Casinos owned by the Philippine gaming agency PAGCOR may be sold to raise funds for next year’s budget, according to Andrea Domingo (l.), the new CEO of PAGCOR. In addition, President Rodrigo Duterte, who vowed to stamp out online gambling in the country when he took office, seems to be waffling on his pledge. Now he says he may consider it under certain conditions.
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Another supplier is being taken off the table. Scientific Games has snapped up DEQ Systems, adding more proprietary technologies to its Shuffle Master brand and enhancing the positioning of the slots and systems giant as the store that sells everything. DEQ most successful game is EZ Baccarat (l.), where the player pays no commission.
There is no joy among online poker fans in the Golden State. The legislature has once again struck out in its attempt to pass an iPoker bill. As in the past, disagreements between the various interest groups doomed the bill, even though it got closer to passage than every. An odd twist was anti-PokerStars Pechanga hiring the lobbying firm of former Rep. Gary Condit (l.), the father in law of bill sponsor, Assemblyman Adam Gray.
Federal Judge Robert W. Gettleman (l.) has postponed until early October a barrage of lawsuits expected to hit Caesars Entertainment from junior lenders unhappy with the company’s plans for restructuring the finances of its largest operating subsidiary in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Experts have said the suits will be tough to beat—even the judge warned that Caesars faces an “uphill fight.”
Macau’s 26-month gaming slump seems to be easing, albeit slowly. GDP was down 7.1 percent for Q2 year-on-year, but that was a big improvement over Q1, when the figure dropped 13.3 percent. And gaming stocks rose, but the new Wynn Palace (l.), which opened in August, got off to a slow start.
The withdrawal of opposition by Alaska Governor Bill Walker (l.) to the Department of the Interior putting indigenous peoples’ lands into trust for reservations may mean that tribes could begin offering Indian gaming. The first might be the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the location might be the state capital, Juneau.
The casino industry is grasping for attractions that will draw millennials to their properties. Is eSports the answer? Are younger gamblers attracted to this eclectic sport? Bruce Merati (l.) gives his overview.
eSports will be the subject of a two-day conference in Las Vegas next month dedicated to providing a fast track up the learning curve for casinos looking for ways to cash in on one of the hottest trends in entertainment in the world.
Paysafe, the owner of payment processors Skrill and Neteller, last week bought Income Access, the industry’s leading affiliate manager. Paysafe CEO Joel Leonhoff (l.) said he technology platform and 25,000-plus affiliate network that comes with Income Assess further enhances Paysafe’s product capabilities
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Andy Ortale, Vice President of Industry Services, American Gaming Association
This week the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Andy Ortale, the vice president of industry services for American Gaming Association, to talk about the upcoming Global Gaming Expo and the new approach taken by the partners in the show.
Sheng Yi Che’s opposition to casinos has made him enemies on Taiwan’s Penghu island. With residents set to vote next month on whether to allow casinos, the chairman of the Trees Party found his car vandalized with words threatening his family.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. has reported second-quarter earnings in Macau that increased 22 percent year-over-year, beating analyst forecasts. Adjusted EBITDA was HK$2.3 billion (US$297 million).
Asian casino operator Silver Heritage Group Ltd. started listing on the Australian Securities Exchange last week. The company initiated trading following an AUD25 million (US$18.8 million) IPO.
Philippines government auditors have found five officers of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. liable for leasing a property that did not exist, including former CEO Cristino L. Naguiat Jr. (l.). They’re on the hook for P234 million (US$ 5 million).
Donaco International Ltd. saw a big jump in net profits for the fiscal year that ended in June, posting AUD77.2 million (US$58.2 million). The positive numbers were driven by Star Vegas (l.) and Aristo.
British bookmaker Gala Coral has seen losses accumulate ahead of its £2.2 billion merger with Ladbrokes. The slide has been traced to impairment costs on closed stores and early repayment of debt.
Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, was supposed to have become a bustling tourist attraction when the games were over. That didn’t happen, so Russian authorities are turning the region, called Krasnaya Polyana (l.), into a gaming zone.
Legal gaming in Brazil has taken a big leap forward. A special committee OK’d a plan to authorize casino resorts, video lottery games and jogos de bicho. The proposal has been in the pipeline for almost a year. Brazilian President Michel Temer (l.) supports the bill.
James Packer (l.), billionaire owner of Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd., now owns less than half of his own company. The former chairman has sold about 4.8 percent of his stake to third-party investors.
