Kinmen Votes Down Casinos

In an October 28 referendum, voters in Taiwan’s Kinmen County, just miles from Xiamen, China, came out overwhelmingly against casinos on the island. Fewer than 3,000 of 24,000 voters came out in favor of an “international holiday resort complex.” The result follows similar dismal support for casinos on the neighboring island of Penghu and faced opposition from the administration of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Pennsylvania Gaming Expansion Signed Into Law

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill making Pennsylvania the fourth state in the U.S. to have legal online gaming, as well as expanding gaming with satellite casinos and slots at airports and truck stops (l.). It’s unclear how many casinos will apply for the licenses, particularly for online slots, with a sky-high 52 percent tax rate.

MGM to Invest $9 Billion in Osaka IR

Meeting with Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui (l.), MGM President & CEO James Murren last week said his company was ready to invest $9 billion in a Japanese casino. Meanwhile, a survey of Japan’s current House members shows that 57 percent of them support casino gaming. But that healthy majority may not mean a fast track for the emerging industry, which may not open until 2024 or later.

Wynn Ready to Build Paradise Park

Paradise Park and a 1,500-room hotel is back on the drawing board for Steve Wynn’s newest Strip extravaganza. Co-development deals are in negotiations, the casino mogul says, with groundbreaking set for January 3 and major construction to commence by April.

Sands Plans $1 Billion Remodel on Cotai

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has announced it will invest $1.1 billion in a major renovation of its properties on Macau’s Cotai Strip. When the dust clears, Sands Cotai Central (l.) will be known as the Londoner Macao

The Scourge of Golf Betting

The logic for legalizing iPoker, DFS and sports betting is that the activities are already happening so why not tax and regulate them? Good point, but what happens when we take it to the next level? Richard Schuetz explains, tongue firmly in cheek.

Bermuda Lawmaker Queried on Gaming Chairman

Bermuda’s minister of tourism, Leah Scott (l.), has called on MP Jamahl Simmons to explain his call on Alan Dunch to resign as chairman of the country’s Gaming Commission.

UK Announces Changes to FOBT Rules are Coming, but Calls for Public Comment

The UK government has announced that it will change the rules surrounding fixed odds betting terminals (l.), a move that has been long expected and could have a major effect on the country’s bookmakers. UK ministers released a long-expected review of the country’s gambling industry and as expected called for changes in the maximum bet allowed at the terminals. The department is now asking for public comment on the changes.

Blast from the Past

Elliot Price, a notorious ghost from Vegas past, briefly re-emerges in a basement in Massachusetts. A bookmaker, associated with the Boston mob, eventually became an executive with Caesars Palace. Nevada John L. Smith (l.) explains why Price remains an important cog in Vegas history.


PAGCOR Sees Revenue Boom

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., the country’s gaming regulator, posted positive results in the third quarter, with gaming revenues up 11 percent year-on-year and net income up 36 percent. The increase was led by Manila’s three Entertainment City resorts, where Okada (l.) was the most recent to open.

October Ends with a Bang in Macau

Following a sluggish start to Golden Week, Macau saw a rally in the final 10 days of October, prompting analysts to kick up their revenue estimates for the month. Nomura expects a spike of up to 21 percent. Wynn Palace (l.) helped its parent company post a profit of $90 million in the third quarter.

Weather, Workforce Issues Could Delay IP

Imperial Pacific International, which continues to develop its integrated resort on Saipan, may not be able to make its scheduled completion deadline of October 2018, say island officials.

Delta Corp. Expanding into Nepal

India casino operator Delta Corp. has announced a deal to run a casino in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The casino will operate out of a 235-room Marriott Hotel (l.) now under development in Kathmandu’s Naxal region.

David Group Exits Macau Roosevelt

Macau junket investor the David Group has disclosed it has closed its VIP room at the Casino Macau Jockey Club inside the recently opened Macau Roosevelt Hotel (l.). The operation’s final day was October 30.

Venetian Macao Marks 10 Years

Sands China will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iconic Venetian Macao on November 20. The original anniversary celebration, planned for August 28, was postponed by Typhoon Hato.

Losses Grow for Royal International in Vietnam

Royal International Corp., owner of the only casino in Vietnam’s Halong Bay region, says third-quarter losses are up 23 times year-on-year to more than VND69 billion (US$3.04 million).

