New Jersey Attacks Atlantic City

The New Jersey legislature has approved putting a referendum on the November ballot asking voters to approve building two new casinos in the state outside of Atlantic City. The referendum does not name the sites of the new casinos (leading contenders are the Meadowlands and Jersey City, where former Reebok owner Paul Fireman wants to build a $4 billion casino, at left), but does say that at least part of the $200 million a year in taxes on the North Jersey casinos will go to help Atlantic City.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Caesars In Deep Trouble

Caesars Entertainment could be slapped with $5.1 billion in damages after a court-appointed examiner found pre-bankruptcy moves were fraudulent, when the company transferred its most valuable assets to different and separate companies. Despite the revelation, the Nevada Gaming Commission last week issued a license to new Caesars CEO Mark Frissora (l.).

PokerStars Starts New Jersey Test

PokerStars has started a test period for online play in New Jersey. The PokerStars New Jersey site went live March 16 and was required to complete a five-day test period by New Jersey regulators. The site is expected to go fully open this week. The move comes as PokerStar’s parent company Amaya Inc. reported a net loss for 2015.

Brazil One Step Closer to Legal Casinos

Brazil is inching closer to legal gaming. A House committee has approved amendments to a Senate bill, which will now move back to the House for a full vote. If the legislation passes, Brazil could see its first casinos open in 2019. The measure is being backed by President Dilma Roussef (l.).

Wynn Changes Name in Massachusetts

Wynn Resorts has rebranded its Everett casino (l.) in Massachusetts as the “Wynn Boston Harbor” even though it is nowhere near Boston Harbor. Meanwhile, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week that it should not grant a commercial license to operate a casino to Mass Gaming & Entertainment and instead completely embrace the tribe’s First Light Casino and Resort. Mashpee Chairman Cedric Cromwell says Malaysia’s Genting has committed to funding the project.

Philippines Responds to Money Laundering Reports

Teresita Herbosa (l.), the head of the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, supports a push to make casinos subject to the country’s anti-money laundering laws. Recent reports put the Philippines at the top of a list of nations where money laundering flourishes.

NIGA Concludes 2016 Indian Gaming Trade Show

The 2016 version of the Indian Gaming trade show, the official show of the National Indian Gaming Association, ended last week with a slew of awards, plenty of new products, and some satisfied exhibitors.

Is Cyprus Bidding Rigged?

A failed Cyprus casino bidder, which includes U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (l.), says favoritism is at work as the island republic prepares to grant its sole casino license. Three companies are still in the running, down from an initial field of eight contenders.

Study of Gaming Industry Not Needed Say Connecticut Tribes

A new study to prove that a third Indian casino is needed to prevent a loss of revenue to Connecticut’s existing casinos is not needed. That’s the very strong opinion of the Pequot and Mohegan tribes, operators of Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun, said Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler (l.).


Investors in the gaming industry are seeing the silver lining in the dark clouds, but can you believe it? Also, will Donald Trump as president be the disaster that many political experts expect? And what about the Fed? Are interest rates going to be low forever?


Macau: World’s Worst Economy?

Macau once was the global mecca for high-rolling gamblers, but a recession that will soon enter its third year has changed all that. Now U.S. broadcaster CNN has dubbed Macau’s economy “the worst performing in the world.” Yet Macau revenues still triple the Las Vegas Strip.

IP Prepares for Saipan Opening

Freed from its cash-draining alliance with a Macau junket operator, Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific looks with high hopes to the opening of its new permanent casino in Garapan, on the island of Saipan. A temporary casino in a shopping mall (l.) is already in operation.

Neptune Struggles to Rebuild Business Model

Macau’s junket businesses are working to remake their business models in response to the loss of high-roller business in the MSAR. A report from gaming promoter the Neptune Group says the old model is “no longer sustainable.”

Did Suncity Violate Philippine Election Laws?