The Pas, a town of 5,700 in Manitoba, Canada, has been hit hard by announcements that three major employers are leaving the area. The latest is the Aseneskak Casino (l.), where officials said the venue will close and move nearer to Winnipeg within two years. The move will affect nearly 150 employees.
The fact that news leaked of 888 Holdings and Rank Group’s $4.1 billion merger bid for William Hill hurt the deal, which eventually fell through, says 888 Chief Executive Officer Itai Frieberger (l.). Because the bid was reported, 888 and Rank had to make their interest known sooner than expected which gave them only a month to make a formal bid under UK regulations.
A new partnership between Evolution Gaming and the London Hippodrome allows Hippodrome online players to compete against players seated at Lola's, the iconic Hippodrome casino (l.), via desktop and hand-held devices. Licensees also can access the "Live from the Hippodrome" feed to follow the action at Lola’s Dual Play Roulette table.
As eSports and daily fantasy sports continue their growth, new partnerships and developments are ensuring the fledgling industries will become major revenue sources for legal gaming operators. Yahoo and ESL have partnered to provide live, high-definition streaming coverage of major eSporting events, which are poised to put billions into the coffers of legal sports books. Meanwhile, DFS giant FanDuel says its new friends-only program will transform the industry.
New Yorkers can enjoy paid daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests now that five firms have temporary permits as the NFL and college football seasons get underway. Nevada continues weighing potential DFS legalization, and DFS oversight is moving forward in Missouri and Kentucky.
PokerStars.com and BetStars, the leading poker and sports betting brands of Amaya Inc., are launching new software in Romania to comply with requirements of a new full license that took effect September 1.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said the country’s Finance Ministry is unlikely to implement a blanket ban on issuing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The country currently bans the issuing of any currency not approved by the Central Bank of Russia. The ministry is preparing new legislation to support the ban.
After declaring that daily fantasy sports is a skill-based game that does not require a gaming license, the Malta Gaming Authority is preparing licensing and regulations for the DFS industry. The ruling that DFS is skill-based could attract DFS companies to the jurisdiction.
A study by Rutgers University found that more than 14 percent of the state’s online gambling players in 2014 took advantage of protections offered against problem gambling. Those options include cool-off intervals, time limits, and self-exclusion periods.
China’s ministry of Culture has warned 26 online gambling operators over alleged violations. The violations include running banned games to failure to prevent underage gambling.
Playtech announced it intends to return €150 million to investors that was slated for acquisitions. The announcement sent shares in the gambling software company to record levels.
Opening a live online poker site when the norm is minimalist sites may seem counterintuitive. PKR.com is gambling that enough players will want the full 3-D poker experience that they will sign up.
A constitutional amendment allowing casinos in three Arkansas counties will appear on the November ballot. The Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin (l.) said supporters turned in 100,977 valid signatures and only 84,859 were required. In Nebraska, however, all three casino ballot issues failed due to a higher-than-normal error rate in collecting signatures.
Wynn Resorts has been on a buying spree lately, scooping up parcels of land surrounding the Wynn Boston Harbor development (l.), which last week got a clear path to construction when a local town dropped a lawsuit. And a hotel adjacent to MGM Springfield will be later in coming as the city raised objections to demolition of a warehouse.
Carl Icahn’s gaming team has rejected an offer from Atlantic City’s main casino union to settle a two-month long strike and possibly save the Taj Mahal casino (l.) from closing. The union said their proposal amounted to a cost of only $1.3 million more than the casino’s last offer, but was no different than the union’s last offer. Taj Mahal officials said they are sticking to their plan to close the property October 10. The closing will cost Atlantic City more than 3,000 jobs.
The New York Gaming Commission on August 30 granted the full casino gaming license to the Tioga Downs racino and harness track in Nichols. Initial plans include up to 50 table games and 1,000 slots, but the actual numbers won’t be known until state gaming regulators finalize regulations for the Tioga Downs casino and three others. Those final regulations are slated for release in November. And the property will break ground on its hotel on September 6.
Administrative Law Judge E. Gary Early recently determined the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation erred in removing a rule authorizing designated player games. Early wrote, by repealing the rule, the department "simply changed its mind." Industry officials claim they would lose $87 million annually if the popular games ended.
