It’s All In The Illinois Details

When the Illinois legislature passed a wide-ranging gambling bill at the last minute of the session, much was unknown. It includes legalizing sports betting, allowing casinos in Chicago and five other locations, expanding casino positions, increasing video gambling positions and betting limits and much more. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (l.) wants to use the money from the casino to pay down pension debts the city now carries.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Wire Act Opinion Falls

A federal judge has ruled that the 1961 federal Wire Act applies only to sports wagering, essentially striking down a recent revised opinion on the act from the Department of Justice. The ruling, for now, seems to protect online lotteries and online casino and poker games where information crosses state lines through the internet. The ruling came in a challenge to the DOJ’s new opinion—which held the wire act applied to all forms of online gaming—from the New Hampshire lottery.

Eldorado Moves Closer to Caesars Deal

Multiple media reports last week suggested that a merger between Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts was close to being finalized. Any deal would be complicated and may face some regulatory hurdles, but if completed it would produce the biggest casino company in the world with over 60 casinos as it now stands, including the flagship, Caesars Palace (l.).

11th-Hour Bridgeport Deal Fails With Connecticut Tribes

Months of negotiations between Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (l.) and Connecticut’s two gaming tribes ended last week with no agreement. A last minute bill that would have authorized a tribal casino in the state’s largest city failed to come to a vote before the end of the legislative session.

Ho: Heir Apparent to Packer?

Lawrence Ho, the chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which now owns almost 20 percent of Crown Resorts, may be planning to buy an ownership stake in the company. That’s the speculation from some analysts and would help to position Melco to obtain a lucrative gaming license in Japan. Ho’s former partner and former Crown chairman James Packer (at left with Ho during the opening of Studio City in Macau), is applauding the move.

New Apple Rules Could Impact Gambling Apps

New rules from Apple could impact its distribution of gambling apps to iOS users. The company said that gambling apps must be a dedicated iOS-native app, which take longer to develop. No new apps will be accepted for the Apple store unless dedicated and current apps have until September 3 to meet the new criteria. The date is just before the start of the NFL season, significant for sports betting apps.

Melco Delayed in Mediterranean

The opening of Melco’s integrated resort (l.) in Limassol, Cyprus will be delayed six months due to the extensive infrastructure needed. The new IR will be the first in Cyprus and one of the biggest in Europe.

Carlino Steps Down as Penn Chairman, Stays with GLPI

Peter Carlino has stepped down from his position as chairman of Penn National Gaming, the company citing the federal Clayton Antitrust Act and the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment as requiring the move, which will leave him as chairman of the GLPI REIT.


Macau Mulls Its Own Stock Market

Officials say they’ve got two principal aims in looking at the possibility of a yuan-based exchange: to establish the city as the go-to source for trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries; and, perhaps more importantly, diversify the local economy away from its dependence on gaming.

IPI Wants to Swap Tax Credits for Tax Payments

Imperial Pacific International, which runs the struggling Imperial Palace resort (l.) on the island of Saipan, has asked to use tax credits it earned in the years since its opening in lieu of taxes it owes to the local government. Mark Brown (l.), chairman of IPI, says the company is “entitled” to the credits.

A Challenging May in Macau

Despite an extra Friday and a longer Labor Day holiday, the Chinese territory’s casinos posted a gaming revenue increase of only 1.8 percent. It wasn’t a surprise. Analysts have been tracking softness in the VIP sector (a VIP at Galaxy Macau at left) all year, and the expectation, broadly speaking, is for more of the same.

Korea: Minority Party Pushes Casino

Korea’s minority Bareunmirae Party in North Jeolla Province (l.) is pushing for casino development on the coast as a way to boost tourism and add new industry.

Fortunegate to Open in Clark

Frontier Capital Group’s Hotel Stotsenberg (l.) is set to open its new casino, Fortunegate Clark Casino this month in the Philippines’ Clark Freeport Zone.


UK Betting Shops Continue to Close

The number of high-street betting shops in the UK continue to decline. The UK Gambling Commission reported a 1.5 percent decrease in the number of retail shops since March 2018.

