Seminoles Rock On

Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, last week debuted the “Guitar Hotel,” the first building in the world modeled after the musical instrument. The addition to an already successful casino demonstrates the commitment that Hard Rock International is making to growth, which includes the opening this week of Hard Rock Sacramento, a facility built for a California tribe, several plans in other states—including Nevada±—and even foreign expansion.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: The Ticket to Brazil

The two largest worldwide lottery suppliers have won a joint concession to operate the newly privatized instant lottery in Brazil, putting the normally rival suppliers together in a 50-50 partnership. A combined $200 million bid won the concession for IGT and Scientific Games, which will be in effect for 15 years.

Macau Residents Gambling Less

A new study shows the gambling participation rate by residents of the Chinese casino hub has declined to its lowest level since 2003. With a new prohibition on gambling by most casino employees set to take effect the end of this year, that number could fall further.

Did the Oregon Lottery’s Sports Betting App Crash?

Reports that the Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard sports betting app “crashed” the day before it went live are untrue, lottery spokesman Matt Shelby told GGB News. The Beaver State sportsbook is the first to be offered by a state lottery; the launch, he said, was like “Black Friday at Best Buy.”

A New Proposal for Massachusetts’ Region C

Lawmakers of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies in Boston heard a pitch by officials of the town of Wareham and the developer who would like to build a horseracing track and casino in the town. A bill, sponsored by Rep. Susan Williams Gifford (l.), will allow more competition of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decides to reopen bidding for the final state gaming license.

BC Casinos: Money Laundering Part of the Past

Investigators into money laundering in British Columbia said they went looking for a minnow but found a whale—or a whole group of whales, allegedly including casino high rollers. But gaming industry officials say the casinos reported the incidents as required to law enforcement, and cleaned up their house years ago.

No Mobile, No Problem—N.Y. Sports Betting Starts Strong

New York’s fledgling sportsbooks including one at Resorts World Catskills (l.), posted an estimated $5 million in revenue through September on wagers that likely totaled in the range of $100 million. Imagine what they’d do with mobile betting.

A No-Wynn Situation

The proposed action of the Nevada Gaming Control Board to ban Steve Wynn (l.) from the state’s gaming industry is misguided and foolish, according to author Richard Schuetz. It only serves to highlight the board’s incompetence in uncovering these alleged misdeeds over the 40 years they occurred.

Gullbrants Named New Encore Boston Harbor President

Wynn Resorts Ltd. has replaced the casino president who oversaw the development of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor four months after it opened its doors. Robert DeSalvio is leaving and his replacement as president is Brian Gullbrants, also a veteran of the company.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Golden Opportunity

Golden Entertainment stock has been wobbly, but the company’s investments in the Strat in Las Vegas, and even in the sleepy town of Laughlin, may soon start to pay off. Some project a price in the $20s that would be a nice increase from around $12 currently.

ASIAN GAMING More

Carry On, Japan

The slow process of bringing legal integrated resorts to Japan plods on. To date, almost two-thirds of Japanese continue to oppose IRs. Some have been vocal in their protests, and several local governments are still on the fence about making their bids for a casino complex. Among the possible locations for an IR is the former Fish Market in Tokyo (l.)

Donaco Plans Name Change

Asian casino operator Donaco International will ask shareholders to approve that the company name be changed to Pan Asian Leisure Ltd. The rebrand would be “a public statement that we are leaving the past behind,” according to a filing from Donaco to the Australian Securities Exchange.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

Latvia May Boost Gaming Taxes

Lawmakers in Latvia have proposed an increase in gaming taxes as part of its 2020 budget. The draft budget does not include changes in taxation for the country's iGaming market.

GLOBAL GAMING More

New Zealand Casino Workers Walk Out After Fire

A massive fire erupted last week at SkyCity Entertainment in Auckland, New Zealand at the site of under-construction convention center adjacent to the SkyCity casino. The blaze was under control by the weekend, but 1,000 casino employees walked out due to what they claimed were dangerous working conditions.

ONLINE GAMING More

NJ Breaks Records with Online Casino Revenues

Based on September gaming revenues released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, internet gaming revenues in the state broke records for the third month in a row. The Golden Nugget outpaced every other casino, recording $15.6 million in revenue, up almost 70 percent from the prior September.

Google Cuts iGaming Some Slack

Easing some concerns in the gaming industry, technology giant Google has announced it will ease up on advertising related to the sports-betting sector. The company will remove its ban on the ads by the first quarter of 2020.

New Zealand to Ban Credit Cards in Online Gambling

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), which regulates the country’s casino industry, is planning to ban the use of credit cards for online gambling. The DIA believes the measure will reduce the risk of harm from problem gambling.

