral plc. The combination of the two companies ‎will create a business with roughly 4000 betting shops, many of which will likely have to be sold to meet gaming competition regulations.


The conditions that face every CEO is different, particularly in the gaming industry. Those conditions usually determine the success of the CEO’s strategy. Pinnacle’s Anthony Sanfilippo (l.) has made the most of his tenure as CEO as evidenced by last week’s real estate sale to GLPI.


Vietnam Resort Extends RFC Deadline

Strong interest in gaming in Vietnam has led Laguna Lang Co. to extend its Request for Concepts deadline to September 15. Phase I of the development in Thua Thien-Hue is complete. The resort may eventually add gaming.

Macau Shares Up, Decline Drags On

Some analysts say a rise in Macau casino stock values is just a blip in an ongoing downward trajectory. Optimists say the Chinese casino hub could be preparing for a rebound—eventually.

Vietnam Casino Targets Chinese

It will be tourists-only when it comes to gambling at a new casino planned for Vietnam. The $870 million resort, which will be developed on the resort island of Hai Phong, will be open only to foreigners.

Macau Tops in GGR

Despite the gaming slump in Macau, the Chinese territory is still No. 1 in gross gaming revenues, according to a new report. But the United States remains the largest casino market in the world.

Gaming Up in Cambodia

The Cambodian government has reaped $12 million in gaming taxes in the first half of 2015. That’s a 20 percent year-over-year increase in a country where the number of casinos has risen from 57 to 65. The owners of NagaWorld (l.) in Phnom Penh expect to report a 40 percent increase in profits.

Sands Docs Remain Under Seal

Records that could prove an alleged link between Sands China and Macau’s underworld triads will not be made public, according to news reports. A Nevada judge cited sensitive information in the Vickers reports.

Former Hu Aide Arrested

Ling Jihua, a top aide and confidante of former Chinese President Hu Jintao (l.), has been arrested on corruption charges. Ling has been stripped of his Communist Party membership and removed from power.

Genting HK Expects Record Net

Genting Hong Kong says it expects to post a record-setting year-on-year net profit of not less than $2.1 billion for the first half of 2015. The boost is attributable in part to asset sales.


UK Government Rejects FOBT Limits

Calls from councils throughout England and Wales were unheeded by the UK government, which has rejected a plan that would reduce maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting machines from £100 to £2.

British Affluent Most Likely to Gamble

The most affluent members of U.K. society are now the largest group of gamblers, according to a report from the U.K.’s Gambling Commission. This group includes doctors, corporate executives and other professionals.

Did Mafia Launder Billions in Italy?

Law enforcement in Italy has seized assets worth €2 billion (US$2.2 billion) in raids on gambling operations. Betting shops, gaming websites and other firms are alleged to have laundered vast amounts of cash.

Svenska Spel: Swedish Market ‘Uncontrolled’

The CEO of Swedish state-owned lottery Svenska Spel followed the announcement of year-on-year revenue losses with a statement that he is concerned about “uncontrolled” development in the sector.


Is Havana the Next Macau?

With the U.S.-Cuba embargo at an end, the gaming industry may be looking at the island as a potential casino destination. In the pre-Castro era, Havana was known as an international gaming capital.

Falls Mayor: Woodbine Expansion Bad for Casinos

The mayor of Niagara Falls, Canada, fears the city’s share of gaming revenues at Falls properties including Fallsview (l.), could be cut drastically if Ontario proceeds with plans to expand gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.

More than Two Dozen Casinos for Mexico

The president of Mexico’s gaming regulatory body ASPJAC has announced that 25 new casinos will be developed in the country. The total investment will reach $300 million to $375 million, according to reports.

Brazil OKs Draft Sports Betting Bill

Brazil’s Senate has approved draft legislation that would create a regulatory framework for fixed-odds sports betting. The legislation must also be OK’d by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

AUSTRAC v. Tabcorp

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the country’s anti-money laundering agency, has filed a civil action against Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., accusing the firm of inadequate compliance.

Dominican Republic Welcomes Royal Fortunes

National celebrities are generating excitement over the kick-off of Shoutz Inc.'s Royal Fortunes online lottery and games platform in the Dominican Republic. Offerings include those of the government-sponsored Lotería Nacional, the nation's largest and most popular lottery.


