How will the design of casinos change now that Covid-19 has changed the world? Nick Schoenfeldt has first hand knowledge as he addresses necessary changes in the newest TBE project about to be debuted in a few months.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings has begun bringing back its seven casino properties closed by Covid-19. Marc Crisafulli (l.), executive vice president and president of Twin River’s two Rhode Island properties, said the return on slots and tables at the Biloxi casino exceeded last year’s and “proved there is pent-up demand.” Results elsewhere were mixed.
While no one expects gaming stocks to sink back to the frightening lows seen earlier this year, there’s not much for investors to rely on beyond the belief that things will get better eventually. In this case, “eventually” may be tabulated in years.
Delaware Park reopened the First State’s most strategically located racino to brisk business under restrictive conditions, with a plan that took care of employees while avoiding additional debt. Delaware Park President William Fasy (l.) explains how.
Industry veteran Frank McFadden (l.) has been named COO of the parent company of Macau casino concessionaire SJM Holdings. It’s a job he’s held before, without the title, and his return comes at a critical time for the operator that once dominated the world’s largest gaming market.
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A U.S. District judge has ruled for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior. The judge ruled that DOI erred when it found that the tribe does not qualify to put land into trust on its Massachusetts reservation. Meanwhile, Congressman Joe Kennedy III filed legislation that would protect all tribal lands held in trust.
Singapore is considering strengthening KYC protocols for casino customers following the revelation that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating anti-money-laundering regulations at Marina Bay Sands (l.)
Face masks. Social distancing standards. Reduced capacity on slot floors, at table games and in restaurants. Everyone knows the drill by now, but as casinos reopen across the U.S., each one is doing it a little differently. Las Vegas has been busier than expected, given that its main feeder, air travel, is still very low.
After more than two weeks with no new coronavirus cases, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (l.) has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions, including those placed on casinos. Only border restrictions remain in place.
Casinos in the U.K. are set to open July 4 so long as measures to control coronavirus exposure meet government standards. But Genting Casinos (Newcastle Upon Tyne location at left) may close three locations and lay off workers at others as cost-cutting measures.
Seven Illinois casinos, including Elgin’s Grand Victoria (l.), were granted sports betting licenses last week by the state Gaming Board. The move triggers the 18-month penalty box that DFS companies FanDuel and DraftKings will have to endure unless they make a deal with an existing casino or racetrack.
After legislators failed to approve an open-container law in Atlantic City, Mayor Marty Small got it done, at least for now. Small took advantage of the closure of casinos, bars and restaurants to issue an order making it legal to carry open containers of alcohol in designated tourism areas (l.).
The U.S. Interior Department has approved the controversial gaming compacts between Oklahoma and two so-called rogue tribes. Attorney General Mike Hunter called the decision "irresponsible." Otoe-Missouria Tribal Chairman John R. Shotton (l.) said it “welcomes in a new, modern era of tribal gaming.”
So far, reports from reopened casinos point to a slow but steady recovery—* as long as Covid-19 numbers continue to decline. It may take to the end of 2020 to confidently predict the industry’s future health.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Matt Sodl, Founding Partner and Managing Director, Innovation Capital
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Matt Sodl, the founding partner and managing director of Innovation Capital, on how casinos can borrow money to get through these tough times.
The head of the Philippines gaming regulator says the land-based casinos in Manila’s Entertainment City may resume operations by the end of June or July “at the very latest.” Andrea Domingo expressed her concern about the 132,000 people directly employed by the gaming industry.
Not surprisingly, tax collections in Macau have followed gaming revenues—all headed downward. The government’s take through the first five months is off more than 56 percent from the same period last year.
Malaysia’s Resorts World Genting, which was supposed to have reopened by now, looks to remain on lockdown for the immediate future. The government’s phased recovery plan does not yet include a reopening timeline for casinos.
So-called “loot boxes” in video games contain hidden rewards for players. The rewards cost money and the players, children included, don’t know what the boxes contain. Because of the crapshoot as to contents, U.K. officials may deem loot boxes as gambling products and regulate them.