Macau junket operator Suncity has been caught up in a scandal surrounding the Philippine presidential election. The company allegedly made donations to presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe (l.) in violation of election laws.


Smoking Ban Begins In Romania

Casino operators in Romania are concerned a new smoking ban, which took effect March 16, could cause revenue decreases of up to 40 percent. However, casinos are exempt in Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Italy, noted Violeta Radoi of the Slot Organizers Association. "Such solutions can be implemented in Romania, too,” she said.


Bermuda Casino Site Application Available

Designated sites applications are available for Bermuda property owners who want to build an integrated resort casino or a casino on an existing resort, according to Alan Dunch (l.), the chairman of the island’s gaming commission. Bermuda officials said new casino resorts will increase jobs and tourism since casino gambling now is "a common and expected amenity by the global tourist market.”

Auction Planned For Bahamas Grand Lucayan

The Grand Lucayan Resort complex in the Bahamas, including the Treasure Bay Casino, will be sold at auction by owners Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited of Hong Kong. Buyers may purchase the entire resort or parts and may qualify for seller-provided financing. Sealed bids will be accepted through June 20.

Gauteng, S.A., Weighs Casino Tax

Larger casino operators in Gauteng, South Africa, would pay more in casino gaming taxes, while smaller operators would pay less than the current 9 percent flat tax the province levies on casino gaming under a proposal designed to increase provincial tax revenues. The increased revenues would go toward building schools and infrastructure improvements.

Protestors March Against Sydney Casino

On March 19, more than 10,000 people were expected in Sydney to protest the Australian government's lockout laws that exempt casinos while forcing bars and nightclubs to close early. Organizers Reclaim the Streets demanded the government refuse casino donations. Premier Mike Baird (l.) said he'd be open to including casinos in the lockout laws.

Tabcorp Denies Bribery Allegations

The Australian Securities Exchange is looking at an AU$200,000 (US$150,300) payment allegedly made by Tabcorp to a relative of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (l.). The payment was reportedly made as the company sought a gaming license in the country.


Delaware North Acquires Ruby Seven

Delaware North has acquired top social casino developer Ruby Seven Studios, and will launch its own mobile and online social gaming platform.

DFS Sites Have Problem With New Jersey Bill; Tribes Gripe in Oklahoma

DFS sites DraftKings and FanDuel objected to a law to regulate and tax DFS sites in New Jersey because the bill does not spell out whether daily fantasy sports is a game of skill or gambling. The bill, however, advanced through a state Senate committee and is sponsored by state Senator James Whelan (l.). Meanwhile, tribes in Oklahoma say if the state passes a bill legalizing DFS, they will stop making payments required under the gaming compacts.

Lithuania Cracks Down on Unlicensed Online Operators

The government of Lithuania has pledged it will take legal action to stop unlicensed operators that flourished in the pre-regulation era. A black list of unlicensed operators currently includes William Hill, Betway and Unibet.

NetEnt to Provide Casino Games for PokerStars New Jersey

NetEnt has signed an agreement with Amaya Inc. to expand the two companies’ partnership to offer online casino games to PokerStars New Jersey site. The site is launching this month. NetEnt already supplies desktop and mobile games to the PokerStars brand in Europe.

Feds Want 5Dimes Funds; Intertain for Sale

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says offshore betting site 5Dimes illegally uses accounts to reward winning U.S. clients and has laundered nearly $2 million through 15 accounts over the past two years. The agency wants to seize $159,000 remaining in the 15 accounts. Meanwhile, Canadian online gaming company Intertain announced it is for sale.

Worldpay To Service Paddy Power Betfair

Payment processor Worldpay has been selected by Paddy Power Betfair to provide the international multichannel betting and gaming group with payments expertise to increase business, improve efficiencies and support global growth.

Mondogoal, Real Madrid Form Partnership

The Real Madrid C.F. football team and the online daily fantasy football company Mondogoal have formed a partnership. Mondogoal offers major weekly cash prizes for Real Madrid C.F. and also offers players a chance to win money by building their own starting 11 to compete in head-to-head battles or multi-use tournaments.

