Wynn Resorts plans a $1.5 billion addition to its Las Vegas properties by adding a 38-acre lagoon ringed by a mile-long stretch of white sand beach, with accompanying water sports and boating activity called Paradise Park, along with a 1,000-room boutique hotel tower, luxury retail stores and other amenities. Wynn Resorts’ board of directors must approve the project.
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Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Ltd. is seeking shareholder approval to complete its purchase of Les Ambassadeurs Club (l.), an exclusive London casino. In December, the company made a deal to buy the luxury property for ₤137 million (US$192.7 million). Landing is also building a casino in Korea with Genting.
MGM Resorts International will retain majority control of shares and shareholder voting power in its real estate investment trust’s initial public offering, which MGM began marketing this month and hopes to raise some $1.2 billion from the sale of 50 million shares at up to $21 per share. The shares will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the MGP symbol. Bellagio (l.) and MGM Grand are not included in the sale of properties to MGP.
Efforts to pass online poker bills in both New York and California seem to have hit another snag and it’s unlikely the bills will pass anytime soon. In New York, the main sponsor of legislation said he doubts the bill can pass the state legislature this year. In California, Steve Stallings (l.) of California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) said last week that such an iPoker bill is “set to move ahead.”
Baha Mar founder Sarkis Izmirlian is making a new bid to China’s state-owned Export-Import Bank (Exim) to reclaim ownership of the stalled mega-resort. But will his offer be taken seriously given his conflict with both the Chinese financiers and Bermuda authorities?
At the one-year anniversary of the “Stop Illegal Gambling” Initiative the AGA will gather law enforcement executives in June to fight illegal gambling. In addition, the AGA is launching a new website —StopIllegalGambling.org—that will serve as information hub for law enforcement, industry and the media.
The pending openings of three more casino resorts on Macau’s Cotai Strip this year, including Sands China’s Parisian Macao (l.), will lead to oversupply and cannibalization of existing business, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings and Morgan Stanley. But an emphasis on mass gaming and non-gaming may turn the tide, in time.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians' proposed $400 million casino and tribal village was unanimously approved by the South Bend, Indiana Common Council, following the approval of the mayor, Pete Buttigieg (l.). The tribe will give the city 2 percent of annual casino gambling profits plus $5 million for community projects. The city agreed to oppose further gambling and not support other city casino projects.
Regional casinos and Las Vegas integrated resorts are making a nice recovery in the past couple of years, but when can we expect the Macau casinos to turn around, and when the heck is that replacement cycle going to kick in for slot makers?
This week, the GGB Podcast joins Ray Pineault, the president and general manager of Mohegan Sun, to talk about the new Sightline Play+ system that has been a hit at his casino.
Genting Hong Kong, which operates casino cruises under the Star Cruises brand, has signed an agreement with China Merchants Shekou Holdings to develop an international cruise ship port in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. Chairman Lim Kok Thay (l.) says Genting will develop a lifestyle product.
The first phase of a $4 billion integrated casino resort in South Hoi An, Vietnam will begin construction this week. The property is a joint venture of Vietnamese asset management firm VinaCapital, Macau-based SunCity, and Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.
The high profile money-laundering case that saw $81 million in funds disappear from a Bangladeshi bank and resurface in the Philippines has the World Bank joining the call to reform anti-money laundering laws. SEC Chairwoman Teresita Herbosa (l.) said the country is committed to transparency.
The Indian state of Maharashtra is reportedly willing to review the long-dormant Casinos Control & Tax Act, which was enacted in 1976 but never implemented. Nagaland has taken the first step toward regulating online skill-based wagers in a bill approved by Governor PB Acharya (l.).
One of the world's largest construction firms, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, has been selected by Lotte Tour and Chinese real estate firm Greenland Group to build a $600 million casino resort in Jeju Island, South Korea. The project will include the island's tallest building, the "Dream Tower," and a foreigners-only casino.
Macau’s former Public Prosecutor General Ho Chio Meng (l.), charged with fraud, abuse of power and document forgery, has tried and failed to get out of jail. The case that allegedly involves other government officials resulted in bribes amounting to 44 million patacas (US$5.5 million).
The U.K. Gambling Commission has introduced new rules for bookmakers to deter problem gambling, and has promised tougher enforcement for exploiting problem gamblers. U.K. Gambling Commission Chief Executive Sarah Harrison (l.) said casinos need to learn their lessons or face the consequences.
