Another Sign of the New Normal Free Parking on the Strip

When MGM reopens its Las Vegas Strip properties, it will do so without the parking fees it’s charged for years. Caesars has started to do the same. Observers see it as a sign that consumers, not resorts, are back in the driver’s seat, and business as usual won’t cut it anymore.

The Big Countdown: Derek Stevens On the Reopening of Las Vegas

Las Vegas casino owner Derek Stevens believes in the future of Las Vegas, and put his money where his mouth is, offering thousands of free flights to the city’s official reopening. Stevens talked to GGB News about the market’s downturn and anticipated comeback, starting Thursday, June 4.

Why Some Casinos Are Reopening Smoke-Free

When U.S. casinos began to reopen last week, some that once accommodated cigarette use had shifted to smoke-free. In light of Covid-19—a respiratory disease—could this this the start of a new trend? Is it an opportunity for casinos to take this step?

‘Casino King’ Stanley Ho, Father of Macau Gaming, Dead at 98

Stanley Ho, who went from riches to rags and back, and founded a gaming dynasty in Macau, died May 26 in Hong Kong. He was 98. Ho built Macau’s gaming industry into the most important in the world, and became a billionaire in the process. Ho's legacy includes passing on his expertise and fortune to several of his wives and children.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: DOJ Tells iLotteries No Wire Act Prosecutions, Promise!

The U.S. Justice Department says state lotteries that offer online sales don’t have to worry that it will prosecute them for violating the Wire Act of 1961. Even so, the DOJ is fighting a court case that seeks to overturn an opinion that says prosecuting such cases is within its power.

More Casinos Open Across the U.S.

By Monday, June 1, it’s expected that almost half of the almost 1,000 casino that closed during the Covid-19 pandemic will have reopened. But there’s still a long way to go as several states are nowhere near ready to get started again with their struggling casinos. Foxwoods (l.) and Mohegan Sun opened in Connecticut las weekend over the objections of the governor.

Survey: Macau High-End Still Gambling Big

A privately conducted poll of more than 100 visitors, most of them deep-pocketed Chinese from the mainland, indicates high rollers are staying longer at casino resorts (Galaxy Macau VIP room at left), and gambling and spending at the hefty pace of old.

U.K. Betting Shops Get Reopening Date

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (l.) has unveiled plans to reopen most of the retail gaming sector by June 15, bookmakers included. The industry was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but with safety measures in place, shops can go back into business in time for major sporting events.

Lawmakers Pass Chicago Casino Bill

In a special session, Illinois legislators approved a measure allowing a casino in Chicago. The bill now awaits Governor J.B. Pritzker's signature. It's a victory for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (l.), who lobbied to lower the original tax structure—which a feasibility study called "onerous"—to attract developers.

California Sports Betting Compromise?

Last week California Senator Bill Dodd (l.) and Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced their long-awaited sports betting bill that would permit sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks, but not at cardrooms. But cardrooms would be allowed to continue the third-party table game banking that currently is being challenged by the tribes in court.

Sports Betting Giants Strike Deals for Early Illinois Entry

FanDuel will tie its fate to Fairmount Racetrack (l.), while DraftKings will work with an unidentified casino. In both cases, the moves offers quicker access to the Illinois sports betting market. In addition to avoiding a long waiting period to gain entry as a mobile-only sportsbook, the two giants get to cut in half the application fee.

AC Casinos Struggle to Open, Workers Line Up at Food Bank

The plight of Atlantic City casinos in the coronavirus era has been matched by the generosity of many, casinos included. The industry is stepping up to provide food for jobless employees, and working to establish safety parameters that Governor Phil Murphy (l.) will accept to reopen.

Scientific Games Launches ‘Contactless’ Gaming Solutions

Scientific Games is introducing a suite of “contactless gaming solutions” to aid in a safe return to business for casinos reopening after the Covid-19 shutdown. Matt Wilson (l.), gaming group chief executive, said the products provide a “fun, engaging” experience that is also safe.

ASIAN GAMING More

Could Saipan Casino Close for Good?

Imperial Pacific International, which operates the sole casino resort (l.) on the island of Saipan, says it may be forced to close it permanently if it doesn’t get more time to settle a lawsuit filed by its contractor.