Century Opens New Gaming Floor in Warsaw

Century Casinos has opened an additional gaming floor at its casino at the Marriott Hotel (l.) in Warsaw, Poland. The casino is operated by the company`s majority-owned subsidiary, Casinos Poland Ltd.

Young Adults Dominate Swedish Self-Exclusion Register

Young adults make up 40 percent of Swedish citizens who have voluntarily chosen to sign up for a gaming self-exclusion registry. The registry was launched in January and already 35,000 have signed up.


Queens Wharf Brisbane Begins Construction

After 15 months of pre-construction, the Queens Wharf Brisbane project has officially begun its “out of ground” phase with the first concrete pour, according to a statement from developers.


Palmary, PhilWeb Sign Cooperation Agreement in Philippines

Electronic bingo operators PhilWeb Corporation and Palmary Corporation have signed an agreement to jointly develop their eBingo businesses. Palmary will purchase about 6.78 percent of PhilWeb issued share capital. Both companies said they will work to expand their offerings in the Philippines.

Pariplay Enters Swedish Market With Svenska Spel

Online gaming platform and content developer Pariplay has entered the Swedish market in partnership with national operator Svenska Spel. Pariplay will run Svenska Spel’s Sport & Casino subsidiary.

UK's Rank to Buy Stride

Casino and gaming operator Rank Group has agreed to buy Stride Gaming for $145 million to expand into the UK’s online gaming market. The bid, which Rank said would create the number two player in UK online bingo, is valued at 151 pence per share and would represent a 28 percent premium to Stride’s closing price at the time the deal was announced, according to Reuters.

Casino du Liban to Launch Online

Lebanon’s Casino du Liban plans to launch online gambling and sports betting before the end of the year. Casino du Liban is the country’s only legal gaming hall.


Sports Betting Advertising a Huge Opportunity CBS CEO Says

CBS Corp. has identified sports betting as a "huge" and growing business opportunity especially when it comes to advertising acting CEO Joe Ianniello (l.) recently told an investor conference Wednesday. Ianniello said sports betting is already generating millions in advertising for CBS and he expects that revenue to grow as sports betting spreads to more states.

Massachusetts Stakeholders State Their Cases in Sports Betting Hearings

For two days last week a committee of the Massachusetts legislature heard testimony from a variety of interest who all in some way want to influence lawmakers who are considering legalizing sports betting the Bay State. The main players are the state’s casinos and daily fantasy sports operators such as DraftKings. But they aren’t the only ones. Senator Ann-Margaret Ferrante (l.) says they just want to get it right.

GIG Fined in New Jersey for Out of State Online Bet

Gaming Innovation Group was fined $25,000 in New Jersey for allowing a Nevada man to place a bet at Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino’s online site (l.). The gambler apparently manipulated a flaw in the site’s geolocation program which GIG identified. The company said it has fixed the vulnerability.

New York’s Cuomo Says Mobile Betting Possible in New York This Year

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) said it may be possible for the New York Legislature to pass a bill that allows for mobile online betting before it closes its current session this month. Cuomo has said in the past that he thinks allowing for mobile betting could require an amendment to the state constitution.

Ohio Governor Wants Sports Betting Regulated by State Casino Control Commission

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (l.) says he favors having the Ohio Casino Control Commission put in charge of regulating sports betting, rather than the Ohio Lottery Commission. Determining which agency will have regulatory control has been a key issue in the legislature’s debate on a sports betting bill. DeWine met with legislators on both sides of the issue to explain his preference.

Puerto Rico Readies Sports Betting Law

Ricardo Rosselló (l.), governor of Puerto Rico, announced a bill that legalize online and land-based sports betting in the territory. He predicted annual tax revenue of between $44 million and $66 million. The bill would also create a new Gaming to regulate the industry and oversee licensing.

Strong April for Nevada’s Books—New Jersey’s Too

The spread of legal sports betting nationwide appears to be a tide that’s floating all boats. Nevada recorded its third consecutive April in which handle was better than the year before. The Garden State, fueled by a robust mobile market, wasn’t far behind.

BoyleSports to Enter UK Betting Shop Market

Irish bookmaker BoyleSports is looking to enter the UK betting shops market through the purchase of independent bookmaker Wil Gilbert. The company runs 13 betting shops in the Midlands of England. The price of the acquisition was not announced.