Gala Bingo is the first bingo company to join the UK’s gaming industry watchdog, the Senet Group. The Gala Leisure and Gala Interactive brands join big-gun operators including Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Betting & Gambling, and William Hill.
Swiss national Safa Abdulla Al Geabury claimed he was homeless and too poor to attend a trial in London where Judge Robin Spencer sentenced him to 10 months in jail and ordered him to pay the Ritz Hotel Casino in London ₤3.2 million for gambling chips he purchased with a check that bounced.
SkyCity Darwin’s acting GM Callum Mallett has denied speculation that the company will sell its Darwin casino resort (l.) in the Top End. But he didn’t rule out a sale, either, if an offer was “too good to be true.”
Shorelines Casino Peterborough will open in 2017 in Ontario, creating 150 new jobs and absorbing 150 jobs plus all the slot machines from Kawartha Downs in Cavan Monaghan Township. Although the track will retain harness racing, the township will lose $3 million in annual slot revenue.
South African resort operator Sun International has tabled a plan to buy rival casino owner Peermont Group. In 2015, Sun announced it would buy 100 percent of Peermont’s holding company, including Emperor’s Palace (l.), which owns and operates eight African casinos.
In response to "suspicious cash transactions" of $119 million in the past 12 months, the British Columbia government formed the 22-member Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation unit to combat money laundering and organized crime at the nation's casinos. The B.C. Lottery Corporation will fund 70 percent of the unit's $4.3 million, 5-year budget.
Melco Crown’s City of Dreams Manila (l.), which opened in late 2014, continues to struggle. The second of four casino resorts planned for the Philippines capital’s Entertainment City, saw losses of 45 percent for 2015.
Australia’s Greens Party is pushing for a complete ban on all forms of advertising for sports betting. A policy proposed by Senator Richard DiNatale would treat gambling ads like smoking ads—unacceptable due to the risks for harm.
Ronald Plasterk (l.), Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, recently noted Curaçao and St. Maarten must monitor their own gambling concerns. Plasterk was responding to questions from two MPs regarding the involvement of accounting firm KPMG with , St. Maarten casino owner Francesco Corallo.
Desiring a piece of the $2.8 billion golf betting generates annually, the PGA Tour issued requests for proposals to data companies for the right to package real-time data into feeds for gambling operations. Today bettors, through Nevada or overseas bookmakers, can only pick a player to win, finish in the top 10, shoot the best round or beat other players in head-to-head matchups.
With the backing of the British government, the first eGames will take place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as a two-day "pop-up" eSports event. Players from the U.K., Canada, U.S., Brazil and other nations will compete for medals in a variety of games.
A hearing to examine the daily fantasy sports industry will be held in Congress next month. The hearing would be held before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade on May 11. Meanwhile, daily fantasy sports is embraced by all professional sports leagues, is not a threat to established Las Vegas casino operators, and should be made legal in every state, MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren (l.) said.
A bill introduced in Quebec would require internet providers to block access to online gambling sites not approved by the province. The bill is opposed by “net neutrality” advocates who also charge that the bill is designed to protect Quebec's state-owned gambling authority and block competition.
Some details on proposed online gambling taxation in Russia have been revealed on the national parliament’s website. The site outlines proposal for significant increases.
The South Australian Council of Social Services says online betting companies, which are taxed where they are licensed instead of where the bets are placed, could be using that provision of the law to sidestep paying a fair share of taxes.
Quickspin will provide Danske Spil with its full portfolio of games and promotional tools under a newly announced deal.
The Isle of Man's Gambling Supervision Commission has launched an investigation into four online bookmakers with operations based there after receiving complaints the companies were voiding bets. The sites involved are 138.com, 12Bet, Fun88.co.uk and TLC Bet.
According to a new research study in the United Kingdom, one in 10 players that play free online games such as Candy Crush say they are addicted to the games. The games are free, but include in-app purchase options that have made them major revenue generators.
According to recently released statistics, Bet365 is dominant in Italy’s online sports betting market and controlled one third of the market for the first quarter of 2016.
Real Sports Global has announced that Ladbrokes has launched the company’s 5050Sports, Real Horses, Real Dogs and Scratch cards on its site.
Amaya Gaming has partnered with edict eGaming GmbH to supply Merkur slot games to customers of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker sites.
The online gaming industry in Delaware is rebounding from a slow 2015, with revenues for both January and February up over the same months last year.
