Global Cash Access and its recently acquired subsidiary Multimedia Games announced that the combined company will now be called Everi Holdings, Inc. The new company blends the payment skills of GCA with the innovative slot expertise found at MM Games. CEO Ram Chary will ring the opening bell at the NYSE on August 24.
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Australian billionaire James Packer (l.) responded to plummeting casino profits in Macau by resigning as chairman of Crown Resorts. Packer will stay on as a board member, and says the company is still his “No. 1 business priority and passion.” His role with Asian casino developer Melco Crown will be unchanged.
A casino resort at the Indianapolis airport is a possibility, according to Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts, which operates a marginally successful riverboat casino in southern Indiana. Full House Chief Executive Officer Dan Lee (l.) says the resort would be “unique.”
More than 30 operators are in the race for a casino license in South Korea. Among them: Kolon Global, Grand Korea Leisure and even the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, which wants to develop a resort at a Seoul fish market. LOCZ Korea, a consortium that wants to build a casino on Yeongjongdo Island (l.), includes Caesars Entertainment.
Sarkis Izmirlian (l.), CEO of the stalled $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort project in the Bahamas, was called “anti-Bahamian” by the local paper and threatened with deportation by the government.
GVC Holdings Plc announced it is in final talks with bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc on its last bid for the company in hopes it can persuade the online-gaming company to dismiss a lower bid it accepted from 888 Holdings Plc.
Los Angeles-based Realty Group International has put together a casino proposal package and will bid on a recently approved gaming license in southern Cyprus. The casino resort will be the first ever for the country.
In a letter to Nevada’s congressional delegation, the American Gaming Association and Nevada Resorts Association urged lawmakers to educate candidates on the benefits of gaming. AGA President Geoff Freeman (l.) and NRA President Virginia Valentine wrote that gaming is the lifeblood of Nevada’s economy.
Derek Stevens and his brother Greg have purchased the Las Vegas Club on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. The brothers already own the Golden Gate and the D Las Vegas on the same street. Former owner Tamares Group plans to concentrate on operating the Plaza hotel at the foot of Fremont.
Just because Chinese high rollers have backed off Macau doesn’t mean they’re going to magically appear in other jurisdictions. In fact, the numbers show that VIP gaming from China has dipped across the board. So what’s that mean for Asia?
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Kevin Ortzman, President, Caesars Atlantic City/Bally’s Atlantic City
This week, the GGB Podcast features Kevin Ortzman, the president of Caesars and Bally’s in Atlantic City, on how his properties have responded to the difficult operating conditions on the Boardwalk.
The government of Macau is conducting a 60-day public poll to determine if it will move ahead with a smoking ban in the city’s casinos. Analysts have said implementing the ban could result in a 10 percent drop in revenues in the market, which is already reeling from a 14-month slump. Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam (l.) says he will keep an “open mind.”
The Japanese government plans to regulate transactions involving bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The move follows the investigation of a Tokyo bitcoin exchange CEO who was arrested for allegedly manipulating a bitcoin in his favor.
Law enforcers in Heilongjiang Province, China raided the headquarters of an alleged international gambling ring involving a website in the Philippines that attracted bettors from the mainland. At the site, police seized more than 80 million yuan (US$12.9 million) in cash.
The Macau junket operator has announced that rolling chip turnover was down 72 percent year-on-year for the month of July. Turnover of VIP business was about US$0.44 billion compared to US$1.60 billion during the same period last year.
The Chinese government is cracking down on junket operators trying to lure Mainland Chinese gamblers to Asian markets including South Korea and the Philippines. Operation Chain Break is on the lookout for South Korean agents working in major Chinese cities.
The government of Czechoslovakia is looking to crack down on gambling with a number of initiatives. The plan, which could begin in 2017, includes restrictions on 24-hour gambling bars, obligatory pauses for players and the removal of gaming machines from pubs and restaurants.
Following a seven-year legal battle, an appeals court in the Hague has ruled that replacing a general VAT with a 29 percent gaming tax on slot machine revenue “disproportionally” harmed one Dutch land-based slot machine operator. Now the tax man will have to pay.
The planned £2.3 billion (US$3.6 billion) merger of UK bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral is not yet complete pending regulatory approval. In the meantime, according to Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen, it will continue to consider its future partner as its chief rival.
