Look Out, Macau Junkets

The reported theft of millions of dollars by a Macau junket cashier at Wynn Macau (l.) has caused greater scrutiny of the player promotion business, already under pressure from a 15-month slump plaguing the city’s casino industry. And now the government is looking into more regulations, a move the might spur consolidation in the VIP sector.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: MGM Springfield Springs a Big Surprise

MGM Springfield shocked the state gaming commission by significantly downsizing its plans. Instead of a soaring hotel tower (l.), a smaller six-story hotel will suffice, says the company. Meanwhile, a decision by the federal government to grant the application by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to put land in Taunton into trust has put the tribe in the pole position to dominate gaming in southeastern Massachusetts.

G2E Week!

The world’s largest and most important gaming trade show, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), debuts this week at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas with impressive keynotes, a comprehensive conference program, special events, networking and hopefully answers to many questions.

LVS in the Hunt for Georgia Casinos

A Georgia legislative committee took public comment regarding bills authorizing casinos and horseracing to help the underfinanced HOPE scholarship program. MGM Resorts International Chairman Jim Murren made the case for a $1 billion casino resort in Atlanta. And, severing ties in Florida, Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson (l.) is said to be eyeing Atlanta.

Las Vegas Gets Final Presidential Debate

Las Vegas will host the final 2016 presidential debate at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center (l.) before voters decide the matter at the polls, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced. Local officials cite the city’s development as a business center as well as resort destination among reasons the commission chose Las Vegas to host one of four scheduled debates.

AGA Adds Six Members, New Staffers

The American Gaming Association last week announced the addition of six new members, including the second board member associated with tribal gaming. And the addition of Eloy Martinez as senior director of government relations, and former Congressman Steve Horsford (l.), as a CSR expert, will further expand the organization’s reach.

Bloomberry Eyes Argentina

Bloomberry Resorts Corp., the parent company of Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila’s Entertainment City largely owned by Ricky Razon (l.), has established a subsidiary that will explore investment possibilities in Argentina.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: The World of Gaming

The world’s largest gaming tradeshow will take center stage next week in Las Vegas, with the usual post-show evaluations that could determine the success or failure of many gaming suppliers.


Universal Drops Employee Suit

Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada (l.) and his Universal Entertainment Corp. will not pursue damages against former employees who accused the firm of bribing Philippine officials for a casino license.

Gradual ‘Ramp-up’ for Tigre De Cristal

Lawrence Ho’s Tigre de Cristal (l.) near Vladivostok in the Russian Far East will undergo a three-month to six-month “ramp-up” period before it is fully operational, the company has announced.

Heng Sheng VIP Opens in Cambodia

Junket runner the Heng Sheng Group has opened its VIP club at the Star Vegas Resort and Club casino (l.) in Poipet, Cambodia. Heng Sheng inked a three-year deal with casino operator Donaco International Ltd.

Great Leap Forward for Landing

Developer Landing International of Mainland China says its acquisition of a South Korean casino will “establish its own branding and presence in the gaming industry worldwide.”

Resorts World Building Singapore Mass Market

Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein says Genting Singapore, operator of Resorts World Sentosa, is well-positioned to grow its mass-market segment due to a “more diverse” mix of amenities.

Halex Shares Up on Cambodia Casino News

Shares of Halex Holdings rose on news that the agrochemicals company is planning to invest in a Cambodian casino. A subsidiary of the company has signed an MOU for a majority stake in a gaming company.

Galaxy Macau Debuts Poker Room

Pavilion Poker at Galaxy Macau (l.) opened September 17 on the site of a former baccarat room. Galaxy execs say it will attract a mix of players including mass-market.


‘M&A Frenzy’ in UK

The recent spate of mergers and acquisitions among UK gaming concerns is expected to continue as taxes and other costs mount up. The alliances will also reduce the threat of competition, say analysts.

Cyprus Competition Opens

Cyprus is now entertaining bids from would-be concessionaires who want to develop the first gaming resort on the eastern Mediterranean island. The cutoff for bids is December 18. Some of the industry’s largest companies are expected to be bidders.

UK Trust Funds Study

The Responsible Gaming Trust, funded by the UK gaming industry, has launched an 18-month research project to study problem gambling and compile new measures to identify and treat it.

EU Tightens AML Rules

In a major crackdown on money laundering, the European Union has established a new rule requiring scrutiny of any transaction exceeding €2,000 (US$2,250) or more. The rules must be in place by September 2017.


Baha Mar on the Ropes?