Swedish Operators Cleared of Underage Betting Charges

Sweden’s gaming regulator has cleared four online operators of offering bets on sporting events where the majority of participants were under the age of 18. Spelinspektionen has absolved bet365 brand, Betsson, ATG and Spooniker.

SPORTS BETTING More

New Jersey Racetrack Could See New Life with a Sportsbook

Hamilton Township, New Jersey planners and Atlantic City Race Course owners have agreed to redevelop the track site, now declared an area in need of redevelopment. Sports betting rules would permit the former track to open a sportsbook on the oval, which could finally offer a way to successfully build on the legendary property.

Golden Nugget Online Brings Virtual NBA to New Jersey

A Reno-based tech company has partnered with a UK game maker to bring an interactive basketball game to New Jersey. Spin Games will offer “NBA Last 60” through the online arm of Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget (l.). Spin Games founder Kent Young (l.) said the game gives players the ability to bet on various outcomes: which team will win, who will score on the first possession and more.

Judge: No-Bid DC Sports Betting Contract Likely Legal

A Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge has ruled that the D.C. Council's no-bid, $215 million contract with Intralot to create a sports betting app probably was legal. Intralot already manages the district's lottery. A D.C. resident, who said he planned to create a sports betting app, had sought a preliminary injunction to stop Intralot from proceeding.

Rhode Island Sports Betting Signs Up 12K in a Month

Since Rhode Island’s mobile sports betting app launched in September, it’s signed up more than 12,000 customers. However, less than half of those have made the mandatory physical visit to one of the state’s two casinos to activate their accounts.

Visa to Roll Out at Sportsbooks

Visa is poised to begin accepting payments at sportsbook betting windows beginning next month, hoping to take advantage of the NFL season. Some states already accept Visa and MasterCard for online transactions. Visa is leaning towards using a debit card approach rather than extending credit for sports wagering.

Vegas Golden Knights Partner with IGT

The Vegas Golden Knights are partnering with gaming supplier IGT for marketing purposes on the team’s web and social media platforms, as well as at the NHL team’s home games.

William Hill, Stats Perform Strike AI Data Deal

Sportsbook giant William Hill has partnered with Stats Perform to use data culled from artificial intelligence (AI) to create unique prop bets. The initial phase will target the NBA and NFL. The approach improves such offerings beyond traditional data, analyzing probabilities at rapid speed.

Ohio Lawmakers Hear Sports Betting Testimony

The Ohio Senate Finance Committee held hearings on HB 194, which would legalize sports betting on professional and collegiate sports. Ohio University officials testified against allowing betting on college sports. The House bill cites the Ohio Lottery Commission to regulate sports betting; the Senate version names the Casino Control Commission.

FOX Bet Signs Deal with MLB for Mobile Sports Betting

Major League Baseball has signed a multi-year deal with FOX Bet to be its authorized mobile sports betting operator. The company, a part of The Stars Group, has the right to use the official data feed of MLB for not only FOX Bet but FOX Sports Super 6, a free-to-play game. FOX Bet operates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania but hopes to expand as more states add sports betting.

Football Manager Resigns After Betting on Matches

The manager of AFC Wimbledon resigned his position after he broke betting rules. Wally Downes wagered eight times on games between 2013 and 2019, a violation of English Football Association rules. He’ll comply with a ban through November 14, pay a fine and step down.

Full House Taps Wynn for Mobile, Online Sports Betting

Full House Resorts has selected Wynn Resorts to operate its mobile and online sports betting in casinos in Indiana and Colorado. The latter depends on voter approval to permit sports betting. Full House owns Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana and Bronco Billy's Casino (l.) in Cripple Creek, Colorado.

FanDuel Brings Online, Mobile Sportsbook to Indiana

FanDuel has joined the licensees offering a sportsbook in Indiana. The company opened retail sportsbooks last month, while Rush Street Interactive and DraftKings launched October 3. FanDuel is live in four jurisdictions, including market leader, New Jersey. Casino licensees may partner with up to three sports betting companies, or skins.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

A.C. Casinos to Break $3 Billion Thanks to Sports Betting

Atlantic City casinos should break the $3 billion mark in gaming revenue for the first time since 2012. The increase owes a lot to sports betting (Tropicana sports book at left) and online gaming. The industry has reported revenue gains in each of the last 16 months. But table and slot revenues have declined for the seven properties that were operational before the openings of Hard Rock and Ocean Resort.

FTC OKs Caesars’ Sale of Rio Las Vegas

Caesars Entertainment has moved closer to its $516 million sale of the off-Strip Rio resort to a New York-based real estate fund. Caesars, which is selling several U.S. regional casinos ahead of its planned 2020 merger with Eldorado Resorts, is looking to close the deal by the end of this year.