SBTech Malta to run Oregon Sports Book

The Oregon Lottery has chosen the controversial SBTech Malta Ltd. to operate its sports betting operation. The unhappy also ran in the contractor selection process accuses the company of doing business in countries where gambling is illegal.

Louisiana Fantasy Sports, Sports Betting Bills Fail

Fantasy sports and sports betting will have to wait in Louisiana even though voters approved fantasy sports in 47 of 60 parishes in November. State Senator Danny Martiny (l.) unsuccessfully attached his sports betting bill to state Rep. Kirk Talbot's fantasy sports tax and rules bills and ran out the clock in ager in the final moments of the legislative session.

Indiana Sets September 1 Sports Betting Launch

Calling it "a tall order" and "a goal we are striving to reach," Indiana Gaming Commission Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait (l.) said she hopes legalized sports betting can launch by September 1. Sports wagering may start with in-person bets at casinos, racetracks and OTB, followed by online and mobile betting later.


One Arkansas County Gets All the Attention

Despite significant public opposition, the Arkansas Racing Commission began taking bids for a Pope County casino. Statewide voters approved the casino plus another in Jefferson County last November, but Pope County voters rejected the measure. License-seekers include the Warner Gaming-Hard Rock International partnership, Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation and Robert and Ruth Kehl Family, whose son Dan (l.) runs the family’s Iowa casino empire

Louisiana Legislature Passes Harrah's Extension

The Louisiana legislature passed a bill extending Harrah's New Orleans' (l.) casino license for 30 years in exchange for 10s of millions of dollars over that time period. Governor John Bel Edwards said he'll sign it. Harrah's also will invest $325 million to build a new hotel and upgrade facilities.

Wynn Now All In On Massachusetts

If ever there were doubts that Wynn Resorts was committed to making its Encore Boston Harbor casino as success, they have vanished. Wynn’s CEO Matthew Maddox (l.) told cheering employees last week that the $2.6 billion casino that is due to open June 23 is not for sale.

Maverick Gaming in Full Growth Mode

Maverick bought three Seattle-area casinos in April and is expanding in Nevada with the purchase of three casinos in Elko, including the Red Lion Casino (l.). This month, the privately held, Las Vegas-based operator expects to close on its acquisition of Nevada Gold & Casinos—a portfolio that includes nine more Washington casinos.

Twin River Wants to Double Credit Limit

The operator of Rhode Island’s two casino is asking the legislature to allow it to double its credit limit for high rollers, including Twin River (l.) in Lincoln. It is also asking the state to subsidize its marketing campaign.

LVS, Poarch Band Close Sands Bethlehem Sale

Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Wind Creek Hospitality, an arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, officially closed the sale of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to Wind Creek. WCH President Jay Dorris (l.) says the efforts to rebrand the property will now begin.

Jacksonville Council Bans Gambling Machines

The city council in Jacksonville, Florida unanimously voted to ban "simulated gambling devices" offered at internet casinos. The laws' sponsor, Councilman Al Ferraro, said the move "is about public safety," noting at within the past year four people have died in robbery attempts at internet cafes.

Changes for Miss America Pageant

The Miss America Pageant will be televised by NBC after years on ABC. The move, however, should mean a new date for the pageant, which has traditionally aired on the second Sunday in September, competing with NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Meanwhile, Gretchen Carlson (l.) has stepped down as Miss America chair. It is also unclear if the pageant will stay in Atlantic City.

Saratoga Remaking Its Gaming Floor

The upstate New York racino is building a new sports bar and VIP lounge and upgrading its high-limit slots area as part of an $8 million revamp. Plans include the addition of self-service casino beverage stations and all-new lighting, sound and visuals.

Block Party Planned for Atlantic City

The Absecon Lighthouse (l.), Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, MADE Atlantic City Chocolate Bar, Ocean Casino Resort, Resorts Casino & Hotel, Showboat Atlantic City, Steel Pier, Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall and The Iron Room have united to spotlight their end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk with the launch of North Beach featuring Music Row Mondays.