A recent report in the Huffington Post talked to major players currently trying to redevelop Atlantic City’s Boardwalk and dropped some interesting hints on what could be in the offing for the struggling resort. They include a connection between the city’s popular retail outlet mall and the Boardwalk and the location of a major eSports event company in the resort.
Virginia attorney Robert Lubin and partner Kevin Preston asked Gulfport, Mississippi officials for a two-month delay before starting construction on a $140 million-$160 million casino at Gulfport Harbor. The developers are waiting to see if a particular federal EB-5 program they use to finance projects will be renewed beyond its September expiration.
Two gaming developments in Las Vegas and Chinese-speaking staff are becoming more common in the gambling Mecca as gaming operators increasingly target Chinese and Asian visitors. The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino (l.) is slated to open in early 2017 and will cater to native-born Chinese as well as those in the U.S. Meanwhile, Genting Berhad continues working on its Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas project, and more direct airline routes to Asia are planned.
As the post Labor Day campaign season begins, players on both sides of the debate over expanding casinos in New Jersey outside of Atlantic City are preparing for an advertising push. A vocal supporter of the expansion plan, state Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, the chairman of the Assembly’s Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee. Caputo however, is a former disgruntled casino executive for Atlantic City casinos who relishes his role in helping to harm the city.
A Hancock County, Mississippi, hearing, Biloxi city attorneys claimed the city, not the state, is entitled to $1.18 million in casino rent money, under a 2002 agreement. The state argued a bill passed in the last session allows the Secretary of State to transfer sums between funds.
If $750 million in public funding is not part of the financing package to pay for a proposed $1.9 billion stadium project in Las Vegas, the stadium likely won’t be built, and the Oakland Raiders won’t come to Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee was told. The Raiders need to know soon if a stadium project will happen, but no site is set, and funding remains tentative.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers claims it's easier to change the state constitution than the U.S. Constitution. So he's supporting Amendment 71, which would require petition signatures from at least 2 percent of voters in all 35 Senate districts, plus 55 percent of public support. In particular, he wants to block amendments that would expand gambling.
A computer glitch at MotorCity Casino in Detroit caused gamblers' payouts--and gamblers--to be trapped for hours starting at midnight on a recent Friday. Some players waited five or more hours for casino workers to issue hand payouts. Casino officials blamed their Ticket Out System.
Card clubs in Los Angeles County have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last few years to compete for what they perceive to be an expanded market. They include the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, the Bicycle Club Casino in Bell Gardens and Inglewood’s Hollywood Park Casino.
The owner of a Las Vegas pub that was located in a high-crime area and recently closed agreed to surrender his restricted gaming license. Scoundrel’s Pub on Decatur Boulevard in Las Vegas experienced several gang-related shootings and other crimes in recent years, and that prompted the Nevada Gaming Commission to investigate. The owner says the crime was not due to his business, and he had done all he could to ensure patrons’ safety.
All the residents of Jamul in San Diego County know is that the Hollywood Casino (l.) is supposed to open soon. But the residents, many of who oppose the tribal casino’s opening, don’t know when that date will be.
Friendship wasn’t forever for the San Pablo Lytton Casino and the Unite Here union. The union helped the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians obtain permission to add Las Vegas slots in 2005. It had hoped this would lead to an amicable labor situation. That has turned out to be a pipe dream.
The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission has ruled that the Connecticut Airport Authority acted within its authority when it kept its negotiations about a possible Indian casino at the Bradley International Airport under wraps. MGM Resorts International had tried to pry open the process while it was going on—unsuccessfully. But the two casinos are hoping to increase their meetings and conventions business, according to Foxwoods President and CEO Felix Rappaport (l).
The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa recently became the first casino in western Iowa to offer a non-smoking room. Marketing Director Travis Morgan said he expects the 70-slot room to attract gamblers from other casinos that don't offer a smoke-free area.
A $3.5 million renovation is under way at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs (l.) in Claremore, Oklahoma. The project will be completed in April 2017 and relocate the casino floor and simulcast area, and add dining options. Meanwhile the fall racing season is gearing up to run September 10 through November 12.
A northern California casino resorts, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel, twice provided relief, food and lodging for refugees from two raging wildfires during the summer. The most recent fire happened in August.
Two Canadian First Nations are heading for a collision as both plan to build large casino resorts in the same city, Lloydminster. The city sits on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The County of Santa Barbara and the tribe based there, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, last week signed an agreement for the tribe to fund two law enforcement positions. In return the County and Sheriff will drop their objections to the tribe’s application for an expanded liquor license.
