IPOs Shine

MGM Growth Properties, which features most of the MGM Strip properties except for the MGM Grand (l.) and Bellagio, exceeded even its own high expectations, when its share price topped $22 on the first day of issuance, and the company became the second IPO this year to raise more than $1 billion on its first day. Meanwhile, Red Rock Resorts, formerly Station Casinos, prepares for its IPO, with shares expected to sell for up to $21 in the “controlled company.”

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Drama Launches Wynn Massachusetts Land Trial

The devil is in the details for a trial of three Massachusetts men who are accused of trying to defraud the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and casino mogul Steve Wynn (l.), testifying before the commission in 2014) by hiding the ownership of a convicted felon from land they sold to Wynn in 2013. One of the pre-trail witnesses suggested that Wynn Resorts executives knew of the mob connections of the landowners long before the sale was completed, but that witness refuses to testify at the actual trial.

Boyd Attacks Vegas Locals Market

Boyd Gaming Corp. last week made a significant purchase in the Las Vegas locals market by buying Aliante casino hotel (l.) in North Las Vegas, a casino originally built by rival Station Casinos, for $380 million. Station lost control of the casino several years ago during the company’s bankruptcy. A report also indicated that Boyd was interested in purchasing the two Cannery resorts in Las Vegas, just weeks after Cannery completed the sale of its Meadows racetrack and casino in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Bridger Management doubled its holdings in Boyd Gaming, as it undertakes a $30 million improvement of the...

Online Gambling Bill Introduced in Michigan

Michigan state Senator Mike Kowall (l.) has introduced a bill to legalize online gambling in the state. The bill would allow for Michigan-located commercial and tribal casinos to apply for the operation of Internet gambling services. The bill, however, does not cover daily fantasy sports or sports betting.

LV Sands Consider Sale of Marina Bay Sands

During the quarterly earnings call, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said his company is considering the sale of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, as the period preventing a sale expires.

AGA Conference Targets Illegal Sports Betting

The American Gaming Association hosted a conference calling attention to the $100 billion wagered illegally in the United States every year. Many sports and gaming experts, including Rick Parry (l.), the former CEO of the Liverpool FC, testified that it was time the U.S. took another look at legal sports betting.

Receivers: Izmirlian Must Follow Court Process

The court-appointed receivers of the Baha Mar resort project (l.) say they cannot legally consider founder Sarkis Izmirlian’s latest offer to repurchase the project. At the same time the Bahama opposition party blasts government over Baha Mar handling.

Stevens Brothers Buy More Downtown

The D Las Vegas owners Derek and Greg Stevens bought three iconic properties in downtown Las Vegas, the Glitter Gulch strip club and Mermaids and La Bayou casino bars, making way for potential expansions of their other downtown businesses.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Good Old Days in Vegas

Looks like the recession is over in Vegas. Activity has picked up significantly, with good earnings reports, IPOs, new non-gaming developments and even property sales. Is this just a blip or are happy days here again?


Macau Trudges Toward 2nd Anniversary of Recession

The recession that began in June 2014 in Macau has staying power; though the casino industry has improved slightly, the pace of recovery has been glacial. Deutsche Bank put it well, saying “fundamentals are less bad,” but not better.

Philippine Central Bank Will Punish Lawbreakers

Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla (l.), the head of the central bank of the Philippines, has vowed to punish any financial institution found to have broken the law in a multimillion-dollar money laundering case. About $81 million was stolen from the Bangladesh Federal Reserve and funneled through Philippine casinos.

Tinian Dynasty to Open at Last?

Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas says the long-shuttered Tinian Dynasty Casino in the Northern Marianas could reopen for business during a fiesta celebration at the end of the month. The resort closed last year after a typhoon, and has since been mired in legal problems.

Goa Chief Minister Criticized for ‘Insensitive’ Remarks

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar (l.) said attempts to relocate offshore casino ships from India’s Mandovi River is like being forced to marry a pregnant woman and take care of other people’s “children.” That remark has led to calls for an apology—and a resignation.