Time Running Out on California iPoker

The sands are running out for a bill that would legalize iPoker in California. Various interest groups can’t agree on details of the bill, and seem unlikely to compromise before the September 11 deadline to pass a bill in the legislature. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (l.) said he may hold hearings in August.

Federal Online Gaming Study Rumored

Several reports have surfaced that House Republicans are considering asking for a federal study on online gambling to delay voting on an online gambling ban until after the 2016 presidential election. However, the study could also keep new states from starting online gambling in the meantime.

Mohegan Sun Launches Online Gambling Site in New Jersey

Mohegan Sun has become the latest casino to launch online gambling in New Jersey through a partnership with Atlantic City’s Resorts casino. Mohegan runs Resort’s land-based operations as well. The site offers casino and table games, but not online poker.

Delaware iGaming Bottoms Out

Delaware reported revenues from internet gaming in June that were the lowest since online gaming in the state was launched in November 2013.

PokerStars Readies Daily Fantasy Sports Launch

Online giant PokerStars is preparing to enter the quickly growing daily fantasy sports industry. The company appears to be shooting for a September launch, in time for the NFL season.

Playtech Chooses LogNetBilling's MaxBill

Playbill, the world’s largest Omni-Channel gaming software and services supplier, announced it will implement LogNetBilling's MaxBill solution for B2B billing. The move will allow Playtech to expand the business capacity of its billing and reconciliation processes. Playtech's 120-plus global licensees include gaming and betting giants such as Ladbrokes, Betfair, William Hill and SkyBet.

Spin Games Live in New Jersey

Spin Games has gone live with interactive HTML5 slot games online in New Jersey at the internet casino.

Romo-backed Fantasy Football Expo Sues NFL

The organizers of a fantasy football expo scheduled for Las Vegas and backed by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (l.) are suing the NFL. The organizer say the NFL originally backed the event, but then threatened players who has signed on to support the event with fines and suspensions. Romo is not party to the suit.

Fa Fa Fa Goes Mobile

Aristocrat and International Game Systems have developed a software application to make the popular slot platform Fa Fa Fa available on mobile devices.

SkillOnNet Launches Evolution Live Games

SkillOnNet has rolled out live casino table games on the casino mobile platform of Evolution Gaming, offering mobile access to live blackjack, baccarat and hold ‘em.

Betway Partners with Screach

A partnership has been announced between UK bookmaker Betway and entertainment and cloud-based platform Screach. The deal will give Betway exclusive advertising rights in the first 1,000 UK pubs that sign up for service from Screach.

DraftKings Partners With Staples Center

Daily fantasy sports site DraftKings has struck a deal to become the exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The deal includes the building of a fantasy sports bar and lounge at the arena.

Full Tilt Presents NYX Gaming’s OGS

Full Tilt, the online gaming brand, will offer hundreds of casino games in mobile and desktop formats thanks to an agreement with NYX Gaming Group to feature its Open Gaming System. The deal covers the licensing of games produced by NYX's Next Gen Gaming proprietary games studio, plus various third-party content.

Odey Drops Opposition in Plus500 Sale to Playtech

Crispin Odey dropped his opposition to the $715 million sale of Plus500 Ltd. to Playtech Plc, which has been approved by the company’s investors. Odey had said the deal “materially undervalues” the Israeli trading platform.


MGM Resorts Scouting Atlanta

MGM Resorts International officials recently toured property in downtown Atlanta as a possible location for a proposed $1 billion casino-resort, possibly at Turner Field (l.) in downtown Atlanta. Gambling is illegal in Georgia and Atlanta is one of the few major U.S. cities without a casino, but a constitutional amendment proposed by state Rep. Ron Stephens could change that.

VictoryLand Seeks Slot Return, Poarch Seeks Gaming Monopoly

On August 4, Montgomery County Circuit Judge William A. Shashy will hear Alabama's appeal of his June ruling that the state was "cherrypicking" when it closed VictoryLand Casino (l., the Oasis hotel at VictoryLand) for offering electronic bingo machines. Meanwhile, the Poarch Band is suggesting it can solve the state’s budget problem if it receives gaming exclusivity.