When the Hungarian government banned slot machines in pubs in 2012, it did not limit gaming; it simply shifted the activity to casinos. According to newly published data, visitors to Hungarian casinos went from 300,000 in 2012 to 810,000 in 2014 to casinos.
A second bid for a casino license at the planned Great Keppel Island Resort in Queensland, Australia has been denied. Without the license, says parliament booster Brittany Lauga, the $2 billion redevelopment of the resort will not be possible.
Unlike most Asian countries, Nepal is not looking to Mainland Chinese to support its gaming industry. Instead, the country has set its sights on India, which a Union Gaming analyst says has millions of potential casino customers.
Three years ago, Ontario Lottery and Gaming announced an ambitious casino expansion plan and said a private operator would be chosen by the end of 2013. That never happened. But bidding recently was opened for a private operator to run casinos in eastern Ontario.
Echo Entertainment, which recently won its bid to expand its Queens Wharf property (l.) in downtown Brisbane, is reviewing plans for new gaming space at the $2 billion integrated resort. The government has indicated the company may add more slots.
Discovery Resources, soon to be known as Aquis Entertainment, has completed its acquisition of Casino Canberra. The company under new Chairman Tony Fung will upgrade the casino with new luxury rooms, new restaurants, and additional gaming options.
The Musqueam Indian Band will receive $8.5 million in lease revenue over three years when Paragon Gaming's $600 million Parq Casino and Hotel opens in late 2016. Located next to BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, work began last summer on the Parq Casino (l.), which will be the second major casino involving Musqueam.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (l.) has vetoed legislation that would have authorized legal sports betting. Though Rousseff signed the so-called “MP Football bill,” she vetoed dozens of clauses including the fixed-odds section.
The $40 million Cascades Casino, set to open August 19 in Kamloops, British Columbia, will offer 500 slots, 18 table games and three poker tables, plus three restaurants and a lounge. The entry will evoke the natural beauty of the area, said Gateway Casinos Chief Executive Officer Tony Santo.
Prominent Pennsylvania state Rep. John Payne predicted that passage of one of the several bills to legalize internet gaming in the General Assembly could pass this year.
Speaking in a radio interview, Gary Loveman (l.), Caesars chairman, called the slow rollout of online poker in the U.S. one of the “great frustrations” of the last few years. Still, Loveman feels the U.S. will eventually allow online poker and points to the growing interest in legalizing sports betting as the catalyst.
Malta officials say they are in the process of updating the country’s gambling legislation in the wake of—but not in response to—an Italian investigation into several operators there accused of ties to organized crime. The Malta Gaming Authority announced that the island's gambling legislation will be considerably updated in the coming months.
A Southern California casino, Fantasy Springs (l.), has made available a new mobile app that allows customers to play moneyless versions of the same games they enjoy on the casino floor.
PlayStudios announced it has partnered with long-established U.K. casino operator, the Hippodrome, to offer games in the UK market.
Rival DFS sites DraftKings and FanDuel are planning to join forces within the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and launch a lobbying effort to protect daily fantasy sport’s legal status in Florida. The move comes even though there is no effort underway to change fantasy sports status in the state.
Aristocrat's popular Heart of Vegas app now is available on Android phones, in addition to Facebook, iPads and iPhones. The app includes 11 free-to-play versions of many Aristocrat slot games and ranks among the top five in top grossing casino apps in the U.S.
Augur, a decentralized prediction market computer platform based around accurately forecasting the outcome of future events—with obvious implications for online wagering—has released details of the crowd-sale of its reputation tokens. The tokens are used as the mechanism to report on and verify completed events, resulting in a payout.
PokerStars has been granted a license to offer sports betting products in Ireland just as the English football season is set to begin.
UK Bookmaker William Hill has seen profits decline after paying £44m in higher taxes under the UK’s new gambling regulations and was also hurt by new rules on gaming machines. Meanwhile, William Hill has acquired a 29.4 percent stake in Luxemburg-based NeoGames.
Casino games developer High 5 Games has signed a deal to supply games to Amaya’s Rational Group in a move to expand into the European market.
Chinese police in Heilongjiang province have broken up an illegal online gambling ring that centered on a Philippine-based site targeting Chinese bettors. Officials seized nearly $13 million.
Zynga announced that it made more in revenue than expected for the second quarter, but still posted a $27 million loss. Still, that’s down from a $62.5 million loss in 2014.
Fanaments has launched a multi-sport daily fantasy in Europe which offer players a host of football competition-based games including the English Premier League, La Liga, and UEFA Champions League.
