Rodio Appointed Caesars CEO

Tony Rodio (l.), a 30-year gaming industry veteran, was Carl Icahn’s pick to replace Mark Frissora. He also assumes Frissora’s seat on the board of directors, further solidifying Icahn’s control of the casino giant, which appears now to be marching toward an imminent sale. Eldorado Resorts and Landry’s Tilman Fertitta are both in the running for Caesars.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Indiana House Passes Sweeping Gambling Bill

In a 78-15 vote, the Indiana House passed the major gambling bill SB 552. The measure addresses moving a casino license from Gary to Terre Haute, legalizing sports betting (but not mobile wagering) and Governor Eric Holcomb's flights on private aircraft. The measure now moves to a House-Senate conference committee where observers said changes are certain, according to sponsor Senator Jon Ford (l.).

Penn National Closing Tunica Casino

Only six Tunica County, Mississippi casinos will remain open when Penn National's Resorts Casino Tunica (l.) closes June 30, the third area casino to shutter since 2014. Penn National officials said the company will try to place the property's 200 employees at its two other Tunica casinos, 1st Jackpot and Hollywood Casino Tunica. The closure is likely tied to the legalization of casino gaming in nearby Arkansas.

GLI Group Acquires SeNet

Testing giant GLI has purchased cybersecurity company SeNet, bringing expanded information technology security capabilities to U.S. clients. SeNet will work closely with GLI subsidiary Bulletproof. GLI President James Maida (l.) says SeNet will provide “world-class security services” to GLI clients.

Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan on the Block

Owner Blackstone Group has retained Deutsche Bank and PJT Partners to shop the luxury 3,000-room Strip resort, which has overcome its early struggles to command a respectable EBITDA and five-star room rates. Reports are a sale to a major gaming operator could garner upwards of $4 billion.

Pennsylvania to Launch Mobile Sports and iGaming July 15

Members of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said at the board’s meeting last week that the state’s online gaming program will kick off July 15. There are currently no plans for intrastate compacts with other iGaming states.

Scientific Games Launches ‘OpenSports’; Partners with Wynn

Scientific Games has launched OpenSports, a new end-to-end sports betting portfolio of products and services built around the company’s leading OpenBet technology, and announced a new partnership with Wynn Resorts. Keith O'Loughlin (l.), Sci Games senior sportsbook VP, says “the game had changed.”

New Jersey’s Lesniak Calls for Regulated Sports Betting Information

Former New Jersey state Senator Raymond Lesniak (l.)—a principal architect of the state’s fight to overturn a federal ban on sports betting—says that government regulation of sports betting information is needed. Lesniak said in a recent interview that regulation should be similar to the stock market to uncover unusual betting trends.

Phoning It In

Does the profitability and success of mobile sports betting have a darker side? Gaming expert Richard Schuetz believes the industry needs to pay attention to the availability of betting to those afflicted with problem gambling.


Las Vegas Sands’ COO Rob Goldstein has learned at the feet of his boss, Sheldon Adelson, and has become something of a savant when it comes to the company’s financial fortunes. He proved it again this month at the latest investor conference call.


Pro-IR Candidate Defeated in Shizuoka

Shizuoka City (l.), Japan is out of the running for an integrated resort thanks to defeat of Pro-IR mayoral candidate Shingo Amano. His loss could mean a win for Makinohara city, in the same prefecture, which also wants an IR.

Saipan Casino Ordered to Pay Back Wages

Imperial Pacific International, operator of the sole casino resort (l.) on the island of Saipan, has been ordered to pay $3.36 million in back wages, damages and fines to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Solaire North to Break Ground This Summer

Philippine IR operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. plans to break ground on its new integrated resort, Solaire North, this summer. “Our target is June or July,” said Chairman and CEO Enrique Razon Jr.

Melco Launches Sustainability Strategy

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has released a Sustainability Report for 2018, to demonstrate the operator’s commitment as a “force for good” across all its resorts.


Ireland to Propose New Gambling Tax Bill

Ireland is preparing to present a new two-tiered tax plan for gambling to the European Union, according to Irish news reports. The new plan would replace a two percent turnover tax rate previously approved. The new plan would set different tax rates for retail and online gambling.

Denmark Sees Gambling Revenue Growth in 2018

Denmark saw gross gaming revenue increase 5.7 percent in 2018 over 2017 for a total of $1.46 billion. The market saw increase in online gaming and sports betting, especially during the World Cup. Sports betting accounted for 26 percent of revenue.