QC Could Clamp Down on Gambling

Officials in the Philippines’ Quezon City are considering a draft ordinance that would tighten regulations on gambling in the city. They say the measure has nothing to do with Bloomberry’s plan to build a casino there.

Macau Visitors Must Declare Cash

Starting November 1, a new regulation requires visitors to Macau to declare cash of MOP 120,000 (US$15,000) or more. The measure is one more weapon in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.


Police May Not Seize Brazilian Slots

The Brazilian government is busy reforming the law to allow casinos to open. But some casinos can’t wait for the new law and one of them has jumped the gun. Last week, Porte Alegre’s Winfil casino (l.) was raided by police.

Ontario Pressured To Halt Deal

Members of Ontario's Opposition party want the government to halt a deal with Great Canadian Gaming to manage several gambling facilities, including Ajax Downs (l.), following money laundering allegations at River Rock Casino in Richmond, British Columbia, also operated by Great Canadian. Ontario Lottery officials said Great Canadian is not under a criminal or regulatory investigation in either province.

University of Sydney Report Recommends Banning Slot Feature

A 2015 University of Sydney report commissioned by the government of New South Wales, just released by the government, recommends a ban of so-called “losses disguised as wins” for slots. The issue is central to a lawsuit involving Aristocrat’s Dolphin Treasures (l.).

Massive Casino Complex a Go in Cairns

The Queensland government has announced plans for a Global Tourism Hub with casino in Cairns. State Treasurer Curtis Pitt said officials want to include six-star hotels, apartment towers and luxury retail as well.


Connecticut Legalizes DFS

The Connecticut legislature has passed a bill signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy (l.) that makes daily fantasy sports legal and also adopted a legal definition for gambling that doesn’t include DFS. Even so, the state’s two gaming tribes still need to sign on.

New Hampshire Online Poker Bill Dies

A bill to allow online poker play in New Hampshire failed to advance in the state’s legislature. The state’s House voted unanimously to let the bill die and revisit the issue in the state’s next legislative session. The state lottery is permitted to sell tickets online, however.

Olympic Summit Classifies eSports as Sporting Activity

ESports was a major topic at the sixth Olympic Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland with discussions on adding eSports events to the Olympics. Officials acknowledged the growth of eSports as a sporting activity, but said games must not infringe on Olympic values to be considered by the IOC

Michigan Senators Offer DFS Bills

Michigan state senators Curtis Hertel Jr. (l.) and Wayne Schmidt proposed bills to define daily fantasy sports as a legal game of skill and regulate the games. According to Hertel, 1.6 million Michigan residents participate in some form of daily fantasy sports for cash. The proposed legislation would prevent them from being considered lawbreakers.

Authentic Gaming Signs Live Casino Deal with Multilotto

Authentic Gaming will provide its live dealer games to lottery betting operator Multilotto under a new agreement. The partnership marks the first time Multilotto has offered live casino products to its players in global markets, the UK and Ireland

Fantasy Trade Association Forms in India

The not-for-profit trade body the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports has formed in the Indian DFS market. FIFS is a self-regulatory body, which represents 13 Indian fantasy sport operators, formed to protect the interests of all Indian users by creating regulations for fantasy sports operators in India.


Massachusetts Study Show Locals Stay Home for Local Casino

A recent study by the University of Amherst shows that the state has realized one of its goals in authorizing four casinos in Massachusetts: keeping local money at home. Once the Plainridge Park Casino (l.) opened, local residents started to stay home in droves.

Tropicana Hit Hard in Wake of Shooting

Penn National Gaming has provided the first detailed glimpse of the impact of the October 1 massacre on the Las Vegas Strip and it’s not pretty. Hotel bookings at the Tropicana are down 35 percent, the company said, mostly in the leisure travel segment.

Philly Casino Lawsuit Dropped

The lawsuit challenging the award of the second Philadelphia casino license was dropped by current Philly licensee SugarHouse after the new Pennsylvania casino law rendered it moot. Construction will begin immediately on the “Live!” casino (l.) jointly owned by the Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming.

Task Force Considers Land-Based Casinos in Louisiana

The Louisiana Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force is wrapping up its review of the state's casino regulations. One proposal it may offer is to let riverboat casinos to move ashore. Other ideas under discussion are changing casino tax rates and expanding the 30,000 square foot gaming space limit.

