With most sports on hold due to Covid-19, Rush Street Interactive’s Matias Stetz (l.) talks about how it’s affected sports betting, and when we can expect them to return to normal.
The El Cortez in Downtown Las Vegas and a local graphic design firm have created a device to help protect players and dealers when the industry reopens. El Cortez GM Adam Wiesberg (l.) and designer James Swanson discuss the easy-to-install clear acrylic partitions, which are capturing the interest of casinos across the country.
When it comes to reopening its casino, California’s San Manuel Tribe is in no hurry. Kenneth Ramirez, recently elected tribal chairman (being sworn in at left), believes in safety first; the San Manuel Casino in Highland, San Bernardino County, is expected to open sometime in June.
Last week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves gave casinos the OK to start reopening this Thursday, May 24, at 50 percent capacity. GGB News talked to Luann Pappas (l.), president of Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville, about the property’s comeback plans.
The Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced last week that it will not pursue an integrated resort license in Japan. Sands boss Sheldon Adelson (l.) said the country’s regulatory “framework” made his goals “unreachable.”
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Hard Rock International’s acquisition of the name “Hard Rock Las Vegas” positions the gaming powerhouse for expansion into the city. The timing could be just right, with some of Caesars’ and possibly MGM’s Strip properties expected to hit the market soon. Hard Rock currently operates a Hard Rock Café (l.) on the Las Vegas Strip.
Two months after U.S. casinos shut down due to the coronavirus, many have opened or are planning to do so. Tribal casinos have been opened in California, Arizona and Oklahoma, and states like Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota and Louisiana are scheduled to open this week—except for Bossier City, Louisiana’s DiamondJacks casino (l.), which announced it has closed for good due to the crisis.
Paulo Martins Chan (l.), the Macau government’s chief gaming regulator, is leaving to rejoin the Public Prosecutor’s Office. His four-year tenure is credited with strengthening the territory’s historically lax regulatory culture, especially in its oversight of the junket industry.
Virginia Lottery officials hope to accept the state’s first sports bets by year’s end. Rules and regulations have been finalized, with Governor Ralph Northam giving the go-ahead. Initially, betting will be mobile and online until casino sportsbooks are approved in a referendum.
In Macau, hopes are high for that individual travel from mainland China will resume in the next few weeks, possibly in conjunction with the National People’s Congress, which begins May 22.
The Australian government has announced a three-phase plan to fully reopen the country’s economy, with the final phase expected to end by July. New Zealand started relaxing restrictions last week.
Valley View Casino (l.) in San Diego County will reopen May 22 after two months on lockdown, leading the way for tribal resorts in the vicinity. It’s an exciting time, says longtime General Manager Bruce Howard.
A new survey produced by innovative game developer Synergy Blue shows that the economy, health and safety standards, and younger gamblers will all have a major impact on recovery in the gaming industry.
Atlantic City and Las Vegas depend on conventions and trade shows to boost tourism, especially in the off-season. But the coronavirus that closed casinos has also decimated that part of the business, leaving spaces like Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center (l.), in AC’s Marina District, empty.
MGM China CEO Grant Bowie (l.) will retire effective May 31, but stay on as the company’s executive director for a time and also accept an advisory position. Analysts speculate that his successor will be promoted from within.
Japan, once hailed as the next Holy Grail of gaming, has lost some of its luster due to potentially onerous regulations, high taxes, public opposition and the high cost of entry. Las Vegas Sands has now bowed out. Who’s next?
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Omer Sattar, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Sightline Payments
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Omer Sattar, the co-founder and executive vice president at Sightline Payments about how the current Covid-19 crisis could pave the way for cashless payments coming to the casino floor.
Greek gaming operator OPAP has reopened its retail betting shops. Last Monday, May 11, the national government eased some restrictive measures related to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The U.K. Betting and Gaming Council is beseeching Welsh First Minister Rebecca Evans (l.) to include sportsbooks and other gaming businesses in the country’s coronavirus relief programs. The BGC says 2,000 jobs are at stake, along with four casinos and some 300 betting shops.
The New Zealand government has stepped in with a $72.5 million support package for the horseracing industry. Racing executive Dean McKenzie (l.) said closures due to Covid-19 have “presented the racing industry with one of its greatest challenges in its 150-year lifetime.”
Rush Street Interactive has become the first iGaming operator to launch real-money online games from AGS in the Pennsylvania market, at BetRivers.com and PlaySugarhouse.com.
Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City has added online versions of three Everi Holdings game titles to its OceanOnlineCasino.com iGaming site.
Betsoft Gaming has signed an agreement with Romania’s Platinum Casino that will make top Betsoft titles available on Platinum iGaming sites.
BetConstruct will feature FashionTV-branded games in a “Live Casino Hall” showcasing the network with live games featuring professional croupiers.
Romania’s National Gambling Office has added 41 new domain names to its list of illegal gambling websites. Anytime Casino, Fruity King, Vegas Mobile Casino and Cool Play Casino are among the blacklisted sites.