Finns Split on Veikkaus

A slim majority of Finns support a proposal that would abolish the gaming monopoly held by state-controlled firm Veikkaus Ltd. In a survey, more Finnish adults said they want to open the market to licensees.

Norsk Tipping Seeks Sports Bet Provider

Norwegian state-owned gaming operator Norsk Tipping has launched a tender process to select a sports betting provider. The operator hopes to install the new system before the Euro 2020 football tournament.


Cascades Casino Delta Approved in Vancouver

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. has announced it has been granted approval by the Vancouver Transportation Ministry to build a $70 million hotel/casino complex. The project will be called the Cascades Casino Delta and is expected to open next year. Demolition of an inn on the site has already begun. The casino will have up to 500 slots and 24 gaming tables.

Bidders Sought for Second Canary Islands Casino

Lawmakers in the Canary Islands are calling for bidders to build a casino in La Oliva on Fuerteventura Island (l.). To be eligible for the tender, bidders must be limited companies with minimum share capital of €3 million (US$3.4 million).

Survey Says Aussies Gambling Less

In recent years, Australia has been called out for having record-high gambling losses. That trend could change with a drop in the number of Australians who gamble, from two-thirds to less than half in 10 years.

Argentine Casinos to Close; Workers Protest

In response to the announcement that two Argentine casinos will soon close, union casino workers planned to stage a strike. The casinos, in the coastal resort towns of Necochea and Mar de Ajó (l.), will close June 1.

Could Dominican Republic Sports Betting Grow?

In 2006, the Dominican Republic set a cap on the number of sports betting shops to curb explosive growth. That cap remains in effect now, but may change in 2021, when the policy expires.


Michigan Lawmaker To Introduce Online Gambling Measure

In addition to a sports betting bill, Michigan state Rep. Brandt Iden is sponsoring the Michigan Lawful Internet Gaming Act. The legislation had bipartisan support last year but was vetoed by former Governor Rick Snyder. Iden said he hopes Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.) will sign the measure into law by this summer.

BetConstruct Licensed by Isle of Man

BetConstruct has been awarded a Software Suppliers License by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, enabling its products to be added to the Isle of Man GSC game register.

Valve Software Sued by Native American Nation in Washington Over Skins Betting

Valve Software has been named in a lawsuit brought by the Quinault nation in Washington State over ‘skins” betting in video games like Counter Strike: Global offensive. The suit charges that the company has been undermining regulated gambling in Washington through the unregulated video game betting. The suit charges that skins betting also subjected state residents to unfair and unsafe gambling.

Rush Street Interactive Launches Everi Remote Game Server in New Jersey is premiering Everi’s Remote Game Server with an exclusive launch of the player popular Smokin’ 777, for the month of April. Rush Street will add four of Everi’s best performing land-based titles to its New Jersey online casino, including Star Magic®, Double Jackpot®, Vortex®, and Tiger 7® in the coming weeks.

Dutch Regulator Fines Onisac

Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit has made clear that it’s serious about cracking down on illegal online gaming operators. KSA just handed down a €450,000 (US$508,000) fine to Gibraltar-based Onisac Ltd.


Report: DraftKings, FanDuel Made $1 Million in Campaign Contributions

A new report finds that daily fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel have made more than $1 million in campaign contributions including in states where legal sports betting is expanding. The two companies have both launched sports betting. The report by PlayUSA found the largest amount of contributions were made in Illinois.

Referendum Likely For Colorado Sports Betting Bill

The Colorado legislature is working to meet a May 5 deadline to pass a bill that would legalize sports betting. The voters would also have a chance to weigh in on whether to amend the state constitution to allow sports book at the state’s three casino towns. House Majority Leader Alec Garnett (l.) is pushing for mobile wagering to be included.

Montana Lawmakers Moving on Sports Betting

The Montana legislature is mulling three sports betting bills. It is entirely possible that all three could become law, allowing sports book to be offered through Lottery, through private sports book operators and at pari-mutuel operations.

Tennessee House Committee Reviews Sports Betting

Tennessee state Rep. Rick Staples (l.) introduced the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act to legalize sports betting. It would allow local referendums if 10 percent of voters petition their local governments to place the issue on the ballot. An analysis showed sports betting could generate $3 million for the state and $2.231 million locally in 2019-2020.