It's taken a year for the state of Illinois to start its search for a new lottery manager, but the $300 million contract is almost ready to go up for bid. The state terminated Northstar Lottery Group for poor performance, and Governor Bruce Rauner (l.) recently noted that saved taxpayers $22 million.
Maryland Live! Casino recently hired 30-year hospitality industry veteran Robert Tedesco (l.) as senior vice president and assistant general manager, where he will oversee daily operations and participate in the addition of the Live! Hotel. Tedesco previously was vice president and assistant general manager at Red Rock Casino Resort, Las Vegas.
Anthony L. Carano, a member of the founding family of Eldorado Resorts has been promoted to executive VP of operations. He was formerly an attorney for the McDonald Carano Wilson law firm in Las Vegas.
Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania recently hired Anthony "Tony" Carlucci as president and general manager. Previously he was general manager at Penn National's Boomtown Casino Biloxi and Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast. Carlucci also had been general manager at Hollywood Casino in Tunica and St. Louis.
The “super-casino” development at Victoria Gate in Leeds, to be largest casino in Northern England and Scotland, has named Patrick Noakes as its new director.
Stana Subaric has been named as the new VP of HR for Affinity Gaming. She previously worked in similar roles at Las Vegas. Sands and Caesars Entertainment.
GameCo will debut its skill-based video game gambling machine—the world's first--at G2E in Las Vegas. The Tri-Pod VGM Carousel will be displayed at the Integrated Resort Experience at G2E, and will be offered in Atlantic City casinos later this year. It features a game controller by Suzo-Happ. GameCo will debut its skill-based video game gambling machine—the world's first--at G2E in Las Vegas. The Tri-Pod VGM Carousel will be displayed at the Integrated Resort Experience at G2E, and will be offered in Atlantic City casinos later this year. It features a game controller by Suzo-Happ.
ETG giant Interblock has purchased Elektrina, a Slovenia-based high tech company. Elektrina develops motherboards and access control, and has been a supplier to Interblock for years.
Dan Gilbert will move Jack Entertainment headquarters to a long vacant schoolhouse in downtown Detroit in December after spending $7 million in renovations. A pedestrian skywalk connects the building to Gilbert's Greektown Casino-Hotel, which he took over in 2013. The property will be renamed under the Jack brand next year.
Casino Cash Trac has come a long way in four short years. From its roots in Oklahoma’s tribal markets, the systems software provider has expanded into 10 states and is ranked by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation.
The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas has hired three interior designers to help create 21 VIP penthouse suites and a private gambling parlor at the top of the resort’s 51-story Boulevard Tower. The new suites collectively will be called the Boulevard Penthouses and are to be designed by Tihany Design in New York, Daun Curry, and Richmond International in London. The project is part of a $300 million upgrade to The Cosmopolitan.
PokerStars will begin its international poker series on October 29 at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Then the series will head out on the road to such locations as Bahamas, Barcelona, Monte-Carlo, Macau and Panama.
Ganlot, which builds slot machines, VLTs and server-based games, is expanding its product line. It also plans to make inroads into the South American market.
For the first time in more than six years, boxing matches were held in Philadelphia, hosted by the SugarHouse Casino (l.). Previously, matches were held at the Blue Horizon, which closed in June 2010. The star of the night was Milton Santiago, and 2012 Irish Olympic silver medal-winner John Joe Nevin beat Jesus Lule.
The Concerto slot has been a huge hit for Konami, but the versions of the game to be introduced at G2E will take it to a new level. The Concerto Jackpot Ball (l.) is just one of several games being released at G2E.
The 2016 Australasian Gaming Expo welcomed more than 6,800 attendees last month, the most in the event’s 27-year history. Already more than 100 exhibitors have signed up for 2017, when the show moves to Sydney’s new International Convention Centre.
Visitors to the 2016 Global Gaming Expo will get their first look at a new cabinet Alfastreet has developed for smaller properties looking to leverage the popularity of the company’s electronic roulette games. It features multigame and simultaneous play options and a new online management system.
A new survey of millennials reinforces what many in the industry suspect about the spending preferences of this most populous and prized of casino demographics. Among the key findings: Millennials like table games, but will play slots that involve some element of skill. Study author Jane Bokunewicz will present the findings at this month’s G2E.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom