Cuomo: No Casinos in NYC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) has made it clear he will not be rushed into any proposal for downstate casinos before the expiration of a moratorium on them until 2023. He dealt a further blow to MGM and Genting by stating he will not support downstate licenses for existing racinos. He’s also not a fan of mobile sports betting, which could be a blow to the profitability of the wager.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Feds OK Third Connecticut Casino

The plan for a third Connecticut casinos owned by the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes, Tribal Winds Casino (l.), won federal approval last week, clearing the way for construction to begin. But MGM Resorts threatens another lawsuit should state legislators approve the tribal plan but reject MGM’s plan to build a casino in Bridgeport, which advanced in the legislature last week.

Caesars, Eldorado in Merger Talks—Fertitta Looms

No offer has been reported yet, but it looks as though Carl Icahn’s hand is showing. He sold Tropicana Entertainment to Eldorado last year, and reports have it that Caesars is providing the regional giant with financial information to assist with its due diligence. There were also reports that Icahn would team up with Tilman Fertitta (l.), the owner of the Golden Nuggets, whose bid to buy Caesars was rejected last year.

Greek IR to Be One of Europe’s Biggest

The integrated resort planned for a former international airport near Athens will be one of the largest developments in Europe at more than 634,000 square meters (6.8 million square feet), according to Lamda Development CEO Odysseus Athanasiou (l.).

Murren: Osaka’s No. 1

The MGM Resorts chief Jim Murren (l.) says the firm is putting all its energy into winning an integrated resort license in Osaka, Japan. Osaka will host the 2025 World Expo, about the same time as an MGM IR would open. But ahead of April elections, some are concerned that the region’s chances for an IR could be disrupted.

AGA: $8.5 Billion in March Madness Bets Mostly Illegal

A new report from the American Gaming Association shows that Americans will wager $8.5 billion on the NCAA basketball tournament this year, most of it illegally. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller says it attracts the casual bettor with pools, brackets and wagers with friends.

David the Hat

A new sports betting show is about to debut on ESPN, a dramatic reversal of that network’s previous views on gambling. But gaming veteran Richard Schuetz (l.) recalls when sports bettors in Las Vegas had to work hard to find reputable and accurate sports betting information.

Santo: Canada Needs Sports Betting

Tony Santo (l.), the gaming veteran who is CEO of Gateway Casino & Entertainment, wants the Canadian government to approve sports betting nationwide. He says the industry will produce more jobs and entertainment options for Canadians with sports betting and fall behind U.S. competitors if the playing field isn’t leveled.


The pursuit of Caesars Entertainment by Carl Icahn could go several ways by there is lots of evidence that Icahn will emerge more powerful and richer. One thing is certain, however. After the transaction is concluded Caesars will be a far different company.


License Extensions For SJM, MGM Clarifies Process

The extension of the MGM and SJM licenses until 2022 brings the two companies into line with the rest of the industry and ensures a cleaner process when all six licenses come up for renewal in three years. However, the government is not ruling out the possibility that all six will be subject to competitive bidding.

PAGCOR: Back Off, QC

The Philippine gaming regulator is warning officials in Quezon City not to overstep their authority in trying to curtail visitation to a planned Bloomberry Resorts casino. Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte (l.) says the casino should be for tourists only and defends the plan to charge steep entry fees for locals.

Okada Takes to YouTube

Kazuo Okada (l.), the former chairman of Universal Entertainment, has opened a new front in his war with the company he founded. It appears he’s looking for an army of social media followers to back his bid for reinstatement. He’s promising at least one of them a lot of money if he succeeds.

U.S. Firm Eyes Grand Ho Tram

A U.S.-based private equity firm is looking to buy the Grand Ho Tram (l.) integrated resort in Vietnam according to reports. Warburg Pincus has offices in the United States and China.

‘Business as Usual’ at Phoenix Club?

Business has reportedly resumed at the Phoenix International Club (l.) in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, though without the participation of former operator Silver Heritage Group. The casino was forced to close earlier this month.

New Silkroad OK’d for Jeju Casino

Hong Kong-based New Silkroad Culturaltainment Ltd. has announced that it will develop a second casino on the South Korean island of Jeju. New Silkroad already runs the MegaLuck casino on the island.