Betinvest To Offer Kiron Virtual Games

Under a new agreement, Kiron Interactive will supply its popular virtual games on the Betinvest platform to sports betting customers in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America via its combined Betman online and retail game servers. Officials expect the move to boost spending and retention rates.

Mediatech Signs with Fairplay

Mediatech Solutions will supply Fairplay Online with a new online casino using its IRIS platform, to be used by the Janshen-Hahnraths Group in the Netherlands.

Inspired Virtual Sports Go Live on Bet365 in Italy

Inspired announced that its virtual sports games are now live online in Italy with bet365. The site will offer Inspired’s full library of 8 premium Virtual Sports including Football, Horse Racing, Greyhounds and Cars.


Report: Second Vegas-Area Casino for Sale

Aliante Gaming reportedly hired a Los Angeles investment bank to handle a potential sale of the Aliante Hotel in North Las Vegas, which opened in November 2008 and defaulted on $378 million in loans after the Great Recession took hold of the global economy. The Palms Casino also reportedly is for sale, but the Culinary Workers Union continues trying to organize its workers.

Chinese Coalition Offers Starwood $13 Billion

Led by Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group, a coalition has made a $12.9 billion bid to purchase Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. However, last November, Starwood, which owns the Westin Las Vegas (l.), agreed to be purchased by Marriott International for $12.2 billion, making Marriott the world's largest hotel chain. Analysts say Anbang's move could trigger a bidding war.

New Jersey Senate Approves Atlantic City Takeover Bill

The New Jersey Senate has approved a bill that would have the state takeover all of the remaining aspects of financial control of Atlantic City, but the bill’s passage in the state Assembly is not assured. Without a companion bill to direct casino funds to the resort, the city could run out of money by next month. The city then would likely be forced to declare bankruptcy because Governor Chris Christie (l.) says he’ll only sign the bill passed by the Senate.

Pinnacle Shareholders Okay $4.1 Billion Deal

Pinnacle Entertainment shareholders during a special meeting approved the $4.1 billion sale of 14 properties in Nevada, Louisiana (L’Auberge Baton Rouge at left), and Missouri, to Gaming and Leisure Properties, which will own the real estate assets, but lease the casino operations back to Pinnacle Entertainment for $377 million per year in rent. The deal awaits regulatory approval.

Arizona Senate Considers Ending Dog Racing

An amendment to end dog racing by the end of 2016 but allow Tucson Greyhound Park, Arizona's only greyhound racetrack, to offer televised off-track horserace wagering, recently reached the full state Senate. Supporters said it offers track owners a "soft landing" but opponents said it "essentially kills greyhound racing in the future Arizona."

AGA: More Brackets Than Votes

The American Gaming Association used the coming NCAA tournament to illustrate the extent of illegal betting, predicting more completed brackets than votes for president. AGA President Geoff Freeman (l.) says it’s time for a “a fresh, rational approach to sports betting.”

Northwest Indiana Casinos' Future Brighter

Northwest Indiana's five casinos posted $84.1 million in revenue for February, a 5.6 percent increase over $79.3 million in February 2015--the third consecutive month in which the casinos have posted monthly year-over-year revenue gains. All five also had higher attendance in February 2015 versus February 2014, led by Horseshow Hammond (l.)

Las Vegas Economy Becoming More Diverse

Although gaming remains the top activity for visitors to Las Vegas, more people are coming to Sin City for shopping, shows, and general fun and recreation, rather than gambling, and that is helping to make the city’s economy more diverse. So is an emphasis on providing non-gaming activities and maintaining the city as the world’s top trade show destination. Next month, MGM will open the non-gaming Park and the T-Mobile Arena (l.).