The seven-team Premier Lacrosse League sees itself as a way to fill a sports betting vacuum until the major pro sports resume play. To that end, the league has signed on with Genius Sports to provide official data for bettors.
The first phase of Nevada’s return to limited normalcy is under way. But the gaming industry isn’t part of that yet, and it doesn’t appear that Governor Steve Sisolak (l.) will give the OK to resume before the end of the month, and possibly not until sometime in June.
During its first-quarter earnings report, Caesars Entertainment proposed a phased opening of its casinos in four markets, including nine in Las Vegas and three in Atlantic City. The plan lays out protocols on cleaning and social distancing.
Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden (l.) told investors the operator is rethinking its strategy after reporting a first-quarter 2020 loss of more than $600 million. Online gaming and sports betting earnings are bright spots.
Barring any delay, Eldorado Resorts CEO Tom Reeg (l.) foresees closing the company’s merger with Caesars Entertainment by the end of June. When that happens, Reeg will be the CEO of the new company with 60 casinos.
2019 was a very good year in Atlantic City, and 2021 may be too. But 2020, the year of the pandemic, will go down in history as a uniquely bad year. If April casino figures are any indication, it will be bad for travel, tourism and the gaming industry.
One hundred pull-tab machines may show up at Missouri truck stops if the House approves a $30 billion Senate bill with a provision allowing the games. Missouri Senator Eric Burlison (l.) said the proposal “disgusted” him.
Hard Rock International has released two new architectural renderings of its proposed Bristol Hard Rock (l.), to be developed in a vacant mall in Virginia. Hard Rock was the only applicant for the Bristol gaming license, which has to be approved by voters in November.
The Indiana Gaming Commission was set to hold a virtual public meeting Friday, May 15 to consider Spectacle Jack LLC's application for a Vigo County gaming license. If Spectacle receives the license, construction on its $125 million Hard Rock Rocksino Terre Haute (l.) would begin this year.
Golden Entertainment Inc. CEO Blake Sartini (l.) is encouraged by the heavy activity his casinos enjoyed when they opened May 4 in Montana. He thinks it’s a harbinger of good things to come when Golden casinos in Nevada reopen on at the end of the month.
The employees of the MGM Springfield are facing layoffs. Two months after closing in response to the coronavirus, MGM is contemplating laying off as many as 1,887 workers, at least some of them permanently.
For many tribes, the gaming industry is the new buffalo. But like their ancestors, today’s tribes are seeing a vital source of revenues and independence threatened by Covid-19. Bryan Newland (l.), chairman of Michigan's Bay Mills Indian Community, calls it "life and death."
The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise last week extended the closure of gaming operations until June 7, including its Twin Arrows resort (l.) near Flagstaff, Arizona. The Navajo have been hard hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, with more than 3,000 cases and 119 deaths. Employees will continue to be paid.
Despite the coronavirus and stay-at-home orders, the New Mexico Lottery saw a bump in sales of retail scratch-off tickets. However, residents are spending less overall, so the lottery expects a dip in fiscal-year revenues.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery posted a record $49.5 in total revenue for April, up from $43.9 million in 2019, according to state data. The bump was attributed in part to the March closure of the state’s casinos in West Memphis, Hot Springs and Pine Bluff.
BMM Testlabs has announced the appointment of Julian Borg-Barthet (l.) as vice president of iGaming Business Development. He will be responsible for generating and retaining all iGaming business for BMM, as well as identifying new opportunities.
The Las Vegas company that invented self-cleaning slot partitions is now developing technology to make table games safer. Smith Rosen Gaming, creator of partitions to ensure social distancing on the slot floor, has also created the Reverse Oxygen Yoke (ROY), which absorbs airborne particles that keep players from potentially transmitting illness.
Sands China Ltd., the Macau subsidiary of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., has launched a new program, “Sands SafeStay,” to protect workers and visitors at its Macau resorts including the Venetian (l.). Enhanced health and safety measures include more contactless services.
Greentube, a division of Novomatic Interactive, has signed a deal to share online casino content with gambling technology company Playtech. Titles will include Book of Ra Deluxe and Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe.
Fortuna Entertainment has completed migration of its Polish sportsbook onto the Playtech IMS platform, to optimize its omni-channel capabilities.
Scientific Games reported a net loss of $155 million for the first quarter of 2020, with officials reporting a plan to maintain liquidity during the industry shutdown through cost-cutting.
Gaming software supplier GAN reported that its U.S. initial public offering raised a total of $62.4 million, significantly more than had initially been projected.
FeedConstruct, which provides digital content, has signed a multi-year contract to be the official data and video partner of the Marbello Exhibition Series. It will live-stream the tennis series to licensed sportsbook operators all over the world.
The Phil-Asian Gaming Expo (PAGE) has postponed this year’s trade show until January 7-9, 2021. It was to have been held July 30-August 1 at Manila’s SMX Convention Centre and World Trade Center.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.