Ready to Roll

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe last week was granted approval by the Department of the Interior to take 300 acres of land in Massachusetts into trust. This means the tribe can proceed with the development of a casino in Taunton, says Chairman Cedric Cromwell (l.). At the same time, Mass Gaming, a subsidiary of Rush Street Gaming, is urging the state gaming commission to approve its casino for the same region.

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A Georgia legislative study committee heard from members of the gaming industry, including MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren, as it considers ways to raise more money for the HOPE scholarship program. A constitutional amendment would allow six casinos and horseracing. MGM Resorts has an army of lobbyists working on behalf of its proposed $1 billion Atlanta gaming complex.

Nevada Introduces Skill Regulations

The first regulations that permit skill games in the casino environment were released last week by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The rules will permit players who are more skillful to win more than players not as plugged into game play. Games like Angry Birds could soon arrive on slot machines.

New Boss for Sands China

Political influence has won over gaming industry experience in Las Vegas Sands’ choice of a new chief operating officer for its lucrative Macau subsidiary. Hong Kong construction magnate Wilfred Wong (l.), a former delegate of China’s National People’s Congress, will take the reins at Sands China beginning November 1.

New Jersey Congressman Calls for DFS Hearing

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone (l.), in a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is asking for a review of daily fantasy sports sites to determine if they meet federal laws on gambling.

Federal Judge Declines to Order Arizona to Issue Casino License

The Tohono O'Odham Nation of Arizona suffered its first ever court setback last week when a federal judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction ordering the state to issue a license for the nation’s casino in Glendale. It also dismissed the tribe’s suit against Governor Doug Ducey (l.) and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. However, the ruling is unlikely to prevent the casino from opening in December.

OLG Chooses Great Canadian Gaming

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has signed a 20-year agreement with the Ontario Gaming East Limited Partnership, which will pay $50.4 million to operate gaming services in the East Gaming Bundle. The contract allows the company to take over existing betting facilities at two casinos and build a new casino. OLG CEO Stephen Rigby (l.) says the deal it's the agency’s modernization agenda.

Caesars Fights To Rescind Bond Guarantees

Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin (l.) says Caesars may have broken the law by scrapping provisions of bond covenants that guarantee lenders will be repaid. Caesars is challenging the ruling in U.S. Appeals Court in a potentially landmark case that bankruptcy experts nationwide are watching closely.


The hits keep on coming for Macau and there is no end in sight. Or at least it was for more than a year. Now do we see light at the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train?


Opening Day Set For Vladivostok Casino

The first resort in Russia’s Far East is slated for an early October debut. Tigre de Cristal Casino & Resort, located near Vladivostok and backed by Macau’s Lawrence Ho, will start small in size but will look for big numbers from a vastly undeserved market in northern China.

Wynn Loses in Junket Theft

Wynn Resorts Ltd. says the alleged theft of tens of millions of dollars by a cage cashier at a Wynn Macau (l.) junket room does not reflect poorly on the junket or the casino. Share values fell anyway.

Tinian Dynasty: Open or Closed?

Conflicting reports have come out of the Northern Marianas Islands, where the Tinian Dynasty Casino closed, reportedly due to a typhoon, low revenues, and/or a slow licensing process. What’s the latest?

Okada Plays For More Time In Manila

The $2 billion Manila Bay Resorts controlled by Kazuo Okada (l.) has been granted an extension to the end of 2016 to get the doors open. But Philippine regulators are losing patience and have put the project on notice that further delays could jeopardize its license.

Macau Takes a Bath

Gaming revenues in Macau fell for the 15th consecutive month in August, a month when numbers usually spike. The numbers fell 35.5 percent year-on-year. Junket volume dropped 54 percent. VIP revenues were down 40 percent.

Philippines Look for Boom

The numbers have been tepid in the Philippines’ new Entertainment City casino district, but industry leaders insist the market is “doing well” and will improve exponentially over time.

Bloomberry Reopening on Jeju

Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts is gearing up for the grand reopening of its renovated casino hotel on South Korea’s Jeju Island. The property will reopen before the end of the month.

Asian Market: Room to Grow

Asia could add 30 new casinos by 2020 and still not saturate the market, according to a report from brokerage CSLA. The firm says the region “can comfortably absorb this capacity increase” due to new populations.

HKJC To Promote Racing In Mainland China

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has concluded a partnership with authorities in China to help the country improve the quality and integrity of thoroughbred racing. Because race betting is illegal in China, the alliance is focused on providing business and marketing expertise.

