Las Vegas, You Ready for Some Football?

A lot of work remains before the Raiders play their first home game in Sin City. But it could happen as early as 2018, if the NFL allows the team to play in the small UNLV Sam Boyd Stadium. Moreover, the fact that the NFL finally has made its peace with the gaming industry could mean that sports betting’s day is on the horizon nationwide.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Two Grand Openings, One Government Raid

Okada Manila (l.), Tiger Resort’s $2.4 billion resort in Manila’s Entertainment City, debuted with dancing fountains last week. The casino held a soft opening in December and even at the grand opening, not all amenities have been completed. Meanwhile, the opening of the Imperial Pacific resort on Saipan was overshadowed by an FBI raid.

Penn National, GLPI Buy Two Tunica Casinos

Penn National and Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. will acquire Bally's Casino Tunica (l.) and Resorts Casino Tunica in Robinsonville, Mississippi for $44 million. GLPI will buy the real estate for $82.6 million and lease it to Penn National for $9 million a year. The deal will close in the second quarter. Penn National already owns Hollywood Casino Tunica.

Baha Mar Eyes Finish Line

After sitting idle for two years amid construction disputes and an ownership change, the Baha Mar Casino and Hotel in the Bahamas is ready to open. Graeme Davis (l.), president of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, owner of Baha Mar, says the company is training its staff to provide “new standards for this destination.”

Cordish Shut Out in Spain

The government of Madrid has rejected plans by the U.S.-based Cordish Companies to build a $2.2 billion resort complex (l.) outside Spain’s capital city, saying that the project is not viable. The Baltimore developers said the project could create 56,000 jobs. Cordish may revise and resubmit the plan.

Gamblit Launches in Vegas

Caesars Entertainment has launched the first interactive video gaming experience (skill games) at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino with Gamblit Gaming products. Gamblit brings first-to-market skill based games that combine the fun of competitive video game play with the excitement found in a casino environment.

Commission Reviews Online Gaming in Massachusetts

A commission appointed by the Massachusetts legislature last year to examine the issue of an omnibus bill that would encompass all online gaming except the lottery, is moving toward a July recommendation. Many see the issue as a way to put the Bay State at the forefront of high tech. State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg (l.) has supported the online sales of lottery tickets for several years.

Business Models for Online Gaming in the U.S.

The optimal solution for states and land-based casino operators may be different than European countries where iGaming has flourished for years. With the current link between land-based and online casinos in the U.S., the realities are and will be different.

Connecticut Legislature Torn on Casino Bills

It is now a very iffy proposition whether Connecticut’s gaming tribes, the Pequots and the Mohegans, will get the backing of the legislature for their plan to build a third, satellite casino in East Windsor. About half the legislature appears to support that plan, with possibly the same number favoring a proposal that would open the third casino to competitive bidding, being pushed by MGM Resorts, which has hired former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (l.) to lobby for it.


The meteoric rise in the stock market since the U.S. election has not ignored gaming stocks. From manufacturers to major gaming operators to regional operators, process have climbed steadily. But is it too much too soon? Maybe not.


North Korean Casinos? Place Your Bids

North Korea is on the lookout for foreign investors to stake a casino cruise program off the shore the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un (l.). Two routes are planned—one to Vladivostok in Russia and the other to Southeast Asia.

Galaxy Phases 3, 4 to Focus on Non-Gaming

Galaxy Macau’s Phase 3 and Phase 4 expansions on the Cotai Strip will emphasize non-gaming attractions with entertainment, family-friendly amenities and convention and meeting facilities at the top of the list.

Japan Formulates Responsible Gaming Bill

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is working with a coalition of other lawmakers to develop responsible gambling legislation for the country’s planned casino industry. But the new rules might also affect the pachinko industry, which is gambling in a light disguise.

Silver Heritage: Millions More for Nepal

Australia-listed casino operator the Silver Heritage Group will invest an additional AU$18 million (US$13.8 million) to fund the construction of its Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa (l.) in Nepal.

Goa Gives Casino Boats Six Months to Move

In what has become a familiar refrain, the government of Goa in India has granted a six-month extension to five offshore casinos ordered to relocate from the Mandovi River, where tenders (l.) deliver players to the floating casinos. It is the latest in a series of extensions.