Missouri Sports Betting Bill Includes Integrity Fee

A sports betting bill that recently cleared a Missouri House committee includes a 0.25 percent integrity fee to pro sports leagues with a presence in the state. If the measure passes, Missouri would become the first state with an integrity fee or royalty. The measure would allow statewide mobile wagering and charge a $10,000 application fee.

Massachusetts Governor Doesn’t Press on Sports Book

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (l.) is being very understanding when it comes to getting his pet bill legalizing sports betting passed. He says he’s willing for the House Speaker Robert DeLeo to take time to create a consensus for the bill.

Iowa Senate Approves Sports Betting Measure

In a 31-18 vote, the Iowa Senate sent a sports betting and daily fantasy bill to the state House. The measure would allow both on-site and mobile sports wagering. Income would be taxed at 6.75 percent plus 0.75 percent for charities. If approved, sports betting could kick off later this year.

Perform Named Authorized MLB Data Distributor

The sports content provider Perform has signed a partnership with Major League Baseball as one of the league’s officially authorized MLB data distributor to U.S. sports betting operators.

North Caroline Sports, Horseracing Wagering Bill Advances

A bill allowing wagering on sports and horseracing at the Eastern Band of Cherokee's two casinos passed the North Carolina Senate, 42-7. Sponsor state Senator Jim Davis (l.) said sports betting could generate $14 million in gaming revenue for the tribe and $1 million for the state. Only in-person betting would be allowed.

Ohio Consider Sports Betting, Online Lottery

Ohio lawmakers are considering a sports betting bill and an online lottery bill. The House sports betting bill does not include mobile betting but the Senate version does. Governor Mike DeWine said he'll let lawmakers work out the details of the competing measures. An online lottery measure also is working its way through the House.


Drew Las Vegas Opening Set for 2022

A prestigious New York architectural firm is on board to create a design for the Drew (l.), the former Fontainebleau, and financing reportedly is in place. But its long-awaited opening as a $3.1 billion megaresort is going to take two years longer than planned.

Slot Parlor Opening At Virginia Racetrack

More than 600 historical racing machines will be the main attraction at Rosie's Gaming Emporium, opening Tuesday, April 23 at Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia, the state's first casino-style gambling parlor. Closed since 2014, Colonial Downs was purchased by Revolutionary Racing last year following the legislature's approval of historical racing machines.

Louisiana Report Recommends Bossier City Relocations

A Spectrum Gaming Group study for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development recommended moving two Bossier City riverboat casinos allowing riverboat casinos to move ashore. Also, the report supported legalizing sports betting and online gambling and allowing a second, $350 million hotel tower at Harrah's New Orleans.

Wynn Resorts Mulls Banning Founder

It’s not often you can choose your own punishment. However, that’s what Wynn Resorts International wants to do. It sent a brief to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week suggesting that the panel require that it ban Steve Wynn (l.) from all of its properties as a condition for keeping its casino license.

Atlantic City Casino Revenue Up 25 Percent in March

Atlantic City’s casino revenue was up 225 percent in March over 2018 marking the tenth straight month total revenue has increased. Total revenue was at $273.7 million. Sports betting and online gaming continue to fuel the increase.

Mississippi Developer Lists 400-Acre Gaming Site

In 2006, Donald Trump signed a letter of agreement with Diamondhead Casino Corporation to build a casino on 40 acres between Interstate 10 and the Bay of St. Louis in Mississippi. The next year he pulled out of the deal. Today the total 400-acre site, 30 minutes closer to Louisiana than the Biloxi casinos, still is for sale, according to Diamondhead President Deborah Vitale (l.).

Nevada Tells Washington: No to Yucca Mountain

The state’s gaming and resort leaders have written Congress demanding it reject a Trump administration plan to get Yucca Mountain going again as a dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste. Fortunately for Las Vegas, which sits just 90 miles away, one of the signatures on the letter is Sheldon Adelson’s.

Stadium Casino License Up for Renewal

Regulators in Pennsylvania announced a May 6 hearing to consider the renewal of the license of Stadium Casino, which is building Philadelphia’s second casino (l.).

Illinois Has 30,384 Video Gambling Machines

Illinois legalized video gambling machines in May 2009. Now Illinois has more gambling locations and machines than any state, with 30,384 machines in 6,834 locations. In 2018 players lost $1.5 billion, but that goes to the state, local governments, establishments and machine owners as revenue. Video gambling machines are illegal in Chicago.

