Purchases of two casinos in Bossier City, Louisiana recently were announced. Los Angeles-based Peninsula Pacific has acquired DiamondJacks Casino, and PCI Gaming, the gaming arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama, will purchase the Margaritaville Resort Casino (l.) pending regulatory approval and continue to operate it as a commercial casino. The purchases prices were not disclosed.
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Will the government of Vietnam at last let locals gamble at a proposed new casino on Phu Quoc Island? Opening the doors to nationals could mean a new gold rush of investment in the country’s gaming industry, but potentially destroy the Cambodia industry. Grand Ho Tram (l.), the only integrated resort currently operating in the country, has seen an uptick since the crackdown in Macau
Faced with a $1 billion gap in next year’s state budget, the Pennsylvania legislature has approved online gaming, fantasy sports and slots in airports and OTBs, which would be operated by the existing casino industry. The bill now goes to Governor Tom Wolf who has 10 days to consider it as part of a $31 billion package. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (l.) is stressing bipartisanship in supporting the measure.
Atlantic City’s main casino union reached a deal with three Caesars Entertainment owned casinos and the Tropicana casino ahead of a July 1 deadline, but a strike was called for the Trump Taj Mahal, owned by Carl Icahn on July 1. Details of the last minute deals were not released. Workers have been seeking restoration of health benefits at the Taj Mahal, which were cancelled while the property was in bankruptcy.
Could Brazil proceed with its plan to legalize up to 35 casinos? More and more Brazilian legislators are jumping on the gaming bandwagon in hopes of reaping billions in revenue at a time of fiscal crisis in the country. Interim President Michel Temer (l.) is open to all possibilities.
The highest court in the land has declined to hear two appeals of issues to Indian Country. Two lower courts that have ruled that tribes are governed by the National Labor Relations Act. Tribes were hoping the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, now being considered in Congress, would apply. And the court also won’t intervene in a case between the state of California and the Pauma Band of Luiseño Mission Indians where the tribe wants to force the state to negotiate a new gaming compact.
A climax to a year spent trying to approve of both daily fantasy sports and online poker appears to be approaching as the deadline nears for any bills to pass in the California legislature. But the “bad actor” issue and its connection to PokerStars continues to dog any iPoker legislation.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. says its $4.2 billion casino hotel on Macau’s Cotai Strip may finally be on course to open in late August. The glitzy Wynn Palace, twice delayed, will be joined soon thereafter by Sands China’s Parisian.
The legalization of gaming on the outer island of Taiwan was approved in 2009 but progress has been slow ever since. But a second referendum on Penghu is slated to be held this year and things could change in this special report from Bill Bryson (l.) with Global Market Advisors.
One of the biggest hits stocks have received in several years is a result of the Brexit vote last week in the United Kingdom. It’s had impact, as expected on UK stocks, but also on others that have no exposure in the UK. What’s next?
GGB PODCAST: Tom Jingoli, President, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, and Senior Vice President, Konami Gaming
This week the GGB Podcast sits down with Tom Jingoli, the president of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, on how the organization has grown in stature and importance of his nine-year tenure.
April looks like a winner for Manila’s Entertainment City casino zone (l.). According to preliminary data, the jurisdiction saw a dramatic upturn in year-on-year aggregate gross gaming revenue, with a surge so 69 percent. And only two of the four facilities have opened.
Genting Malaysia Berhad, operator of Resorts World Genting (l.), the only casino in Malaysia, is unlikely to feel the pinch of oversupply in the surrounding market, according to a note from Morgan Stanley.
Best Sunshine in Saipan will pay at least $33.6 million in taxes on VIP gaming in the coming fiscal year, according to the Commonwealth Casino Commission. It’s the sole casino on the island in the Northern Marianas.
Bloomberry Resorts Corp. has announced it is planning to sell off its majority share in the company that runs Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino on Jeju Island. The buyer is junket operator Iao Kun Group Holding Co.
Melco Crown Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho (l.) is blaming bad marketing for the slow start of the company’s newest property in Macau, the Hollywood-themed Studio City on Cotai.
Gaming taxes from casinos in South Korea rose 4 percent in 2015, a rare bright spot in the struggling Asian gaming sector. Region-wide, the trend has been down.
The United Kingdom and Portugal have signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to jointly combat illegal gambling activities and share information on their gaming industries.