Coral has been named official gaming and betting partner for the Fulham Football Club.
Unibet has announced it will acquire iGame Holdings, a transaction worth $64.5 million in cash. This comes after Unibet reported a record-setting second quarter.
Since Magnolia Bluffs Casino opened in Natchez, Mississippi in 2012, it has caused revenue at Isle of Capri Natchez (l.) to decline. As a result, Isle of Capri Casinos will close its Natchez riverboat in October and sell the hotel to Magnolia Bluffs owner Premier Gaming Group of Union, Kentucky for $11.5 million.
The MGM Springfield (l.) last week won a year’s delay in opening its casino, which it feared would be harmed by a massive road project planned for the interstate next to the casino site. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed that opening the casino in the midst of such a project could irreparably hurt the casino’s reputation.
Second-tier bondholders of Caesars Entertainment’s bankrupt largest unit have filed suit against top-tier creditors over the operators’ restructuring plan.
Stockton University properly terminated a contract to sell Atlantic City’s closed Showboat casino to Florida developer Glenn Straub, a judge has ruled, and can now seek another buyer for the property.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority formally voted on the demolition of the Riviera (l.). The land will be used to build an extension of the city’s convention center to reach the Strip. The property was purchased in February for $182.5 million.
Maryland’s casinos generated a record $99 million in revenues for July, and casinos and lottery combined topped the $1 billion mark in income to the state for the first time.
Governor Chris Christie still has not acted on a plan to have Atlantic City casinos make payments in lieu of taxes to stabilize the city’s tax base. Meanwhile, a fight between Atlantic City and its home county on how to divide those payments remains a major stumbling block.
Rush Street Gaming’s Sugarhouse casino in Philadelphia last week topped off its $164 million expansion project. GM Wendy Hamilton (l.) says it will bring another 500 jobs, more tables and slot machines, and expanded meeting space to the waterfront.
The Texas Gaming Commission will vote on August 25 to end historical racing at dog and horse tracks. They hope to appease legislators who were enraged when it was approved last year and threatened to de-fund the agency, which would end racing and wagering on races in Texas on August 31.
About 140 former and current employees of the Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino are suing in federal court for allegedly being forced to work longer than the 40 hours they were paid for. The casino denies the charge.
Profits at Harrah's Casino in New Orleans fell nearly 31 percent, about $9.2 million, in June 2015 compared to June 2014. Casino officials blame the drop on the citywide smoking ban. But New Orleans Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said the ban is accomplishing its goal of providing a healthier workplace.
The downsizing of Atlantic City’s casino market continues to pay off for surviving casinos that saw an 8.1 percent revenue increase for July. Counting three casinos that closed last year, however, the revenue for the city’s casinos overall was down 6.1 percent.
Castle Rock Casino sued the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission and the Kansas Gaming Facility Review Board challenging their selection of the $70 Kansas Crossing Casino for the southeast gaming zone. Castle Rock, which proposed a $145 million gambling complex, also wants to join the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners' lawsuit.
Hard Rock Hotel Sioux City, opened less than a year, received AAA's coveted Four Diamond Rating, awarded to only 5.4 percent of 28,000 AAA-approved hotels. The $126 million property helped the Sioux City market grow from $48 million in revenue in fiscal 2014 to more than $70 million in 11 months of operation.
The Cosmopolitan posted a second-quarter profit of $15.3 million, the first profitable quarter in the resort-casino's brief history. Cuts in expenses helped boost profit.
A bill has been introduced by Councilmen Bob Coffin and Ricki Barlow to limit where buskers on Fremont Street can work. Several of the performers went to Las Vegas City Hall to air grievances regarding the proposed bill.
With second quarter results in for 2015, Station Casinos is reported its best quarter ever, with $337.8 million in net revenue. The revenue is a 4 percent increase over the same period from last year.
In August, the 10 Cherokee Nation Entertainment casinos in Oklahoma will have paid the state $1 billion in gaming exclusivity fees. CN Gaming Director Jamie Hummingbird (l.) said the tribe has paid the state an average of $125 million each of the past five years--$50 million more than the $75 million originally expected annually under the compact.
The $110 Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino will open September 28 in Murphy, North Carolina, once infrastructure upgrades are completed. General Manager Lumpy Lambert said three job fairs already have been held to fill the 800-900 new jobs that will be available.