Ruffin Purchases Kansas City's Woodlands

Following the Kansas Senate's passage of a bill allowing the Woodlands racetrack in Kansas City, closed since 2008, to offer horseracing and slots, Wichita native Phil Ruffin (l.), owner of Treasure Island in Las Vegas, purchased the 400-acre property. Ruffin, who also owns two other shuttered Kansas racetracks, said reopening the Woodlands would create 500-700 jobs.

Nugget Boosting Louisiana Gaming Revenue

Louisiana gaming regulators said the eight-month-old, $700 million Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles helped boost state gaming revenue in May by 19.3 percent to $179 million—the best month since the state legalized casinos in 1991. Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta said his regional casino is "a first-class product for the everyman."

Some Call for Escape From New York

The Second Circuit Court has sent down a ruling which has temporarily halted construction of the Lago Resort and Casino (l.). The ruling said that the town of Tyre did not go through proper environmental quality tests as part of the application process.

Hard Rock Sioux City Increases Iowa Revenue

For fiscal 2015, Iowa's 18 state-licensed casinos took in $1.42 billion, up $27 million over fiscal 2014, when revenues dropped 4 percent. Officials credit Hard Rock Sioux City, which opened August 2014, generating $70 million in revenues through June 30. Greene County's new Wild Rose Casino will add to next year's numbers.

Hilton Casino in Puerto Rico Closes

The Condado Plaza Hilton in Puerto Rico, which opened in 1975, has closed. The closing marks seven casinos in the past five years to have shuttered their doors.

Atlantic City Waterpark Plan Gains an Approval

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has approved plans to turn the closed Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City into a family entertainment center and non-casino hotel. Plans include an 81,000-sqaure-foot waterpark.

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.

Study: Illegal Operators Licensed For Illinois Video Gambling

The Illinois Gaming Board issued video gambling licenses to several people associated with crime and illegal gambling, according to a recently Chicago Tribune investigation. Former Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe blamed insufficient funding and said things will get worse to due budget cutbacks.

Atlantic City Union Wins Round in Court Against Taj Mahal

A federal judge has ruled that Atlantic City’s main casino workers union did not violate bankruptcy law when it urged event clients of the Taj Mahal to boycott the casino while a labor dispute was underway. Meanwhile, the union has also voted to authorize a strike against the casino should the union lose its case to restore health benefits to workers at the casino, according to Local 54 President Bob McDevitt (l.).

Cripple Creek Casinos Offer 24/7 Liquor Sales

Casinos in Cripple Creek, Colorado now may offer liquor sales around the clock, following a recent vote of approval by the city council. Police Chief Mike Rulo said he does not expect additional problems due to the change. Two casinos in Black Hawk began 24/7 alcohol sales earlier this month.

New Jersey Bill Would Lift Showboat Deed Restriction

Legislation scheduled to be introduced in New Jersey would lift conflicting deed restrictions on the closed Showboat casino that has muddled a sale of the property. The bill would lift such deed restrictions on land in the Atlantic City Tourism Zone owned by a public entity. Showboat was purchased by Stockton University, a state school.

Non-Players Can't Park Free in Cincinnati

It seems non-casino players increasingly were taking advantage of free parking at the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati garage. As a result, people who live in, work in and visit downtown Cincinnati now must pay $10 to park at the garage from 6:30-10:30 a.m. on weekdays. Total Rewards cardholders may park free any time.

Florida Parimutuel Proposals Draw Complaints

For the third time in three years, a Florida regulatory panel held a hearing on controversial new parimutuel proposals. The bulk of the new rules focus on rodeo-style barrel facing and flag drop races offered at Gretna Racing. Horse owners and breeders strongly oppose the events as parimutuel activities.

Downtown Biloxi Development Continues

Interest in development is increasing in downtown Biloxi following last month's opening of the new MGM Park baseball stadium (l.). Barrington Development, which is turning the former Casino Magic into a resort and water park, is transforming City Place into a multi-use development and changing a nearby apartment complex into a luxury hotel.

New Jersey Sought Takeover of Atlantic City's Assets

A plan to have the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs takeover Atlantic City’s public assets was floated by the state, including provisions to punish the city if it did not cooperate. The state, however, says a memo detailing the plan should not have been released.