Analysts Slash Genting Forecasts

Unstable currencies in China, Malaysia and Indonesia may take a bite out of revenues for Genting Singapore, analysts say. The depreciation will hurt both VIP and mass-market trends, say Union Gaming and Morgan Stanley.

Nevada to Close Beijing Office

The Silver State will close its tourism office in Beijing by the end of the year. But Nevada will continue its market efforts on the mainland, according to the state tourism department.

Malaysian Company Gets in the Game in Cambodia

A unit of Halex Holdings Bhd is getting into the casino business in Cambodian. A subsidiary of the agricultural chemical company has signed an MOU for a majority stake in a gaming company.

SJM to Open Jai Alai Palace in 2016

SJM Holdings Ltd. expects to open a new casino on the site of its former Casino Jai Alai (l.), according to reports. The renamed Jai Alai Palace will include a hotel, restaurant and retail outlets. No info yet on gaming tables.

Macau Jockey Club Renews Contract

The government of Macau has awarded a two-year contract extension to the Macau Jockey Club. The horse racing operation, which has not turned a profit since 2005, will retain its monopoly on the sport until 2017.


What’s William Hill’s Strategy?

Brit bookmaker William Hill, once the leader of the pack on its home turf, has been pushed from the No. 1 spot by mergers in the industry. Will it yield its dominant position in the UK, or fight its way back to the top?


U.S. Washes Hands of Baha Mar’s Financial Woes

A U.S. bankruptcy court has said that the financial plight of Baha Mar Ltd. is an international issue best left to the Bahamas to settle. The Baha Mar resort (l.), 97 percent complete, waits for creditors to allow it to open.

Indian State to OK Casino?

Of 29 states in India, only three have legal casinos: Sikkim, Daman and Goa. A fourth state could be ready to join them. A proposal is out to construct a casino in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Tasmania Casino Deal Withdrawn

A monopoly by the Federal Group has caused the owner of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania, to withdraw an application to build a casino as part of the museum’s expansion. Owner David Walsh said he won’t apply for a license until the Federal Group’s monopoly expires in 2023. In the meantime, it will invest in its existing casinos, including Wrest Point (l.).

Aquis Unveils Canberra Plan

Aquis Entertainment, the new owner of Casino Canberra, will upgrade the Aussie property to the tune of $330 million. That includes a new casino designed to attract 750,000 more visitors per year, the company projects.

Atlantis Paradise Adding High-Limit Casino

Construction has begun on a property-wide upgrade at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, which will feature a new high-limit casino called Salon Privé. The casino, highlighted by a 500-shard Swarovski crystal chandelier and 16-foot curved aquarium, will target the "elite casino customer" with high-limit slots and private gaming rooms.


California Legislative Session Ends Without iPoker Deal

For the seventh year in a row the California legislature has completed its session without an iPoker bill, despite the best efforts of lawmakers, gaming tribes and card rooms. Wait ‘til next year? And what about sports betting in the Golden State? Assemblyman Adam Gray (l.) said he would start over in 2016.

DFS Sites Gear Up for NFL Football

While the daily fantasy sports industry taps many pro sports, football remains its bread and butter and sites have geared up for the new NFL season. Major sites offered opening week specials and Yahoo (l.) and CBS Sports have readied themselves to challenge giants FanDuel and DraftKings.

Bier Fest Slot Launched

Genesis Gaming launched its first HTML5 mobile slot, named Bier Fest, in time for Oktoberfest celebrations. Genesis Gaming focused its new game on mobile players and fast action.

Australian Court Rules Bet365 Mislead Customers

Bet365 was found to have mislead Australian customers by offering a “free” introductory bet that actually had wager requirements attached. A penalty phase for the ruling is still to be held.

Zynga Acquires Rising Tide Games

Social gaming company Zynga has acquired social casino developer Rising Tide Games, headed by former Zynga and 888 exec Maytal Olsha. A price for the acquisition was not named.


It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

New Jersey has filed its own appeal of an Appeals Court ruling that struck down the state’s latest attempt to implement sports betting. The state has joined with the New Jersey Horseman’s Association—a party to the case—in asking for a full review of the state’s law by the Third Circuit Appeals Court. Some initial moves by the third circuit court suggest the state may be granted a full appeals court hearing.

