Wynn Survives in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week decided to punish Wynn Resorts for the sins of the father, but in the end allowed the company to retain its gaming license to open Encore Boston Harbor (l.) on June 23. The cost to Wynn Resorts was high—a fine of $35 million and a five-year oversight of the company by a state monitor, as well as other conditions—but the license remains in place as well as the value of the property.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Macau Gaming Falls 8% in April

April was the Macau market’s largest year-on-year decline in almost three years. Weakness in the VIP sector was the main cause, along with a less than favorable calendar and a challenging comp against April 2018’s 27 percent gain. But analysts expect the rest of the year to get a lot better, and fairly quickly.

Caesars To Make MGM-Like Cuts

Strip hotel business was strong, and the company played lucky, and the result was a $50 million jump in net revenues in Caesars’ core market of Las Vegas. On the down side, labor costs this year are headed for an $80 million increase, and management says deep cuts are in the offing.

A New Day for IPI?

Following several years of negative headlines, Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International says it’s turning a corner that will help it regain the confidence of investors and the island community. CEO Mark Brown (l.) says new investors are lining up and construction workers being imported to complete the project.

Tennessee Becomes First Online-Only Sports-Betting State

Tennessee will become the first state offering only online and mobile sports betting, effective July 1. Governor Bill Lee (L.) said he'll let the legislation become law without his signature. Tennessee has no casinos and there will be no retail kiosks or physical sportsbooks. Advanced technology will determine if players' age and location.

Ho’s CE Bid Wins a Big Endorsement in Macau

The election for Macau’s next chief executive is three months away, but Beijing has lost no time in making it known that it considers Legislative Assembly President Ho Lat Seng (l.) the ideal choice. Ho enjoys close ties to the central government and has no direct ties to the gaming industry—both big assets. And his chief rival, Lionel Leong has withdrawn from the race.

Florida, Seminoles Can't Agree On Compact

Despite weeks of negotiations, the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe were unable to reach a compact agreement before the legislative session ended May 3. Under a settlement with former Governor Rick Scott, the tribe has continued to pay the state $350 million a year, but that agreement will expire May 31. House Speaker José Oliva (l.) says they will try again next year.

Wire Act Opinion Could Cost States $220 Million in Lottery Proceeds

The new opinion by the U.S. Justice Department on the federal wire act has put states with online lotteries in danger of losing at least $220 million in annual lottery profits according to an analysis by the Associated Press. Interstate lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions could also be affected. The opinion is currently being challenged in court by New Hampshire.

The DNA of Atlantic City

Marketing in the Atlantic City casino industry has always been super-competitive. That hasn’t changed today but gaming veteran Richard Schuetz (l.) explains some of the history behind today’s cutthroat competition.


Silver Heritage May Sell Nepal Ops

Australia-listed Silver Heritage Group Ltd. has announced it’s looking for strategic partners or even buyers for its gaming operations in Nepal. The company runs casinos, including the Tiger Palace (l.), near the Indian border and in a hotel in Kathmandu.

Inspire Incheon to Open by 2022

Mohegan Gaming’s Inspire integrated resort (l.) near Incheon International Airport is on target to open by 2022. The U.S.-based tribe projects the IR will create 15,000 new jobs for the airport and 28,000 construction jobs.

Poipet: New Hub of Chinese Betting

The Cambodian border town of Poipet (l.) has become the second most popular destination for Chinese gamblers in the country after Sihanoukville. It could get busier, according to a local report.

Prediction: Winners and Losers Will Emerge in Asia Pacific

Fitch Ratings has issued a projection that large casino resorts opening throughout the Asian Pacific region in the next five years, including Crown’s Sydney project (l.) will create winners and losers in global gaming. The potential oversaturation of the market is a long-term credit risk the report said and operators with mass-market opportunities and geographic diversity will better withstand the markets.

Philippine Court: PAGCOR Must OK Waterfront License

After years of legal wrangling, Waterfront Philippines may have won its battle for a gaming license in Entertainment City. For more than a decade, the country’s gaming regulator has declined to issue the license.

Osaka the Prize in Japan

More than two years after the Japan government approved integrated resorts in the country, only Osaka has declared itself a prime location on tie city’s Yumeshima Island (l.). The city and prefecture plan to select an operating partner next year.

Melco Partners Eye Second Philippines License

Real estate developer Belle Corp. and its gaming unit Premium Leisure Corp., joint venture partners in Melco Resorts’ City of Dreams Manila, are interested in a second Philippines IR.

Universal Prioritizes Manila Hotel Space

Universal Entertainment Corp. says adding more hotel rooms to its Okada Manila resort in the Philippines “is the highest priority” after the property posted operating losses of JPY17.97 billion ($US$161 million) in 2018.