Illinois Lawmakers Discuss Gaming Revenue

Illinois lawmakers are meeting in Springfield in an overtime session to consider ways to fill the state's critical budget shortfall. Gaming revenue could be "part of a solution," said Illinois state Rep. Bob Rita (l.), who previously has sponsored expanded gambling measures. Governor Bruce Rauner indicated he might consider gaming revenue to help fund government pensions.

South Florida Casino Revenue Up 5 Percent

Slot revenue at South Florida's eight pari-mutuels rose 5 percent, from $497 million to $521.6 million, in the recently ended fiscal year. The Isle Casino in Pompano Beach posted revenue of $145.6 million, a $12 million increase and more than double the business of six other casinos.

Judge Turns Down Illinois Racetrack's Request

Racetracks owned by John Johnston, among others, lost their bid to not have to pay $80 million to four casinos that were taxed under a conspiracy by the tracks and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (l.). U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly ruled the evidence in the 2014 trial supported a plot to “improperly influence Blagojevich.”

Hard Rock Sioux City Noise Draws Complaints

Despite Hard Rock Sioux City's $1.4 million sound system, designed to minimize sound impact, the Sioux City police department recently received 29 complaints during an outdoor concert at the casino. General Manager Todd Moyer said Hard Rock management will meet with sound engineers to fix the problem.

Victory Celebrates 4th Year At Port Canaveral

Victory Casino Cruises held a special celebration July 25 honoring four years of operations from Port Canaveral, Florida. In that time the floating Vegas-style casino has generated more than $12 million for Port Canaveral and created 500 jobs. It offers more than 600 slots, 27 table games, sportsbook, bingo, café and live entertainment.


NIGC Chairman Faces Senate Hearings Alone

Jonodev Chaudhuri is pretty much a one-man band on the National Indian Gaming Commission. Currently he is running the commission on his own, which regulates the Indian gaming industry. There are normally three NIGC members.

California Tribe Tries to Reopen Casino

Despite infighting among groups claiming to be the legitimate tribal authority, members of California’s Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians are redoubling efforts to reopen the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. The casino was closed in October, when an armed raid by a tribal faction led to the state and federal governments ordering its closure.

Quapaws Would Sign No-Casino Agreement

Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Chairman John L. Berrey (l.) said he's would sign an agreement that the tribe will not build a casino on land it owns near Little Rock, Arkansas. Others tribes don’t buy it and want the land taken away from the Quapaws.

Tribe Sues New Jersey for Blocking Official Recognition

The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation has filed a civil rights lawsuit against New Jersey’s attorney general saying the state is trying to strip the tribe of its official recognition as an American Indian tribe. The suit charges that the state erroneously thinks the tribe wants to open a casino.

Casinos Driving Tulsa Convention Appeal

Along with the redevelopment of its downtown, Tulsa's casinos are helping to boost convention business and tourism. Expansion and construction are surging for hotels and casinos, including the Creek Nation's $365 million expansion and rebranding of its River Spirit Casino into a Margaritaville resort.

Pueblo Claims State Interference

In New Mexico, the Pojoaque Pueblo filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state, the governor and the gaming control board. The pueblo wants the court to block those officials from taking action against vendors that service the Pojoaque's two casinos, which are still open although the pueblo's state gaming compact expired.

Tribe's Economic Diversity Sets Example

The 3,600-member Lac du Flambeau tribe in Wisconsin's Lac du Flambeau Business Development Corporation to provides economic diversification for tribe members, because revenue from its Lake of the Torches Resort Casino could go up or down. The corporation owns a construction company and an internet lending and call center among other ventures.

4 Bears Casino Launches Expansion

Construction is in progress on three expansion projects at 4 Bears Casino near New Town, North Dakota. The grand ballroom, which will hold 400 people, and the new slot room, which will allow smoking, will be completed this month. The 85,000 square foot, 4,000-person event center will open in July 2016.

Report Cites Arizona As Regulatory Example

A recent report named Arizona as one of seven states that takes an active regulatory role in Indian gaming and oversight, and one of six states accounting for 60 percent of all Indian gaming revenue generated in 2013. The General Accountability Office report reviewed gaming regulation effectiveness over the past 25-plus years.