NagaCorp Slower, But Still Strong

NagaCorp Ltd., operator of the NagaWorld casino resort (l.) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, posted robust revenue growth for the first quarter, and will continue to hold strong for the balance of 2016, according to Citi Research.

Parole Now Impossible in Corruption Cases

Chinese officials convicted of corruption may now face life imprisonment without parole, according to the Supreme People’s Court. In the past, death sentences could be commuted to life for good behavior, and life sentences could also be lessened for compliance behind bars.

Lawrence Ho Holds the Reins at Tigre de Cristal

Lawrence Ho (l.), casino magnate, CEO and chairman of Melco Entertainment, and son of industry legend Stanley Ho, now has a majority of directors on the board of Oriental Regent Ltd., operator of his Tigre de Cristal resort in the Russian Far East.

Maharashtra Considers Casino Act

Last week the government of Maharashtra, India was set to meet for a discussion of the state’s long-dormant casino act, first passed in 1976, but never notified or enacted. The Mumbai High Court has ordered officials to review the act and make a decision about the 40-year-old law.


Paddy Power Betfair Falls on Analyst Assessment

The recent merger of Paddy Power and Betfair landed the company on the FTSE 100, but some analysts say it doesn’t belong there, and scaling up is “no indication of potential market share gains.” After the comments from Credit Suisse, share prices headed south.

OEG Slovak Units Complete Merger

The merger of Olympic Entertainment Group’s Slovak subsidiaries, Olympic Casino Slovakia and Olympic F&B has been completed. According to the company, the move will have no immediate impact influence on operations.


Canadian Lawmakers Weigh Single Sports Betting

Canadian lawmakers in the House of Commons (l.) are debating a bill to allow betting on single sports events. The measure is heavily favored by the country’s casinos along the U.S. border, and if it passes, the competitive threat could force their neighbors in the States to consider similar reforms.

Is Crown in Talks to Run Gold Coast Casino?

Crown Resorts is reportedly hammering out a deal that could install it as the operator of Aquis (l.), AS Consortium’s $2 billion casino in Queensland, Australia. Because AS is backed by Chinese investors, the state government wants a local operator to run the place.

W. Australia Premier: Bring Back Casino Cruises

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett (l.) is campaigning to end a ban on regional casino cruises. It would require consent from Crown Resorts’ land-based casino business, which reportedly has a lock on casino operations within 124 miles of Perth, the state capital.

Chile Looks at New Casino Proposals

Last week, Chile began accepting technical bids from casino operators who want to develop gaming resorts in the South American country. Casinos could be sited in Arica, Iquique, Coquimbo, Vina del Mar, Pocono, Puerto Vargas and Nat ales, according to one report. Vina del Mar already offers one casino (l.).

Tabcorp Faces New Charges

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., accused of bribery while trying to enter the Cambodian gaming market, faces fresh charges. According to reports, the wagering giant failed to inform regulators of more than 30 accounts opened under false names by alleged organized crime figures.


New Jersey Clarifies Grey Market Online Gaming Policy

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director Dave Rebuck (l.) has issued a position paper on how online gambling providers operations in “grey” markets—where online gaming’s legality is in question—will affect those companies seeking a New Jersey online gambling license. The state will not block operators in grey markets unless another jurisdiction has taken action against them. However, operating in markets where online gambling is clearly illegal will cause the state to block any license request.

DFS Bills Advance in Some States, Falter in Others

Legislatures in Tennessee, Mississippi and Illinois advanced DFS legislation in their respective states. All three states have attorney generals that have issued opinions that DFS is illegal under their current laws. Tennessee is the third state to send a bill to its governor for signing to legalize daily fantasy sports. In Illinois, a DFS bill passed a House committee and in Mississippi a bill to temporarily legalize the games advanced. But Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen (l.) said allowing daily fantasy sports could endanger hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes on casinos currently paid by the state’s two...