A director of the trouble-plagued Baha Mar project in the Bahamas says the termination of the project’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy status will jeopardize the $3.5 billion resort’s “commercial viability.” Sarkis Izmirlian (l.) is no longer CEO of Baha Mar.

Tasmania: Devil of a Deal

The Federal Group has announced plans to upgrade its two casinos in Tasmania, but wants an extension of its gaming monopoly to make the multimillion-dollar investment. The virulent anti-gaming lawmaker Andrew Wilkie is calling that blackmail.

Ontario Workers Locked Out

Ontario gaming regulators locked out 1,500 workers at three casinos after labor talks hit an impasse. The casinos have reopened with reduced and are being run by non-union staff and management.

Casino for Karratha?

Will there be a casino resort in Karratha, Western Australia (l.)? Parliament has confirmed receipt of a “proposal for a gaming and entertaining complex” in the rough-and-tumble industrial area.


Revisions to New York Online Poker Legislation Expected After Hearing

An informational hearing on a potential online poker bill in New York prompted state Senator John Bonacic (l.)—who has twice introduced online poker bills in the state—to say he wants to make revision to a future bill before trying again. Bonacic said he will consider lowering proposed licensing fees and whether online sites should be partnered with a brick-and-mortar casino.

GVC Stocks Slump Clouding Bwin Deal

The GVC stock price has fallen quickly after it was announced the company would acquire bwin.party. Since the acquisition involves GVC stock, the decreased value has raised questions about the deal.

Amaya Still Confident of California iPoker Soon

Someday, somehow, California will eventually legalize online poker. That’s the position of Amaya Inc., a Canadian company that heavily lobbies the California legislature this year to adopt an iPoker bill. Amaya CEO David Baazov (l.) says he supports strict regulation.

Wynn Withdraws New Jersey Online Gambling Application

Wynn Interactive is backing off its application for an online gambling license in New Jersey. The company has said its online plans are on hold and asked New Jersey regulators to withdraw its application for an online license.

DFS Companies Lobby Florida Together

Competitors online, DraftKings and FanDuel have teamed up to lobby lawmakers in Florida to make a minor legislative change that could clarify DFS gaming in the state. About 3 million of the estimated 57 million fantasy sports players live in Florida.

Konami, Spin Games Partner on RGS

Konami Gaming will partner with Spin Games to make its titles available via remote gaming server to online social and for-wager gambling systems.

NYX, Caesars Expand Partnership

NYX Gaming Group has launched its proprietary Open Gaming System on CaesarsCasino.com, providing licensing for 40 NYX proprietary titles.

Malware Cheat Found on Online Poker Sites

A malware hack that allows cheaters to see their opponent’s hands on online poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt poker has been uncovered. The malware app takes screenshots of a player’s hand and sends them to another computer.

Sportradar Adds to its Live Streaming Sports Betting

Sportradar has announced an extension of its live streaming coverage for online, mobile and retail sports betting offers. The company has introduced the Greek “Super League” to its portfolio as well as games in Romania and Turkey.


Progress At Three Mississippi Casinos

Three Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos recently announced developments in construction and expansion. IP Casino Resort in Biloxi recently began a hotel renovation. Across the Back Bay, Scarlet Pearl in D'Iberville is moving forward toward a December opening. And Silver Slipper Bay St. Louis (l.) debuted new hotel rooms and suites.

Castle Rock Accuses Kansas Crossing

A lawsuit filed by the developers of the proposed Castle Rock casino (l.), has halted construction on the $70.2 million Kansas Crossing Casino in the Southeast Gaming Zone. Among other allegations, the lawsuit accuses Kansas Crossing of improperly offering $100,000 to a tourism group connected to a member of the review board that recommended Kansas Crossing to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

Investors Sue Power Plant at Atlantic City’s Revel

A group of investors has sued the companies owning the power plant (l.) at the closed Revel casino saying they were cheated when ACR Energy, the principal owner, lied about the status of the bonds they were buying. The suit also asks that the court allow the plant to be sold only to the bondholders.

Delaware Casinos Try Again

Delaware casino executives, including Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor (l.), are again seeking tax and fee breaks from the legislature, as a government panel prepares to make new recommendations to lawmakers to aid the industry.

Mississippi Unloads Gambling Tax-Backed Debt

Mississippi’s gambling tax revenues hit a 17-year low of $164 million last year as gaming competition increases in nearby states and local casinos closed, so the state is selling off some $200 million in bonds backed by the state’s gambling tax.