Catawba Casino Bill Opposition Grows

The list of opponents continues to grow and now includes North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker (l.) against South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham's proposed legislation allowing a Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, owners of two Harrah's casinos in North Carolina, also oppose the federal government taking 16 acres into trust for a Catawba casino.

U.S. Supreme Court Declines Casino Cases

Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to review two cases involving tribal casinos. It let stand an appeals court decision that the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida's gambling revenue distributions are taxable income. Also, justices let stand an appeals court ruling against the Comanche Nation, which sought to block a Chickasaw Nation casino in Oklahoma that competes with its Red River casino (l.).

Massachusetts Tribe Delays Casino

A lawsuit has apparently caused the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe from starting work on its Class II casino on Martha’s Vineyard. The town of Aquinnah is suing, alleging that the tribe is required to get building permits reviewed for the casino.

Hard Rock to Develop California Casino

The central California-based Tejon Indian Tribe has partnered with High Rock International to build a $600 million casino near Bakersfield. The tribe still awaits the go-ahead from the Department of the Interior.

Beloit Casino Takes Another Step Forward

The Ho-Chunk Nation's proposed $400 million casino resort (l.) in Beloit, Wisconsin advanced with the publication of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement. Following a public comment period, the BIA's decision and Governor Tony Evers' approval, the project could break ground later this year.

California Tribe Sues Over Stalled Casino

The Trump Administration has been targeted by a lawsuit by the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe of California. The tribe claims the administration has deliberately stalled the tribe’s application for a casino in Ridgecrest.

FireKeepers Adding Hotel Tower

A new hotel tower will be built at FireKeepers Casino and Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band announced the project will add 200 rooms to the 243 currently available. In addition, the tribe said since 2010, casino revenue has generated $48.2 million for the local community and $143.7 million for the state of Michigan.

California Tribe Moves to Relocate Casino

The Tule River Tribe wants to relocate its Eagle Mountain Casino (l.) 20 miles from its existing reservation in Central California. Last week the final environmental impact report for the project was published in the Federal Register.

Paragon Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana. More than 50 million people have visited and more than 1,000 people have worked at the property since it opened in 1994. Originally named the Grand Casino Avoyelles, the facility has grown from 103,000 square feet to more than 1 million.

Hard Rock Guitar-Shaped Hotel Needs 1,200 Employees

Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida will hold a series of job fairs to fill 1,200 jobs at its new guitar-shaped hotel, part of the resort's $1.5 billion expansion. The project will include a larger casino area, restaurants, retail, entertainment space and the unique hotel which will raise the resort's hotel room total to 1,300.

Choctaw Casinos, Texas Rangers Expand Partnership

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts will become the official casino and resort of the Texas Rangers, after signing a deal that includes branding opportunities at the Rangers' new home, the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, scheduled to open in March 2020. Choctaw Casinos & Resorts' $500 million expansion will open in 2021.

Oklahoma Casinos Ready For Tornado Season

In the last three years, three Oklahoma casinos have been impacted by casinos, in Claremore, Norman and Thackerville. As tornado season gets under way, tribal casinos throughout Oklahoma continually train team members in tornado emergency procedures and have prepared comprehensive guidelines to follow in case a tornado strikes.

Washington Tribe Opens $14 Million RV Resort

The Kalispel tribe of Washington state has opened a $14 million RV resort next to its Northern Quest Casino & Resort. The RV resort harkens to the type that are found all over the American South—but which are relatively rare in the Pacific Northwest.


Casinos Seek to Block PA iLottery

Pennsylvania’s 13 casino licensees are requesting an injunction in their lawsuit to stop the Pennsylvania Lottery’s online games ahead of the launch of online gaming in the state.

Brazil Lotex Auction: Foiled Again

For the sixth time—and the second time in May alone—the Brazilian Development Bank has delayed a tender that would privatize Lotex, the instant lottery now overseen by federal bank Caixa.

Fortune Cookie Delivers Powerball Fortune

Charles W. Jackson of Cumberland County, North Carolina used his granddaughter's fortune cookie numbers to play Powerball—and won the $344 million jackpot. Jackson opted for the $223.3 million cash payment so he'll take home $158 million after taxes. He said he'll share his prize money with St. Jude Hospital, the Wounded Warriors Project and the Shriners.