A settlement announced last week between the government of the Bahamas and the original contractors has brought back the China Import-Export Bank as the company to finish and open the long-stalled Baha Mar resort (l.) in Nassau. A court ruling throwing out a suit from the original developer preceded the agreement.
The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission and Senator Michael Fahy, the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Municipalities (l.), last week designated two locations as the site for the first casino to be opened in the island nation. Partners in the development of those sites, including the Hamilton Princess (l.), will be eligible to apply for a casino license.
Celebration Jamaica Development recently submitted its application to the Jamaica Ministry of Finance and Public Service and asking it to extend the provisional order allowing the casino project. Celebration Jamaica is trying to secure a site for its proposed casino and is working with Urban Development Corporation to secure a parcel on Montego Bay. The project would include a hotel and casino, but the delay in obtaining a site has endangered the entire project.
Employees at Casino Canberra in Australia plan to protest what they say are low wages by wearing union T-shirts on the job. Owner Aquis Entertainment says it deserves credit for saving the company.
A local bingo charities proponent says a potential casino operation in North Bay, Ontario, would cause more harm than good, and drive some $10 million per year out of the community, based on OLG gaming numbers the past two years. Casino proponents are skeptical of the revenue-loss claim and say the city already loses significant money when its residents travel to casinos in other locales.
South Australia is considering a “place of consumption” tax on all wagers in the state, including novelty bets. The measure could reap about US$7 million per year for the government.
Stricter anti-money laundering requirements in New Zealand, enacted in 2013, have led to a drop in suspicious transactions at Kiwi casinos. The measures have led to better reporting and “higher quality” reports.
Daily fantasy sports site DraftKings has signed a partnership agreement with the Canadian Football League. The move comes amid reports that the company’s expansion into the UK has been slow to get off the ground.
Bet365 is facing a legal action from a customer over its failure to transfer a £54,000 to her account despite repeated requests.
Paddy Power’s $7.4 billion merger with Betfair led to its first job cuts as Paddy Power’s Isle of Man offices are being switched to Malta. The company plans to trim 10 percent of its workforce.
Though South Africa has halted any talk of expanding online gaming in the country, online sports betting continues to show signs of growth. The country recently approved ClickaBet to begin offering online sports betting and general sports betting is increasing 20 percent a year.
The license secures for the Swedish game developer a presence across all remote platforms in the Eastern European nation. Romania has moved only recently to formalize its growing online market.
Microgaming and Quickfire operators will be treating their players this month to the launch of a new five-reel game called Reel Spinners. Developed by Microgaming, the “fishing”-themed slot features a unique two-stage bonus round and will be available on desktop, mobile and tablet.
Voters in the Bay State will be able to vote in November whether to authorize a second slots parlor, this one at Suffolk Downs racetrack, which lost out to Wynn Resorts in the race for the Boston-area casino. Only one slot parlor was approved, Hollywood Casino at Plainridge (l.), already operating. The Supreme Judicial Court last week slapped down a legal challenge to the initiative.
Four years into its successful run as the state’s largest casino, Maryland Live! is going to get even bigger. Construction is slated to start in the fall on a 310-room hotel, a 15,000-seat entertainment venue, a spa and fitness center, new retail and meeting space and several new restaurants
MGM has lost its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Connecticut’s law that is allowing its two gaming tribes to seek a host city for a third satellite casino. A federal court ruled that MGM had no standing as an injured party. Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown says the tribes aren’t going away “without a fight.”
A referendum on whether to allow 2,000 slots at BestBet Poker Jacksonville will appear on the November ballot, following the Jacksonville, Florida city council's 18-1 vote. Duval County would join others in the state that authorized slots. But the final word will come from the state Supreme Court in the Gretna Racing case.
Atlantic City has hired a new legal team to try and re-negotiate its debt obligations as it struggle to meet a state imposed deadline to present a plan to balance its budget and gain fiscal solvency over five years. Meanwhile, the city’s mayor, Don Guardian (l.), says about $60 million needs to be cut from the city’s budget.
As their petition drive winds down, Keep the Money in Nebraska expects to submit enough valid signatures to let voters decide in November if they want casino gambling at racetracks. The opposition, Gambling with the Good Life, also expects the issue to be on the ballot but may challenge it in court.