Georgia Lawmakers Hear Gambling Pros, Cons

A special Georgia House committee is exploring ways to raise revenue, including expanding gambling. Currently a state lottery is the only approved form of gambling. The committee has heard from several representatives of the industry, including Wynn Resorts, plus opposing religious groups. Governor Brian Kemp (l.), says he opposes casinos but won’t veto a referendum.

Virginia Casino Backers Spreading the Word

The Virginia legislature has given preliminary approval to casinos in five cities. In Bristol, the Betting on Virginia Jobs political action committee donated $450,000 to legislative campaigns in August and September. In Norfolk, where the Pamunkey Tribe wants to develop a casino, a website gives the false impression it was created by local residents.

MGM Keeps Hopes Alive for Connecticut Casino

A renewed option to buy and develop land in Bridgeport Harbor indicates that MGM Resorts International is still on the hunt in its proposed $675 million casino (l.) proposal for Connecticut’s largest city. MGM first made the proposal two years ago to compete with the state’s two gaming tribes.

Blue Chip Indiana Expands, Terre Haute Study Released

In Northwest Indiana, the Blue Chip Casino (ll.) unveiled its $11 million, 11,000 square foot Fremont Ballroom, expanding the Stardust Event Center to more than 45,000 square feet. Also, ahead of the November vote on Question One, a study indicated a Terre Haute casino could generate $168 million in annual tax revenue for Vigo County and create 800 jobs.

Oklahoma Renews Racetrack License

Remington Park Racing & Casino (l.) in Oklahoma City received unanimous approval from the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission to renew its license for 2020. Owned by Global Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation, the racetrack installed 750 electronic gaming machines in 2004. It has shared more than $192 million in revenue with Oklahoma public education.

Illinois Stops Tinley Park Sale

Following a Chicago Tribune investigation, the state of Illinois canceled the sale of state-owned land to developer Rick Heidner for a proposed racino in Tinley Park. The newspaper detailed Heidner's associations with unsavory characters. However, Heidner noted the Illinois Gaming Board granted him a video gambling license in 2012 and each subsequent year. "I have no affiliation with the mafia at all,” Heidner said.

Memphis Track Ending Greyhound Racing

Delaware North, owners of Southland Casino Racing (l.) in West Memphis, Arkansas, has announced that live greyhound will end there in 2022. The phase-out will take three years while the 1,200 greyhounds racing at the state's only dog track find homes. GREY2K USA Executive Director Carey Theil called it "a victory for everyone who cares about dogs."

Chicago Suburbs Select Casino Developers

In Illinois, Waukegan, Rockford, Lynwood, Danville, Williamson County, Matteson and Calumet City—which just endorsed the Delaware North Southland Live project (l.)—are moving forward on casino proposals, which are due to the Illinois Gaming Board by the end of the month. The new expanded gambling bill allows a casino in six south Chicago suburbs. The gaming board will have up to a year to select the casino developers.

34th Horse Dies at Santa Anita Racetrack

The Santa Anita Racetrack has continued the bad run of luck that began last December. On October 19, a 34th racehorse died. The horse was put down after it stumbled during the fifth race and broke its left front ankle.

Illinois Communities Address Video Gambling

Des Plaines, Illinois Mayor Matthew Bogusz (l.), without explanation, has tabled an ordinance that would have ended the long-running ban on the games. Business owners want them to better compete with establishments in neighboring communities where the machines are legal. The machines are legal in Rockford where the city council approved allowing six, not five, machines.

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Texas Senator Opposes Tribal Casino

One of Texas’s two U.S. senators, John Cornyn (l.), is backing state officials, including Governor Greg Abbott in opposing a bill in Congress that would give two federally-recognized tribes in the Lone Star State the right to offer Class II gaming. He has sent a letter to a senate committee opposing the bill, which has already passed in the House.

Michigan’s Gun Lake Begins $100 Million Expansion

Work has begun on a $100 million, 72,000-square-foot expansion at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan. The project will include enlarging the gaming floor, adding new dining options and expanding entertainment areas. Completion is scheduled for summer 2021. Officials said the project will add 125 new jobs to the casino's current 1,100.

ASU to Develop Indian Gaming Law Curriculum

Arizona State University has announced a groundbreaking program that will add Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Indian Legal Program. This will be the nation’s first such law program.

LOTTERY More

Mississippi Lottery Tickets Go On Sale November 25

Mississippi Lottery scratch-off tickets will go on sale November 25, earlier than the previously announced December 1 start date. Officials said multi-state lottery tickets will be available in early 2020. The new lottery is expected to generate $40 million in revenue the first year, $80-$100 million the next. More than 400 lottery retailers have been approved.