Genting Casino & Live Casino has added IGT’s legendary Cleopatra slot game to its lineup of online games available on PC, tablet and smartphone.
Gamesys has launched its first real-money poker game with online casino operator Virgin Games in Wild Seat Poker, featuring numerous hidden prizes.
Playtech has launched new online title “Zeus,” part of a new suite of networked progressive online slot games called Age of the Gods.
With two competing plans for a state takeover of Atlantic City’s finances on the table, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (l.) offered a compromise to his bill that would see the state take control of the city for five years. The compromise would give the city government 130 days to enact a “legally binding” cost cutting plan and delay a takeover. However, a plan in the state Assembly gives the city two years to meet fiscal “benchmarks” or the state takes over. While the two sides negotiate, Atlantic City government remained open despite having no cash.
The Great Recession decimated the construction industry in the Las Vegas Valley, and nearly put an end to the luxury Lake Las Vegas resort (l.) near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. But new industrial developments and lower real estate costs are driving more construction activity and commercial interest in Lake Las Vegas and across the Las Vegas Valley.
There’s a new brand name for two casinos and one racino in Ohio. JACK is the name of the gaming company, which was formerly Rock Gaming Inc. Under the new name, Thistledown Racine will get a $70 million upgrade.
Marnell Gaming has received Nevada Gaming Control Board’s approval to acquire the Nugget casino in Sparks. The company plans to invest about $25 million over the next 18 to 24 months in the property. Marnell Gaming CEO Anthony Marnell III (l.) said all AML issues have been addressed after problems with previous management.
New Jersey regulators have approved billionaire Carl Icahn to run Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal casino. The casino will see $15 million in renovations, but it is unclear if Icahn will invest another promised $100 million in the property as the threat of casino expansion in the state hangs over the city. Donald Trump no longer has a stake in the property.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis said he will attend the April 28 Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meeting at UNLV and discuss a potential move to Las Vegas. In the meantime, he said the Raiders might play preseason games in Las Vegas and might relocate, if a proposed $1.3 billion domed stadium were built.
With issues such as casino expansion to northern New Jersey and the ongoing battle over Atlantic City finances, the casino industry has been spending more on lobbying efforts in the New Jersey. Casino and gambling interests spent more than $1.1 million on lobbying efforts in 2015.
The world’s largest race and sports book, Westgate’s SuperBook (l.), now is smoke-free, and that has local gaming operators and industry analysts speculating on the potential impact on gaming revenues. Statewide smoking bans traditionally result in significant declines in gaming revenues, and studies suggest smokers bet more than non-smokers, but declining smoking rates among residents and visitors has Nevada casinos looking more closely at smoking bans.
The 60-year-old Riviera casino closed in May 2015, and its iconic neon sign soon will be all that remains of it, as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority prepares to demolish it this summer and replace it with an outdoor exhibition area. The authority agreed to pay $42 million to raze the casino, and its sign will reside at the Neon Museum.
Developer Bart Blatstein (l.) has announced a new strategy for his Playground entertainment complex in Atlantic City. The developer hopes to attract new retailers to the site through pop-up leases. The short=term leases are designed to attract innovative retailers to the complex.
The trial of three men accused of fraudulently trying to hide the involvement of a mobster and convicted felon in the purchase of land for the $2 billion Wynn Boston Harbor has begun.
Despite the chaos surrounding Atlantic City’s municipal government, casino revenue for March declined less than 1 percent for the city’s eight casinos. Online gaming revenue continued to rise, but iGaming revenues set a new record, no doubt spurred on by the introduction of PokerStars into the New Jersey market. Matt Levinson (l.), chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission said players won more in March.
Fewer people are betting while in Las Vegas, but when they do, the vast majority bet on the Las Vegas Strip, and have significantly larger gambling budgets than four years earlier, according to results of a 2015 poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The poll also shows most visitors are over age 40 and booked their trips online.
Following a spirited debate, the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council voted 6-6 on a smoking ban at casinos and bars—one vote short of passage. Pro-smoking ban groups spent $300,000 on a months-long media campaign that ultimately was unsuccessful. Casino executives argued they—and the city-parish—would lose revenue if the ban passed.
Revel owner Glenn Straub is continuing his appeal challenging Stockton University’s sale of the former Showboat casino hotel (l.) to a Philadelphia developer. Straub says he will also re-open Revel in June, with a variety of different attractions, but likely no casino.
