William Hill Gives Bettors A Sporting Chance

Hurting for some sports betting action? How about a little Russian ping pong, Mexican rugby or English darts? GGB News spoke to Nick Bogdanovich (l.), director of trading for William Hill US, to find out how the sportsbook found interim betting options for U.S. gamblers.

With Casino Shutdown, States Hemorrhage Taxes

As the gaming and tourism industries reach the first full month of an unprecedented shutdown due to the coronavirus—with no firm end in sight—U.S. states are suffering massive revenue losses as well.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Carolina Tribes Lock Horns Over Off-Res Casino

The Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina is seeking to build a casino resort in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. But gaming in that state is the domain of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, led by Chief Richard Sneed (l.). Sneed says the Catawbas received preferential treatment from the government of North Carolina.

U.K. Gaming Firms Struggle to Stay Afloat

With 75 percent of the U.K. gaming market erased by the coronavirus, profits will plummet from 2019 levels. Bookies and bettors have turned to virtual sports to remain relevant (and make some money). At left, an empty Betfred betting shop.

Singapore Casinos Closed Through May 4

Singapore’s two casinos, Resorts World Sentosa (l.) and Marina Bay Sands, have closed due to increasing fears of a local coronavirus contagion. As of now, the properties are set to remain closed until May 4.

Crown in Good Shape, Debtwise

Fitch Ratings Inc. says the “low net debt position” and “highly variable cost structure” of Australian casino operator Crown Resorts will give it “headroom to absorb the effect of the government shutdown of casinos” due to the coronavirus.

Suppliers Struggle, Analysts React to Covid-19 Crisis

Many of the biggest companies in the supply sector are shedding employees, burning cash and seeing shares nosedive due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The downturn could deepen. As analyst Todd Eilers (l.) wrote, “We are also assuming that player demand does not immediately return to prior levels.”

Will Pandemic Threaten Japan IRs?

Japan legalized integrated resorts in 2016, and has been preparing ever since to launch its casino industry. Now the pet initiative of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l.) seems to have been stymied by the coronavirus.

Virus or Not, UFC Plans Casino Event

The UFC plans to defy the state of California, the California State Athletic Commission and the Association of Ringside Physician and hold an event on April 18. Reportedly the location for the pay-per-view event will be the Tachi Palace casino (l.) in central California.

Connecticut Council Presses for Online Gaming

The many small communities that make up southeastern Connecticut support the state’s two gaming tribes in their push to offers online gaming. Governor Ned Lamont shot down their request last week, but many think it has legs, including state Senator Cathy Osten (l.).

Please Be Nice to Sheldon

Sheldon Adelson (l.) sometimes gets some bad press but when you examine his influence, it may just be a blip. Longtime gaming observer Richard Schuetz suggests that Nevada residents reconsider who loves them best.

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Macau’s April Win Could Hit ‘Zero’

Early checks by analysts indicate Macau may be facing its worst month yet since the Covid-19 pandemic effectively closed off travel from mainland China and Hong Kong. It’s reported that on some days visitation to the city is being counted in the hundreds.

Cambodia’s NagaWorld Posts Q1 Growth

Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp announced last week that its Cambodian integrated resort, NagaWorld (l.), posted 15 percent year-on-year growth for the first quarter of 2019, based on significant VIP growth. Then casinos in the country closed.

Vietnam Locals Casino Drew More Foreigners

The first casino in Vietnam to welcome local gamblers attracted more foreign patrons. Foreign guests made up 55 percent of the patron base at the Corona Resort and Casino (l.) in Phú Quốc.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

U.K. Agency Suspends Two Licenses

The U.K. Gambling Commission recently suspended the licenses of two online operators for failure to comply with self-exclusion requirements, which included installation of GamStop.

GLOBAL GAMING More

Panama Casinos Can Suspend Payments

Panama casino operators just caught a break from lawmakers, who approved legislation allowing them to delay the payment of services amid the Covid-19 shutdown.

LVCVA Closes International Offices

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says it’s not renewing contracts with the 14 offices that market Las Vegas to visitors from outside the U.S. Plans are to make do with existing domestic staff until global travel recovers.

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Greece Fields iGaming License Applications

New online gaming licenses could be issued in Greece as early as June. Applicants are standing in line to enter the country’s newly re-regulated iGaming industry, which has been characterized by disorder in the past.

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States Open New Sports Betting Choices

With traditional sports shut down by the coronavirus, states are getting creative when it comes to sports betting. Indiana approved wagers on soccer leagues in former Eastern Bloc nations. And Nevada has embraced esports, from virtual NASCAR (l.) to video game tournaments.

Colorado Will Meet Deadline for Sports Betting

While casinos are closed and most sports activities have ceased during the coronavirus pandemic, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission will issue licenses to meet the state mandate to have sports betting ready to go by May 1. At least 10 will be ready to roll, including Roar Digital (l.).

Illinois Lawmakers OK Sports Betting Rules

An Illinois legislative committee has approved the state gaming board's Phase II Rules package for sports betting, though casinos, including Rivers Des Plaines (l.), remain closed through April due to Covid-19, and will use the BetRivers platform from Rush Street Interactive. The rules prioritize operators who can generate maximum tax revenues.

Sports Betting Firm Offsets Expected Losses

The Covid-19 pandemic will cause a decline in gaming business due to retail closures and sports cancellations. But with positive revenues through mid-March, U.K.-based GVC Holdings expects to mitigate the losses.

Massachusetts Could Take up Sports Betting

This could be the year that Massachusetts adopts legal sports betting. All signs point to a bill that almost all parties like. The question is: will legislators think sports betting is important in this coronavirus year? Senator Brendan Crighton (l.) hopes the answer is yes.