UK Bans Sales of £10 Scratchcards

Fearing an increase in problem gambling, the UK Gambling Commission and the lotto licensee have agreed to stop selling £10 scratchcards. The decision does not affect other scratchcards, which don’t seem to create the same concern. Players have 180 days to claim prizes.

IWG, IGT Win Belgian Lottery Contract

Online gaming provider Instant Win Gaming (IWG) has won a three-year contract to operate the Belgian lottery’s instant-win content through an extension of its partnership with International Game Technology (IGT).

Rhode Island Lottery Tussle: No End in Sight

The governor of Rhode Island is still at odds with casino operator Twin River over who will run the state’s lucrative lottery. Governor Gina Raimondo wants to extend IGT’s no-bid contract for 20 years and keep more than 1,000 jobs. Twin River’s Marc Crisafulli (l.) says competition will lead to the best deal.

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Silver Heritage Chairman Departs

James Spenceley, chairman of Australia-listed casino operator Silver Heritage Group Ltd., has resigned his post, reportedly to pursue other business interests. In a filing, Silver Heritage also announced also the resignation of Michael Bassett as non-executive director of the company.

Newson Named IAGR President

The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) named Paul Newson as president at IAGR’s 2019 annual conference, held in Jamaica earlier this month. Newson is a trustee of the New South Wales Responsible Gambling Fund.

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Class of Class II

Eclipse Gaming has brought on industry heavyweights in its quest to rise to the top of the Class II gaming market. President and Chief Business Officer Orrin Edidin (l.) says Eclipse is on track to be “the leading land-based Class II supplier in the space … We design our games as Class II games, from conception to commercialization.”

GVC Creates Responsible Gaming Foundation

GVC Holdings has formed a U.S. foundation dedicated to responsible gaming, corporate compliance and sports integrity. The new foundation is collaborating with Seton Hall law school and the National Council on Problem Gaming to develop educational and assistance programs for military vets, according to GVC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Martin Lycka (l.).

Synergy Blue Games Debut in Las Vegas

Skill-influenced gaming machine supplier Synergy Blue is beginning Nevada field trials of its games at two of Station Casinos’ Las Vegas properties, Red Rock and the Palms.

London Casino Extends Galaxy Partnership

The Hippodrome Casino London (L.) has agreed to a multi-year extension of a partnership with Galaxy Gaming Inc. The agreement covers product and marketing support for Galaxy’s table games and progressive systems. Under the terms of the deal, Galaxy will continue to bring new gaming experiences to the Hippodrome customers.

GeoComply Tracks How Many People Bet Legally

GeoComply has become one of the iGaming industry’s answers for reliable, accurate and precise geolocation services. Those services can provide a rough calculation of the number of people betting legally in the U.S. The system indicated New Jersey accounts for almost 59 percent of the volume, according to GeoComply CEO David Briggs (l.).

Hospitality Online Acquires Casino Careers

Two of the top job boards focused on the hospitality industry, Casino Careers and Hospitality online, are merging to form a new recruiting site for gaming and hotel jobs. Beth Deighan (l.), president of Casino Careers, says the deal will enable over 2 million jobseekers to have more prospective employers.

Scout to Supply DFS to Betway Africa

Norway-based Scout Gaming has inked a deal with Betway to launch its fantasy sports product with the online operator in Africa. Betway is currently active in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Ghana, among other markets.

SuzoHapp Launches Components Website

SuzoHapp, a cash-handling technology specialist and gaming industry equipment supplier, has launched a website dedicated to its components business, giving original equipment manufacturers immediate access to comprehensive information on parts.

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Clarion Touts Pre-ICE Campaign, ‘Into the Future’

Clarion Gaming has unveiled an “Into the Future” campaign in support of next February’s major London expos, ICE London and ICE VOX. The industry will focus on the thousands of product innovations exhibitors will present along with content to be debated. Clarion Managing Director Kate Chambers (l.), also reiterated that ICE is committed to the ExCel Centre in London until at least 2022.

GLI to Host Regulators in Costa Rica, November 4-6

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) will celebrate its 12th Latin American and Caribbean Regulators Roundtable in San Jose, Costa Rica, Monday through Wednesday, November 4-6. GLI will welcome regulators to discuss the state of gaming throughout the region.

WILD CARD More

Maddox, Sinatra Sued as ‘Spies’ for Steve Wynn

A former Wynn Las Vegas salon manager who helped bring down Steve Wynn is suing Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox (l.) and former general counsel Kim Sinatra. He claims they plotted to bolster a defamation lawsuit by the casino tycoon with an undercover operation aimed at gathering derogatory information about him at his new job.

NUTSHELL More

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