Group Revives Nebraska Casino Campaign

The group Keep the Money in Nebraska is collecting signatures on a petition that would put an initiative before the votes in 2020. They would vote whether to allow gaming at the state’s racetracks.

Casino Pays Tiverton $1 Million Since Opening

The Twin Rive Tiverton Casino Hotel is turning out to be quite lucrative for the town of Tiverton, Rhode Island. Since it opened in September the casino has paid nearly $1 million to the city.

Ohio Intercepts Jackpots From Deadbeat Parents

Since 2014, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has recovered more than $10 million in unpaid child support from 6,300 casino, racino and Ohio Lottery jackpots. The department developed an automated interface that checks jackpots and prize winners against a database of noncustodial parents who owe child support.


Senecas Owe New York $255 Million

An arbitration panel has ruled in favor of the Cuomo administration, declaring the Senecas, which operate several casinos including Seneca Niagara (l.), to be in violation of their compact with the state for stopping casino revenue-sharing payments two years ago. The tribe is appealing to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Gambling Measure, Seminole Compact Possible

The Florida legislature will adjourn May 3, but House Speaker Jose Oliva said the state and the Seminole Tribe still could reach a new compact. The tribe has paid $350 million annually in exchange for blackjack exclusivity since 2010. Now the state wants $750 million a year, allowing the tribe to also offer craps and roulette.

Ho-Chunk Announces Nebraska Racino Initiative

Ho-Chunk Inc. will launch a petition drive to place on the 2020 ballot a constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling at Nebraska's racetracks, said President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Morgan (l.). A similar effort in 2016 failed to gather enough valid signatures. Ho-Chunk has a new signature company and more time now, Morgan said.

Kalispel Casino Opens in Cusick, Washington

The Kalispel tribe opened the Kalispel Casino last week in Cusick, Washington. It is part of a $10.5 million project and is the tribe’s second casino after the Northern Quest (l.) opened 19 years ago.

Harrah’s Northern California to Open April

The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians will hold a grand opening for its Harrah’s Northern California Casino (l.) on April 29. The date was chosen to honor a tribal ancestor.


Mississippi Lottery Board Meets

The 5-member board of Mississippi's new lottery corporation recently held its first meeting. The board heard proposals for bank financial services, adopted ethics policies and determined guidelines for corporate records. Mississippi is one of the last states to create a state lottery, which the legislature approved last August.


Play’n GO Certified in Portugal

Play’n GO will enter the Portuguese online gambling market after the slots developer was certified to launch in the country. The developer will now be able to work with both new and existing partners that hold a license to operate in Portugal such as PokerStars.

Affinity Gaming Names Higgins CEO

Mary Elizabeth Higgins has been named CEO of Affinity Gaming. She replaces Tony Rodio, who has been named CEO of Caesars Entertainment.

Summit Ascent’s Wang Steps Down

John Peter Ben Wang has resigned his post as executive director and deputy board chairman of Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd., which operates Tigre de Cristal in the Primorye region of Russia near Vladivostok.

Codere Restructures Organization

Codere, a gaming firm based in Spain, has announced organizational changes. The structural changes will make it easier to compete globally, the company said last week.


AGEM Announces Five New Members

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers announced five new members, including global electronic giant Panasonic, bringing the total membership in the trade organization to 175.

AGS Enters Pennsylvania Market

AGS has launched its first products in the Pennsylvania market, with game placements at Parx Casino on its Orion cabinet (l.) and more game launches planned this spring.

RGB Int’l Makes Play for Myanmar

In May, the government of Myanmar is expected to OK a bill that would bring foreigners-only casinos to the country. RGB International Bhd is angling to be among the first equipment manufacturers in the market.

Chipotle Launches Gaming Tournament

The California-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is getting into egaming in order to raise its profile by partnering with the producer of esports festivals: DreamHack and with e-sports provider ESL to put on gaming tournaments.

Bank Partners With LV Arenas

City National Bank is increasing its presence in the field of sports and gaming. It has partnered with T-Mobile Arena (l.) to become a Founding Partner. This includes the Exclusive Financials Services Designation for that arena and MGM Grand Garden Arena.


NIGA, ICE North America Reach Agreement

Clarion Gaming and National Indian Gaming Association have announced a strategic partnership between NIGA and ICE at the upcoming ICE North America May 13-15 at the Boston Convention Center. ICE will cover key elements of sports betting, interactive gaming, esports, iLottery and affiliate marketing.




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