Delta Corp. Invests in Fantasy Sports

India’s largest gaming operator has invested in Mumbai-based fantasy sports company Halaplay Technologies. Delta Corp. is partnering in the venture with Nazara Technologies and another investor.


Naga Russian IR on Track for 2020

Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp expects to complete Phase I of its Naga Vladivostok integrated resort (l.) in Russia by the fourth quarter of 2020. A 279-room hotel will be open by the end of this year.

Genting, Partouche Sue Andorran Casino Advisor

Genting and Partouche sued Andorran casino advisor Víctor Tàpies (l.), claiming he conspired with the nation’s gaming regulator to grant its first casino license to bingo hall operator Jocs SA. Both the government and Jocs denied the allegations. Jocs’ license was rescinded last month and the second-place bidder, French casino group Barrière, sued to gain it.

Latvian Capital to Close Multiple Gaming Halls

Nils Ušakovs (l.), the mayor of the Latvian capital of Rīga, has ordered lawmakers to draft a decree revoking the licenses of all gaming halls in the city except those located inside four-star and five-star hotels.

Swedish Regulator: Too Many Gaming Ads

Sweden’s gaming regulator, Spelinspektionen, will clamp down on excessive gaming ads—when it figures out what “excessive” means. Its partner in the effort is the Konsumentverket consumer agency.

Finland’s Paf Eliminating High Rollers

Finnish gambling operator Paf continues moves to eliminate high rollers from its player base. The company has published its players’ annual wins and losses and continued a loss limit of €30,000. The company says it will now also stop direct marketing to at risk players.

Poland’s Ekstraklasa Offers Domestic Betting Rights

Ekstraklasa, the Polish premier football league, has launched a contract tender for domestic betting rights for the next two seasons. The tender for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns is being carried out in association with Polish pay-television broadcaster NC Plus, which has held rights to the Ekstraklasa since 1995.


Brazil Hotels Want to Host Casinos

Brazilian hotels don’t object to casinos, as long as the casinos are based in hotels. That doesn’t jibe with the integrated-resort model espoused by operators like the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Hard Rock International. Alberto Cestrone (l.), president of the Brazilian resort association, says huge investments are not necessary because the hotels can handle the addition of gaming.


Michigan Online Gambling Bill Advances

A measure allowing online gambling, sports betting and daily fantasy sports passed out of a House committee in Michigan. It’s nearly the same bill that former Governor Rick Snyder vetoed just before leaving office. New Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.) has said she supports sports betting and is not opposed to online gambling.

Fantasy Sports Measure On Nebraska Agenda

A bill that would legalize, tax and regulate daily fantasy sports was introduced in Nebraska. Its sponsor, state Senator Carol Blood, said DFS is a game of skill, not chance. No other gambling measure has been introduced this session, including sports betting legislation, although neighboring Iowa is moving ahead with it.

NetEnt Approved for Pennsylvania License

NetEnt has been awarded an interactive gaming manufacturer license by Pennsylvania regulators, allowing the company to proceed with several agreements already in place with operators.


Tennessee Considers Mobile-Only Sports Betting

Tennessee state Rep. Rick Staples’ sports betting bill, HB 1, has undergone several changes, including allowing only mobile sports wagering instead of that plus 50 sports books throughout the state. Other changes would raise the sports betting tax rate from 10 percent to 20 percent and allow 10 licenses at $750,000 each.

Sports Betting Bill Introduced in Ohio

A bill to allow both live sportsbooks and online sports betting has been introduced in the Ohio Legislature. Ohio is one of the last large market states to consider sports betting legislation, though a shell bill was introduced last year. Ohio Governor, Republican Mike DeWine has said he supports the legalization of sports betting in his state.

MLB, Royals, Cardinals Support Missouri Measure

Testifying before a Missouri House committee, officials from Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals (l.) said they support a bill allowing betting on college and professional sports. The bill would pay a royalty fee of three-quarters of 1 percent of revenue on professional sports wagers to the sports' governing bodies, such as MLB.