Illinois Casino Mall Licenses Denied

Although the Video Gaming Act does not explicitly ban so-called casino malls, the Illinois Gaming Board rejected the license applications of three video café operators seeking to open in a strip mall in Hometown. Gaming Board Chair Donald Tracy called casino malls "a threat to Illinois gaming integrity."

Downtown Las Vegas Boosts Gaming Revenues

After posting two decades of declining gaming revenues, casinos in Downtown Las Vegas reported gaming revenue increases for 2014 and 2015, largely due to improved entertainment venues and property rehabilitation.

Atlantic City Budget Avoids Tax Increase

A 2015 budget for Atlantic City avoids a tax increase after two years of large increases in previous budgets. However, the plan calls for casino revenue to be directed to the city that is in legislation not yet approved by Governor Chris Christie.

Atlantic City Cocktail Waitresses Lose Appeal Case on Borgata Weight Restrictions

Waitresses (“Borgata Babes” l.) at Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa have lost their court appeal over the casino’s weight requirements for their jobs. A court ruled the casino can regulate the server’s weight, but also said lower courts should hear a complaint that the policy was not properly administered.

Illinois Casino, Lottery Revenue Down, Video Gaming Up

Tax revenue from all types of gambling fell 5.8 percent in Illinois in fiscal 2015, according to a report by the legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. Casino and lottery revenue declined and horseracing revenue was flat. Only video gaming revenue increased, but not enough to offset the other losses.

‘Unfair’ St. Louis Smoking Ban

An expanded smoking ban in St. Louis won’t apply to the city’s casino or the exclusive Missouri Athletic Club, but city bar owners who are losing their smoking ban exemptions say the new law is unfair.

New Mexico Sportsbooks Unlikely

Sports bettors in New Mexico and most other states will have to continue relying on illegal bookies, shady online sportsbooks, and friendly wagers to bet on sports despite a push from some states to get Congress to lift the sports betting ban that applies to all but four states.

$30M Motorsports Park for Las Vegas

Construction began this month on the $30 million SpeedVegas motorsports park located about 10 miles south of Las Vegas. Expected to open in 2016, the motorsports venue would allow visitors to drive exotic sports cars on its 1.5-mile course.


Re-opening of California Casino Now in Disarray

A cascading series of developments, including a walkout of the gaming commission, led by Norm DesRosiers (l.), a former NIGC commissioner, has put on the backburner any plans to reopen the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Northern California.

Opponents of Arizona Casino Can’t Use Referendum

An appeals court in Arizona has shut down efforts by opponents of an Indian casino in Glendale to overturn an earlier decision by the city council to stop opposing the casino. The court ruled that a referendum couldn’t be used to undo a council’s decision to withdraw opposition. Tohono O’odham Chairman Edward Manuel (l.) rejoiced and promised a December opening.

Judge Rules For Tribe, Against Michigan

Michigan recently lost its lawsuit against the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians which wants to build a $245 million off-reservation casino in downtown Lansing. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker ruled the tribe did nothing wrong by applying to have the Interior Department take the land into trust.

Twin River Unconcerned About Mashpee Tribal Casino

Twin River appears to be unperturbed that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has been given permission by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to put land in Taunton, Massachusetts into trust for a casino. This development will not affect is plans to build a “convenience” casino in Tiverton, according to the company.

Osage Nation Buys Historic Bank

The Osage Nation has purchased three commercial properties in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, including the First National Bank Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The purchase, for a total of $272,283, also included a former pharmacy and a former restaurant.

Alabama Tax Man Wants More To Fight Tribe

Escambia County, Alabama Tax Collector James Hildreth wants commissioners to increase his legal-fees budget from $45,000 to $110,000 as he continues to pursue collecting $22.3 million in taxes from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' Wind Creek Casino in Atmore—although several federal courts have sided with the tribe against Hildreth.

Michigan Casino Public Hearing Planned

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians' proposed $180 million off-reservation casino in Fruitport Township, Michigan moved forward with the Bureau of Indian Affairs' announcement of public hearings. Located at a former racetrack, the project would offer 69,000 square feet of gaming, 1,700 slot machines, 35 table games and a 220-room hotel.

Harrah's New Casino Spends $26 Million

Set to open Monday at 2:00 p.m., Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, North Carolina already has spent $26 million in construction expenses, said Senior Vice President and Regional General Manager Brooks Robinson. The property has hired more than 1,000 employees whose salaries will continue to impact the region.

