DOJ: Lotteries Not Part of Wire Act Opinion

Another memo from federal Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (l.) says that the DOJ’s new interpretation of the 1961 federal Wire Act did not address whether it applies to state lotteries. New Hampshire has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the DOJ opinion in an effort to protect its lottery, including inter-state lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions. The DOJ filed a motion after releasing the memo asking for the case to be dismissed since New Hampshire’s lottery is not under immediate threat of prosecution. A federal judge disagreed.

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WEEKLY FEATURE; Wynn Scraps Talks to Buy Crown Resorts

Wynn Resorts reportedly was offering US$10.50 per share in a combined cash and stock deal that valued the Australian casino giant Crown Resorts at $7.83 billion and its flagship, Crown Melbourne (l.). That was until Crown leaked the news. The company’s value immediately soared 20 percent, prompting Wynn to call everything off.

Wynn Fights Back in Massachusetts

Many dramatic turns marked the three days of testimony at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts Ltd. to keep its license to operate a casino in the state. At the end of the day, Wynn officials were battered and unsure of the company’s future in the state, and have mounted a counterattack. Steve Wynn’s ex-wife Elaine Wynn (l.) and largest shareholder, said she’s just a Wynn team member now.

Singapore: Building Up for a Letdown?

Singapore has approved multibillion-dollar expansions for the city’s two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa (l.). But some analysts say the investment may not pay off as planned because of the increased tax rates and entry fees imposed by the new agreement.

Eldorado, Fertitta Battle It Out For Caesars Empire

With the resignation of the director representing Apollo Global Management, Carl Icahn, now Caesars’ largest shareholder, could soon be extending his control over the gaming giant’s future. With the company up for sale, the two potential buyers include Eldorado Resorts, who bought Icahn’s last company, Tropicana, and Tilman Fertitta (l.), the owner of the Golden Nugget casinos.

AGEM Announces Economic Impact Study Results

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers released results of a comprehensive economic impact study of the gaming manufacturer technology sector. The report demonstrated the gaming supplier industry supported more than 200,000 jobs worldwide.

Former Owner of Ocean Resort Atlantic City Bruce Deifik Dies in Car Crash

Bruce Deifik, a Colorado developer who reopened Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort casino last year has died in a single-car crash in Denver at the age of 64. Deifik had lost control of the Ocean Resort, which has been struggling since reopening in June. The casino is being acquired by a New York hedge fund. The cause of the car crash is still under investigation.

Hellenikon Delayed, VLTs Questioned

The deadline for applications to build a €1billion (US$1.26 billion) integrated resort at the former Hellinikon airport (l.) near Athens has been pushed back from April 22 to May 31. Meanwhile, Greek VLTs are now in question.

Ainsworth Names Levy CEO

Ainsworth Game Technology has appointed the former global sales VP for Novomatic, Lawrence Levy, as the company’s new chief executive officer, effective July 1. Levy replaces longtime Ainsworth CEO Danny Gladstone.


Osaka Election Boosts IR Hopes

Pro-IR political candidates, including Governor Ichiro Matsui (l.), won the recent Osaka elections, likely improving the chance that the city and prefecture will host one of three Japan integrated resorts.

NagaCorp to Launch Naga 3

NagaCorp Ltd., operator of NagaWorld (l.) in Phnom Penh, has announced the launch of its $4 billion Naga 3 entertainment complex on a parcel next to the so-called White Building apartments in Tonle Bassac commune.

Locals Must Pay to Enter Sri Lanka Casinos

Sri Lankan gamblers will have to fork over an US$50 entry fee in order to play at the country’s casinos. Entry for foreigners will be free. The government says the fee is designed to keep residents out of gaming halls.

U.S. to Vietnam: More ML Risk as Locals Bet

The U.S. State Department has warned that letting locals gamble in Vietnam’s casinos could increase that country’s risks for “illicit transactions.” Officials are urging Vietnam to strengthen its AML policies.


Spain’s Podemos Party Promises Gaming Crackdown

If the left-wing Podemos Party comes to power in Spain’s April 28 general election, leaders promise to crack down on gambling with measures that include shorter operating hours, no comps and a cap on gaming halls. Despite the political turmoil, Hard Rock International plans to break ground on a $748 million resort in a year.