Good News for Sports Bettors: MLB Looks to Future Play

Major League Baseball came to a halt before the season began. While the coronavirus pandemic still rages in the U.S., the league has started conversations about how to resume play. One idea includes playing all games in the Phoenix area, without spectators.

NFL Draft Details Emerge

The NFL Draft will take place as planned April 23-25, but without the three-day Las Vegas extravaganza. Club personnel will work out of their homes with league reps at draft headquarters or via phone or online.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

FEMA OKs Disaster Relief for Nevada

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has come through with a pledge of new funding for Nevada health care workers and first responders battling the coronavirus. Governor Steve Sisolak (l.) is seeking federal aid for the growing number of Nevadans in need.

Wynn Looks to Borrow $600 Million

A private bond offering from Wynn Resorts (Beach Club at Encore Las Vegas at left) is aimed at shoring up the company’s finances in the wake of the coronavirus, which has shut down its three U.S. casinos. The company said it’s burning through more than $4 million a day to pay its employees and service its debt.

New Mexico Racetracks Urge Live Racing During Covid-19

Fearing they will lose their livelihoods, horse owners and jockeys are urging the governor of New Mexico to allow live racing, but without anyone in the stands (Downs at Albuquerque at left). Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has stopped other sporting events in the state. There have been no races in the state since March 15.

Casino Billionaire Seeks Lenders

The man who owns Golden Nugget casinos and the restaurant line Landry’s Inc. is seeking $250 million in loans to stay afloat until the end of 2020. Billionaire Tilman Fertitta (l.) is offering very attractive terms to the investors willing to take that chance: 15 percent.

West Virginia Shuts Down Election Wagering

FanDuel's election betting lasted about two hours on April 7. Officials claim the West Virginia Lottery approved the launch but Secretary of State Mac Warner said "somebody jumped the gun." FanDuel's launch would have been the first legal betting on the U.S. election.

Penn National Hunkers Down

Penn National Gaming is providing 26,000 furloughed employees health benefits through June 30 and access to an emergency fund while 41 properties are idle.

Maryland Casinos Generated $68.6M in March

Maryland casinos including MGM National Harbor (l.) generated $68.6 million in revenues in the first half of March, before the coronavirus shut them down beginning March 16.

Massachusetts Extends Casino Closures to May 4

Massachusetts casinos won’t open again until May 4, at the earliest. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week voted to extend the closure; there are three casinos in the state, including Plainridge Park (l.) in Plainville.

TRIBAL GAMING More

A Seventh Ho-Chunk Casino in Wisconsin?

The Ho-Chunk Nation is seeking an architect for a new $400 million casino resort in Beloit, Wisconsin—although the Bureau of Indian Affairs hasn't yet taken the 33-acre site into trust. Even so, Tribal Public Information Officer Ryan Greendeer (l.) said, "You can see the finish line."

California Tribe Wins Land Into Trust Decision

The Ione Band of Miwok Indians has won a long battle to build a casino in Amador County, California. According to the tribe, the U.S. Department of the Interior is poised to put land into trust.

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Alamo Quits Nevada Gaming Commission

Tony Alamo Jr. (l.), chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission for nearly eight years, has resigned. Alamo said his responsibilities as a physician require his full-time attention during the Covid-19 outbreak.

IGT Promotes Costa, Di Loreto

IGT has promoted Dorothy Costa (l.) to the position of head of people and transformation. Current executive VP of People and Transformation Mario Di Loreto has assumed a new position advising CEO Marco Sala.

Goodman Out at LVCVA

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has canceled the contract of former Mayor Oscar Goodman (l.), due to the coronavirus threat. Goodman was chief ambassador for the tourism agency.

Former Flamingo President Dziura Dies

Horst Dziura (l.), former president of the Flamingo Hilton, died March 17 at 79. Dziura was known for his daily walks around the casino floor at the Hilton, South Point and Orleans, where he was beloved by employees. Dziura was known for recognizing the importance of non-gaming.

Adelson Earns $25 Million in 2019

Sheldon Adelson (l.), chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., took home 62.4 percent of the 2019 annual compensation paid to the group’s top five executives, for a total of $24.7 million.

Foxwoods Hires New General Counsel

Jody Cummings (l.) has been named general counsel for Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. He was deputy solicitor and senior counselor for Indians affairs for three years with the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Grothaus Leaves Missouri Gaming Commission

Missouri Gaming Commission Executive Director David Grothaus (l.) will leave his post May 1 due to a dispute with the Missouri Highway Patrol. Grothaus says MHP members assigned to the state's 13 casinos engaged in "guerrilla warfare" to keep him from replacing them with civilians.

‘Uncle’ Phil Maloof Succumbs To Covid-19

"Uncle" Phil Maloof (l.) has died from Covid-19 at age 93. His family owned the Fiesta Hotel in Las Vegas from 1994-2001, then sold it to Station Casinos and opened the Palms. The Maloofs also previously owned the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings.

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TCSJohnHuxley Making Face Shields for Health Care

TCSJohnHuxley has retooled its production facility to produce disposable face shields for health-care workers in Britain’s National Health Service amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Company engineers retrofitted an existing machine (l.) to produce the face shields.

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SBC Digital Summit to Feature Industry Leaders

Carsten Koerl (l.), CEO of Sportradar, will speak at the SBC Digital Summit, April 27-May 1. Koerl will join 140 industry leaders in separate panels and presentations to help sports betting operators survive the Covid-19 shutdown.

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Some Colorado Casino Workers Move into the Pot Biz

The background checks that employees need to work at Colorado casinos are basically the same as those required to work in the marijuana industry. It’s being used as a way to quickly find employment for workers furloughed because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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