Four Winds South Bend Opens

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians recently opened Four Winds South Bend in Indiana (tribal leaders and NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens cut the ribbon at the grand opening). The casino won't pay state taxes but will pay the city 2 percent of profits. Last year Indiana's 13 commercial casinos paid $442 million in state and local taxes, falling from $680 million in 2010 and projected to be $388 million in 2019.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Caesars REIT Rejects Acquisition Bid by MGM REIT

Vici Properties, Inc., the newly established real-estate investment trust of Caesars Entertainment, has confirmed that it rejected an acquisition bid from MGM Growth Properties. The plan would have turned over more than 20 properties, including the legendary Caesars Palace (l.), to the MGM REIT. The operating companies would have remained separate.

Gambling Issue Will Be On Florida Ballot

Florida election officials announced Voters In Charge submitted more than the 766,200 valid signatures needed to place on the November ballot a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voters to approve future gambling expansion. John Sowinski, chairman of the Voters in Charge political committee, predicted opponents and proponents would spend “millions of dollars” on campaigns to sway voters. Senate President Bill Galvano (l.) is trying to pass a bill that may pre-empt the referendum.

AGS Begins Initial Public Offering

Gaming supplier AGS announced the beginning of an initial public offering of 10.25 million shares of its common stock, at an initial price estimated at between $16 and $18. CEO David Lopez (l.) has transformed the company to a powerful supplier.

Catskills Megaresort Debuts February 8

The most anticipated of New York’s new commercial casinos, and the closest to New York City, is opening the doors early next month with Chinese New Year firmly in its sights. Resorts World Catskills (l.) will greet players with 2,150 slots, 150 table games, an all-suite hotel, an array of restaurants and a 2,500-seat showroom.

MGM Cotai Could Open with 150 Tables

MGM China’s long-awaited integrated Macau resort, MGM Cotai, could be granted 150 new-to-market gaming tables for its January 29 opening, say analysts. The number is similar to the amount that was granted to Wynn Palace and the Parisian Macao.

A Nice Start

Nevada Governor Sandoval last week named Becky Harris as the first chairwoman of the state Gaming Control Board. Harris is only the second woman to sit on the board in its long history. Former regulator Richard Schuetz applauds the move.

Czech Company to Seek Control of Casinos Austria

The Czech-based Sazka Group received permission to increase its stake in Casinos Austria to 34 percent, making Sazka its largest shareholder and increasing the likelihood it will seek to gain majority control.

Caesars Announces Dream Team for Japan

In its bid for an integrated resort in Japan, U.S.-based gaming giant Caesars Entertainment has assembled a three-person Japan Advisory Committee that includes Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (l.).

FANTINI’S FINANCE: The American Dream

AGS (formerly American Gaming Systems) has gone public with the first gaming IPO in several years. Is the timing right, as gaming suppliers seem to be the darlings of Wall Street?


Melco to Boost Philippine Presence

Hong Kong-listed casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment is looking to boost its presence in the Philippines. Melco honcho Lawrence Ho recently met with President Rodrigo Duterte (l.) to affirm his interest.

Wynn Macau Workers Report Smoking

Casino workers at Wynn Macau have filed a petition with the local government saying the company has looked the other way as customers smoke, and even facilitated the practice by providing lighters and ashtrays.

Uy Building Airport Resort in Cebu

Philippine businessman Dennis Uy, who is planning to develop the $341 million Emerald Resort and Casino resort in Cebu, is planning a second resort property near Mactan International Airport (l.).

Two New Clubs for Meg-Star

Macau-based junket operator Meg-Star International is planning to open two new VIP gaming clubs in the city, one at MGM Cotai, which is due to open this month, and the second at City of Dreams Macau.

Grand Opening Planned for Tiger Palace

Sydney-listed Silver Heritage Group, which launched its casino at Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa on New Year’s Eve, will stage a lavish grand opening at the Nepal property in March.

A Future for Tinian Casino?

Tim Chen, principal owner of Tinian Entertainment Corp., is interested in renovating and reopening the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino (l.), which closed in 2015 after its former owner went bankrupt.

Indian Casino Boat Seeks Port

The Captain of Ports in the Indian state of Goa has asked the government to allot a jetty to casino boat MV San Domino (l.). The vessel would replace MV Lucky Seven, which ran aground last year and didn’t make it to port.