Reno Clears Path for Station Expansion

City Council has rezoned 12 mostly dormant acres next to a 90,000-square-foot entertainment venue planned by Station Casinos that includes a 20,000-square-foot gaming floor. Supporters of the project hope the new “tourism commercial” designation will move Station to acquire the parcel to build even more.

Alabama Slot Houses Closed For Judicial Review

Last month Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (l.) sued River City Entertainment in Lacey Springs and other casinos in five counties over illegal electronic bingo machines. River City closed until a county judge issues a decision or a hearing date. Casino owners claim the games are legal bingo and the slot-like displays and sounds just provide ambiance.

Maine voters decide on Question 1 Tuesday

Next Tuesday’s election will determine whether Maine voters will either, 1) allow themselves to duped by smooth talking casino proponents or 2) see the financial benefits of a casino that doesn’t just benefit the man proposing—although it mainly does. Question 1 will decide whether Maine will open its arms to a third casino owned by Shawn Scott (l.).

N.Y. Lawmaker Wants Casino Reality Check

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (l.) says he’s lost faith in the revenue projections put forth by New York’s new commercial casinos and wants the state to conduct an independent analysis of the market. He believes the resorts will be seeking tax relief. He says he’ll oppose it if they do.

Owner of Closed Revel Challenges New Jersey on Casino Tax Law

Glenn Straub (l.), the owner of the closed Revel Atlantic City casino has filed suit against New Jersey to have the property removed from a special tax scheme for city casinos. The state’s payment in lieu of taxes program for the city’s casinos should not apply to the closed property, the suit charges and the site should be taxed as a closed property. Straub says he is being overcharged by about $3 million on taxes.

MLS Commissioner Backs Legalized Sports Betting

Major League Soccer’s Commissioner Don Garber (l.) called legalized sports betting in the U.S. and “inevitability” and said he’s league could be at the forefront of a change. The remarks come as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear New Jersey’s challenge to a federal prohibition on sports betting.

Larry Flynt Fought California Law; The Law Won

Legendary porn publisher Larry Flynt (l.) of Hustler fame last week took on a California law that was designed to prevent casino investors from operating in more than one state. The result was law, 1, and Flynt, 0.

Florida Mayor Promotes Decoupling

Since 18 greyhounds tested positive for cocaine in the past four months at Bestbet Orange Park in Jacksonville, Florida, Orange Park Mayor Scott Land has advocated for decoupling greyhound races from card rooms that operate at the racetracks. Under current Florida law, card rooms must offer dog or horse races and/or simulcast races.

Hurricane, Not Shootings, Impacts Boyd

Boyd Gaming officials said Hurricane Harvey, where the company operates Delta Downs (l.), had more of an impact on business than the October 1 Las Vegas Strip shootings. Chief Executive Officer Keith Smith said some properties near the Strip experienced a slight increase in cancellations but business quickly returned to normal. Smith added Boyd’s Las Vegas business is “extremely strong."

Sports Books Win Big for Silver State

Nevada posted $980 million in gaming win in September, a 3.3 percent bump over the same months last year. It came on the strength of record volume of $558.2 million at the state’s race and sports books.

Dover Downs Reports 3Q Declines

In third quarter 2017, gaming revenue dropped 4.3 percent to $39.5 million compared to third quarter 2016, Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. recently reported. Dover Downs President and Chief Executive Officer Denis McGlynn called Delaware's revenue sharing formula "unsustainable" since the company has paid $56.4 million to the state and horsemen.

Casino Aztar Moving To New Orleans

Indiana's first riverboat casino, Casino Aztar, vacated its Evansville dock to become a Louis Armstrong jazz club-restaurant-memorial in New Orleans. First it stopped at Evansville Marine Services where its tall smokestacks will be removed for safe travel under bridges. The World War II ship LST 325 is expected to occupy Aztar's dock.

Florida Condo Machines Would Vend Alcohol

Florida beer and wine organizations filed motions to prevent La Galere Markets of Coral Gables from installing alcoholic-beverage vending machines at condos. La Galere has asked state regulators to declare the machines would be legal. Customers would pass through security checkpoints and use their fingerprints to make purchases from the machines.