April 27 Hearing set for California iPoker Bill

A key California Assembly committee is due to take up a bill that would authorize online poker in the Golden State. The committee will hold hearings on a bill authored by its chairman, Adam Gray (l.) , on April 27.

PokerStars has Immediate Impact in New Jersey

The addition of PokerStars to the New Jersey online market had an immediate impact on the state’s online industry, which posted its largest monthly take in two years in March. PokerStars New Jersey was only operational for less than two weeks in March, but seems certain to become the market leader in the state.

Unikrn CEO Warns Against Underage Gambling in Video Games

Rahul Sood (l.), the chief executive of Unikrn, whose company partnered with Tabcorp to offer eSports betting in Australia, warned in a personal blog post that underage betting within many video games—such as for virtual items used in the games—is exposing children to gambling and regulations may be needed to curb the practice.

Spin Games to Deploy Inspired Virtuals

Inspired Gaming has signed its North American virtual sports deal with Reno’s Spin Games, who will deploy Inspired virtuals to U.S. digital gaming channels.

NYX Delivers Content in Italy

NYX Gaming Group has released its digital casino content in the regulated gaming market in Italy to operator Sisal, via the Game360 platform.

OmniSlots Adds NetEnt Titles

OmniSlots has added a complete lineup of video slot games from developer NetEnt to its portfolio of online and mobile slot games.

Inspired Partners With Coral

Inspired will present its new on demand and in-play Virtual Sports gaming product, Rush Football Live, online and on mobile to Gala Coral customers.


Jersey City Mayor Rethinking New Jersey Casino Expansion

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (l.) says he isn’t sure he supports putting a major casino project in his city after a recent tour of Atlantic City, which is dealing with a major financial crisis due in part to its shrining casino market. Fulop has been a vocal proponent of expanding gambling in the state and Jersey City is considered one of the leading contenders for a new casino. Venture capitalist Paul Fireman has proposed building a $4.6 million casino there.

Macau Improved, Wynn Buys More

A “less bad” situation in Macau where Wynn Resorts will open Cotai’s Wynn Palace (l.) later this year, coupled with a recently announced $1.6 billion water park project in Las Vegas, Steve Wynn raised his total stake in Wynn Resorts to some 12 million shares, valued at nearly $1.2 billion. Wynn plans a massive water park project that anticipates remaking the north end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Developments Ignore Gaming

As evidenced by past, current, and future developments, the near-future in Las Vegas will include more attractions appealing to a broader range of visitors, and fewer increased gaming spaces, as the city slowly shifts from a primarily gaming-based economy to a more events-driven one in which activities and attractions draw more visitors, like the events at MGM’s T-Mobile Arena (l.).

MGM to Get $1.1 Billion for Crystals

CityCenter Holdings, an MGM Resort subsidiary, agreed to sell the 324,000-squre-foot Shops and Crystals luxury retail mall to investors for $1.08 billion, which will be paid by dividends. The mall opened in 2009, and initially struggled during the Great Recession, but has posted significant revenue gains in recent years. CityCenter is jointly owned by MGM Resorts International and Infinity World Development.

Atlantic City Sues State for Funds

Atlantic City has sued the state of New Jersey for budget aid it claims it was promised and advised to include in its current budget, but that never came. The aid package was vetoed twice by Governor Chris Christie. Meanwhile, legislators spent another week trying to come to a compromise on a proposed state takeover of the resort, with little to show for it.

Nevada County Forgives Almost $5 Million in Back Casino Taxes

A miscalculation of local Chapter 491 taxes resulted in casinos in Washoe County, Nevada, paying some $4.8 million less to the county and local units over the past seven years, but the County Commission agreed to forgive the past-due taxes. The county says it will collect the full amount this year and going forward.

Pinnacle Entertainment REIT Move Approved

A deal that would make Gaming Leisure Properties one of the largest triple-net REITs in existence obtained regulatory approval on four proposed properties in Louisiana, including L’Auberge Lake Charles (l.). Pinnacle Entertainment wants to sell the casinos to the REIT as part of a proposed $4.1 billion sale of 14 gaming properties. The state’s Gaming Control Board discussed and approved the deal on April 18.