New Melco Satellite to Open in Cyprus

The third of four satellite casinos being developed by Melco International and partners in Cyprus will be up and running by summer, according to an April 4 news release from the Hong Kong-listed gaming company. At left is Melco’s C2 casino in Nicosia.

Czech Ministry Could Raise Gaming Taxes

The Czech Republic’s Ministry of Finance is considering hiking taxes on gaming, tobacco and alcohol as a way to “increase the public budget.” Gaming taxes will rise according to the level of the games’ “harmfulness.”

Mongolia to Government Workers: Keep Out of Casinos

The Mongolian government reportedly has ordered all civil service workers to stay out of casinos or risk their jobs. That means all casinos around the world; the country currently has no legal casinos of its own.


Advent Readies $118 Million Investment in Enjoy Chile Casinos

Private equity investor Advent announced plans to invest up to $118 million in Enjoy casinos in Chile with Coquimbo, Viña del Mar, Pucón and Puerto Varas all being revamped in the next two to three years. Advent purchased 32 percent of Enjoy in 2018. At left is Enjoy Casino Antofagasta.

Wasaga Casino Set to Open in 2020

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. has announced plans to build a casino on a 7.5-acre parcel of land at Wasaga Beach in Ontario's Georgian Bay. Groundbreaking is expected to take place this spring.

Century Expands in Canada

Multijurisdictional operator Century Casinos has extended its brand in Alberta with the opening of a new destination near Edmonton, its sixth in the western Canadian province. The US$46 million Century Mile Racetrack and Casino (l.) features 550 slots and e-tables, VLTs, a video gaming area, off-track betting and live thoroughbred and standardbred racing.

Petition for Brazil Casinos

As Brazilian politicians continue to dicker about the viability of legal casinos, an online petition is asking the public for signatures in support of the new industry.


RedKings Shuts Down Online Poker Products in the UK

RedKings has announced it will close down its online poker and sports betting products in the UK due to growing competition and regulatory pressure. RedKings online casino will continue to operate. The closing are expected by the end of the month.

PointsBet Fined in Australia for Illegal Ads

Betting operator PointsBet has been fined A$20,000 for posting an illegal gambling advertisement in the Australian state of New South Wales. The ad in question was found to induce consumers to open account with the operator in violation of Australian regulations.

ComeOn to Develop Slots with Red Tiger

Online gaming operator ComeOn, a subsidiary of Cherry, will develop new slots games with software supplier Red Tiger under a new agreement. ComeOn will be the first of the Cherry Group to launch its own slots portfolio, with the rest of the group set to follow suit in the coming months, the company said in a press release.


Massachusetts May Pioneer Non-Casino Sports Book

The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would allow sports betting at kiosks outside of casinos. If it does it would become the first state to do so. The Boston Red Sox, which recently debuted an MGM Resorts sign (l.) on the “Green Monster,” are in favor of the proposal.

MGM Northfield Park Supports Ohio Sports Book

A sports betting bill introduced in Ohio would legalize wagering on professional and college sports. An expanded Ohio Lottery Commission, a new Sports Gaming Advisory Board and the Casino Control Commission would help regulate and administer sports betting. New Ohio operator MGM Resorts has thrown its support behind the bill.

Tennessee Sports Betting Bills Progresses

Online sports betting bills allowing online wagering advanced in the Tennessee House and Senate. The measure calls for local referendums approving sports wagering and a tax rate of 10 percent, with 85 percent of revenue going to the lottery fund and 15 percent to local governments. One roadblock has been the anti-gambling stance from Governor Bill Lee (l.).

Montana Moves Toward Sports Book Legalization

Montana’s legislature is moving towards adopting three, count ‘em, three separate bills that would allow sports betting. They would be under the jurisdiction of the lottery, the attorney general and the horse racing board.

Masters Betting Going Strong

Wagering is going strong in Las Vegas for the Masters tournament occurring at Augusta National Golf Club (l.). Since betting is allowed all year, the total amount wagered in Las Vegas on the Masters will twice as much as the British open. Most Masters wagers are placed on an individual player to win the entire tournament.

