Eldorado Resorts on November 27 completed a $72.5 million deal to buy MGM Resort International’s 50 percent interest in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino (l.) and Circus Circus Reno, after obtaining state regulatory approval for the transaction earlier in November. The deal gives Eldorado Resorts ownership of the three largest casinos in downtown Reno and seven properties across the United States.
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The judge in a New York hearing on whether daily fantasy sports constitutes illegal gambling did not render a decision, instead saying he would take one to two weeks to issue a ruling. That leaves the case in New York in limbo. Now York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (l.) has ruled that DFS is against New York law and ordered the two biggest DFS sites—FanDuel and DraftKings—to cease operations in the state. The two companies challenged the ruling.
Vietnam, which had demanded a minimum investment of $4 billion for new integrated resorts in the country, may halve that requirement. In addition, the investment can be made in phases, and need not be upfront. The decision is expected to boost interest in casino development in the nation, says Augustine Ha Ton Vinh (l.), an advisor to the government.
Pennsylvania’s gaming expansion bill is up for a floor vote in the state House, with amendments cleared by the chamber’s Gaming Oversight Committee. It is still unclear whether the House will pass the bill, followed by Senate approval and signing by Governor Tom Wolf (l.).
Senator John Barrasso (l.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hopes that he will be able to get support on a compromise bill to “fix” what many tribes regard as the disastrous Carcieri v. Salazar decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Indiana is looking to stem declines in its riverboat casino markets by allowing the operations to relocate on-shore, the better to cope with competition from neighboring states. Tropicana Evansville plans to be the first with a new $50 million facility slated to open in 2017 with the casino (l.) leaving the riverboat and opening on land.
The Bicycle Casino Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens, California, last week celebrated it’s the grand opening of the $50 million facility with a lavish ribbon cutting. Governor Jerry Brown led the band of VIPs welcoming the newly renovated casino.
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes was forced to defend its merger with Gala-Coral after it was publicly slammed by Irish financier and minority stakeholder Dermot Desmond. The deal is done, but the public fight isn’t.
It’s old news now, but the steep decline of gaming revenue in Macau continues. But has it bottomed out? What impact have two new resorts had on the SAR? And what are the prospects for next year?
This week, the GGB Podcast lands in Connecticut to speak with Kevin Brown, the chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Council, on recent developments with the tribe and its gaming businesses.
A South Korean chemical manufacturer, KCC Corp., has acquired an almost one-fourth stake in a planned integrated resort on the island of Yeongjong. Leading the project is U.S. tribal operator Mohegan Sun along with the Incheon Airport Authority.
Casino operators interested in Japan will have to wait some more for legislation that could open the nascent jurisdiction. According to reports, the long-delayed casino bill could now be on track for passage in late 2016, but Mikio Tanji (l.), chairman of Gaming Capital Management, says there are still significant hurdles.
Melco Crown’s amended credit agreement, forged after its Studio City resort opened in Macau, is a plus, says Moody’s Investment Service. But it’s not enough to change Moody’s negative outlook on the company.
A rise in illegal gambling has prompted the Kuala Lumpur government to use the Prevention of Crime Act to crack down on gambling dens and their operators. But law enforcers are calling for more authority to stem the tide.
A Dore Entertainment cage cashier accused of stealing millions of dollars in money from Macau junket investors has left the once-booming business reeling, and may have endangered it altogether, according to a report.
A Russian court says there will be no Black Sea branch of the Azov City gaming zone, where the Oracle casino (l.) is located, according to reports. The court ruled to terminate a deal with investor Adaptas and have the land transferred back to the region.
Several proposed amendments to the gaming law in Italy have passed 164-116 in the senate. The amendments include an increase in the gaming tax, which the country hopes will add €600 million to government coffers.
Members of the Scottish parliament are calling to end the rapid rise of fixed-odds betting terminals in the nation’s high streets. Councillors say they can’t stop the spread of FOBTs, which make losing much too easy.