$6 Million Stolen from Wynn Macau

Casino chips worth almost HKD47.9 million (US$6.1 million) were lifted from a Macau casino last week. The suspect was described last week as a 50-year-old male dealer who worked in a VIP club.

Tiger Resort v. Okada

Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., operator of the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippines, has filed a criminal complaint against former chairman Kazuo Okada (l.), alleging of two counts of fraud.


Irish Gambling Control Bill to be Revamped Again

An Irish Gambling Control bill, which has been stuck in the country’s legislature since 2013, will be revamped again to include a central regulatory authority. David Stanton, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration has asked for another delay to amend the bill to allow for an independent regulatory authority for gambling. The original bill had the country’s Department of Justice overseeing the gambling industry.

Greek Islands Fight Casinos

The Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete are joining forces to oppose casinos at the popular tourist destinations. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (l.) is among the officials who supports such investments

Crimea Reshuffles the Deck

Despite claims last fall that all the preparations had been completed for a gambling zone in Russia-annexed Crimea, Prime Minister Sergei Aksenyov (l.) is scouting a new location for the zone.

Cyprus Overhauls Regs

The government of Cyprus has submitted its revised national gaming regulations to the European Commission for review. The proposed rules call for new taxes, some of which will fund responsible gaming programs.

Young Swiss Politicians Oppose New Laws

Swiss political party youth groups must collect more than 50,000 valid signatures by January 18 to trigger a referendum on Money Gaming Act provisions. The new law prohibits foreign online gambling companies from operating in Switzerland, and requires Swiss internet providers to block foreign gambling websites. The groups said that violates internet freedom.

A&S Leisure Group Closes Sheffield Casino

UK casino operator A&S Leisure Group Limited announced the closing of one of its two venues in the English city of Sheffield as the company focuses on a property it is planning to build in nearby Manchester. The company closed its Napoleons Casino (l.) and Restaurant Ecclesall Road property in the city’s suburban Greystones neighborhood.

Grosvenor Victoria Casino to Add Rank Group’s Dual Play Baccarat

Online casino games operator Evolution Gaming Group AB has announced a deal with Rank Group to bring one of its Dual Play Baccarat innovations to the operator’s Grosvenor Victoria Casino (l.). The multi-camera baccarat table will offer land-based and online patrons the ability to simultaneously enjoy speed baccarat action from the gaming floor of the casino.


Buenos Aires Governor Closes Casinos

Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal (l.) recently closed one casino and ordered two more to shut down soon, claiming gaming has not boosted tourism. The province's seven casinos are government-owned but the machines are operated by Codere, which is expected to bid for the right to operate the province's 3,860 slot machines.

B.C. Imposes Anti-Money Laundering Laws

The B.C. Lottery Corporation recently put into effect new laws to help stop money laundering at British Columbia, Canada casinos. Now before they can gamble, high rollers must verify the source of their funds if they want to buy $10,000 or more in chips within a 24-hour period, using cash, bank drafts or certified checks.

Xenophon Backs Off SA Slots Ban

Former Australian senator and anti-gaming activist Nick Xenophon has stepped back from a vow to eliminate all pokies in South Australia. Xenophon is now talking about a “suite of measures” to reduce harm.


West Virginia Re-introduces Interactive Gaming Bill

A bill to legalize and regulate "interactive gaming" was introduced by West Virginia state Delegate Shawn Fluharty. Online poker, casino betting and lottery betting would be included, overseen by the state Lottery Commission. The same bill stalled in the House in 2017, but gambling expansion in Maryland and Pennsylvania have increased pressure.

William Hill May Leave Australian Market

British bookmaker William Hill is reportedly considering selling its Australian business due to rising costs and increased regulation in the country. William Hill said it has ordered a strategic review of its Australian business and said a sale could be a possibility when it is complete. The move seems to be in response to a move by the country to ban bookmakers offering lines of credit in an effort to fight problem gambling.

Italy Makes 120 Online Gambling Licenses Available

Italy has finally moved to make 120 Italian gaming licenses available to gambling platforms. The country has launched a bidding process for the licenses. About 40 of the licenses are expected to be issued to operators already in the market.

