Drum Roll, Please: It’s Okada Manila

Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, owned by Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada (l.), has announced that the company’s newest casino resort, to open in November in Manila’s Entertainment City, will be called Okada Manila. A former partner of Steve Wynn, who famously resisted naming properties he build after himself, Okada still has an active lawsuit in place challenging how he was ousted from the Wynn board and stripped of all his shares.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: CG Technologies Slammed in Nevada

CG Technologies, the former Cantor Gaming, was fined $1.5 million last month by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and its longtime president, Lee Amaitis (l.), was forced to resign to settle complaints that the sports-betting company shorted payments to winning bettors in the state. CG operates seven sports books in the state and has a popular mobile sports betting app for bettors inside Nevada.

Chinese Company In Talks for Caesars Interactive

The Chinese conglomerate Giant Interactive Group, owned by billionaire Shi Yuzhu (l.), is reportedly in discussions with Caesars Entertainment about buying the company’s online gaming operations. The deal would not include the World Series of Poker, but would encompass all the social gaming operations that came with the Caesars purchase of Playtika in 2011.

Casino Coming to Seoul?

A recent trip to Singapore by Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (l.) has observers speculating that he wants to get into the gaming business. The mayor spent a lot of time at Marina Bay Sands, and he wasn’t playing roulette.

An Interesting Eight Months in California

Former California Gaming Commission member Richard Schuetz (l.) has observed the last few months since his departure (he’s now the executive director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission) and reflects on what the multiple incidents and issues mean for the state and the customers.

California Internet Poker Impasse Remains

The passage of iPoker legislation in California seems so near and yet so far. Two tribal coalitions stand at loggerheads over the issue, without much wriggle room for compromise. Rincon Band of Mission Indians Chairman Bo Mazzetti (l.), who tried by broker such a deal, said he was frustrated.

Pennsylvania Nixes Plans for a New Racino

The state Gaming Control Board has denied Endeka Entertainment’s application for a gaming license for Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort, a proposed 1,500-slot racino near New Castle. The board gave no reason for the rejection, which was unanimous, but it’s reported that concerns about financing figured prominently in the decision.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Giants Walk the Land

If anyone thought that the combination of companies that resulted in the reformed IGT and the super-sized Scientific Games would open the door for the smaller, more nimble slot companies, think again. The two companies are dominating, but there’s an interesting trend bubbling up.


IP Ordered to Cut Saipan Foreign Staff

Casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd., owner of the sole casino on the Pacific island of Saipan, has been ordered by the government to lay off hundreds of foreign employees and train locals and Americans to take their place. Commonwealth Casino Commission Executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero (l.) has asked the legislature to delay any measures for at least a year.

Travellers Spends IPO in Manila

Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., which raised PHP7.03 billion (US$150 million) in an initial public offering for an expansion of Resorts World Manila, has invested that money, the company reports.


UK Gambling Advertising Increasing

Gambling companies in the UK spent more than $602.8 million on television ads in the past three years, a Nielsen report indicated. Ad spending rose 46 percent in the period, with total spending of $107.3 million in 2012 and $156.6 million in 2015. An additional $223.4 million was spent on lottery advertising.


BCLC OKs Victoria Casino

Victoria will be the future host of a gaming casino, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced. The BCLC last year determined Victoria can support a second casino in the Greater Victoria region, sought expressions of interest, and settled on Victoria. Great Canadian Gaming operates the only existing casino, View Royal Casino (l.).

Tsogo Sun Bets on South African Recovery

Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd. is preparing for an economic rebound in South Africa by renovating resorts in its core market. The continent’s largest gaming resort company plans to expand its footprint and add new gaming.

Brazilian Prez Likes Sports Betting

Michel Temer (l.), interim president of Brazil and a proponent of legal sports betting in the country, is now advocating for a state-run online platform. Temer believes the wagers could help the country’s struggling economy.

Aussie Independents v. Pokies

Independent Australian Senator Nick Xenophon (l.) and his colleague Andrew Wilkie have vowed not to give up their fight against poker machines in the country. Xenophon says one in 10 Aussies has a gambling problem.

Australian Poker Machine Measure Stalled

A proposal that would limit how much players can wager and lose on Australian poker machines is stalled, but Parliament has prioritized problem gambling when it reconvenes. The stalled measure would limit maximum bets on poker slots to $1, limit player losses to no more than $120 per hour, and ban gaming advertising during G-rated television programs, including sports broadcasts.