The borough council of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England is considering a casino to spark economic growth in the community. A borough leader says Tunbridge Wells was once a big gambling town.
The manager of a casino in Copiapo, northern Chile, has released new details about its planned second property in Arica, the country’s northernmost city near the border with Peru. It is slated to open in 2017.
The Coral Sea Resort & Casino on Honiara in the Solomon Islands marked its soft opening in late November. The grand opening of the high-end casino resort is set for December 5.
Gamblers in New South Wales spent a record-breaking AU$73 billion (US$52.6 billion) on pokies in the last financial year, up 6 percent—even though the number of machines has fallen.
Quebec’s government wants ISPs to start blocking access to unlicensed online operators taking bets in the province. Both the ISPs and advocates of internet freedom oppose the regulation, however, and are expected to go to court to try to stop it.
NYX Gaming Group Limited announced it has acquired Montreal’s Side City Studios development group, and announced new contracts for its Open Gaming System.
The San Manuel Indians, one of Southern California leading casino tribes, has taken its games online with an entertainment-only website developed by GAN. The “simulated gaming,” as it’s called, features slot machines and a variety of table games, including poker.
The U.S. and Switzerland will pocket almost $25 million each from the dismantling of BetOnSports, an illegal online gaming service. The operators copped a plea in 2009; hidden funds were recently released.
Despite Nevada having a state-regulated online poker market, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (l.) in a television interview said he is among several state attorneys general who supports enacting the proposed Restoration of America’s Wire Act, which would ban online poker and most other forms of online gaming across the nation.
The Associated Press published a report showing that while online gambling numbers have been slowly growing in the three states where it is legal, the online industry has not seen the expected expansion into other states after more than two years. That expansion could finally come in 2016.
New Jersey has issued a license for Betfair to operate a betting exchange through Monmouth Park Racetrack. It’s the first betting exchange license issued in the U.S. The licensing took four years before approval.
Virtual reality casinos offer millennials and other gamblers who crave interaction and the sophistication they have become accustomed to via video gaming systems the chance to interact with other gamblers, while earning greater rewards for the virtual reality gaming skills, and industry expert says. When used properly, virtual reality can help casinos to promote their traditional gaming, too.
Malaysia’s home ministry is considering amending its online gambling laws to help fight illegal gambling sites. Officials said the country needs to integrate its gambling laws to help law enforcement better fight illegal operators.
Due to regulatory delays, Playtech announced it will walk away from its planned 460 million pound acquisition of online contracts broker Plus500. The move is a blow to Playtech’s plan to enter the financial trading sector.
Realistic Games will supply Rank Interactive with slots and table games under a newly announced deal. The games will roll-out on Rank’s Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo sites in early 2016.
138.com has launched an affiliate program with Income Access, to offer a state-of-the-art online casino with an Asian gaming experience for Europe.
Another step for MGM Entertainment to go forward with building its $950 million MGM Springfield has been completed with the city of Springfield, Massachusetts deeming the revised plans for the casino resort “complete.” The next step is a public hearing and city council vote.
Developer Glenn Straub will assume control of Revel Atlantic City’s troubled power plant (l.) under a deal that could end nearly seven months of litigation over the closed casino. The deal was worked out in federal court and would pay off the plant’s bondholders, while allowing Straub to restore full power to the site.
Rock Gaming is nearing the time when it will take over total ownership and operation of two casino resorts (Horseshoe Cincinnati at left) and a racino in Ohio from Caesars Entertainment. Caesars signed over ownership in February, a month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
A U.S. bankruptcy judge has denied an expedited hearing for the reorganization plan of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, demanding additional information.
The initial public offering by Station Casinos in Las Vegas is valued at $100 million and will be underwritten by financial firms Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs. Station Casinos has not chosen an exchange for its proposed stock sale, which awaits federal regulatory approval before proceeding. The flagship Red Rock Casino in Summerlin is at left.