UK Pushes for Better Advertising Compliance

The UK Gambling Commission and the country’s Competition and Markets Authority has issued a call for gambling firms to place more emphasis on complying with advertising standards. The call follows a joint program between the two regulators, which investigated suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the gambling industry.

Swedish Regulator: No Young Athletes in Ads

Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen is warning operators not to feature minors in sports betting advertisements. The regulator said it’s looking into companies who may be breaching the ban on such ads.

Italian Regulator Details Ad Ban Terms

Italy’s advertising and communications regulator, Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni or AgCom, has laid out a comprehensive list of gambling-related advertising that henceforth will be banned.


Star to Pre-Sell Gold Coast Units

As soon as next month, Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group may start selling apartments in the new hotel tower at its Gold Coast resort (l.). The tower will not even begin construction until next year.

Mexican Court Blocks Codere License

A Mexican federal court has denied a move by Codere to expand its gaming operations in Mexico. The court blocked a move by the company to build 45 new casinos, which had been blocked by the country’s Interior Ministry. The Eighteenth Collegiate Court on Administrative Matters denied an appeal of that ruling. Codere recently renewed its concession on the Hipódromo de las Américas (l.).

Ecuador Casino Group Appeals for Return of Gaming

Though Ecaudor’s casinos and gaming halls closed way back in 2012, a group of former casino workers have organized in an attempt to get the ban on gaming overturned. President Rafael Correa (l.) hasn’t indicated whether he would consider such a reversal.


First Swiss Online Casinos On Track for July Launch

Switzerland may see a quartet of online casinos launch on July 1, a year after voters came out in favor of the nation’s new gaming law. Four bricks-and-mortar casinos will manage the online sites, including Grand Casino Baden (l.).

NetEnt Launches Two Berryburst Games

NetEnt has launched the first double release in its mixed-volatility product group, with the debut of the games Berryburst and Berryburst MAX.

Playson Partners with LeoVegas

Online slots developer Playson has agreed to a deal to provide content to LeoVegas. Players at LeoVegas will see popular titles such as Book of Gold: Double Chance, Mighty Africa and Wild Warriors, as well as Playson’s flagship collection Timeless Fruit Slots, including Sevens & Fruits, 40 Joker Staxx and Super Burning Wins made available on their favorite page.

GVC Introduces High 5 Games

High 5 Games has launched its portfolio of premium HTML5 slot games with GVC Holdings. Many of GVC’s leading brands, including bwin and Sportingbet, are now live with the New York-based developer’s slots via the Gameiom platform.

Casumo Licensed in Denmark

Online operator Casumo has been granted a five-year license from Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling Authority. The company is expected to focus on online gambling in the market and develop a media campaign to promote its online casino services.


Iowa Governor Considers Sports Betting Bill

May 27 is the deadline for Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (l.) to decide if she'll sign a recently passed sports betting bill, which also legalizes fantasy sports. Reynolds said she's considering a poll that showed 68 percent of Iowans opposed betting on college sports betting and 52 opposed professional sports bets.

Kansas Sports Betting Losing Traction

Despite a promising start, sports betting legislation in Kansas seems to have slowed down. Legislators still can't decide if the state lottery or state-owned casinos should operate and regulate in-person and mobile sports betting, and whether professional sports should receive an integrity fee. Governor Laura Kelly (l.) has said she supports sports betting.

Louisiana Senate Approves Sports Betting

Louisiana state Senator Danny Martiny's (l.) sports betting bill passed the state Senate in a 24-15 vote. The measure would legalize in-person and limited mobile wagering on collegiate and professional sports at casinos and racinos. Also, a House committee approved a 30-year extension of Harrah's New Orleans' contract.

Colorado Sports Book Bill Move Through Legislature

Colorado has fast tracked action on a sports betting bill that would put the issue on the November ballot. The House has passed the bill and the Senate is holding hearings. The deadline for action is May 3.

Illinois Committee Hears Sports Betting Testimony

Legislation would allow Illinois riverboat casinos to relocate—not necessarily on rivers. Rockford officials took out full-page ads urging Chicago Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot (l.) to support their push for a land-based casino. Meanwhile state Rep. Bob Rita's committee heard testimony on sports betting, which Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said should be tied to casino expansion.

Connecticut Sports Betting in Limbo

Connecticut lawmakers are frustrated at the lack of progress of sports book legislation in the legislature. A successful bill is dependent on an agreement between Governor Ned Lamont and the state’s two gaming tribes. And that doesn’t appear to be moving at all.

FanDuel Develops Live Stream Sports Betting App

FanDuel has partnered with Switzerland’s Sportradar AG to develop an app that allows for in-game sports betting while players are watching the game live on their mobile device. The service has gone online in New Jersey and the company says it plans to introduce it in other U.S. markets. The app marks a first for sports betting in the U.S. and initially will offer betting on tennis and European soccer.