CFO Craig Billings Named Wynn Resorts President

Industry veteran Craig Billings will remain Wynn’s chief financial officer in addition to taking on the position vacated by Matt Maddox’s promotion to CEO last year. Billings has been a financial analyst and consultant to the industry and has held high-level posts with NYX Gaming and Aristocrat.

Aruze’s Usui Resigns; New Management Named

Aruze Gaming announced the pending resignation of Chairman and CEO Takahiro Usui (l.), effective June 30, and the promotion of Masumi Fujisawa to chairman of the board and CTO and CFO/CSO Yugo Kinoshita to CEO.

Shanks Named to Board of EPR Properties REIT

Former Pinnacle Gaming executive Virginia Shanks has been named to the board of Missouri real estate investment trust EPR Properties, leading to speculation of a fourth gaming REIT.

Galaxy Gaming Names Isaacs to Board

Galaxy Gaming has named veteran gaming supply executive Gavin Isaacs to its board of directors, as the company seeks to regain its industry market share

JCM Names Canadian Rep

JCM Global has named Odimayo (KB) Abayomi as the company’s new territory sales associate for Canada, responsible for working with customers and distributors throughout the country.

Maverick Gaming Names Granite CFO

Maverick Gaming has named 20-year gaming industry and investment banking veteran Thomas Granite as the operator’ new chief financial officer.

Engaged Nation Names Wood VP of Sales

Engaged Nation has named gaming industry veteran Daniel Wood as vice president of sales for the digital entertainment and gaming marketing company.

GVC’s Alexander Takes Pay Cut

Kenny Alexander, CEO of UK gaming company GVC, has offered to take a pay cut to assuage shareholders who think he’s making too much. Alexander offered to trim his take-home from £950,000 to £800,000.

Chau Appointed Summit Ascent Chairman

Alvin Chau, head of Macau junket investor Suncity Group, has been appointed chairman of the board of Summit Ascent Holdings, which operates the sole integrated resort in Russia’s Primorye casino zone.

Kasasaki Elevated to Genting CCO

Genting Singapore has announced that it has promoted Nanami Kasasaki to chief corporate officer. The appointment, which became effective on May 31, is seen by some as an indication of the firm’s focus on Japan.

Jamul Hires New F&B Director

Benjamin Petell is the new director of food & beverage/retail at Jamul Casino. Petell is a veteran of large-scale resort food and beverage operations.


Circa Sports Debuts in Las Vegas

The brainchild of Derek Stevens (l.), and hailed by the Downtown casino developer as a new concept in sports wagering, Circa Sports is open for business at the Golden Gate. It will be joined later this month by a second venue at the D Las Vegas.

AGEM/AGS Golf Classic Sets Milestone

The 21at annual AGEM/AGA Golf Classic Presented by JCM Global pushed the annual total raised for the National Center for Responsible Gaming past the $2 million mark for the first time.

NIGC Approves Oneida/Sci Games Sports Betting Deal

The National Indian Gaming Commission has approved a previously announced agreement under which Scientific Games will provide sports betting technology to the casinos of New York’s Oneida Indian Nation.

Seminole Tribe Places Aruze Lucky Roulette

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has launched the first North America installations of Aruze Gaming’s Lucky Roulette, which will debut at the Coconut Creek and Hard Rock Hollywood casinos.

Cartamundi to Acquire USPC

The Belgium-based Cartamundi group has signed an agreement to acquire the United States Playing Card Company from parent company Newell Brands.

Spirit Gaming Partners with StylGame

Spirit Gaming has become the exclusive distributor for casino chair specialist StylGame in Germany, as well as distributing the suppliers products in parts of the Swiss market.

Cooper Levenson Opens New York Office

Cooper Levenson has announced the Atlantic City based law firm’s expansion into New York. Joseph C. Mahon, a former partner at the firm, will return and assume the role of lead attorney for the firm’s New York City office.


Lineup Set for East Coast Gaming Congress

The 23rd annual East Coast Gaming Congress and NextGen Gaming Forum will take place June 12 and 13 at Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center. This year's keynote speakers are New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (l.) and Bill Miller, the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association.




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