Alabama Racinos In Uphill Fight For Legitimacy

Legislation to solidify the legality of machine gaming at Alabama’s VictoryLand and Greenetrack (l.) greyhound tracks has gone down to defeat in the state Senate. The House isn’t expected to be any friendlier either. But VictoryLand says it still plans to open its racino come summer.

Las Vegas Stadium Gains Momentum

A proposed 65,000 seat, 200-foot-tall stadium (l.) located less than a third of a mile from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is moving closer to reality, as a consulting group announces the plan should not interfere with airport operations, and Nevada’s Governor says the Oakland Raiders are serious about moving to Las Vegas.

Last Chance of Iowa Casino Appeal

The Iowa Supreme Court is the last resort for Belle of Sioux City (l.). The company is trying to regain the riverboat license formerly held by Argosy in the city. Regulators stripped the license from Argosy when its local non-profit bolted for a deal with Hard Rock.

Golden Paying $25 Million for Montana Slots

Las Vegas-based Golden Entertainment agreed to pay $25 million to buy 1,800 slot machines in Montana from Amusement Services, and hire its president as vice president of the company’s gaming operations in the state. The deal is expected to close at the end of April, and make Golden the second-largest distributed-gaming operator in the state.

Cleveland’s Horseshoe Morphing Into Jack Casino

All of the old Caesars Entertainment properties in Ohio are changing their “Horseshoe” designation and being rebranded as JACK casinos or racinos. They are being taken over by Jack Entertainment, formerly Rock Gaming.

Volatility for New York Gaming

Despite a push for more casinos in New York, competition from tribal casinos and regional gaming operations are having a negative impact on current racinos and casinos in New York, making it less likely the state’s efforts to boost gaming revenues will have a lasting impact, a report by the Rockefeller Institute suggests.

Maine Casino Seeks to Expand

The planning board of Maine’s Oxford casino (l.) will decide in May whether to support adding a hotel, convention space and doubling the restaurant capabilities of the facility. The proposal is being pushed by Churchill Downs, owner of the casino.

Bountiful Week for Las Vegas Events

A mix of the past, present, and future drew large crowds to Las Vegas during the third week of April, as the city hosted one of the largest annual trade show events, a popular rockabilly festival, and an eSports tournament that drew thousands of loyal, young millennial-age fans to Sin City.


Oregon Governor Opposes Class II Casino

Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown has officially taken a stand against a class II casino that the Coquille Indian Tribe wants to build in Medford. Brown says she wants to stop the proliferation of gaming in the state.

California Tribe Seeks Off-Reservation Casino

A tribe whose reservation is surrounded by Death Valley National Park, making it impossible to have a tribal casino there, seeks to build an off-reservation casino in Ridgecrest, about 130 miles from its ancestral homeland.

San Diego County Pens Agreement Over Tribal Casino

San Diego County and the Jamul Indian Village have signed a memorandum of understand whereby the tribe pays mitigation to the county for its $400 million Hollywood Casino-San Diego (l.). Penn National Gaming will operate the casino, which will open this summer.

Michigan Tribe Seeks OK to Move Casino

The Keweenaw Bay tribe of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wants to move its off-reservation casino to a local airport that would place it closer to tribal land than it is now. The tribe also is promising a bigger venue with more jobs. But Governor Rick Snyder (l.) opposes the move.

Wisconsin Tribes At War Over Non-Existent Casino

The Menominee Nation have been trying for years, with no luck, to persuade the state of Wisconsin to approve an off-reservation casino. Their rival, the Forest County Potawatomi, want to make sure they never do.

Push to get State Water for Sycuan Casino

A San Diego tribe, the Sycuan, owner of the Sycuan casino (l.) in the arid East County, which is much more arid than the rest of the county, seeks special dispensation from the legislature to buy water from the big supplier of water to all of Southern California.