Gambling Out of Control in Guam, Lawmakers Say

Two senators in the U.S. Pacific island territory want to ban a tradition that allows casino-style gambling at a popular annual event called the Liberation Day Carnival. They say local officials are exploiting a loophole in the law to operate the casino year-round.

Chen to Take Over NagaCorp

Chen Lip Keong (l.), chief executive of Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd. and its largest shareholder, will assume a majority share of the company through a stock transaction.

Bloomberry Roars Back

Last month Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. posted a net profit of P2.3 billion (US$46.1 million) for the year ending December 31, a strong reversal from its P3.4 billion (US$66.9 million) net loss in 2015.

Galaxy, Monaco Partner to Bid on Japan

Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and Monaco gaming firm SBM have announced they will storm Japan as partners. The team will bid on one of several casino licenses that may be up for grabs. SBM Chairman Jean-Luc Biamonti (l.) says the tie up is a “valuable enhancement” to both companies.

Melco Crown Shareholders OK Name Change

As expected, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. shareholders have approved plans to change the company’s name to Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. Its Nasdaq ticker symbol will also change to MLCO.

Paradise City to Boost South Korean Tourism

The Paradise City casino resort (l.) in Incheon, South Korea will energize the local tourism industry, says the chairman and chief executive of Paradise Co. Ltd. Incheon has been called the gateway to the capital city of Seoul.

Philippines to Add Casinos to AML Law

The Philippine government is planning to add casinos to the list of entities covered by the country’s anti-money laundering laws. Calls for the change heightened after the 2016 theft of $81 million from a Bangladesh bank.

Success Dragon Breaks with Vietnam Hotel

Gaming services company Success Dragon International Holdings Ltd. has ended a business contract with the owner of the five-star Le Meridien Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


Tigre Shuts Down Poker, Trims Table

G1 Entertainment, operator of the Tigre de Cristal resort in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone, announced the VIP resort has been forced to cut costs due to intense competition from illegal gambling operators.

Al Bidda Casino Hotel under Fire

The Al Bidda Casino Hotel (l.), a planned project in Málaga, Spain, has met opposition from politicians and community organizations who say the 440-foot skyscraper would mar the city’s image and overshadow important architecture.

Star City UK Could Reopen, But Smaller

Genting UK’s casino at Star City (l.) in Birmingham, England could return, but with a much smaller casino. The property opened in 2003 but struggled with weak market conditions. The main casino floor closed in January.

Ladbrokes Coral Raises Estimate on Savings from Merger

Ladbrokes Coral Plc announced that cost savings from the recent merger of the two companies will be higher than initially projected. The company said costs synergies will save the company 100 million pounds, up from an initial expectation of 65 million. About 25 percent of the savings come from worker layoffs.


Bermuda Looks to Cut Taxes, Red Tape

Island officials are under political fire for failing to grow tourism by tapping into the U.S. market as a major gaming destination. Now the government is hoping to spur investment with legislation backed by Tourism Minister Michael Fahy (l.) to increase tax breaks and streamline the development process.

OLGC Will Not Halt Search

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will not stop the current process for hiring a new operator for Niagara Falls' two casinos, including Fallsview (l.), despite requests from St. Catharines and Niagara mayors and city councillors' unanimously passed resolutions. Opponents claim the bidding plan will lead to the loss of 1,400 jobs and millions of dollars.

Gold Coast Casino’s China Link

Supporters of a planned US$3 billion integrated resort (l.) on Australia’s Gold Coast have publicly acknowledged that the ASF Consortium’s project could be partially owned by the Chinese government.

Trump Owns Casino Trademarks in Jordan

Despite gambling being illegal in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan, President Donald Trump’s business owns casino trademarks in the country. The trademark was received before Trump’s bid for the presidency. Trump would have to renew the trademarks during his presidency.

Alberta Commission Approves Century Mile

Century Casinos' proposed $37.5 million Century Mile Racing Entertainment Centre near Edmonton recently was approved by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. The venue will feature a one-mile racetrack and barns plus a gaming area with 550 slots, off-track betting, dining options and a grandstand. Construction will be completed in 15 months.


Australia Considering Online Point of Consumption Tax

Australian Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison (l.) is considering an online gambling point of consumption tax ahead of the country’s budget deliberations. While designed to raise revenue, supporters also want to ensure consumer protections for player. The idea is still being studied with no plan to bring it to a vote.