Atlantic City’s eight casinos saw a 61 percent increase in gross operating profits. All eight of the city’s casinos, including the Trump Taj Mahal, saw profit increases for the quarter. Officials said the results show the resort’s casino industry is stabilizing after four casinos closed in 2014.
Puerto Rico’s Condado Plaza Hilton has closed its casino, citing failure to generate sufficient revenue as the commonwealth experiences an economic slump.
Golden Entertainment Chairman and CEO Blake Sartini (l.) says the company is focused on generating greater value for shareholders through maximum management efficiency four months after the new company was created by a merger between Nevada-based Golden Gaming and Lakes Entertainment, owner of the Rocky Gap Casino in Maryland.
XpressWest wound up being the only realistic bidder to build a high-speed rail line connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, the Nevada High Speed Rail Authority said when it approved XpressWest’s proposal to build the rail line, which the company says will take five years to build in three phases.
Detroit’s casinos and the unions representing some 6,000 of their workers say they’re closing in on a new labor contract. The breakthrough appears to have come in the form of an agreement on health-care benefits, a sticking point throughout month of negotiations.
Atlantic City Mayor Donald Guardian (l.) told reporters that the city could be insolvent by April 2016 if a package of bills designed to rescue the city’s finances are not adopted. Governor Chris Christie has conditionally vetoed several of the bills that are awaiting action by the state legislature.
Caesars Entertainment and Uber New Jersey have partnered together to try and drive more tourists to Atlantic City. The companies have both launched an education campaign to promote using Uber to visit the resort.
Dotty’s, which owns 16 restricted-gaming establishments in Las Vegas, accuses the city of civil rights violations in a federal lawsuit filed November 25 and wants the court to enjoin the city from enforcing its decision giving Dotty’s a restricted gaming license for only seven machines at its newest store in Summerlin.
The group Campaign for Accountability has retracted statements made previously calling for investigations of LVS Chairman Sheldon Adelson, and has apologized to Adelson.
Nevada nightclubs that are located inside casinos no longer will be treated as wholly separate entities by state regulators, and the casinos that house them are more responsible for ensuring no illegal activity occurs inside them, under new regulations approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission in November. The commission new requires casinos to designate employees to oversee nightclubs and ensure compliance.
After a disastrous attempt to buy Atlantic City’s closed Showboat casino for a city campus, Stockton University is now part of a plan to build a major campus in the city’s more residential Chelsea neighborhood. The university is in the process of selling the Showboat to Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein.
Churchill Downs approved a $150 plan to buy back shares and agreed to spend more than $138 million to buy back more than 944,000 shares from its single largest shareholder, The Duchossois Group. Churchill Downs’ share price has risen by more than 50 percent over the past year, and increased cash flows made the deal possible.
Nevada Gold & Casinos won state approval for a nonrestricted gaming license to operate the Club Fortune Casino in Henderson. Nevada Gold was scheduled to complete the purchase of the 25,000-square-foot casino on November 30. The casino has more than 500 slot machines, seven table games, and a poker room, along with an entertainment lounge and other amenities.
It’s been five years since South Dakota adopted a smoking ban that included local casinos. Not everyone is ready to celebrate the anniversary.
New York State Senator Robert G. Ortt says the state is keeping too much and the city of Niagara Falls not nearly enough in revenue sharing from the Seneca Niagara Casino, and he wants to change that. Ortt intends to introduce legislation that would give the city 75 percent and the state 25 percent of revenues shared.
Known for catering to trendy, younger bettors, the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas has switched its marketing efforts to bring in more older, traditional bettors, who are more likely to spend more time and money at the casino’s slot machines and gaming tables, and announced the planned 2016 opening of a new breakfast-focused restaurant.
The consortium that Connecticut’s gaming tribes, the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans (chairmen Rodney Butler and Kevin Brown at left), has formed to build and operate a third casino in the state, MMCT Venture, has asked communities interested in hosting that casino to get a move on in passing approvals. That includes scheduling a referendum.