New Jersey Lawmakers Urge U.S. DOJ to Keep iGaming Legal

New Jersey’s delegation to the U.S. Congress, including up-and-coming Senator Cory Booker (l.), wrote to the federal Justice Department, urging officials not to rescind the 2011 opinion that cleared the way for legal online gaming.

Australian Sports Coalition Backs Loosening of Gambling Ad Restrictions

Australia’s Coalition for Major Professional and Participation Sports is supporting an appeal to loosen a ban on gambling ads during daytime sports broadcasts. The government blocked such ads to protect against influencing juveniles to gamble. The association and other advocates wants to enable radio and television stations to broadcast a gambling ad once every two hours during competitions.

Indian Law Commission to Recommend Limiting Online Bets

India’s Law Commission is readying a series of regulations to control illegal online betting in India. One would allow a person to place only three bets a year and all bets have to be place through a licensed operator.

Nebraska may Legalize DFS

Lawmakers in Nebraska have begun debating a bill that would both legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports. The sponsor, Senator Tyson Larson, says it will protect consumers.

SBTech Partners with GAN on Sports Betting Software

SBTech has announced a strategic partnership with GAN, a major supplier of internet gaming enterprise software-as-a-service solutions to the US land-based casino industry. The partnership sees SBTech supplying real-money sports betting services to GAN’s U.S. casino clients. The companies say the partnership places both SBTech and GAN in a strong position if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns or otherwise modifies the current federal prohibition on sports betting.

Ourgame Acquiring Mobile Gaming Companies

Ourgame, the Chinese gaming leader, announced it will acquire through its Tianjin Shengyou Shidai subsidiary three mainland China-based mobile gaming product companies. Ourgame officials said the acquisitions "will further consolidate the group’s leading position in its domestic China card and board games business and enhance its brand influence.”

Pariplay Ltd. Signs Content Partnership with Betclic Everest Group

Pariplay Ltd. has announced a content partnership with Betclic Group, the France-based operator of the Betclic portfolio of online gambling brands. Under the partnership, Pariplay’s online casino games have gone live on the operator’s online sportsbook and casino brands, and, along with their stand-alone casino

LeoVegas Acquires IPS for £65 million

Stockholm-listed online gambling group LeoVegas AB has acquired Intellectual Property & Software Limited for a reported £65 million. The acquisition continues LeoVegas’ move into the UK market. IPS’ UK online platforms include, Slotboss, Bet UK and UK Casino.

New Sega Social Slots App Taps Classic Video Games

Sega Networks has launched an app called Sega Slots that allows users to play some of the company’s classic video games in slot form. The app is available at Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store.


Louisiana Riverboat Task Force Issues Report

The Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force, created in 2016 by Louisiana legislators, recommended allowing riverboat casinos to move ashore, gaming floors to expand and eliminating functioning paddlewheels, such as the Eldorado casino in Shreveport (l.). The group said current laws do not acknowledge the industry has changed since riverboat casinos were approved in 1991. The proposed changes now will go to the legislature.

Analysis: Mini-Casinos Could Grow PA Market

As speculation begins on the specific location of the state’s first Category 4 satellite casino after Penn National’s winning bid, an analysis by New Jersey consulting firm GGH Morowitz examines the potential profitability of the new facilities. Penn operates the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (l.).

Lucky Dragon Slinks into Foreclosure

The highly touted boutique resort, Lucky Dragon (l.), is headed for a forced sale early in February. Despite its unique Asian theming and proximity to the Las Vegas Strip the property never found its legs and has struggled since its opening just over a year ago.

Huge Jack Sign Spans Greektown Roof

Part of Greektown Casino-Hotel's transition to Jack Detroit Casino-Hotel can be seen in the huge Jack sign spanning the length of the hotel rooftop. The transformation, to be completed by May 1, also includes major renovations, the Monroe Market dining area and a bar inside the casino.

Massachusetts Gaming Study Begins

Massachusetts is at the beginning of conducting an historic and groundbreaking survey of the state’s population, and how a 3,000-member cohort will be affected by gambling as the state’s casinos start to come online, according to Stephen Crosby (l.) of the state Gaming Commission. The study, MAGIC, is being conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Arkansas Casino Group Submits Ballot Title

Driving Arkansas Forward submitted to state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (l.) the name and ballot title of a proposed constitutional amendment allowing three casinos, with 65 percent of tax revenue directed to road improvements. The Quapaw Indian Tribe offered plans for a casino resort in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County that would create 1,000 new jobs

Casino Profits on a Roll in Las Vegas

Las Vegas’ largest casinos enjoyed a 191 percent surge in net income in the 2017 financial year. Not surprisingly, most of it was generated on the Strip, where gaming win hit $6 billion and total resort revenues, including hotel and food and beverage sales, surpassed $17 billion.