Golden Entertainment Expanding in Nevada

Golden Entertainment announced its plan to add six new properties in Southern Nevada, after reporting much-improved fourth-quarter results to end 2015. After posting a $38,000 loss a year earlier, Golden Entertainment reported $23.4 million in earnings and $90.8 million in revenues during the last quarter of the year, for $1.06 per share.

Costner Sells Failed Casino Land in Deadwood

Actor Kevin Costner (l.) has sold a 103-acre tract of the 1,000 acres he owns in historic Deadwood, South Dakota to hotel owners and operators Ramkota Companies Inc. The acreage includes the site of Costner's proposed $100 million Dunbar Casino Resort, named for his character in the Academy Award-winning film, "Dances With Wolves."

Biloxi Projects Making Progress

Construction is a common site in Biloxi, with new building and renovations in progress. Casinos are contributing to the growth with a new country nightclub opening soon at IP Casino, which also is updating its hotel suites, and at Harrah's Gulf Coast Casino, where every hotel room is being updated.

Wynn Downgraded, Boyd Upgraded

Wynn Resort’s share price surged over the past month after opening the Wynn Palace Macau, but a ratings analysts says large debt and vulnerability to VIP bettors causes concern, and downgraded the stock. Meanwhile, an improved debt situation at Boyd Gaming earned it an upgraded rating by Fitch, moving from “stable” to positive.

Maine Casino Proponents Appeal Decision

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlop invalidated more than half of the signatures turned in by a group wanting to qualify a measure for the November ballot. The proponents of a casino in York County have sued the Secretary of State over the matter.

Station Casinos Improving Sports Books

Pleased with public reaction to recent improvements to its race and sports book at the Red Rock Resort, Station Casinos announced it will make similar changes to race and sports books at five other properties as part of up-to $125 million in capital improvements Station Casinos has planned for 2016.

Atlantic City Casino Revenue up 14.7 Percent for February

In a week when much of Atlantic City’s future was being decided in Trenton, the city’s casino industry saw one of its best months in years with a 14.7 percent increase in revenue for February over last year. The state’s online gaming revenue was up 42 percent over February 2015.

Penn National Reports Revised Profit

In revised SEC filings, Penn National credited leaseback deals enabling it to continue running the Tropicana and M Resort in Las Vegas but releasing it from the burden of property ownership, helped the casino operator to net a $686,000 profit in 2015, after losing nearly $189 million a year earlier.


Tribe, Florida Request Trial Delay

The Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida asked a federal judge to reschedule a trial determining if the tribe can keep offering blackjack at all its casinos, including Hard Rock Casino Tampa (l.). The state sued to force the tribe to stop offering the games after that compact provision expired, and the tribe also sued, claiming the state violated the compact and negotiated in bad faith.

Seminole Casinos Face Closure Threat in Oklahoma

The Seminole Nation's three Oklahoma casinos could temporarily close due to National Indian Gaming Commission compliance issues. The tribe owes the NIGC $1.4 million in fines for gaming without a compact. Employee turnover and lack of training also could have contributed to the fines, said Seminole Nation Gaming Commission Chairman Willis Deatherage.

Political Intrigue At Black Bear Casino

The gaming licenses of two directors at Black Bear Casino (l.) in Fond du Lac, Minnesota were suspended under an investigation into the misuse of Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribal funds. Chairman Wally Dupuis also was accused of using a contract the casino has with a printing company for his campaign literature.

Southern California Tribe Awaits Permission to Open Casino

A small tribe on a tiny reservation in the desert in the backcountry of San Diego County awaits a decision by the National Indian Gaming Commission that it can open its casino. Once the NIGC approves of a management contract with Penn National Gaming, Jamul Indian Village will be able to open Hollywood Casino Jamul (l.).


NIGC Gets Third Commissioner

Operating without a full panel since 2015, the National Indian Gaming Commission now has all three positions filled with the arrival last week of Kathryn Isom-Clause of the Taos Pueblo. The NIGC oversees Indian gaming in the U.S. She is shown at last week’s NIGA trade show with NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. (far right) and Vice Chairman Kevin Leecy (2nd from left) NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri and Commissioner E. Sequoyah Simermeyer (far left).