Alabama Sports Betting, Lottery Bills Introduced

In Alabama, two lawmakers, including Rep. Mary Moore (l.), sponsored a bill allowing betting on professional and collegiate sports at up to seven licensed facilities. Mobile and online wagering would be permitted. Two other measures would establish a state lottery. One would permit video lottery terminals at the state's four parimutuel facilities. The other would authorize only paper lottery tickets.

California Tribes Urged to Work Together on Sport Book Legislation

Panelists at the National Indian Gaming Association conference in San Diego last week said that the only way sports betting will become legal in California is if gaming tribes cooperate to make it happen. It is unsure if all gaming tribes actually want sports book legislation.

Louisiana Consider Fantasy Sports, Sports Betting

Louisiana hasn't approved any new gambling since 1991 when riverboat casinos and video poker outlets were okayed. Voters in 47 parishes approved fantasy sports last year but lawmakers have yet to create rules and a tax structure. Sports betting, like fantasy sports, if approved by legislators would require support from voters on a parish-by-parish basis.

Illinois Racetracks Want Sports Betting

Horse racetracks, such as Arlington Park (l.), and casinos hope Illinois lawmakers and Governor J. B. Priztker will approve sports betting. Casinos don't oppose sports gambling at racetracks as long as they also can offer it. A recent poll indicated 63 percent of Illinoisans support legalizing sports betting and 57 percent favor gambling expansion in general, like adding more casinos.


Stars Aligning for Resorts World Las Vegas

Resort World has secured $2.6 billion in financing to complete its north Strip megaresort and has hired industry veteran Scott Sibella (l.), recently departed from MGM Grand, to run it as president and COO. The 3,400-room, Asian-themed extravaganza with a reported price tag of $4 billion is scheduled to open in 2020.

Indiana House Amends Gambling Bill

As many as 30 amendments were presented as the full Indiana House considered Senate Bill 552, set for final reading Monday. Under the measure, Spectacle Entertainment could move one Majestic Casino license ashore in Gary—at a $50 million cost—but have to surrender the second license for a possible Vigo County casino. House members also removed statewide mobile sports wagering from the bill.

Casino Profits Fall 15 Percent in Atlantic City for 2018

Atlantic City’s expanded casino market saw an increase in revenue for 2018, but overall profits for the resort’s casinos was down 15 percent. Profits for the city’s casinos was $582 million. Of the seven city casinos that operated for the entire year, five saw decreases in profit, including the market leading Borgata which saw an about 19 percent decline. Two new casinos opened in June 2018 bringing the city’s total market to nine casinos.

Fewer Californians are Visiting Las Vegas

There are fewer visitors to Las Vegas from California than there used to be. Those visiting the city are also younger. Those are two takeaways from a report released last week by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Caesars Palace To Update Colosseum

The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will be renovated with new technical and design upgrades. It will include the introduction of a lift system that can lower and raise the floor next to the stage to create different seating configurations.

‘Lucky 21’ Card Club Closes

A Washington card room, the Lucky 21 Casino (l.), turned out not to be all that lucky. It closed abruptly last week, possibly the victim of the opening of the $510 million ilani Casino Resort that opened in 2017.

Religious Communities Slam PA Gaming Law

Pennsylvania operators implementing mini-casinos and truck-stop gambling under Pennsylvania’s new gaming expansion laws are facing resistance among the state’s religious leaders.

Atlantic City Casino Union Worried About Hedge Fund Investment into Casinos

UNITE HERE, the nation’s largest casino workers union, has launched a campaign to ask gambling regulators to protect casino employees as hedge funds and private equity firms make more investments in casino ownership. Local 54 President Bob McDevitt (l.) approached regulators in three states asking them to keep the concerns of workers in the forefront when approving ownership changes to Wall Street firms.

New York County Probes Gifts of Sporting Tickets

Officials of the Niagara County Legislature want the Western Region Off Track Betting Corp. (OTB) to release the names of people who were given promotional tickets by the company. The tickets are normally reserved for VIPs playing at the Batavia Downs Casino.