N.Y.’s del Lago in Trouble, Moody’s Warns

The largest of New York’s commercial casinos hasn’t made enough money in its first year to support its capital structure, according to a new Moody’s report. The debt ratings agency says del Lago needs to pull off some “substantial improvement” in a crowded statewide gaming market that’s getting more crowded by the month.

Virginia Track Buyers Want Historical Racing

Chicago-based Revolutionary Racing, negotiating to buy Colonial Downs racetrack (l.) in New Kent County, Virginia, indicated allowing historical race machines would be an important “foundation” for the racetrack's success. The legislature has rejected expanded gambling numerous times. But a paragraph in outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe's final budget proposal would allow the machines.

Illinois Lawmakers Review Gambling Expansion

Another year, another attempt to expand gambling in Illinois, as the optimists and pessimists line up. Some lawmakers said competition in neighboring states and new technology will force new legislation. Others said the state is near the gambling saturation point. Senator Dave Syverson (l.) is proposing a massive expansion that would permit new casinos in Chicago, south suburban Cook County, Danville, northern Lake County, Rockford and Williamson County in southern Illinois.

Indiana Sports Betting ‘Integrity Fee’ Could Be Deal Killer

A bill to regulate sports betting in Indiana would impose a 1 percent “integrity fee” on total handle that would result in billions to sports leagues to monitor betting lines and wagering activity. And at last 18 states are considering or passed bills legalizing sports betting if the U.S. Supreme Court lifts the federal ban.

Work to Start on Second Philly Casino

The Stadium Casino partnership has been authorized to raze the Holiday Inn to clear the way for construction of the Stadium Casino Hotel in South Philadelphia’s stadium district.

Four Las Vegas Casinos Hit in Robbery Spree

It appears the November robbery of Bellagio’s poker room was just the start. New York-New York, Harrah’s, Ellis Island and SLS Las Vegas (l.) all have been held up in the space of the last three weeks. Police are still looking for the culprits.

Golden Nugget Enhances Loyalty Program

Golden Nugget Casinos has improved its players club system, enabling members to earn comp dollars and tire credits and redeem them at any of the operator’s five casinos.

Atlantic City Casino Revenue Rises in 2017

Atlantic City casinos saw their second straight year of revenue growth bringing in $2.66 billion from gamblers in 2017, up 2.2 percent over 2016, with MGM’s Borgata (l.) the clear winner. Without counting online gambling revenue—which was up 25 percent—the increase was just 0.3 percent for land-based gambling. Online gambling brought in $225 million for the year

Raiders Score 30-Year Tax Break

The NFL team has won an agreement from Nevada that prohibits the state from directly taxing it or its fans or its new $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat Las Vegas home (site at left). Visiting teams also will be tax-exempt under the deal, which is slated to last for the next three decades.

Crumbling Vacant Atlantic City Casino Sparks Investigation

The closed Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City appears to be slowly falling down and has prompted an investigation by the city into the building’s status. Debris is reportedly falling from the structure onto city sidewalks. The building has been closed for four years.

Former Revel Owner Still Wants Role in Atlantic City Development

Glenn Straub (l.), the Florida-based developer who recently sold the former Revel casino in Atlantic City is still a major landholder in the resort. He told local media he wants to be named the official redeveloper of the city’s South Inlet area, where he owns 43 different properties. Straub sold the Revel for $200 million after being unable to re-open the casino tower for nearly three years.

Woman Dies After Casino Boat Fire

A 42-year-old woman died from her injuries following a fire on the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise shuttle (l.). Fifteen others were treated for smoke inhalation and other minor injuries. Passengers jumped into the frigid Gulf of Mexico waters after the captain grounded the boat near a residential area. The Coast Guard is investigating.


Tribes of Many Minds on Sports Betting

Gaming tribes are watching with interest the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Christie v. NCAA, that will decide the fate of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA.) The tribes are watching the case with mixed feelings—unsure whether lifting the ban would be good or bad for their gaming interests.