Nevada Gaming Control Names Head Auditor

A UNLV graduate and longtime Nevada Gaming Control Board accountant Kelly Colvin replaces Shirley Springer as chief of the board’s audit division, Gaming Control Chairman A.G. Burnett announced. Colvin has been a CPA since 1994, joined the Gaming Control Board 26 years ago, and will help modernize the unit. Springer retired in February.

GSA Names 2016 Board

The Gaming Standards Association announced the elected officers and new board of directors for 2016, led by returning Chairman Adrian Marcu of IGT.

Gila River Casinos Names New Marketing Officer

Gaming veteran Michael Feldman has been named as corporate vice president of marketing for Gila River Casinos, which operates three casino in Arizona. Promoted from within the enterprise, Feldman previous held positions with casinos in Indiana and New Mexico.

Lazzara Named VP of Advertising by Mesquite Gaming

Mesquite Gaming, owner of Virgin River Hotel/Casino/Bingo and Casablanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa, announced today the promotion of Chris Lazzara from slot systems analyst to vice president of marketing and advertising.

NetEnt CDO Named to List of Powerful Women

An executive of NetEnt, Åsa Bredin, has been named one of “Sweden’s Most Powerful Women” by the financial magazine Veckans Affarer. Breden recently joined the casino software development as chief development officer.

Betcade Names Barclay To Open London Office

Paul Barclay brings decades of experience in the payments and gambling sectors to his new role as general manager of Betcade Europe. Barclay will open the London office of Betcade, the first dedicated Android app store for the gaming market, and lead payments and operations.

Grimes Named Vice President At Lottoland

Online gaming industry veteran Gavin Grimes, formerly head of casino at Gala Coral Interactive, recently was named vice president of gaming at Lottoland, a world-class bingo and casino gaming service founded in 2013. Grimes also was social gaming head at Gala Coral, McBroom managing director and Cantor Index marketing head.


IGT Donates to NIGA Building Fund; Signs Tribal Deal

International Game Technology donated $25,000 to the National Indian Gaming Association Building Fund in a ceremony at the NIGA trade show. Meanwhile, IGT will provide a complete system solution to the Little Creek Casino Resort in Washington, after a competitive bid to replace the casino’s current system.

MGM Earns Top Marks Among Women

MGM Resorts International is the only Nevada job provider and only company involved in the resorts and hospitality industry that earned recognition for its efforts on behalf of women-owned businesses and to diversify its supplier base. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council named MGM among 62 award recipients for supporting women-owned businesses.

Maryland Live! Debuts Social Casino Website

The interactive social casino website,, available through the Maryland Live! website and mobile apps, combines free online gaming, including a wide selection of slots and table games, plus a social casino with multi-player games, tournaments and leader boards, said casino President Rob Norton.

Merit Picks Shuffle Master DeckMate2

Voyager Kibris Ltd. has signed an agreement with Scientific Games to purchase 50 Shuffle Master DeckMate2 shufflers for its five Merit casinos in North Cyprus.

Analysts Positive on IGT Results

IGT’s results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015 generated positive reports from analysts after the company beat earnings projections.

Everi Achieves Full EMV Compliance

Everi Holdings has become the first casino industry supplier to achieve full compliance on all products for EMV-chip credit and debit cards.

Ortiz to Launch New Game Library

Ortiz Gaming will launch an increase in its product lineup with new library of bingo, video reel slots and keno games at the Global Gaming Expo in September.

Enjoy Selects Win Systems

Operator Enjoy has installed a casino management system supplied by Win Systems at its Enjoy San Andres casino in Colombia.

GameCo Applies for New Jersey License

GameCo, Inc., which develops skill-based video gambling machines, is applying for a license in New Jersey to sell skill-based games to Atlantic City casinos.




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