Station Casinos is celebrating its 40th birthday with gaming and dining specials, along with many special promotions, throughout July. Frank Fertitta Sr. founded the company on July 1, 1976, when he opened a 5,000-squire-foot casino with 100 slots in what now is the Palace Station Casino (the original Bingo Palace at left). Meanwhile. Caesars Palace improved its villas, suites, and rooms for its 50th anniversary on the Las Vegas Strip.
After having operated for nearly 10 years under lenient rules that made them more competitive against tribal casinos, California’s card rooms have been hit with the fact that there is a new sheriff in town—and those lenient rules violate state law.
Nevada lawmakers last year last year crafted new regulations to enable the creation of sports betting funds in which people outside of Nevada may invest. Such funds are popular among younger bettors, and among many ways Nevada casinos and others are looking to lure more Millennial generation visitors to Las Vegas.
An Alabama circuit court judge recently ruled the state must return to Greenetrack 825 gaming machines seized in a 2010 raid. State Attorney General Luther Strange said the state will appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, which on March 31 declared the state may keep games and cash seized at VictoryLand (l.).
Wild Rose Casinos announced it will offer simulcast betting on horse and dog races at its properties in Jefferson (l.), Emmetsburg and Clinton, Iowa via satellite feeds. Wild Rose President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Timmons said he hopes to have the service available for the Breeders' Cup in November.
Organizers behind the push to build a 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas for an eventual home site of the NFL Oakland Raiders have narrowed their site options to four and likely will narrow it to two, soon, a local official says. Two sites are located on the Las Vegas Strip, while another is located next to the UNLV campus near McCarran International Airport, and the fourth at Cashman Field (l.) near Downtown Las Vegas.
Genting New York is planning a $400 million expansion of the Aqueduct Racetrack of New York, with work to begin later this year, pending state approval. Genting wants to turn the Aqueduct Racetrack of New York into a complete resort destination, with new hotel rooms, entertainment and retail space. Meanwhile, in Rochester, a proposed Class II casino faces strong opposition.
The new $60 million Isle Casino Hotel recently moved 223 feet from its former riverboat home onto land in Bettendorf, Iowa. The venue, located between its two existing hotels, offers a 35,000 square foot gaming floor with 1,000 slots and 19 table games, 500-plus hotel rooms, convention space and dining options.
Developer Bart Blatstein says he is on schedule to re-open 850 hotel rooms at the former Showboat Casino by July 8. The property is not re-opening its former casino, which would make it the largest non-casino hotel in the state. Meanwhile, the re-opening of the neighboring former Revel casino hotel is still delayed. However, plans to re-open a casino at that property drew criticism from analysts who feel the city’s casino industry cannot support expansion.
The 117-room Saratoga Casino Hotel (l.) in Saratoga Springs, New York, opened in time for the Fourth of July holiday. The $40 million hotel addition includes suites among its 117 guest rooms, an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, 3,000-square-foot events space, restaurants, and a bar, and helps it to compete against a casino being built nearby.
An Oregon greyhound racetrack that opened in 1957 and saw its heyday 20 and 30 years later, will be demolished later this year. Multnomah Greyhound Park in Wood Village has been vacant since 2004.
The younger generation just isn’t the same as the old generation. Las Vegas casinos are discovering that this timeless adage applies particularly to them, and the difference in how the millennial generation sees casinos compared to its parents and grandparents.
Lake County, Indiana's four casinos have generated nearly $1.4 billion in tax revenue since the industry began in 1996. Hammond's Horseshoe Casino, East Chicago's Ameristar Casino, the two Majestic Star casino boats in Gary and Blue Chip have helped county governments rebuild roads, revitalize neighborhoods, enhance public transit and fund dozens of other major projects.
The Las Vegas NHL franchise will attempt to do something most warm-weather teams have not—be successful. Outside of California, few warm-weather locales have enjoyed success, and five of the least-valued teams in the NHL are in warm-weather states. Yet, Las Vegas has unique advantages that should help it to overcome poor attendance at other venues and establish itself as a long-term success.
Despite legal challenges the Cowlitz Tribe is more than 40 percent finished with its ilani casino resort (l.) near La Center, Washington. Nearby tribes are crying foul and claiming they will lose hundreds of millions if the casino is allowed to open.
If the group Arkansas Wins In 2016 collects enough signatures to place a constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling on the November ballot, and if voters approve the amendment, Cherokee Nation Entertainment of Oklahoma will operate the casino in Washington County. Two other Arkansas casinos also would be authorized.