Connecticut Tribes Wait for BIA Ruling

The Mohegan and Pequot tribes of Connecticut are waiting for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to give them the ruling on the amended tribal state gaming compact that would allow them to open a third casino (l.). MGM Springfield is doing everything it can to gum up the works as it moves to open its own casino in less than a year.

Oklahoma Considers Indian Gaming Expansion

A measure allowing Native American casinos to offer games with dice and roulette balls recently was approved by the Oklahoma House Rules Committee. The House estimated the bill would generate $8.3 million this year for education and the general fund. The U.S. Department of Interior first must approve the new games.

Judge Rules Wisconsin Tribe Waited Too Long

A federal judge ruled the Stockbridge-Munsee Band waited too long to sue the Ho-Chunk Nation over expanding its Wittenberg, Wisconsin casino (groundbreaking earlier this year at left). U.S. District Judge James Peterson said the Stockbridge-Munsee knew about the Ho-Chunk's alleged compact violations since 2008, and should have sued in 2013 before a 6-year statute of limitations expired.

Alcohol Permits Divide Eastern Band in North Carolina

In 2009, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians voters supported alcohol sales within their dry land, only at Harrah's Cherokee Casino. But a 2015 state law allowed alcohol sales in certain circumstances without a referendum. Now some tribal council members want to stop issuing the permits, but Principal Chief Richard Sneed said that would be a mistake.

The Rez Coming To Hard Rock Tampa

The Rez Grill will open December 14 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, with a menu designed by James Beard award-winning chef Frank Anderson, the property's new culinary director. The Rez is one of many changes coming to the property, including new Italian and seafood restaurants to complement the existing six options.

Soaring Eagle Plans 7-Phase Renovation

The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan will begin a $25.5 million renovation in January, to be completed in fall 2018. The 7-phase project will include a new high limit area, a new poker room, non-smoking gaming space, the new ASCEND sports bar and nightclub and updating the entertainment hall.

Liquor License Granted to Hollywood Casino

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has granted a permanent liquor license to the Hollywood Casino in Jamul. Local residents had hoped the administrative law judge would consider concerns that a liquor license will lead to danger, impaired drivers.


China Lotteries Pass $5 Billion in September

It’s shaping up as another banner year for China’s two official lotteries, which took in the equivalent of US$5.5 billion in revenue in September alone. Through the first nine months of 2017, the lotteries have booked sales valued in U.S. dollars at $46.75 billion.

Keno Debuts In North Carolina

The North Carolina Education Lottery recently launched Carolina Keno at hundreds of outlets statewide. Drawings occur every five minutes, offering the chance to win up to $100,000. Officials estimate keno will generate an additional $31 million for schools in its first year. Tennessee, Georgia and 16 other states already offer keno.

Technical Glitch Has Virginia Sell ‘Unwinnable” Mega Millions Tickets

The Virginia Lottery says a technical glitch caused it to sell at least 182 Mega Millions tickets that had no chance of winning. The lottery did not disclose technical details of the glitch, but said some tickets for the Mega Millions October 31 drawing were printed under recently ended number options of the Mega Millions game. The lottery said it would honor and refund the misprinted tickets.


Martin, Gilland Named Golden Executives

Ned Martin was named chief administrative officer and Phyllis Gilland (l.) was named general counsel at Las Vegas-based Golden Entertainment Inc. Both were employed at American Casino & Entertainment Properties which Golden recently acquired. The purchase included the Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder in Las Vegas plus the Aquarius in Laughlin.


Duetto Launches ‘PlayMaker’

Duetto has launched PlayMaker, which adds customized merchandising abilities to the company’s hospitality revenue strategy platform.

Buffalo Keno Launched in South Dakota

The South Dakota Video Lottery has launched Grand Vision Gaming’s Buffalo Keno, a video keno game incorporating elements of the popular Aristocrat video slot Buffalo.

RGB to Install 900-Plus Slots at Star Vegas

Australia-listed Donaco International Ltd. has announced that a subsidiary of Malaysian casino supplier RGB International Bhd will provide more than 900 new slot machines for Donaco’s Star Vegas in Cambodia.

BMM Partners with SeNet

BMM Testlabs is partnering with SeNet on creation of a set of tests and analysis on information security for clients in commercial and tribal casinos.




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