Iowa Sports Betting Legislation Advances

Iowa state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (l.) said his sports betting measure, H 648, will pass the House in early April. The bill has bipartisan support but lawmakers disagree on allowing betting on college sports and in-play wagers on an athlete’s performance in college or professional sports. Players could place mobile wagers after registering at a casino.

Connecticut Considers Sports Betting

A proposal that would legalize sports betting at Connecticut casinos and OTB locations—like Winners at the Hartford airport (l.)—has little chance of passage. The two state gaming tribes have threatened to end their payments to the state if the bill passes, even though they would also get the opportunity to accept sports bets.

AG: Maryland Sports Betting Needs 2020 Ballot Vote

The state attorney general of Maryland has told lawmakers to drop efforts to implement sports betting through the lottery, pushing the issue to a ballot vote in the November 2020 election. So Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (l.) halted hearings on the issue.

Rivers Tops February PA Sports Betting

Regulators in Pennsylvania have released the February sports betting revenue results, with Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino (l.) topping the market for the month.

Second Sports Book Opens in Valley Forge

Greenwood Gaming has opened the sports book at its Valley Forge Turf Club off-track betting parlor, adding a second sports book in the immediate area just after Valley Forge Casino opened its book.

ESPN Debuts Daily Wager

ESPN has debuted Daily Wager, the network’s first-ever show related to gambling, and according to program contributor Anita Marks, more gambling shows are likely to follow.

Sports Betting Bill Advances in New Hampshire

A lopsided yes vote in the New Hampshire House approved of a sports wagering bill that would allow betting on mobile platforms and in some brick and mortar locations. The bill now will be taken up by the Senate.

R.I. Casino Adds Self-Service Sports Betting Kiosks

The two casinos in Rhode Island that are owned by Twin River have begun installing kiosk that will allow self-serve sports betting. They are expected to be up and running in time for the March Madness tournament.

Maine Lawmakers Mull Several Sports Betting Bills

Several bills that would legalize sports betting are working their way through the Maine legislature. One would legalize betting on professional and college games. One would allow the two casinos to offer sports book. Another would offer sports betting to the state’s Indian tribes.

DraftKings Lobbies for Massachusetts Sports Betting

DraftKings made a visit to the office of a powerful Massachusetts lawmaker to highlight its support for mobile sports betting in the Bay State. A representative of the daily fantasy sports provider visited Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (l.), chairwoman of the committee that will pass any sports betting measure with a football helmet signed by supporters of such a bill.

Montana Lawmakers Hear Sports Betting Testimony

Arguments for and against a bill legalizing betting on college and professional sports events were heard by a Montana Senate committee. Under the legislation, wagers only could be placed at bars with full liquor licenses, to ensure bettors are of legal age. Others argued the state would lose revenue if sports betting only would be permitted in bars.

Sports Betting Still Closed at West Virginia Sportsbooks

Sports betting at two West Virginia casinos will remain offline at the start of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. A contractual dispute that caused a shutdown of sportsbooks at Delaware North’s Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro and the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack continues to keep the facilities closed.


Indiana Approves Majestic Star Sale, Eyes Sports Betting

Spectacle Entertainment and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rod Ratcliff (l.) officially owns the two Majestic Star casinos in Gary, Indiana, following the state gaming commission’s approval. Spectacle wants to move one license to a new $300 million - $400 million land-based facility in Gary and the other to Terre Haute., which depends upon a massive gaming bill in the state legislature to pass.

Massachusetts Board to Receive Wynn Investigation

The Investigations and Enforcement Bureau of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is ready to present the findings of its investigations of Wynn Resorts on April 1. The commission will use the report in deciding whether Wynn keeps its license to operate a casino in the Boston metro area, where Encore Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio (l.) says every room is custom.

Israeli Hotelier Proposes 620-room Hotel-Casino on Strip

Asher Gabay, owner of an international hotel chain, Astral, wants to build a $350 million 620-room hotel casino (l.) along a less-developed section of the Las Vegas Strip. He recently purchased property now occupied by a Motel Six.