A new study shows that states turning to gambling to fix budget deficits are only getting a short-term fix as revenue tax and fees decline.
Caesars Entertainment is upgrading thousands of hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip and celebrating its 50th year in business this year with a special Celine Dion (l.) concert. Caesars is improving 20 percent of its rooms on the Strip, including those at Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Paris Las Vegas, and Planet Hollywood, and Dion will perform her 1,000th show in August.
Kansas City, Kansas planning commission has recommended that the United Government Commission approve a request to reopen the Woodlands as a racetrack, electronic gaming venue and entertainment center. The property is owned by Ruffin Woodlands LLC, headed by billionaire Phil Ruffin, a Wichita native.
Rush Street Gaming, owners of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, must pay the state $1.65 million for giving a no-bid cleaning and security contract and for mishandling a contest. The situation could impact a subsidiary, Mass Gaming & Entertainment, competing for a license for a $677 million casino resort in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Since casinos opened in Tunica County, Mississippi, in the 1990s, both the poverty rate and the unemployment rate dropped by half. Gaming tax revenue allowed infrastructure improvements that have attracted other industries. Still, casino revenue from the region declined from $1.6 billion in 2006 to $950 million in 2015. (Horseshoe Tunica at left.)
In South Dakota, smoking is banned in establishments that serve or sell alcohol, including video lottery casinos. But following several complaints to Sioux Falls officials, the state Lottery Commission voted 7-0 to send letters to the casinos and city governments demanding compliance with the smoking ban.
The Coquille Indian Tribe of Oregon wants to build a second casino, a $26 million facility in an old bowling ally and adjacent restaurant. Oregon Governor Kate Brown (l.) opposes this, saying each tribe should be limited to one casino.
Reports say the Iowa tribe of Oklahoma is close to finalizing a deal with the state to launch an online poker network.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and state Attorney General Luther Strange recently told U.S. Attorney George Beck (l.) electronic bingo games are slots which are illegal in the state. Now Beck wants the National Indian Gaming Commission to comment on the games, since they are allowed at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' casinos.
The Enterprise Rancheria of Northern California April 8 held a groundbreaking for its $170 million Fire Mountain Casino in northern California. The ceremony for the controversial casino was attended by over 200 well-wishers and 18 opponents who wish them anything but good luck. Tribal Chairwoman Glenda Nelson (l.) says the casino will bring the tribe self sufficiency.
The Connecticut Airport Authority is playing its cards close to its vest regarding the proposal for the state’s third Indian casino that the Authority would like to see at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. It is refusing Freedom of Information requests from reporters, and the state’s Freedom of Information Commission is unsure whether it has jurisdiction over the Authority.
Opponents of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s casino in Glendale (l.) have lost 19 court cases in their attempts to stop the casino from happening. They figure their luck has got to change eventually. Maybe it just did.
The small town of Taunton, Massachusetts, is getting ready to see if the reality of economic benefits promised by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s Project First Light matches the hype. The tribe held a groundbreaking a few weeks ago. Now the economically crippled city could see economic benefits from a $1 billion casino resort.
A coalition of 100 gaming tribes has urged the U.S. Senate to take action on bill that would exempt tribal casinos from the nation’s labor laws. Specifically it would remove them from the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board.
The first-ever regulatory commission overseeing tribal consumer lending has been established by the Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. Tribal officials said the commission is a response to criticism that payday lending is predatory, and that gaming-industry regulation will serve as a model. The tribe operates the fee-based internet service Mobile Loans.
A nearly decade-long federal court fight over a the Gun Lake Tribe in Michigan opening a casino in Wayland Township likely is over after President Barack Obama recently signed the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act into law. The act clarifies the federal government’s authority to place tribal lands in federal trust, thus exempting them from local control. And a $76 million expansion of the casino will add 73,000 square feet to the existing 83,000. Amenities will include more slots and table games, high limit poker room, new buffet and entertainment center.
A state bill would give Madison County, New York, a larger share of the state’s cut from the Oneida Indian Nation’s Yellow Brick Road Casino, which is located in Madison County. The New York Senate approved the measure, which gives Madison County 25 percent of the state’s share of revenues from the casino, but is must be approved by the Assembly and Governor.
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi are adding the FireKeepers PitStop gas station and convenience store, and hosting Michigan’s largest poker tournament at its growing FireKeepers Casino near Battle Creek. The $300,000 Mid States Poker Tour runs March 25 through May 15, with the four-day main event to be televised.