Board Violated Open Meetings Act, Tribe Claims

The Pojoaque Pueblo claims the New Mexico Gaming Control Board held a closed-door session to discuss retaliating against it for suing the state for allegedly interfering with its casino operations. The gaming compact between the tribe and the state recently expired but the U.S. Attorney's Office has allowed the pueblo's casinos to remain open.


Illinois Fires Northstar After 2014 Losses

For the first time since 2009, the Illinois Lottery lost money last year and private lottery manager Northstar Lottery Group was to blame, said a legislative report. Northstar consistently failed to meet profit targets, among other issues, since it was hired in 2010. A new private operator will take over by January 1, 2017.


GGB Names New Sales & Marketing Director

John Buyachek has been named sales and marketing director for Global Gaming Business Magazine. The former marketing VP for Cantor Gaming replaces David Coheen, who is retiring.

IGT Names Canada Executive

International Game Technology announced the appointment of David Flinn as regional vice president of the manufacturer’s Canada operations.

Affinity Gaming Names Board Chairman

David Reganato replaces Richard Parisi as chairman of Affinity Gaming. Reganato is a senior investment analyst with Silver Point Capital and formerly worked in Morgan Stanley’s banking division.

Victor Joins Downtown Gaming Operator

Jeff Victor, the former leader of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, has agreed to become vice president of operations for the owners of The D Las Vegas, Golden Gate, and a third casino being developed along the Fremont Street Experience.

Ainsworth Names Sales Manager

Ainsworth has named Frans Plasser as sales manager in the Ainsworth (UK) Ltd. subsidiary, dedicated to the European market.

ITL Names Business Development Manager

Innovative Technology has named Andrew Bullock as business development manager, where he will be responsible for gaming, amusement and vending accounts.

U.S. News & World Report Names Aronovitz

Cory Aronovitz of the Casino Law Group in Chicago has been named one of the nation's leading attorneys in gaming law in the 2016 edition of Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report. In 2013 Aronovitz worked with the Illinois Gaming Board and the state legislature to amend the video gambling act.

Sci Games’ Kennedy Honored For Collaboration

Scientific Games' Trade Relations Director Gayle Kennedy won the Public Gaming Research Institute's Collaboration Award. A 28-year lottery industry veteran, Kennedy joined the Florida Lottery in 1987, ultimately managing instant game and online products. Moving to Scientific Games in 1999 as a proposal writer, she later led the events and tradeshow group.


PA Board Releases Diversity Report

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s eighth annual diversity report outlines the hiring and employment practices of the state’s casinos.

Gaming Executives Report High Satisfaction

Job security and potential career growth make the gaming industry a generally satisfying one for casino executives, results of the latest Casino Executive Survey by Bristol Associates and Spectrum Gaming Group.

GLI Expands Audit Services

GLI is expanding its market for lottery control standard certification audit services to Europe and Africa, growing its EMEA client base.

IGT Expands in Peru, Greece

IGT has delivered new slots and systems to Peru’s Masaris Corporation, and a multi-faceted system solution for Greece’s Regency Entertainment Group.

Royal Panda, NYX Gaming Group Partner

UK-based Royal Panda agreed to feature NYX Gaming Group games on the Royal Panda system, including online slots, blackjack, and roulette. NYX also will include make its newly launched “Merlin’s Magic Respins” available on Royal Panda as NYX continues its popular Merlin’s series.

Interblock Lands Quebec Contract

Interblock has signed a five-year deal with Casinos du Quebec to provide a mix of 170 electronic table games at four casino locations.

BMM Signs Extension in Colorado

BMM Testlabs has been awarded an extension of its contract with the Colorado Division of Gaming, under which it provides testing and consulting services.


IGT Details G2E Lineup

IGT will reveal its “next generation of games, systems and solutions” in its largest display ever at this week’s Global Gaming Expo trade show.

BMM Testlabs at G2E

BMM Testlabs, a global gaming testing laboratory and technical consultancy, will discuss compliance and testing services at the 2015 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

GSA to Highlight Standards

The Gaming Standards Association will highlight its award-winning standards currently implemented around the world at this week’s Global Gaming Expo.

Interblock Details G2E Lineup

Interblock’s Global Gaming Expo display will celebrate 25 years in the industry, showcasing a complete lineup of electronic table game products.

ARB Tracking System on Display at G2E

ARB Labs will showcase its cutting edge table games chip recognition technology during the Las Vegas G2E at Booth 5826. The system recognizes exact bets by table game players, allowing casinos to reward them more accurately.




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