Massachusetts Tribe Looks Past Class II Casino

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais (l.), based on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, is following up a victory from the U.S. Supreme Court by moving forward to open a Class II casino. However, it has indicated it would rather have a casino on the mainland.

Tribal Casino Concerns Iowa Lawmaker

The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska wants to build a casino in Carter Lake, Iowa near Council Bluffs, home of three state-regulated casinos whose tax revenue accounts for 30 percent of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Grassley (l.) worries the tribal casino, which wouldn't pay taxes, will steal business and impact the fund.

Connecticut Town Squabbles Over Potential Casino Money

East Windsor, a small town of 11,400 residents in Connecticut, is the choice of the state’s gaming tribes for their $300 million satellite casino (l.). The town is already squabbling over how to divide the money they will collect in taxes from the casino if it is built.

Pueblo Breaks Ground Near Santa Fe Opera

Ground was broken for the Tesuque Pueblo's new casino located next to the famed Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. Opera officials have expressed concern about possible light and noise pollution. But Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales (l.) said the pueblo is committed to minimizing any impacts.



Founders Removed as Executives at Codere

Spanish and Latin American gaming operator Codere has confirmed that the company’s founder has been replaced as chairman and CEO. The company said new leadership is needed in announcing the appointments. José Antonio Martínez Sampedro (l.) and former VP Luis Javier Martínez Sampedro, whose family founded the company in 1980, will retain seats on the company’s board.

Harper Ko Appointed Chief Legal Officer at Everi

Harper Ko, a veteran of corporate and regulatory compliance in the gaming industry, has been named executive vice president and chief legal officer-general counsel, of Everi Holdings Inc. in Las Vegas.

Keena to Head Rivers Casino

Bill Keena is the new general manager of Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He comes to the job from Rivers Casino, in Des Plaines, Illinois, which he opened in 2011.

Paddy Power Marketing Director Singleton Exits Company

According to published reports, Paddy Power Marketing Director Mark Singleton has left the bookmaker to join digital photo printing firm Photobox. Singleton was with paddy Power for six years and held a number of senior executive roles for the Irish bookmaker including Head of Sportsbook Marketing and Head of Multichannel.

Beau Rivage Promotes Chatham

Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi named Sara Chatham director of spa, salon and pool operations, overseeing the direction and development of massage therapists, hairstylists, estheticians, spa and pool attendants, lifeguards and managers. She brings to her new position extensive experience as a hospitality professional in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans.


SG System Live in Alberta

Grand Villa Casino Edmonton has gone live with Scientific Games’ industry-leading SDS slot accounting and player tracking system, with award-winning iVIEW technology.

TransAct Targets Japan

TransAct Technologies has entered into a partnership with AICG Co., a consulting agency focused on the potential casino gaming market in Japan, to promote the supplier’s printing technologies.

Hoosier Park Premieres Skill-Based Game

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Indiana recently introduced IGT's Texas Tea Pinball, becoming the first location in the state to offer the skill-based game. It combines a traditional slot machine with pinball within a "life in the oilfields" theme. A player's pinball skills can result in larger prizes.

Ezugi Broadcasts for Hungarian Casino

Bucharest operator Casino Palace SRL has launched a live casino broadcast in partnership with technology provider Ezugi and certified by the Romanian National Gambling Office.

Crane Co Completes Buyout of Crane Currency

Casino payment and merchandising technology supplier Crane Co announced that it has completed the acquisition of Crane and Co. Inc., also known as Crane Currency, for $800 million.

Genting Partners with SlotGuru

Genting Casinos has partnered with SlotGuru, with a plan to deploy the SlotGuru responsible gaming app on machines at all of its 39 casinos in the U.K.


GGW Session Set at ICE

Global Gaming Women’s session at the ICE Totally Gaming trade show and conference in London, titled “Driving the Change from the Top,” including the Great Women of Gaming Awards, will take place February 7. Sarah Harrison (l.), CEO of the British Gambling Commission, will deliver the keynote speech.

Dallmeier Returns to ICE

Dallmeier will display its Casino Automation Technology, or CAT, at the upcoming ICE Totally Gaming trade show and conference at London’s ExCeL Centre.




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