Maryland Official Proposes Tight Rules for DFS

While Maryland lawmakers debate whether fantasy sports are gambling or not, State Comptroller Peter Franchot says consumers are at risk and protections are needed. He’s developed a rigorous set of them.

Quebec Tries to Block Online Gaming

The provincial government of Quebec claims the authority to regulate the internet to the extent that it can order internet providers to block unauthorized gaming sites that it doesn’t want the locals to use. Its claim has sparked protests from groups claiming that only the federal government of Canada has this authority.

Full Tilt Lawsuit May Be Settled

According to various reports, a lawsuit against former Full Tilt Poker founders and directors Howard Lederer (l.) and Chris Ferguson has been settled. The suit was brought by four former players of the site in 2012.

Maryland Official Proposes Tight Rules for DFS

While Maryland lawmakers debate whether fantasy sports are gambling or not, State Comptroller Peter Franchot says consumers are at risk and protections are needed. He’s developed a rigorous set of them.

Australia Challenges Sportsbet Over Gambling App

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has challenged online sports betting firm Sportsbet over a gambling app offered by the company which it feels violates the country’s ban on in-play betting. Several bookmakers in the country have used a loophole in the country’s gambling laws to offer the service.

Betfair, FC Barcelona Partner; Marathonbet Warned

Betfair signed a deal with FC Barcelona to become the soccer club’s official global online gaming sponsor for the next 30 years. The agreement took effect July 1, and has Betfair collaborating with FC Barcelona on branding, intellectual property rights, and a variety of digital developments. Meanwhile, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) warned Marathonbet about misleading players on how payouts were done in a recent promotion.

Video Game Developer Wants to End Skins Betting

Valve, the video game developer behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, announced it will move to end “skins” betting within the game. The betting of virtual tools and weapons used in the game is producing major revenue for betting sites, but the company says it has not profited from the fledgling industry. The move comes after a scandal erupted concerning skins betting sites.


Bossier City Casino Rumors Swirling

The rumor mill in Bossier City, Louisiana claims the Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians will change the name of Margaritaville (l.), which it is in the process of purchasing, to its popular Wind Creek brand. Other rumors have DiamondJacks' new owners, California-based Peninsula Pacific, moving it closer to New Orleans.

Four Weeks and No End in Sight at Atlantic City Taj Mahal Strike

A strike by about 1,000 workers at Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal continues to grind on with little sign of a resolution. Tropicana Entertainment—which runs the casino owned by Carl Icahn—has withdrawn an offer for funding healthcare insurance for the workers. The city’s main casino union has continued to picket the casino, including a large demonstration late last week.

Wynn Boston Harbor Gets Environmental Nod

It appears more likely that the state’s awarding of a key waterfront permit to the Wynn Boston Harbor will be upheld on appeal. That was recommendation of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) after hearing an appeal by the city of Somerville.

Florida Cardrooms Challenge Regulators' Rule Change

Several gambling operators in Florida are challenging state regulators who want to repeal a rule regarding banked card games. The operators, which include BestBet Jacksonville (l.), claim repealing the rule would cost $87 million in annual revenue. They also suspect the move is connected with the state's relationship with the Seminole Tribe.

Miami Beach Opposes Genting Casino

Miami Beach sued to block Genting's proposed casino-resort at the former Omni mall and Miami Herald building (l.), which it bought in 2011 for $236 million. Later Genting signed an agreement with Gulfstream racetrack to move its parimutuel license to the Omni for a casino. Regulators blocked that, Genting sued and now Miami Beach joined in.

R.I. Casino Campaign in Full Roar

Twin River Management Group has opened a full-throated campaign to convince the voters of Rhode Island to allow it to move its Newport Grand casino to Tiverton, which it can more effectively compete against casino in Massachusetts. So far the group has spent half a million dollars.

Florida Poll: Voters Want To Decide

A recent poll indicated 83 percent of Florida voters want a voice in gambling policy in the state, and 72 percent would be less likely to support a political candidate who votes to expand gambling without a statewide referendum. The poll of 670 voters was conducted for the anti-casino group No Casinos.

Flynt Could Scrap Normandie Purchase

Larry Flynt (l.) appears ready to walk away from a deal to revise the venerable but decrepit Normandie Casino that he recently bought. He is annoyed at the tax conditions that the city of Gardena is attaching to him now that he owns to card rooms.

McCarran Air Traffic Soars

Passenger carrying capacity among airline routes to and from Las Vegas grew by 1.4 million during the 2016 fiscal year, Ailevon Pacific Consulting reported to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Most growth occurred among domestic routes, but an increased focus on international carriers should boost international visitation and help local Asian-themed resorts that are about to open or are under construction in Las Vegas.