Atlantic City’s Showboat Hotel Could Reopen Casino

Atlantic City could see a 10th casino in its market and the third closed Boardwalk casino to re-open as Showboat Atlantic City owner Bart Blatstein is seeking to build a new casino space for the property, which now operates as a non-casino hotel. Blatstein received preliminary approval from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to seek a casino license.

MGM Seals Partnership with Major League Soccer

The tie-up, MGM’s fourth with a major pro sports league, provides the gaming giant with access to enhanced betting data, visibility at televised games and a range of cross-promotional opportunities. It also gives MGM access to a viewership that is one of the youngest and most diverse in U.S. sports.

LVCVA Wants To Sell 10 Acres

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority wants to sell 10 acres in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip, part of the site of the former Riviera (l.). This is land that could almost be worth its weight in gold—$50 million acre may be almost as good.

Arkansas Expanded Gambling Moves Forward

In Arkansas, live table games and sports betting will be offered next month at Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis and Oaklawn Racing and Gaming (l.) in Hot Springs, which are both planning multi-million dollar expansion. Also the state racing commission will start accepting applications for casino licenses in Pope and Jefferson counties in May.

MSG Begins Sphere Excavation at the Venetian

The Madison Square Garden Company has begun work on the MSG Sphere (l.) at the Venetian. This 500-foot diameter theater will provide cutting edge experiences in augmented reality. It has a 2021 completion date.

Sioux City Rejects, Commission Approves Casino

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota planning commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for a new casino on the south side of the city—although the city council previously rejected the developer’s request. The city council denied a similar request at the same location three years ago.

Raiders Still Interested in Bali Hai Golf Course

The Las Vegas Raiders football team has set their cap on acquiring a hard-luck golf course in Las Vegas. The Raiders hope to buy the Bali Hai Golf Course so they can use it for off-site parking for their $1.33 billion stadium.

Golden Entertainment Upbeat Despite Losses

Golden Entertainment CEO Blake Sartini recently held a conference with Wall Street analysts. He talked about the company’s plans for the Stratosphere tower (l.) and about the purchase of two properties in Laughlin, Nevada.

Busy Week for Vegas Unions

Las Vegas dealers from four casinos voted over the weekend to switch unions from the Transport Workers Union of America to the much larger United Auto Workers. The dealers want more muscular representation in their negotiations with casinos on the Strip. And a nationwide picketing of business partners of Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas has begun to pressure Palms to recognize the fact that its workers recently voted to unionize.

Pennsylvania Mini-Casinos Draw Local Support

Local officials have voted in favor of Penn National’s Hollywood Casino Morgantown, as a county official voices approval for Greenwood Gaming’s planned Shippensburg mini-casino.

LVCVA Mulls Marketing Agreements With International Airports

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is working on deals with international airports to bring in non-stop flights from locales such as Tokyo. International flights are particularly desirable because they lead to longer stays. CEO Steve Hill (l.) says sports will play a large part in the marketing effort.

Harrah's Metropolis Casino Reopens After Flood

Harrah's Metropolis Casino in southern Illinois reopened last week as floodwaters along the Ohio River have receded. The casino had been closed since Feb. 18. The property’s hotel remained closed until the weekend.

Atlantic City Wants Its Share of Recreational Marijuana Tax

As the New Jersey Legislature prepares to vote on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state, Atlantic City’s Council is moving to endure it receives tax revenue from the scheme. The state bill would allow a tax return for communities that participate in the new industry.


South Carolina Tribe Eyes North Carolina Site

The Catawba tribe in South Carolina applied in 2014 to have land in Kings Mountain, North Carolina taken into federal trust for a casino. But Congress could approve the action through a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (l.) of South Carolina, which the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, owners of two North Carolina casinos, called “a modern day land grab.”

Massachusetts Tribe Urges House to Fast-track Land Into Trust

A fast tracking of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act is being proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would put land into trust for the Massachusetts tribe. Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell (l.) approves of the bi-partisan support for the bill.

New Jersey Recognizes Two Native Tribes

New Jersey has restored official recognition for the Powhatan Renape Nation and the Ramapough Lenape Nation. The tribes charged that their recognition had been allowed to lapse under the administration of former Governor Chris Christie (l.) over concerns about casino competition. All parties have agreed state recognition does not provide the tribes with federal casino gaming rights.