On August 19, the DeKalb County, Illinois board will vote on a resolution to support the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation's efforts to have 129 acres of land it owns near Shabbona taken into federal trust for a bingo hall. If approved, it would be the first Native American gambling venue in Illinois.
Given a chance to select a mediator to help settle its dispute with the Seminole Tribe, the state of Florida ignored the deadline and instead the tribe selected its own mediator. Talks with the state are "going nowhere," said tribal attorney Barry Richard, but rumor has it a new compact could be in the works.
The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians argues because it purchased a tract from the city of Lansing, Michigan with land claim settlement funds, the federal government must take the land into trust. The tribe wants to build a $245 million casino (l.) in the city, but the state of Michigan sued to stop it.
The White Earth Nation's Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Entertainment will start construction next month on a new casino near Bagley, Minnesota that will open in the spring. Designed by Cuningham Group of Minneapolis, the new casino will create 40 jobs. The tribe currently operates the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.
Bear River Casino Hotel in Northern California had two things to celebrate last week: its 10th anniversary and the completion of a remodeling job that gives it a fun Las Vegas look.
Congressman Paul Cook (l.) wants to pressure the Bureau of Indian Affairs to end the wait of Barstow and decide whether to put land into trust for a casino proposed by a San Diego tribe.
California’s Chemehuevi tribe has decided to add a second casino on Lake Havasu. This one will have a hotel.
The drawn-out lawsuit of the Colusa Casino continues against the contractors who built its hotel and expanded its casino. The tribe claims multiple construction defects and lost revenues.
The Idaho Supreme Court last week listened to attorneys from a tribe that wants instant horse racing banned and claims that the legislature passed such a law, despite a veto by Governor Butch Otter. The court could decide to weigh in on the case.
The Wyoming Lottery Corporation wants to silent a frequent critic who claims it doesn’t do all it can to fight problem gaming and has sued him for allegedly harming the lottery’s reputation. A judge will soon rule whether the suit can go ahead.
Allowing an unimpeded proliferation of video lottery terminals in Puerto Rico could harm the tourist economy of the territory. So claims the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Puerto Rico, which has sued to stop the government from allowing the terminals outside of casino hotels.
New York State Lottery officials are considering joining Cash 4 Life or Lucky for Life multi-state games that pay winners a top prize of $1,000 per day for life, without limits. Director Gordon Medenica said he hopes whichever game is chosen will be available for play next year.
New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak has been the most vocal and active advocate for New Jersey’s online gambling industry. Lesniak says he plans to run for Governor of the state in 2017, which could give online gambling a major ally.
DEQ Systems Corporation announced that former CEO Earle G. Hall has resigned from the company’s board of directors, and that former Loto-Quebec President Alain Cousineau has been named a director.
San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino has announced the hiring of gaming and marketing veteran Peter Arceo as chief marketing officer.
Seasoned industry veteran Iain London has been named Product Management and Business Development Director – EMEA at Aristocrat Technologies, a newly created position. London was most recently Vice President International for Zitro.
JCM Global has sold its 49 percent equity interest in Nanoptix Thermal Printers back to Nanoptix, four years after the two companies formed the partnership.
Konami Gaming has released two new slot games in its series based on the iconic role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons,” called “Fortunes of the Forgotten Realms” and “Dwellers of the Dungeon Keep.”
NYX Gaming Group will provide online poker and casino games to planetwin 365 and the Italian market's SKS365 Group. NYX also has acquired eGaming Consulting, former supplier of planetwin365. Also, NYX's partnership with Extreme Live Gaming has gone live, featuring blackjack, roulette and baccarat, available over desktops, TVs or mobile devices.
Under a recently signed agreement, Spin Games will license its most popular HTML5 games, including the HTML5 RGS, the ROC, to titles from social casino game publisher Ruby Seven Studios. Ruby Seven will offer content packages from Spin Games for social deployment.
To mark the beginning of the 2015 English Premier League season, Ladbrokes has unveiled a series of new products that the company says will “bolster its aggressive drive to deliver a multichannel experience to football customers.”
The V International Gaming Symposium, SIJUEGO, took place July 28-19 in Medellin, Colombia. Topics included regulating and legalizing online gambling, slot-machine financing, video lottery growth and social responsibility. Cristina Arango Olaya, president of COLJUEGOS, , gave the keynote speech on the future of gaming in Colombia.
Small Nuggets of News
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