Indiana Tropicana Breaks Ground For Land Move

Tropicana Casino of Evansville recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new $50 million, 45,000 square foot casino. It's the first riverboat to move ashore since the Indiana legislature approved a measure allowing the state's 10 riverboats to build venues on land. Tropicana hired Kentucky-based Encompass to manage the project.

Commission Approves Hard Rock Sioux City Expansion

With the final regulatory OK in place—unanimous approval by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission--the Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City, Iowa will begin a $6.5 million, 7,800 square foot expansion within a month. The project will include new slots and table games and a destination wine bar.

Las Vegas Stadium Sites Narrowed

The NFL Oakland Raiders want to relocate to Las Vegas, but the city needs a 65,000-seat domed stadium to make that happen in three years. The Raiders will play the next three seasons in Oakland, but are looking to move to a new venue. Eight sites in Las Vegas have emerged as potential candidates, including the Wild Wild West casino (l.) close to the Strip, but Cashman Field might be the final choice.

Atlantic City Proposes Room Tax

Though the state of New Jersey imposes a luxury tax on Atlantic City hotel rooms, the city’s municipal government doesn’t get any of that money. The city’s council president wants to impose a $10 room fee to help the city pay down its massive debt.

South Dakota Gaming Growth Continues

The South Dakota Lottery is debuting is EZ Match game in local stores and lottery outlets with the aim of generating $66,000 in state revenues. Meanwhile, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is expanding its gaming operations by adding 500 new slots, eventually raising the casino’s total to 1,000. The Yankton Sioux tribe also has a proposed gaming compact allowing 500 slots at its Pickstown casino.

Rural Casino A Success In Iowa

In 2014, market studies commissioned by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission indicated a rural casino could make a profit. Wild Rose Casinos of West Des Moines took a chance and invested $40 million in a Jefferson facility. Now one year old, Wild Rose Jefferson Casino is set to celebrate.


Macau VIP Drops in Q2

Macau gaming regulators report that the city’s VIP segment was down 15.7 percent for the second quarter of the year. VIPs brought in MOP26.6 billion, compared to MOP31.57 billion during the same period in 2015. DICJ Director Paulo Martins Chan (l.) wants to Macau casinos to install more electronic table games to attract more mass market gamblers.

Documents Show Tribe Misled Voters

An Arizona tribe may have deliberately deceived the voters about its intentions to build a casino in Phoenix, documents uncovered by a subpoena have disclosed. The documents point to possible fraud by the Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona, which now operates the disputed Desert Diamond West casino (l.) in Glendale. At least that is what the state of Arizona contends.

Feinstein Wants to Curb Casinos

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, no great enthusiast when it comes to tribal gaming, is trying to attach a rider to a proposed Carcieri “fix” that would make it harder to put land into trust for a casino.

Spokane Tribe Releases Casino Details

A tribe in Washington State, the Spokane Tribe, has released details on a $400 million casino that it plans to build in Airway Heights, adjacent to an Air Force Base. The tribe hopes to break ground this fall.

New Mexico Casino Announces $50 Million Expansion

Santa Ana Star Casino (l.), New Mexico's first Indian casino, opened north of Albuquerque in 1993, announced a $50 million expansion project to include its first hotel. Officials said construction will start this month and take two years to complete. The expansion will create several hundred construction jobs and 120 permanent positions

Chumash Casino Completes $165 Million Renovation

A tribe in Central California recently completed a two-year $165 million renovation that included a new hotel and enlarge gaming space for a total of 2,300 slot machines. The tribe and casino will celebrate the expansion this week.

Anonymous Group Targets Wilton Casino

The mayor of Elk Grove, California is being targeted by an anonymous group of critics who object to his support of a $400 casino resort being proposed by the Wilton Rancheria. That tribe recently unveiled its plans, which includes putting 35.9 acres into trust near an outlet mall.

Winnebagos, Cherokees Financing Casino Campaigns

In Nebraska, Ho-Chunk Inc., the Winnebago Tribe's economic arm, donated $1.2 million to a ballot issue allowing a referendum on gambling at six racetracks—including one Ho-Chunk owns. In Arkansas, Cherokee Nation Business gave $1 million to a ballot issue for a referendum on allowing casinos in three counties. CNB would operate one of them.

Lawsuit Aims at Preventing Casino

The Central California Chukchansi Indians have filed a lawsuit to prevent a neighboring tribe from opening a casino. The lawsuit claims that the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians may not use the land for a casino because the voters of the state failed to approve of a tribal state gaming compact two years ago.