Seminole Compact Could Include Sports Betting

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (l.), who negotiated the 2010 Seminole Compact, said a new compact could include sports betting, even though a constitutional amendment passed last November gives voters the exclusive authority to approve expanded gambling. However, the state may be able to offer sports betting through the tribe or the lottery.

Little River Band Casino Comment Period Extended

The Bureau of Indian Affairs extended the public comment period on the Little River Band’s proposed $180 million casino in Muskegon, Michigan. Ogema Larry Romanelli said three other tribes that operate nearby casinos are to blame. But the recent government shutdown limited the ability of the BIA to accept and process comments.

Massachusetts Tribe Rejects Slots Parlor Review

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head rejects any proposals that it subject its Class II casino to review of the local Martha’s Vineyard Commission. The tribe insists the commission has no jurisdiction over what it builds.

Casino Del Sol Earns AAA Four Diamond Rating

Casino Del Sol (l.) in Tucson, Arizona has received AAA’s Four Diamond Hotel rating for the eighth consecutive year since its 2011 opening. Owned by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, it’s one of just eight Tucson hotels and only 1,722 properties in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean that have earned the exclusive rating.


Mississippi Prepares For New Lottery

Mississippi’s new Lottery Corporation board has hired a law firm, soon will select a bank and will apply to offer Powerball and other multistate games, said board member Gerard Gibert. He said the new lottery could start selling tickets later this year. Lawmakers approved it last August as a way to fund road and bridge repairs.

Intralot Denies Intracom Merger Rumors

Greek gambling technology and lottery systems provider Intralot SPA is denying rumors that it that it will merge with IT solutions provider Intracom Holdings. Rumors that Sokratis Kokkalis (l.), founder and majority shareholder of Intracom, was considering merging with Intralot were reported by Greek media sources.


Former MGC Chairman Welcomed to NCPG board

Stephen Crosby, who led the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during its turbulent first years of existence, before he resigned last fall, has been welcomed to the board of the National Council on Problem Gambling. He will complete the term of Julie Hynes, who recently stepped down.

Plaza Hotel & Casino Hires New Leadership

Four new leadership hires were announced at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. John Janicky was named vice president of casino marketing and operations. Michael Vakneen will develop concepts and direct special projects. Ryan Rowland was named food and beverage director. And Bronson Olimpieria will work on brand management and new creative initiatives.

Jay Lee Resigns Post as Landing COO

Landing International COO Jay Lee recently left the Hong Kong-listed company after less than two years in the role. Lee resigned in January, shortly after resigning as CEO of Landing Jeju Development.

Joey Lim Out as Donaco CEO

On March 19, Asian casino operator Donaco International Ltd. announced the termination of CEO Joey Lim “with immediate effect.” Lim will stay on as a non-executive board director.

Fong Named VP Asia Sales for BMM

Asian gaming expert Jeffery Fong has joined BMM Testlabs as vice president of sales, Asia. Fong will further develop BMM’s healthy business in the Pacific Rim markets.


Casino Arizona Gains Stadium Naming Rights

The stadium where the Phoenix Rising soccer team plays is now Casino Arizona Field (l.), located on the reservation of the Salt-River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, owners of the casino. The 6,200-seat stadium will be expanded to accommodate 10,000 people and a new access road will be built, a spokesman said.

William Hill Makes $50,000 Donation for Problem Gambling in New Jersey

William Hill US has donated $50,000 to the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey to fund a campaign that supports people with gambling problems. The bookmaker operates sportsbooks in New Jersey at Monmouth Park Racetrack and at the Ocean Resort Casino and Tropicana Atlantic City. William Hill also operates an online sportsbook in the state.

Caesars Offers Mixology Course

Caesars Las Vegas hotels are offering mixology classes. This is part of the company’s efforts to expand on non-gaming amenities offered by its casinos.

Sega Sammy Expands Cabinet Line

Sega Sammy Creations released its Genesis Star slot cabinet, the second new cabinet this year as the supplier expands its range of form factors.




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