DraftKings Launches German Site

DFS operator DraftKings has launched a new site in Germany, continuing a planned expansion into European markets. The company has obtained licensing through the Malta Gaming Authority.

Report: Online Gaming Grows 6.6 Percent in Europe

A report from research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming tracked a 6.6 percent growth in European online gaming in 2016. The online industry brought in $19.3 billion. The report pointed to an increase in regulated markets for the rise.

Playtech Ends Agreement for Marvel Comics Themed Slots

Playtech has advised its software licensees that it will be pulling all online slots themed on Marvel Comics characters. The company said the licensing agreement it held with Marvel is expiring. The company has a new deal in place with DC Comics.

Amaya Eyes Acquisitions

The CEO of PokerStars parent company Amaya Inc., Rafi Ashkenazi (l.), says he is seeking acquisitions to reduce the company’s exposure to an unstable online poker business, a year after he replaced founder and former CEO David Baazov.

China’s Ourgame to Offer Social Gaming

Chinese online game operator Ourgame is expanding into the social casino game market in the U.S., and will expand its current operations in the field of eSports.

Bet365 & Mr Green Leave Polish Market

Bet365 has announced it will withdraw from Poland’s online gaming market in the face of proposed changes to online regulations and tax rates in the country. William Hill announced its withdrawal earlier last month. Poland will tax offshore online companies at 12 percent of turnover in a move perceived to protect state-owned operator Totalizator Sportowy.

GVC Announces Dividends Increase from Bwin Acquisition

GVC will raise its annual dividend saying its 1.1-billion-pound acquisition of Bwin is paying off despite significant costs from the transaction. The company reported a loss of €138.6 million, mostly due to the acquisition, but said overall sports betting figures are up thanks to the move.


Florida Senate Approves Gambling Bill

In a 36-2 vote, the Florida Senate passed SB 8 which would let the Seminole Tribe offer craps and roulette, permit South Florida racinos, including Hialeah Park (l.), to add blackjack and allow racetracks to add slots in eight counties where voters approved them, among other provisions. Passage is doubtful, however, as the House bill would freeze gambling at its current levels.

VGT Effort Gains Steam in Pennsylvania

The effort to create an omnibus gaming expansion bill in Pennsylvania has a new element in a bipartisan effort to legalize video gaming terminals in bars and taverns. The bill is sponsored by state Senator Guy Reschenthaler (l.), who claims that there are more than 40,000 illegal machines already operating in state bars and taverns.

Nazarian: SLS, Hakkasan to Merge

SBE founder and CEO Sam Nazarian has revealed that SBE is in “advanced discussions” for a merger that would fold Hakkasan Group into SBE. Hakkasan operates several nightclubs for MGM Resorts, including the Hakkasan (l.) in MGM Grand, as does SBE.

New Hampshire Senate Approves Casino Bill

Veteran New Hampshire Senator Lou D’Allesandro (l.), who has been fighting for 18 years to win approval for casino gaming in the Granite State, won a strategic battle last week when the Senate approved his bill authorizing two casinos. Now it is on to a much harder nut to crack: the House.

Yankton Forms Casino Committee

Committee members in Yankton, South Dakota are researching a proposed downtown casino and entertainment venue near the waterfront. They said the facility would contribute to work force development, historic preservation and quality of life improvements. The project would cost $35-$50 million and generate $3 million-$4 million in annual revenue.

Legislators Weigh in on Maine Casino

Maine legislators last week grilled a lobbyist for a casino that would be authorized for southern Maine, where only Bridge Capital, an offshore corporation and its principal Shawn Scott (l.) would be able to build the facility. The lawmakers were colored with various shades of unhappy.

Louisiana Riverboats May Drop Paddlewheels

A Louisiana law requiring riverboat casinos to have working paddlewheels—even though they don't leave their docks—is "ridiculous," said state Rep. Ronnie Johns (l.), head of the state's Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force. The group was formed last year to review and update gaming legislation.

February in Vegas―Leap-Less and Lean

The absence of a February 29 and a smaller convention calendar combined to drive visitation to Las Vegas to its first year-on-year decline since October―a 5.5 percent drop, the steepest since the recession. Gaming revenue followed suit, down 5 percent on the Strip and 4.5 percent statewide.