MGM China Secures Fresh Credit

The Hong Kong-listed operator of two Macau casinos has opened a new revolver good for HK$2.34 billion with an option to increase it to $3.9 billion. The funds are intended to bolster working capital needs while the Covid crisis continues to batter the market.

Singapore Shutdown Continues

Singapore’s two casinos, Resorts World Sentosa (l.) and Marina Bay Sands, will remain closed beyond June 1, according to the local Casino Regulatory Authority. Most other businesses in the city-state can resume operations on June 2.

Silver Heritage Lender Appoints Receivers

The lender for Hong Kong-based gaming company Silver Heritage Group has appointed receivers to “ensure continuation of the underlying business while strategic options are being explored.” Silver Heritage runs the Tiger Palace Bhairahawa (l.) and Millionaire’s Club and Casino in Nepal.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

Spain Regulator Spells Out Reopening Guidelines

Spain’s DGOJ has issued new guidelines for gaming halls about to reopen. According to one requirement, no Spanish gambling venue may resume business that does not have “direct access to public roads.”

Swedish Gaming Numbers Down for Q1

Swedish gaming operators reported a slight decrease in revenues for the first quarter of 2020—SEK5.90bn (US$613.3 million), down 1.4 percent from 2019. Land-based properties like Casino Cosmopol in Stockholm (l.) were down more than 16 percent.

GLOBAL GAMING More

Casino Lockdown Saves Aussie Gamblers Billions

The pandemic-related lockdown of gaming venues in Australia has saved residents $1 billion a month, according to Tony Mohr (l.), of the country’s Alliance for Gambling Reform. Australians lose more money per capita to gambling than people in any other country.

Quebec Lifeline Could Keep Cirque at Home

The provincial government of Quebec has offered a loan of up to $200 million to the Cirque du Soleil troupe, the Las Vegas institution that’s been shut down with the casino industry.

ONLINE GAMING More

West Virginia Expects iGaming By July

West Virginia recently approved emergency rules for online gaming, meaning it could be available by July, according to Lottery Commission head John Myers (l.). The law allows each land-based venue to offer three platforms, or skins.

SPORTS BETTING More

U.K. Sportsbooks Receive Refunds in Tax Case

A ruling by the upper tax tribunal that the taxing authorities overcharged sportsbooks in the U.K. will mean a windfall for companies like William Hill and GVC. Together these companies alone could reclaim up to £350 million from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Brazil Officials at Odds Over Sports Restart

President Jair Bolsonaro (l.) wants to resume sports activities in his country despite the rising number of coronavirus cases of late. Top soccer clubs plan to move training from Rio to Brasilia to avoid the opposition from Rio’s Mayor Marcelo Crivella. The teams see this as a way to continue playing without interference.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

Virginia Council Endorses Hard Rock

In a unanimous vote, the city council in Bristol, Virginia endorsed Hard Rock International as the preferred casino operator. The sole developer to propose a casino, Hard Rock has proposed a casino resort at the former Bristol Mall location. The Portsmouth city council also endorsed Rush Street Gaming to develop a casino there.

U.S. Assets Buoy Century During Downturn

New revenues from new acquisitions in the United States, including West Virginia’s Mountaineer Casino (l.), helped to almost double first-quarter revenues for Century Casinos, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boyd Warns of Impending Layoffs

Boyd Gaming has sent out a letter to employees warning of impending layoffs and uncertainty about reopening. The letter was signed by human resources executive Chris Smith.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Massachusetts Tribe Could Lose Casino—and Everything Else

The Mashpee Wampanoags are fighting an attempt by the U.S. Interior Department to rescind the trust status protecting their tiny reservation in southeastern Massachusetts. The tribe has tried for years to develop a casino on the 321-acre site. The battle now is for its survival.

Oklahoma Governor, Tribes Make Their Case

Attorneys for Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) and nine tribes suing him presented documents in federal court explaining why the judge should rule in their favor in the ongoing gaming-compacts battle. Stitt said the compacts expired January 1 and tribes claim they automatically renewed.

Judge Rules Against Tribes Over Electronic Pulltabs

Several Minnesota tribes sued the state Gambling Control Board, claiming electronic pulltabs violated their gaming exclusivity rights. But Judge Barbara Case (l.) ruled that the games, offered by charitable groups in bars, lack spinning wheels, the key element of slot machines.