The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, owners of Chukchansi Gold Coast Resort & Casino, and California’s Madera County are near to ratification of a memorandum of understanding that will allow the casino to reopen before the New Year. It has been closed for more than a year. Casino COO Christian Goode (l.) said the tribe has worked “tirelessly” with the county.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head will appeal a ruling by a federal judge that the tribe does not have the right to open a bingo hall on Martha’s Vineyard because it had given up its gaming aspirations in a 1983 agreement.
Florida Governor Rick Scott (l.) has gone to federal court seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Seminole Indian Tribe accusing his administration of negotiating in bad faith on a deal to extend the tribe’s lucrative state monopoly over house-banked card games.
NIGA (National Indian Gaming Association) at its Mid-Year Conference in Florida, sponsored a 'Tribal Gaming Has a Unique History and Purpose’ panel in which several pioneers of Indian gaming shared their experiences in the creation of NIGA. Chairman Emeritus Rick Hill (l.) explained how much opposition Indian gaming had to overcome to succeed.
A federal judge has ruled that the law firm of Dickinson Wright and one of its attorneys are not liable for damages after their legal advice went awry in Oklahoma. A group of developers sued the firm after the state halted construction of their off-reservation Indian casino.
Agua Caliente Casino Resorts in California’s Coachella Valley have announced that the casino has signed an exclusive three-year sponsorship with the Los Angeles Clippers in which it will be the team’s Presenting Sponsor.
The New Jersey Lottery saw a $5 million decline in revenue chief reports revenue, but lottery officials defended the privatization of the lottery before lawmakers. Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger (l.) said the state’s deal with the private firm NorthStar prevented further losses.
The Gila River Indian Community has named Joseph Magliarditi chief executive officer of Gila River Casinos, which operates three Arizona casinos. He is a 20-year veteran of gaming.
Caesars Entertainment has named former Planet Hollywood GM Erin Chamberlin as vice president and general manager of the Horseshoe Baltimore casino.
Longtime casino executive Darlene Monzo has been named senior VP and chief marketing officer for Rock Gaming, which is taking over the former Horseshoe casinos in Ohio.
Mobile technology supplier Joingo has announced that Kirk Olson will be director of sales and James Poles has been appointed vice president of gaming products.
A plan by Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. to offer chartered flights to its customers has hit some turbulence. An airline that lost out on the contract to provide the service is suing the company and a rival operator, alleging theft of trade secrets.
When casino magnate Lawrence Ho wanted to buy casino equipment for his new Tigre de Cristal resort in Vladivostok, he looked no further than Dolphin Products Ltd., a manufacturer he controls through a subsidiary.
JCM Global has been named the preferred supplier to three Spanish casinos, which have named the iVIZION product their preferred bill validator.
Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Alabama has implemented the RFID linen, laundry and uniform management system produced by InvoTech Systems.
Alfastreet’s Royal Derby multi-player horse racing game will be placed at California’s Fantasy Springs casino in the supplier’s first U.S. installation.
The Mirage Hotel & Casino has a new Center Bar and Parlor Lounge, which feature special handcrafted drinks designed by an award-winning Chicago mixologist, while giving casino patrons more alternative for relaxing and having fun. The Center Bar is located near the center of the Mirage’s casino floor, while the Parlor Lounge is tucked away in a more intimate setting.
The National Indian Gaming Association and the Indian National Finals Rodeo have teamed up to promote awareness of a growing Native American suicide problem.
MGM Resorts International for a fourth straight year earned perfect marks from the Human Rights Campaign for the company’s support of its gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered workers. MGM in 2004 became the first company in the gaming and hospitality industry to offer same-sex health care benefits for its workers.
Aristocrat will continue what it is calling its “Big Play” tour with a complete lineup of products at February’s ICE Totally Gaming trade show in London.
Juegos Miami is designed to promote the Pan-Latin America and Caribbean gaming industry and announced it has secured support from several notable international regulatory bodies based in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Spain. The international gaming industry event is scheduled May 31 through June 3 at the Biltmore Coral Gables in Miami.
Small Nuggets of News
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