Tribes Address Fantasy Sports, Compact Negotiation

Oklahoma tribal officials at the Reservation Economic Summit claimed daily fantasy sports violate exclusivity rights granted by state gaming compacts, set to expire January 1, 2020. Tribal leaders said they'll act together to negotiate new compacts--otherwise, "the state is going to divide and conquer," warned Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman Brian Foster.

NLRB Can Regulate Tribal Casino Labor Practices

The U.S. Supreme Court declined petitions from two Michigan tribes challenging the authority of the National Labor Relations Board. That leaves as binding precedent the Sixth Circuit Court's previous ruling that under the Commerce Clause, the NLRB can regulate labor practices at tribal casinos. One of the issues was union organizing.

Gun Lake Legal Battle Ends

A U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act, ending a multi-year legal battle between the Gun Lake Tribe and a local landowner. The tribe also held a job fair to fill positions at the $76 million expansion at the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan, expected to open next summer.

Bremerton, Washington Casino Effort Abandoned

A tribe in Bremerton, Washington, which once sold fireworks until the city won a lawsuit against it, is now finding itself unable to open a casino on tribal land in the city. A spokesman for the Suquamish Tribe announced that the tribe is giving up on gaming for the moment.


SciGames Slots Score With Lottery Players

The slots and systems giant is hitting it big with lottery versions of its popular Jackpot Party and Gold Fish slots. Jackpot Party has found a strong following as an instant game in New York. In Ohio, SciGames says Gold Fish is outperforming every $2 instant game in the state.


TCSJohnHuxley Adds Two to Team

Danielle Hassall recently joined leading gaming solutions and services provider TCSJohnHuxley as head of digital marketing, and Jim Mancuso (l.) has been named business development manager for the Midwest and East region of the United States.

Israel in Charge at Buffalo Creek

The Seneca Gaming Corporation last week named Joanne Israel as the new general manager at Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo, New York. Israel most recently served as the company’s director of finance.


AGEM Welcomes Six New Members

Tech and gaming accessories providers, law firms and a real estate giant have joined the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers. The admissions bring the membership of the influential Las Vegas-based trade group to 154.

Century Casinos Goes Sailing

Century Casinos Inc. has partnered with Diamond Cruise International to enter the Chinese cruise market with its first shipboard casino on the 1,200-passenger Glory Sea. Its Century Casinos-operated casino offers 40 slots and 16 table games, and it caters to regular cruise passengers as well as VIP players provided by junket operators.

New CRM App from Win Systems

The tech provider has released a new platform to streamline communications for players and get them the assistance they need—fast. The Customer Service App, as it’s called, is available for download on both Android and iPhone.

Pawnee Tribe Deploys Joseph Eve’s CasinoEdge

Joseph Eve and Oklahoma’s Pawnee Indian Tribe have reached an agreement to expand the range of financial services supplied by Joseph Eve. The centerpiece of the new deal is CasinoEdge, a comprehensive suite of cloud-based accounting and reporting tools the tribe will use across all three of its casinos.

Eagle Mountain Adds Innovative Slots

The Eagle Mountain Casino near Porterville, California, has added several innovative new slots, including 3D, touch-screen, and large LCD-screened slots. New Behemoth slots by Aristocrat features an 84-inch tall LCD portrait-style monitor, bench seating for two, and surround sound. Konami’s multi-themed Concerto has two 27-inch monitors and holographic lighting, and new Britney Spears slots offer iChairs with surround sound.

Partnering for Loyalty

CRM is the goal of a new platform developed jointly by VizExplorer and House Advantage to enhance the loyalty marketing efforts of its casino clients. The network employs elements of the former’s campaignViz and the latter’s HALo solutions.

GLI, DICJ Meet in Macau

Macau’s gaming regulatory agency and the test lab are holding talks to explore ways of working closely together to boost mass-market gaming in the Chinese territory. Chief regulatory Paulo Martins Chan says he expects their collaboration will yield significant benefits.

Strong First Half for NetEnt

The Swedish online giant reported a 43 percent surge in operating income for the first half on revenues that were up 31 percent over the same period in 2015. The company attributed the gains to a robust product pipeline and solid relationships with some of Europe’s biggest operators.

Playtech Pushes Into Retail

The online games and systems giant is looking to grow its betting shop presence with the acquisition of Best Gaming Technology, a provider of betting terminal software. Playtech sees the deal opening new doors for its own technology in the UK, Spain and Italy.


NCLGS Approved for CLE Credits

The summer meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) that convenes this week will be offering CLE credits.




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