Eastern Band Loses Suit Over Catawba Casino

A federal judge denied the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the Interior Department from taking land into trust in Kings Mountain, North Carolina for a Catawba Indian Nation casino. Catawba Chief Bill Harris lamented the continued efforts by the Eastern Band, saying his tribe is doing it by the book.

Oregon Tribe Plans 111-Room Hotel

Oregon’s Coquille Indian Tribe has announced plans for a 111-room Hotel of the Cedars to be adjacent to its previously announced Cedars at Bear Creek Casino in Medford, along the Pacific Highway. A request to put the land into trust is pending with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Judge Says Fort Sill Apache Can’t Build Casino in New Mexico

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle has upheld a previous ruling by the National Indian Gaming Commission that the Oklahoma-based Fort Sill Apache Tribe may not operate a casino on land it owns in New Mexico. The tribe had gone to court to try to overturn that ruling.

Navajo Casinos in New Mexico Won’t Reopen Until June

The Navajo Nation, one of the tribes hardest hit areas by the Covid-19 outbreak, has announced that it will not reopen its three casinos in New Mexico until June 7 at the latest. Most of the reservation remains under a stay-at-home order.

LOTTERY More

Hoosier Lottery Celebrates 30 Years

Indiana's Hoosier Lottery turns 30 this year and is celebrating with a variety of campaigns and tributes. Since it began, the lottery has paid out $13.9 billion in prizes, generated $6 billion for the state and established a network of more than 4,300 retailers.

NASCAR Signs Deal for Lottery Game

EquiLottery Games has signed an agreement to develop a draw lottery game tied to NASCAR Cup Series races. “NASCAR Racing Riches” could be ready by 2021. But the game company will launch a similar lottery “Win Place Show” based on horse races in Kentucky in August.

In Denmark, Lottery Compensates for iGaming Dip

Danish gaming operator Danske Spil has posted a slight increase in year-on-year revenues for the first quarter. The 0.8 percent gain saw iGaming down, DFS up, and lottery contributing its share.

PEOPLE More

BMM Names Service Delivery Director

BMM Testlabs has named Patricia Garcia (l.) as associate director of service delivery for BMM Spain, overseeing lab services for the country’s gaming industry.

Digital Chain Founder Plans Exit

Iryna Kurochinka (l), founder and CEO of Digital Chain, an award-winning marketing firm for the iGaming industry, has announced she will step down on July 1.

PMU President Méheut Resigns

Bertrand Méheut (l.), president of French betting operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain, resigned his post on May 26. The firm has begun to search for his replacement.

Landing Directors to Resign

Landing International Development Ltd. has announced that two non-executive directors will resign “to devote more time to personal commitments.” The departures of Bao Jinqiao and Li Mingfa will leave the board short of members.

GOODS & SERVICES More

MGA Licenses More from BetConstruct Gaming Suite

Five installments from BetConstruct’s Gaming Suite have received Type 1 licenses from the Malta Gaming Authority. The new products include the popular dice game Farkle, the multiplier game Blast, and prediction games Striker and Big Hi-Lo.

IGT Introduces Cashless Gaming In Sweden

IGT has launched cashless gaming technology at Svenska Spel locations throughout Sweden. Its Intelligen systems with IGTPay will allow consumers to deposit funds from mobile devices.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

IAGR Postpones Regulator Conference to 2021

The International Association of Gaming Regulators is postponing its “Disrupting the Regulator” conference from this September to September 2021, due to Covid-19 concerns.

NCPG Announces Changes for 2020 Conference

The National Council on Problem Gambling has announced changes to its 2020 national conference, splitting the program into two groups to better safeguard against the Covid-19 virus.

SBC Digital Summit Unveils Agenda

SBC has unveiled the agenda, speakers and conference program for the SBC Digital Summit North America, which will take place online July 14-16.

LatAm Virtual Summit Coming in September

SiGMA Group has announced that it will present a virtual version of SiGMA LatAm this fall. The two-day digital summit will be held September 22-23, with 70 speakers on the agenda.

WILD CARD More

Philippine Police Bust Illegal Covid Hospital

The Philippine government has ordered mass testing of people working and living at a the Fontana casino resort (l.) in the Clark Freeport Zone following the discovery of an illegal hospital that served Chinese nationals.

NUTSHELL More

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