Set to open in December or January ahead of the $70.2 million state-owned Kansas Crossing, the Cherokee Nation's $23 million, 39,000 square foot casino in Grove, Oklahoma will offer 400 electronic games, table games and a live poker room. Officials at Kansas Crossing Casino and the Downstream Casino in nearby Quapaw, Oklahoma don't seem to be concerned.
Worldwide lottery sales grew by just 2 percent last year, the smallest increase since 2011 said the World Lottery Association. Growth of 19.1 percent in Latin America and 8 percent in North America boosted the disappointing total. In 2014, lottery sales posted 9.9 percent growth.
Scientific Games Corporation announced since 2004, its Key Dual Security system has protected more than $70 billion in lottery player prize money around the world. The system adds an advanced layer of security and protects against unauthorized attempts to determine an instant game ticket's value. A second-generation version launched in 2014.
Michael Leven recently retired from the boards of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Sands China Limited. Leven joined the Sands board in 2004 and served as chief operating officer from 2009 to 2014. He was instrumental in opening the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and increasing the company's profits and market share in Macau.
Former WMS executive Sebastian Salat has ben named CEO of bingo games maker Zitro. He points to the increasing presence of Zitro products on the internet as a positive.
The chairman of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which operates San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, was reelected last week. This is the fourth time Lynn Valbuena has held the job, but the first two times were in the 1990s.
Drexel University Casino Gaming Student Parthena (Gina) Vorgiatzidis was awarded the 2016 Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Scholarship for students pursuing a career in the gaming and casino industry.
Eldorado Resorts Inc. announced it has hired Phil Fortino as senior vice president of human resources, Shawn Rorick as vice president of digital marketing and eCommerce and Stephen Geerling as vice president of tax. The company owns seven casino resorts in Nevada, Louisiana, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Online casino Mr. Green has appointed David Nordberg as its new chief marketing officer, and Oscar Mühlbach as the new chief operations officer.
Franco Dragone, creator and director of the House of Dancing Water show in Macau, the world's largest aquatic show, has been named in the Panama Papers document leak from the Mossack Fonseca law firm. Belgian authorities previously indicted Dragone for tax evasion and money laundering in connection with funding the show.
The commission that oversees gaming in Washington state is reconsidering a decision it made last July allowing so-called “skill” games at venues around the state like bars and restaurants. The commission is under increasing pressure from lawmakers and gaming tribes to backtrack.
Golden Entertainment will install Konami’s Synkros casino management system at its three casinos in Pahrump, Nevada, replacing existing systems.
IGT hosted 60 of its customers at its “Aruba Road Show,” giving Caribbean operators an advance look at the company’s latest games, hardware and systems technology.
Scientific Games subsidiary Bally Gaming Netherlands has won the largest share of a contract for gaming machines for Casino Cosmopol.
Novomatic Lottery Solutions has launched an omni-channel solution for the Catalonian lottery, allowing customers to buy tickets wherever they are.
Aruze Gaming America has secured its license to manufacture and distribute gaming equipment in Iowa, making its temporary license permanent.
The Seminole Hard Rock casino in Tampa has launched Spin Ferno, a high-energy slot tournament system using reel-spinning slots in IGT’s S3000 series.
Intralot has extended its contract with two major lottery operators in the Netherlands, extending contracts when the two organizations merge this year.
JOSEPH EVE CPAs last week announced that it has won an RFP to conduct external auditing services for Casino Pauma in California.
The first Asia Gaming Awards will honor operators, suppliers, online and land-based gaming, and will be an annual event at all future editions of the trade show. At left, the organizers of the Asia Gaming Awards include David Green, chairman of the AGAwards, and principal with NewPage Consulting; Luis Pereira, managing director of AGBrief; and Josephine Lee, vice president with Reed Exhibitions.
Interblock Luxury Gaming Products announced its lineup of e-tables and other products to be displayed at next month’s G2E Asia trade show.
A Malaysian gambler who reportedly owns assets in Western Australia tried to use that tie to get off the hook for more than SGD620,000 (US$460,000) in gambling debts in Singapore. An Aussie court said its ban on credit-based wagering does not apply across international borders.
While the battle between poker pro Phil Ivey and Atlantic City’s Borgata casino over alleged edge sorting has gotten attention, an inner battle between the casino and the makers of the cards is also playing out. And in the UK, Ivey has been granted an appeal of Crockford’s (l.) victory to prevent the casino from paying him.
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