Study Examines Puerto Rico Sports Betting Potential

A new study on sports betting by Global Market Advisors examines the feasibility of sports betting and online gaming in the Puerto Rican gaming market. GMA Managing Partner Steve Gallaway (l.) says the government needs to be realistic in its projections.

N.H. Senate Holds Hearings on Sports Betting

The New Hampshire Senate has begun holding hearings on HB 480 that would authorize sports betting with the Lottery Commission overseeing it. The House has already approved of the bill.

March Madness Benefits Mississippi Coastal Casinos

In March, gamblers at Mississippi's 12 Gulf Coast casinos lost $212 million, including $8.4 million in sports betting revenue, a 5 percent increase over March 2018. Officials credit National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball. Coastal casino revenue rose 13 percent to $124 million in March and statewide casino revenue increased nearly 4 percent over March 2018.


Casino Operators Eye Historic Virginia Building

If voters in Danville, Virginia approve a casino, several operators may be interested in the iconic White Mill building (l.), owned by historic renovators Alexander Company of Wisconsin. Casino interests also are considering the former Dan River textile mill. But first a joint commission appointed by Governor Ralph Northam must complete a casino gaming study.

Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Subsidy Tax

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court (l.) shot down a 0.5 percent tax on slot revenue created by the 2017 gaming expansion law to subsidize lower-performing casinos. The court held that the tax was unfair to larger casinos, which now can expect large tax refunds.

For MGM, a Strong Q1 Across the Board

MGM Resorts grew net revenues 12 percent to $3.17 billion, with Macau, MGM Springfield and the recent acquisition of Empire Casino in New York all making hefty contributions. In Vegas, CityCenter (l.) generated $344 million in net revenue. In Japan, the company said it has secured a development partner in Osaka and will be giving the city a conceptual plan for the project this summer.

Indiana Gambling Bill Awaits Holcomb Signature

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (l.) is expected to sign a bill allowing Majestic Casino to move to downtown Gary. Owners Spectacle Entertainment would surrender Majestic's second license, for a $40 million tax credit. If Vigo County voters approve, an operator would be selected to build a Terre Haute casino. The measure also would legalize sports betting.

Del Lago Cuts Slot, Table Numbers

New York regulators gave Del Lago casino (l.) permission to reduce its gaming inventory in an effort to reduce costs. The Finger Lakes casino is the third of the state’s four commercial casinos to shrink its casino as operators struggle to cope with a saturated upstate market.

Puerto Rico Looks to Betting for Relief

Storm-battered Puerto Rico has proposed online gaming as one solution to generate essential revenues in a bill presented by Governor Ricardo Rossello (l.). Hurricane Maria, which struck the island in late 2017, killed 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Court Rules Atlantic City Casino Can Collect from Problem Gambler

A New Jersey state appellate court has upheld a ruling that allows Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City to collect a debt from a self-described compulsive gambler. The gambler had taken out a $160,000 loan from the casino, which his bank did not honor due to insufficient funds. The man argued that Harrah’s shouldn’t have extended him the credit, citing among his reasons that he is a compulsive gambler.

New Mexico Has An All-New Racing Commission

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (l.) has dismissed the Racing Commission she inherited from her predecessor. She has appointed a new five-person board and demanded “fair and equitable regulation.”


Massachusetts Town, Tribe Return to Federal Court

The Wampanoag Aquinnah tribe based on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts has been taken to federal court by the town of Aquinnah. The town asserts that the tribe is required to submit plans for a bingo hall at a former community center (l.) to a local commission for review. The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) disagrees vehemently.

NIGC Announces MOU with Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming

The National Indian Gaming Commission has reached an agreement with the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University. Dr. Katherine Spilde (l.), the chairwoman of the Institute, said it the agreement creates a data collection process within the NIGC that will measure a variety of topics that will increase the effectiveness of the organization.

Mashpee Tribal Chairman Challenged by Recall

Cedric Cromwell, chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has led his people through a dozen years of struggle to build a casino in Taunton. Some members of his tribe contend he has led them into ruin and are calling for his recall.

Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe Loses Appeal

A 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld U.S. District Judge James Peterson's ruling that the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe should have sued earlier to block the Ho-Chunk Nation's Wittenberg casino, located just 12 miles from its Bowler facility (l.). The casino opened in 2008 and Stockbridge-Munsee sued in 2017, past the six-year statute of limitations.

Jamul Nears One Year Anniversary Running Own Casino

A year after taking control of the Jamul Casino, the Southern California based Jamul Indian Village is developing the property into a boutique casino that concentrates on customer service—rather than a vast casino resort.