Nebraska Governor Reiterates Casino Opposition

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (l.) re-emphasized his opposition to legalizing casino gambling during his monthly call-in radio show on News Talk WJAG. Ricketts said he doubted a caller's statement that property taxes in Iowa are lower than Nebraska because of casino revenue, and said Nebraskans can gamble on the lottery, keno and horseracing.

Massachusetts Lawsuit Dismissed—Except for Mohegan Sun

Most of the lawsuit brought against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission by Mohegan Sun and the city of Revere has been dismissed by the Supreme Judicial Court. The lawsuit concerned the granting of the Wynn Resorts casino license to Everett. The one part remaining leaves the Mohegan challenge intact, but will not impact the construction of the Wynn casino.

Indiana Struggling With Declining Revenue

An Indiana House bill would remove riverboat casinos' $3 per-person admission tax, replacing it with a 3.5 percent supplemental tax. The measure is in response to the state's declining casino tax revenue, which has been hurt by competition in neighboring states. Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley (l.) says the state is a partner with the casino industry in the state “whether we like it or not.”

Georgia Casino Measure Ultimately Fails

Casino gambling legislation failed in the Georgia Senate last month, and a last-ditch effort in the House also recently was unsuccessful. State Rep. Ron Stephens' (l.) revised measure would have allowed four gaming licenses instead of two. Observers also wondered if casino amendments would be added to SB 5 which detailed how gaming proceeds would be spent.

Atlantic City Takeover Firms Bills State $280K

The law firm running Atlantic City’s finances has billed the state $280,000 for November through January, setting off criticism from officials who were opposed to the takeover. Jeffrey Chiesa, however, who was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to manage the city’s finances, says the firm has already saved the city more than $90 million by renegotiating a tax settlement with the Borgata Casino.

Ground Broken For Florida City Fronton

Work has started at Kings Court in Florida City, Florida, owned by John Brunetti, owner of the Hialeah racetrack and casino. Brunetti plans to develop a jai-alai fronton and eventually a poker room, hotel and restaurants at the busy highway intersection. The first matches must be held by June 11.

Kansas Crossing Casino Opens

Kansas' fourth and final state-owned casino-hotel, the $80 million Kansas Crossing, opened Friday, March 31 in Pittsburg in the state's southeast gaming zone. The operation, which will create 400 jobs and attract a half-million visitors annually, offers a 123-room hotel, a restaurant and a gaming floor with 625 slots and 16 table games.

Iowa Casino Barge Offered Two Possible Sites

Clinton, Iowa has been offered the Rhythm City barge, since Davenport's Rhythm City Casino and Resort became land-based. But Administrator Matt Brooke said that would cost the city more than $560,000 for towing, utilities and more. The Living Lands and Water organization said it will take the barge if Clinton rejects it.

Casinos Are Moving Beyond Basics

Las Vegas gaming revenue dropped $600 million from 2007 to 2016 but room revenue increased $800 million. Properties are promoting luxury rooms, upscale dining and high-end shows over inexpensive buffets and cheap rooms, said gambling expert David Schwartz. He predicts by 2023 Strip resorts will generate $2 billion more from rooms than gambling.


Cities in the Lurch as Senecas Halt Revenue-Sharing

In Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca local leaders hope New York officials and the Seneca tribe and new president, Todd Gates (l.), can repair their differences over the state’s new commercial casinos. The Senecas say the casinos violate the exclusivity clause of their compact, and they’ve cut off funds the three cities need badly.

South Dakota Tribes Sign Compact Extensions

The Crow Creek Sioux, which operates the Lode Star Casino (l.), and the Rosebud Sioux tribes in South Dakota recently signed short-term extensions to their Class III gaming compacts. The tribes have fought the state regarding the number of slots allowed at their casinos and the state's position on oil pipeline projects.

Mohegan Sun to Expand Expo Center

Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun has broken ground on an $80 million expansion of the Exposition and Convention Center that will add 240,000 square feet, a hotel, entertainment and conference complex. The project could make it the largest convention center between New York and Boston.

Indian Law Experts Pens ‘Wampum’

A man who spent many years of his career fighting for Indian tribes in Washington D.C. has penned a cautionary tale about how good intentions can lead to mixed results. Donald Craig Mitchell’s book is called “Wampum: How Indian Tribes, the Mafia, and an Inattentive Congress Invented Indian Gaming and Created a $28 Billion Gambling Empire.”