Decision Nears for New York Racetrack Casino; Permits Trouble Another

A public hearing held September 18 might decide the fate of the Tioga Downs’ proposed $147 million expansion into a full casino with a hotel, restaurants, and outdoor concert venue, explained owner Jeff Gural (l.). The racino is the only applicant for a fourth casino gaming license in the Southern Tier. Meanwhile one of the three already selected still is groping for approvals to begin construction.

Kentucky Racetrack Installs 902 Instant Racing Games

The historic Red Mile harness racetrack (l.) in Lexington, Kentucky has installed 902 instant racing games. Red Mile recently completed a $42 million renovation and expansion in a joint venture with Keeneland thoroughbred racetrack. The Family Foundation filed a lawsuit in Franklin County Court claiming the games are illegal slot machines.

University Sells Atlantic City’s Showboat to Blatstein

New Jersey’s Stockton University announced it has a buyer for the closed Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, which the school purchased but was unable to turn into an Atlantic City campus for the school. Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein (l.) is the buyer, but it’s unclear what his plans are for the property.

Struggling SLS Las Vegas Loses Retailer

The SLS Las Vegas lost nearly $84 million over the first six months of 2015 and is focusing on boosting slot play and table games, but it lost its signature retailer. Los Angeles-based Fred Segal closed its seven retail stores, three of which the SLS replaced with its own stores.

Culinary Workers Opposes Station Bank Deal

The Culinary union in Nevada opposes Deutsche Bank becoming a part owner of Station Casino and is conducting a 30-day campaign to stop the proposed transaction aimed at Governor Brian Sandoval (l.). The Culinary has waged a long-running battle with Station over the company’s non-union status.

Loser Protests Kansas Casino Decision

Cherokee County, Kansas residents received fliers urging them to protest a lawsuit filed by the county and Castle Rock Casino (l.) in Pittsburg against the Kansas Lottery, which effectively halted construction of the $70 million Kansas Crossing Casino. Developers of the $145 million Castle Rock Casino allege the Kansas Lottery violated state law by licensing Kansas Crossing.

Hard Rock Hard on Advantage Gambler

An acknowledged card-counter says security at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino illegally detained and assaulted him for refusing to show his ID and stole his gaming chips when he tried to leave after a successful run at the tables.

Idaho Supreme Court Turns off Horse Racing Machines

Idaho’s three racetracks are reportedly devastated by a ruling by the Idaho Supreme Court that a law approved, and supposedly vetoed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (l.), is actually legal. The law bans historical horse racing machines, a machine that has supposedly helped preserve the racetracks.

Rare Poor Start for Nevada Sportsbooks

Nevada sportsbooks could not follow up last year’s big opening day of the NFL season with another one this year. Instead, the sportsbooks took a bath as nine of 12 favored teams covered the spread on their opening Sundays and only a sweep of evening games by underdogs prevented a disaster.

Study Shows Gaming Adds $3 Billion to Ohio’s Economy

Gaming in Ohio has contributed $3 billion to the state’s economy. That’s the conclusion of a study released by the American Gaming Association, which added that the industry also supports nearly 18,000 jobs and generates $917 million in taxes.

Nevada Ride-Hailing Licenses Approved

The Nevada Transportation Authority on September 14 gave Uber and Lyft got the okay to begin providing ride-hailing services in the Silver State. Uber has asked for an unlimited number of licenses, while Lyft intends to field 2,500 cars and drivers.

Atlantic City’s August Casino Revenue Down 5 Percent

Atlantic City’s eight remaining casinos saw their revenue decline 5 percent in August, but the calendar did not help them for the month. In 2014, three days of the busy Labor Day Weekend fell in August, while this year the entire weekend fell in September. Revenue for the casinos was still up overall for the summer.

Las Vegas Arena, NHL Nearly Done

Construction of the MGM Resort International’s and AEG’s Las Vegas Arena (l.) is nearing its final phases. So, too, is consideration of the potential NHL franchise that MGM and Las Vegas officials hope will play in the new arena.

Asian-Themed Vegas Casino Topped Out

Work is done on the nine-story hotel portion of the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino (l.) under construction on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. The $373-billion Asian-themed resort is expected to open in summer 2016 with 200 rooms, restaurants serving Asian cuisine, and a Feng Shui-compatible casino featuring table games that generally are popular among Asians.

Newark Prepares for Casino

Newark city officials have passed new laws allowing for a casino in the New Jersey city in hopes a plan to build the first casinos outside of Atlantic City goes through. Newark is one of several sites vying for new casino construction.

Baccarat is Bountiful for Las Vegas

Baccarat outpaced blackjack and craps revenues on the Las Vegas Strip over the past 12 months, putting some $1.38 billion in casino coffers. Baccarat improved despite a significant drop in baccarat betting over the same time period.

Iowa Quad Cities Riverboats Come Ashore

It's a different kind of land rush in Iowa, as the Rhythm City Casino (l.) in Davenport and the Isle of Capri Casino in Bettendorf move from the river to the land. The two new casinos represent a $170 million total investment with more than 400,000 square feet altogether.

Caesars Unveils Atlantic City Conference Center

Caesars Entertainment has opened a new $126 million business conference center in Atlantic City at its Harrah’s Resort. Caesars is hoping to attract a bigger share of business travel market, and it has already paid off by increasing room nights over the next several years.

Des Plaines Against Paying Lobbyist

Lobbyists McGuireWoods Consulting LLC worked for Des Plaines, Illinois opposing gambling expansion, at the same time it worked for Rockford supporting expansion. The firm has withdrawn from its contract with Des Plaines but aldermen there don't care to pay the outstanding balance of $2,100. The company worked for the city since 2012, earning $81,300.

$100 Million Royal Hotel Development Fight

Developer Authentic Entertainment Properties wants $100 million in damages from the owners of the Royal Hotel for backing out of a 57-year lease agreement and placing the hotel for sale. The developer invested $3 million for hotel improvements, intended to convert the hotel and adjacent properties into a boutique gaming resort, and obtained $65 million in funding for the property conversion (model at left).

Officials Investigate Florida Poker Tournament

The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering is checking out alleged inconsistencies at a Hialeah Park Casino (l.) poker tournament. However, poker room officials noted an internal investigation "found no evidence of any discrepancies in the manner in which the poker tournament was conducted nor any wrongdoing on the part of any of the poker staff.”

Reno Gold Dust West Improvements

Gaming just got better at the Gold Dust West in Reno, which spent more than $5 million over the past year to improve the interior and amenities at the casino, which mostly caters to locals. The casino first opened in 1976 as a combination motel and casino.

Palms Passes Off Restaurant Jobs

About 220 unionized restaurant workers at the Palms must get their jobs back from a new operator of some of the casino’s restaurant, buffet, and room service operations. A local union official criticized the move as anti-middle class.


MGM Challenges Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun Partnership

MGM, which is building a $800 million casino resort in Springfield (l.), has sued to prevent two gaming tribes in Connecticut from defending their turf against it by building a satellite casino on the border. MGM claims that allowing just the Pequot and Mohegan tribes to build such a casino violates the U.S. Constitution.

Chukchansi Casino Won’t be Reopening in September

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians had hoped to reopen their Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino (l.) in September. However the federal agency responsible for overseeing Indian casinos says that won’t happen until after an October 3 tribal council election and maybe longer than that.

Seneca Casino Clears Court Hurdles

The U.S. Second Circuit appellate court on September 15 ruled the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino (l.) complies with federal laws and should stay open. A citizens group sought to close the casino and prevents a $40 million expansion slated to begin in October. At the same time, questions about Seneca land transfers in Buffalo were cleared up.

Tribe Members Enraged Over Hicks' Hiring

Controversy surrounds the hiring of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Michell Hicks (l.) as executive director of the Tribal Gaming Commission when his term ends. Principal Chief-Elect Patrick Lambert currently holds the position. TGC board Executive Director Don Rose said the board hired an independent consultant to oversee filling the position.


New Jersey’s Privatized Lottery Leaves $136 million Budget Hole

New Jersey’s privatized lottery has underperformed and created a $136 million hole in the state budget. The state’s controversial move to privatize the lottery—led by Governor Chris Christie (l.)—has not created promised new revenue and the state can consider firing its lottery provider.

Alabama Senate Committee Kills Lottery Bill

Legislation that would let voters decide if they want to join Powerball and other multistate lotteries died in the Alabama Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee. Opponents said that would generate only $50 million annually versus $150 million from a state-run lottery—plus, they also want to legalize casinos.

Bill Proposes Online Florida Lottery Sales

Players could purchase Florida Lottery tickets online if legislation by state Senator Gwen Margolis is passed. The bill is based on the federal government's 2011 opinion that online lotteries are not illegal gambling. Georgia, Illinois and Minnesota already allow online lottery ticket sales.