Maine Legislators Mull Third, Indian Casino

Two commercial casinos operate in Maine. A legislator wants to authorize a third, which would be run by the state’s federally recognized tribes. And keep local money in the state.

BIA Releases Scoping Report for Tejon Casino

The federal government is taking steps to study the environmental impacts that a casino on 306 acres near Bakersfield would have. The 944-member Tejon Indian Tribe was recognized by the federal government in 2012 after an administrative error dropped it from the list of recognized tribes several decades ago.

Amador County Casino has Soft Opening

The soft opening of Harrah’s Northern California casino near Ione, brought out thousands of people last week—and strained the facility so much the CHP had to turn away vehicles.

California Regulators Trying to Close Sahara Dunes Casino

California gaming regulators are trying to shut down the Lake Elsinore Hotel and Casino in Southern California for failing to provide registration materials. The casino has been operating for 20 years on a provisional license.

Cheyenne and Arapahos Begin Expansion

Ground recently was broken for the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes' expansion at the Watonga Lucky Star Casino in Watonga, Oklahoma. Expected to be completed in summer 2020, the project will include a new 5-story, 80-room hotel, dining, retail, conference center and expanded gaming floor. New Fire Architecture incorporated tribal culture into the design.

Choctaw Casino Will Be Oklahoma's Largest

A $500 million expansion, targeted for completed in spring 2021, will make the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant the largest in the state. The 19-story project will add 1,000 hotel rooms, expand the gaming floor and include new swimming pools, retail, meeting space and restaurants, and create 1,000 new jobs.


Alabama Lottery Bill Passes Senate

The Alabama Senate approved a measure placing on the March 3, 2020 ballot a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery. Sponsored by state Senator Greg Albritton (l.), the measure would authorize a paper lottery, including instant tickets and multistate lottery games. The lottery could generate an estimated $166.7 million annually.

Brazil: Lotex Tender Delayed Again

For the fifth time, the Brazilian Development Bank has delayed a tender for takeover of Lotex, the instant lottery now overseen by federal bank Caixa. The bank set a new date to give potential licensees more time to participate.

$2 Million Powerball Ticket Goes Unclaimed in Texas

A $2 million Powerball ticket which hit all five numbers, but not the Powerball on October 27 has gone unclaimed in College Station, Texas. The state puts unclaimed lottery winnings towards state programs. The winner had 180 days to claim the prize.


LV Attorney Named to Nevada Gaming Commission

Rosa Solis-Rainey will fill the vacancy left in January when Sandra Douglass Morgan was appointed to chair the Gaming Control Board. A well-known attorney in Las Vegas, Solis-Rainey also brings strong casino industry credentials to the position.

PartyPoker Names Kevin Martin to Team Online

PartyPoker has named Twitch veteran Kevin Martin to Team Online. The team is part of a wider company strategy to focus on streaming quality and engaging content across PartyPoker’s main Twitch channel.

Lo, Yan Added to Summit Board

Macau junket investor Suncity, which just acquired a majority stake in Russian casino operator Summit Ascent Holdings, has added two of its own to the operator’s board: Andrew Lo and Chiu King Yan.

CLSA Appoints Gould as CEO

Hong Kong-based investment bank CLSA Ltd. has appointed Rick Gould, head of its Americas business, as global chief executive officer, replacing company veteran Jonathan Slone.


Caesars Entertainment To Develop Innovative Technology Hub at UNLV

UNLV and Caesars Entertainment have joined forced to create an innovative technology hub to test and showcase new gaming and hospitality concepts The 43,000 square-foot “Black Fire Innovation” space will include replicated elements of a Caesars casino and resort to provide real-life conditions for product testing and a place for students to train to enter the workforce of the future.

Virtual Sports Betting Taking Hold in PA

The Pennsylvania Lottery has taken sports betting into the digital realm with wagers on virtual sports and car races displayed on monitors at retail locations

GLI Updates Kiosk Standards

GLI has published an update to its standards for kiosks, incorporating the latest technological trends in the product area to reflect best-in-industry practices.

Penn National Picks Tangam

Penn National Gaming will deploy gaming optimization software supplied by Tangam Systems across all the company’s properties in the U.S.

BMM Testlabs Approved in Uganda

BMM Testlabs has receive prequalification to provide gaming product inspection and testing services in Uganda, marking continued expansion of the company’s services in the African gaming market.


ICE North America Panel to Focus on Technology

As sports betting grows in the U.S., a panel scheduled for the ICE VOX North America conference May 13-15 in Boston, will focus on how technology will shape the gaming landscape. The panel, titled Adopting technology to reinvent the IR experience, will provide attendees with a glimpse into the future of the US casino experience that encompasses all aspects of the region’s betting industry and will feature key insights from some of the market’s key players.




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