Four Alabama Bingo Halls Raided

Four electronic bingo halls in Jefferson County, Alabama were raided and shut down by the state Attorney General's office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Attorney General Steve Marshall said the raid was due to "the failure of local law enforcement to enforce the law." Agents seized more than 1,100 gambling machines and an unspecified amount of cash.


North Carolina Gambling Scene Could Change

The North Carolina Senate passed a bill allowing sports betting and horseracing simulcasts at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' two casinos. Meanwhile the tribe is fighting a bill sponsored by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (l.) permitting the South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Tribe to open a casino in Cleveland County, North Carolina.

Florida Budget Excludes Seminole Payments

The session ends May 3 but that may be too late for Florida lawmakers to renegotiate a Seminole gaming compact. The provision requiring the tribe to pay $350 million annually for gaming exclusivity expired five years ago but the tribe continued paying. Still, Senate President Bill Galvano (l.) left the payment off the state's next budget.

Rhode Island to Fight Mashpee Trust Bill

Rhode Island sent one of its top attorneys to argue before a congressional committee that a bill that would put land into trust for a Massachusetts tribe would harm its neighboring state. Governor Gina Raimondo (l.) sent her executive counsel Claire Richards to make the pitch against the bill that would help the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

Comanche Nation Petitions Supreme Court

The Comanche Nation asked the U.S. Supreme Court to concur that the Chickasaw Nation should not have been allowed to open the RiverStar Casino (l.) in Terral, Oklahoma, less than 45 miles from the Comanche's Red River Casino in Devol. The Comanches called the Chickasaw casino "an existential threat to the economic lifeline of the Comanche Nation."

Seminole Hard Rock Named Employer of Choice

Seminole Hard Rock was named Employer of Choice for the fourth consecutive year in the 18th annual Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey. The online survey, conducted August through October 2018 among 1,363 participants, indicated 24.83 percent of all respondents ranked Seminole Hard Rock as one of their top three employers, up 5 percent over 2017.

N. Cal. Casino Will Hire Locally

Jobs galore are expected to be generated when Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain opens this fall. It will be hiring in Sutter-Yuba counties in Northern California, which has high unemployment.


Nebraska Lottery Odds Measure Moves Forward

Unanimously approved legislation introduced by Senator Suzanne Geis (l.) moving through the Nebraska Senate would require the state lottery to prominently display in game advertisements the odds of winning the top prize. The bill would require print-ad odds to be shown in type at least 35 percent the size of the largest font and at least 10-point font in online ads.


Lori Nelson Kraft to Become LVCVA VP Communications

Longtime Station Casinos spokesman Lori Nelson-Kraft has been named senior vice president of communications and government affairs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The appointment was announced by LVCVA CEO Steve Hill.

San Manuel Casino Names new COO

Kenji Hall has been promoted to be COO of San Manuel Casino. The promotion comes after the promotion of COO Peter Arceo to be general manager of the Southern California operation.

Christian Returns to SkyCity Adelaide

Longtime SkyCity Entertainment executive David Christian will return to the Aussie operator’s Adelaide office following the sale of SkyCity Darwin casino to Delaware North. Christian was GM there for three years.

Casino Veterans Form Consultancy

Shaun McCamley (l.), managing partner of Euro Pacific Asia Consulting and Niall Murray, chairman of Murray International Group, have teamed to form a new consultancy firm

NCRG Names Operator, Educator to Board

The National Center for Responsible Gaming has added Caesars Entertainment executive Dean Hestermann (l.) and UNLV Professor Anthony Cabot to its board of directors.


Caesars Wins CS050 Award

Caesars Entertainment, along with the global consulting firm Protiviti, has won the 2019 CS050 Award for transformational cybersecurity risk assessment.


Keynote Speakers Revealed for IAGA June Summit

The International Association Of Gaming Advisors last week announced the agenda and Keynote Speakers for its 2019 International Gaming Summit June 4 - 6 in Half Moon Bay, California. Former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder (l.) will kick it off.

NIGA Recognizes Everi for ‘Everi Cares’

The “Everi Cares Giving Module,” which allows players to donate change from cash-out tickets to charity via its redemption kiosks, was recognized by the National Indian Gaming Association.




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