$200 Million in Lottery Funds to New York Racing Association

To help it pay off debts, the New York legislature gave the New York Racing Association $200 million in lottery revenues otherwise earmarked for the state’s public schools. The racing association conducts the prestigious Belmont Stakes, but has been tinged by corruption.


Dallas Orchard Joins IGT

IGT named Las Vegas-native Dallas Orchard its new vice president of global premium products and is responsible for globally managing and marketing IGT’s premium products offerings.

Interblock Names Glencross Asia Pacific Product Manager

Brad Glencross was named product manager for Asia Pacific at Interblock. Previously he was technical director for LT Game International and also has worked at Shuffle Master Australia Limited, Bytecraft and Bounty Limited. He brings 20 years of product management experience to his new post, including 15 years in the Asia Pacific gaming industry.


MGM Resorts Values Corporate Social Responsibility

The recently released 2014 Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report outlines MGM Resorts International's accomplishments in diversity and inclusion, philanthropy and community engagement, and environmental sustainability initiatives.

IGT on a solid track, says Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s Cameron McKnight likes the longer-term IGT story. A new research report culled from the analyst’s recent meetings with management says the company is committed to paying down debt and delivering “steady” dividends while it works to improve operating results.

AGA Recognizes Latino Casino Employees

The American Gaming Association recognizes gaming industry employees during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, and International Housekeepers Week, September 13-19. As part of its first-ever Gaming Votes initiative, the AGA invites presidential candidates to support the casino industry—a path to the middle class for thousands of Latinos.

Elexus Casino Chooses Scientific Games

Elexus Hotel Resort Casino, the largest in North Cypress, will offer guests a wide range of Scientific Games' products, including WMS and Bally brand gaming machines and Shuffle Master table products, when it opens later this month. The luxury property is owned by Mersoy Turizm, an international group that operates resorts and travel agencies.

GLI expands lottery standards to Africa

Gaming Laboratories International has completed an audit of Senegal’s state lottery that introduced World Lottery Association control standards to Africa for the first time. The testing giant sees the success as a springboard for further expansion onto the continent.

Aristocrat Unveils Oasis 360 System Solutions

Aristocrat will debut new solutions for operators who use its Oasis 360 and other cash management systems. The most widely used CMS system in North America, Oasis 360 solutions keep operators connected to customers, on or off a casino property, by tracking behavior and providing crucial data to meaningfully reward customers.

The Bakery Opens At Pearl River Resort

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians' Pearl River Resort announced the Bakery restaurant has opened at the Silver Star Hotel & Casino in Choctaw, Mississippi. The venue's offerings "will definitely add to the wonderful aromas" in the Promenade, said Pearl River President and Chief Executive Officer Holly Gagnon.

SuzoHapp Opens Canadian Facility

SuzoHapp, a supplier of component and spare part solutions to the global gaming industry, opened a new multi-million dollar factory in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. The facility will offer the latest manufacturing technologies, research and development, plus a Product Innovation Laboratory to supply the increasing demand for the Bill-to-Bill recyclers and MFL bill validators.

Hugo's Coming To SugarHouse Casino

The first restaurant to be announced as part of SugarHouse Casino's $164 million expansion is Gibsons Restaurant Group's Hugo's Frog Bar & Chop House, scheduled to open by the end of the year. Hugo's will be Chicago-based Gibsons' first venture in Philadelphia. The project also will expand the gaming floor and add a new parking garage.

IGT Presents Design Works Gaming Titles

At G2E 2015, Design Works Gaming will showcase 10 exclusive game titles on IGT cabinets, under a licensing agreement. Design Works Gaming also will present stand-alone video, stepper, progressive, trilogy and Euro-specific products. Titles shown at G2E will be available for sale in fourth quarter 2015.

BMM Contributing Free Training At South Africa Show

Attendees at South Africa’s Gambling Indaba trade show will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in key areas such as industry certification, auditing and security courtesy of BMM Testlabs. The company is lending experts in operations and sales to lead training sessions at the November show free of charge.


Inspired bringing ‘Iron Mike’ to G2E

Inspired Gaming has a new line of virtual reality betting games and a new brand sponsor—Mike Tyson—to help promote them. The former heavyweight champ will be making a special appearance at the company’s G2E exhibit on Day Two of the show.


Casinos Front & Center

The Republican debate last week had many mentions of casinos, but probably in ways the industry didn’t want. They all centered on Donald Trump (l.) and he didn’t bear up well when you consider the facts.




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