The Big Sandy Rancheria in central California has been trying to build a second, bigger casino for more than a decade, without success. It still hasn’t given up on the project, despite daunting challenges.
Owners of the Little River Casino in Manistee, Michigan, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has given $30,479,814 to Manistee County Revenue Sharing Board since 1999, under its state compact. The tribe expects the Bureau of Indian Affairs to hold environmental impact hearings regarding a Muskegon casino this year.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma on June 23 broke ground on its $34 million expansion of the Indigo Sky Casino near Seneca in Ottawa County. The expansion will add 128 hotel rooms, a ballroom and events center, and increase dining to 100 at the Shawanoe Restaurant, among other improvements.
Neither of the two candidates for U.S. Senate in California is feeling the love from the state’s powerful gaming tribes. Attorney General Kamala Harris (l.) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez are so far fighting their election campaigns without significant tribal contributions.
A subsidiary of Scientific Games is suing an ex-vice president who quit last month to take a position with rival IGT. The company is claiming in federal court that the executive made off with thousands of computer files detailing the secrets of the company’s lottery business.
The new deal between the lottery and the slots and systems giant extends their existing contract and moves the lottery closer to an all Game-to-System-ready network. The agreement also delivers an array of new game content to the state’s players.
Golden Entertainment in Las Vegas named Howard Stutz director of corporate communications. Stutz will lead the company's internal and external communications functions for its nationwide divisions. Previously Stutz served as strategic development manager at Greenberg Traurig law firm and also was an award-winning investigative journalist for more than three decades.
Rank Group Plc has named Liam Smith as director of customer contact. Smith will oversee the opening and managing a new customer services hub for the UK-based gambling and leisure company, owners of Grosvenor Casinos in the UK and Belgium. Previously Smith worked for Contact Center Managed Services, customer service outsourcing specialists.
San Jose, California-based JOINGO, a mobile and social technology company, recently named Darren Withers director of sales. Withers, a 13-year veteran of casino marketing, previously was executive vice president/general manager at mobileStorm Inc. and Virgen Advertising.
The national lottery of Norway, Norsk Tipping, announced Åsne Havnelid will become chief executive officer this fall. Since 2011, Havnelid has served as secretary general of the Norwegian Red Cross, and also was chief executive officer at the 2011 Nordic Ski World Championship and deputy head of Olympiatoppen.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno, have put the capstone on a new era of collaboration with the appointment of UNLV’s Bo Bernhard to UNR’s Satre Chair in Gaming Studies. The prestigious post was last held by gaming studies pioneer Bill Eadington, shown at left with Bernard.
The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) in the United Kingdom has a new head. Kate Lampard has been appointed chairman of the board of trustees.
Ainsworth Game Technology shareholders have approved the sale to Novomatic of a 53 percent stake in the Australian slot giant sold by company founder, Len Ainsworth (l.). Leaders of the two companies say the deal will strengthen Ainsworth’s product portfolio and global competitiveness.
Duetto has brought its GameChanger application to River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to manage pricing and demand for its almost 500 hotel rooms.
The multimillion dollar Dacey's Taphouse will replace Dacey's Sports Bar at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan. The new brewpub, designed with an open concept on the casino floor, will offer 50 brands of Michigan and national craft beer. Construction will start in August and be completed by year-end.
Civic 50, a Points of Light initiative, recently recognized Caesars Entertainment Corporation for its broad-based commitment to corporate responsibility, including environmental awareness, economic development, volunteerism, employee well-being and ethical business conduct. It's the second time Caesars was recognized by Civic 50.
The Royal Swazi Spa last week announced it had installed specialty table games provided by TCSJohnHuxley at its facility in Swaziland, South Africa.
The new 5,000-square-foot facility in Moncton is focused on instant ticketing. Since acquiring SLI Global Solutions last March, GLI has seen its revenue from the Moncton location more than double.
The first “smart casino” has begun operating at the Seven Feathers Casino Resort. It uses high tech to give players a special “virtual experience” in a specially designated part of the casino.
Romania’s new gaming regulatory agency has awarded three licenses to BMM Testlabs. The Class II permits, as they’re called, authorize the lab to audit and certify online games and also evaluate land-based machines for compliance.
Small Nuggets of News
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