Minnesota Lottery: Don’t Expect Repeat Record Sales

The Minnesota Lottery sold a record-breaking $547 million in tickets—up from $532 in 2014--in the recently ended fiscal year, generating $135.3 million for the state. However those numbers may not be seen again since the legislature banned ticket sales through the internet, gas pumps and ATMs beginning in September.

Kansas Lottery Reports Record Highs

In the fiscal year just ended, the Kansas Lottery reported a record-breaking $155 million in lottery and casino revenues. Total revenues at the three state-owned casinos in Kansas City, Mulvane and Dodge City reached $365 million, and traditional lottery ticket sales increased 2.2 percent to $264 million.


Evans Retiring At Churchill Downs

Effective September 30, Robert Evans will step down as executive chairman of the board of directors and as a member of management at Churchill Downs Inc. During Evans' nine-year tenure, Churchill Downs grew significantly and invested nearly $1.8 billion in new events and improvements, advanced-deposit wagering, casino acquisitions and online gaming.

Chaszar New GM At Tropicana Evansville

Tropicana recently named John Chaszar as general manager at Tropicana Evansville in Indiana. Most recently Chaszar was general manager at Hollywood Casino in Riverside, Missouri. He also served as general manager at Hollywood's Baton Rouge and St. Louis properties, and spent 16 years with Hilton Hotels.

MGM Exec Makes Successful Meetings' List

Michael Dominguez, senior vice president and chief sales officer at MGM Resorts International, has been named to Successful Meetings' list of the "25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry for 2015." Dominguez oversees sales strategies for the convention, leisure and transient segments for MGM Resorts International.

Wolstenholme Steps Down From Grand Sierra Resort

Grand Sierra Resort COO Steve Wolstenholme announced his resignation, effective in mid-August, and will leave for an executive position in the Asia gaming market. Wolstenholme has over 30 years in the gaming industry.

Merkur Adds Executives

Merkur Gaming, as part of a management reorganization, has named Athanasios lsaakidis as senior director of international sales and Stefan Bruns as head of product management.

Betfair CEO Gets £10 Million Bonus

Betfair Chief Executive Breon Corcoran received a pay package worth £11.6m last year after Betfair paid out a £10m golden hello signing bonus he was granted when he joined the company three years ago.


Meadows Launches ‘Go Fore It!’

The Pittsburgh-area Meadows casino, along with Scientific Games, launched a table game developed by two local inventors called “Go Fore It!”

Churchill Downs Calls Its Bluff

Bluff Magazine has ceased publication. Introduced in October 2004 at the start of the poker boom, Bluff focused on lifestyle and tournaments instead of strategy. Churchill Downs bought Bluff in 2012. But as online gaming progress lags in the U.S., Bluff 's fortunes declined—although it could be revived pending national and statewide regulation.

BMM Initiative Aids Tribal Efforts

Through its Next Generation Initiative, BMM Testlabs, the leading gaming testing laboratory and consultants, recently made donations to several Native American organizations and participated in numerous tribal events. The goal is to provide financial and educational support to Native American youth, health and education.

Princess Picks TCSJohnHuxley

Princess Casinos International has put in a large order for table-game sorting and shuffling equipment with London-based TCSJohnHuxley.

WestSpiel Picks Konami

Konami Gaming has launched its Advantage 5 line of mechanical-reel slots and SeleXion multi-games at WestSpiel’s new Casino Aachen.


IGT Reveals OIGA Products

International Game Technology has detailed the products it will display at this week’s Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Convention and Trade Show.

GLI to Hold OIGA Training Seminar

Gaming Laboratories International’s GLI University will conduct a Regional Regulators Training Seminar at this week’s Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association conference.


It Hertz

Hertz Global Holdings, in a filing with the SEC, blamed new Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora (l.) for accounting failures while he was Hertz CEO.

Tribal Education

Tribal sovereignty, national labor law and its relation to tribes, and tribes’ inherent ability to conduct gaming were subjects of discussion last week as the National Indian Gaming Association hosted members of Congress in the nation’s capitol.

Indiana Governor Playing Games

Card games played at senior centers are safe from shutdown, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (l.) said last week. Rumors that euchre clubs would be halted state gaming commission were untrue, but prizes for winners were nixed just in case.




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