California Tribe Begins $226 Million Expansion

The Sycuan Band of The Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County has begun work on a $226 million expansion of its Sycuan Casino. The project includes the additional of a 300-room hotel with 60 suites, additional gaming space and a 12,000-foot ballroom.

iLani Casino Forces Card Room to Close

The $510 million iLani Casino is expected to open in La Center, Washington later in April. Already its killed off some of its competition, two cardrooms that have closed because they are losing key staff to the Cowlitz tribe’s new enterprise, which will also feature Michael Jordan's Steakhouse (l.), like the one at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

California Tribe Buys Land for New Casino

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation has purchased nearly nine acres in Ukiah, California for a proposed $50 million casino and hotel. The land is a former auto dealership with three buildings.


Northstar Fired But Still Running Lottery

Two years after two Illinois governors fired Northstar Lottery Group, the company still oversees the state's $2 billion annual lottery, and is collecting millions more in fees than the original contract stated, according to an Associated Press study. Lottery officials said they want to "getting the best deal for taxpayers."

Kansas House OKs Lottery Dispensers

In a 100-25 vote, the Kansas House approved a bill allowing self-service lottery dispensers. Supporters said the machines would cut costs and add $30 million in annual lottery ticket sales. Since Missouri and Colorado installed the machines, lottery sales increased 50 percent, a Kansas Lottery spokeswoman said.

Florida Governor Will Appeal Lottery Contract Ruling

Florida Governor Rick Scott (l.) will appeal Circuit Judge Karen Gievers' ruling declaring the Florida Lottery's 15-year, $700 million contract with IGT to be unenforceable and void. Gievers said lottery officials did not have the legal authority to approve the contract. House Speaker Richard Corcoran originated the suit against the lottery secretary last month.


Stuart Joins Caesars' Gaming/Interactive Effort

Christian Stuart is Caesars Entertainment's new executive vice president of gaming and interactive entertainment. Stuart will oversee all gaming products and services across Caesars' 47 casinos in 13 states and five countries. Previously he was senior vice president and chief of staff to Caesars Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Frissora.

MGM Names Strategy Officer

MGM Resorts International has named Aaron Fisher, currently a senior ice president of corporate development, as the company’s new chief strategy officer.

Stations' Palms Names Gray

Jon Gray recently was named assistant general manager at the Palms in Las Vegas. A decade ago, Gray was senior vice president and general manager at the Palms hotel's restaurants, nightclubs and pool events. Gray's casino career began as a front desk clerk at Wynn Las Vegas and he also has worked at Nike.

Genting Exec Takes Reigns in Catskills

Ryan Eller, a key figure in the Genting Americas hierarchy, has been placed in the charge of Empire Resorts’ planned $750 million Montreign hotel casino and the company’s nearby Monticello racino. Montreign is slated to open in 2018 as the closest of New York’s new destination casinos to New York City.

Golden Fills Key Nevada Positions

Nevada’s largest tavern and slot route operator, Golden Entertainment, has promoted three executives to run its flagship Las Vegas- and Reno-area operations. The three will manage the bulk of the company’s nearly 1,000 locations and 10,000 machine games in the state, and Brent Edlund (l.) has been put in charge of all taverns.


GameCo to Expand

GameCo is attempting to raise as much as $30 million for expansion efforts to bring its skill-based Video Game Gambling Machines to new markets.

SG Gaming Launches Content

SG Gaming has launched several additions to its library of content in the U.K., with new titles for the licensed betting office, arcade and bingo sectors.

BMM Receives Chile Accreditation

BMM Testlabs has received an accreditation to provide testing and certification of gaming devices in the rapidly growing gaming market of Chile.

Choctaw Contracts Joseph Eve CPAs

Joseph Eve CPAs will conduct a BSA/Title 31 risk assessment for each of the eight casino operations and 12 travel plazas of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.


AGS Reveals NIGA Lineup

AGS has announced its lineup of products for display at the April National Indian Gaming Association’s Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention.

Scientific Games Reveals NIGA Lineup

Scientific Games Corporation has outlined its lineup of products for display at the National Indian Gaming Association’s Indian Gaming trade show next week.




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