Minnesota Tribal Casino Weighed

About 500 people turned out for a March 30 public meeting to address concerns about a proposed tribal casino on Star Lake in Minnesota. The White Earth Nation casino plans call for 750 slot machines, up to a dozen table games, a buffet, 10,000-square-foot convention center, 6,000-square-foot pool and spa, a CyberQuest kids area, a restaurant, gift shop, bar, café, and an entertainment lounge, and it want to open the facility next year.


China Could Jumpstart Suspended Lottery

A number of media outlets are reporting that the Chinese government plans to reintroduce online lottery sales after ordering them to shut down in early 2015. There has been no confirmation from Beijing, and no timeline for the reported trial of a new lottery system.


Seminole Gaming Re-Ups of Two Key Executives

The contract for Seminole Gaming COO Larry Mullin (l.) has been extended to 2018. Mullion joined Seminole in late 2012. Also with a new contract is Thomas W. Sparks, senior vice president for security.

Caesars Honors Community Heroes

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval joined Caesars Entertainment executives to award the inaugural Caesars Community Hero award to local businessman Larry Ruvo (l.).

Penn Names new Regional Operations VP

A 35-year gaming veteran, Albert T. Britton, has been appointed Senior Vice President of Regional Operations for Penn National Gaming. Britton will be responsible for the Midwest Region.

Macau Security Chief Joins Gaming Commission

Macau’s Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak has been appointed to the city’s Gaming Commission. It’s an important time for commissioners, who are conducting the gaming industry’s all-important mid-term review. In addition, reports indicate gaming-related crime rose in the jurisdiction by 38 percent last year.

Ortiz Announces Management Changes

Ortiz Gaming has promoted Desiree Giles to senior manager of regional sales for the Oklahoma region, serving Oklahoma and six other states.

Mr. Green Names CEO

Online casino Mr. Green has appointed Jesper Kärrbrink the company’s new CEO, as former chief Bo Wänghammar takes on a business development role.

Frontier Taps Ho for Exec Chair

Australia-listed casino investor Frontier Capital Group has appointed former Genting executive Henri Ho as its new executive chairman. Ho has more than 17 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality sector, primarily with the Malaysian gaming giant, according to reports.


Washington Gambling Regulators Crack Down on Skill Games

Puzzle games, a form of skill game that are played on machines in some Washington state bars, have drawn the attention of the Washington State Gambling Commission, which considers them illegal gambling because they pay out rewards such as gift cards. Commission Chairman Chris Stearns (l.) wants to shut them down.

IGT, Yakama Nation Sign System Deal

IGT will update its Advantage casino management system at Washington’s Yakama Nation Legends Casino with complete bonusing applications.

Venetian Macao Picks Interblock

Interblock has signed an agreement with the Venetian Macao and Sands Macao to install 21 electronic table games in the two properties, including the Diamond Roulette games (l.)

Everi Partners with Infoblox

Everi Holdings announced an agreement to deploy solutions from Infoblox to help protect its transactions in the gaming industry.

DEQ Opens New Las Vegas Office, Website

DEQ Systems Corporation has opened a new office in Las Vegas and launched a new corporate website with an aim to expand its Nevada operations. Joe Bertolone (l.), president and CEO, says it’s all part of the remaking of DEQ.

EGT Installs E-Tables in Germany

Euro Games Technology has installed its multi-player electronic table games at Brandenburg Casinos’ Jokers Place Casino in Germany.

GSA Launches Advisory Committee

The Gaming Standards Association has created an Operators Advisory Committee as a forum to address operator business and technical challenges.

Alipay to Shut Down Gaming Accounts

Alipay.com, a third-party online payment platform operating in China, will permanently disable any customer account repeatedly involved in gambling, the provider has announced.

NMi Applies for Romanian License

Global compliance testing and auditing lab NMi Gaming has filed an application for Class II licenses and a bank guarantee that will allow it to break into the Romanian market. License approvals are due to be awarded before the end of the month.





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