Paddy Power and GVC timed the June 15 reopening of its betting shops in England and Ireland to coincide with the Royal Ascot races. Its shops in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland remained shuttered due to Covid-19.
Spanish football’s top league, La Liga, must eliminate all betting-related materials as part of the resumption of play. Eight clubs in the league will be affected.
Gateway Casinos isn’t rushing to reopen the Northern Ontario casinos it closed due to Covid-19. It’s also not rushing to resume construction of its new North Bay casino, which was supposed to open this year.
Buenos Aires’ Hipódromo de San Isidro (l.), a major Argentine racetrack, is planning to return to racing this month, and will present seven of the normally scheduled 14 races.
Shrinivas Naik, director of Casino Pride Goa (l.), a floating gaming hall in India, has appealed to the government asking for a lifeline for the country’s tourism industry—and that includes gambling boats like his.
The Shambala hotel and casino (l.), the second resort in Russia’s Primorye gambling zone, is expected to open this summer. It will join Tigre de Cristal, which opened in December 2015.
Playtika and DoubleDown Interactive are preparing initial public offerings, banking on the expectation that shutdowns due to the coronavirus will boost social gaming.
Online game development studio Evoplay Entertainment has reached a social casino deal with Ously Games, which will incorporate Evoplay games in its SpinArena social casino.
BetConstruct has been awarded an online gambling and betting license for casino and sportsbook products in Sweden through its B2C subsidiary Vivaro Ltd.
Live-game provider TVBET and sportsbook supplier Digitain are partnering to provide streaming content solutions to casino and sportsbook operators.
Michigan has become DraftKings’ seventh retail sportsbook state and its eighth mobile one. Through its new deal with a Michigan casino, the sportsbook giant joins three others in the state, including the Star Group, William Hill and PointsBet.
Lawmakers in Iowa have banned the use of credit cards to place bets on sporting events. Senator Tony Bisignano (l.) supported the measure, saying, “With a credit card, you can run a debt that can’t possibly be paid.”
Despite Covid-19, construction continues at the Hard Rock Casino (l.) in Gary, Indiana but the originally scheduled opening of December 31 is unlikely. The $300 million, 200,000-square-foot casino will offer 1,650 slots, 80 table games and a 2,000-seat entertainment venue.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small (l.) told reporters last week that Carl Icahn, owner of the former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, has submitted plans and a timeline for demolition of the aging structure. The property has been vacant for almost six years.
Billionaire casino owner Phil Ruffin will not turn the shuttered Woodlands racetrack (l.) in Kansas City, Kansas into a racino. He's selling the property to an Indianapolis developer for a warehouse distribution center. Ruffin bought the venue for $15 million in 2015.
Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip has filed a Covid-19-related claim under a business interruption and property damage policy worth up to $1.18 billion. The insurer denied the claim, saying only cleanup costs of $100,000 might be covered.
A new TV spot from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority features a person throwing a switch that rekindles the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, then the rest of the resorts up and down the Strip. It ends with the words that say it all: “Now Open.”
Resorts World Las Vegas, slated to open on the Las Vegas Strip next summer, wants to build an underground people-mover to connect with the Elon Musk system (l.) under construction at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Across the street, Wynn Resorts has the same idea.
In an online meeting of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's (l.) study group on gambling, Poarch Creek Indian officials and commercial gambling operators said they're ready to resolve their differences and move gambling legislation forward in the state.
Letters of support for HR 759, which would allow two tribes in Texas to legally offer Class II gaming, such as the Naskila Entertainment City (l.) in Livingston, are piling up. A letter from Harrison County brings the number to more than 60.
California gaming tribes are demanding more time to gather signatures for a ballot measure that would legalize sports bets at tribal casinos. Their effort was stopped in March by Covid-19 pandemic; Chumash tribal chairman Kenneth Kahn (l.) said the June 20 deadline is an “impossible burden.”
A Kansas tribe is suing the U.S. Treasury over the formula it uses to disburse CARES Act funds to tribes. The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation filed for an injunction to stop further disbursements under the formula, which it says grossly undercounted its membership numbers.
The city council of the Oregon coastal town of Coos Bay last week voted not to ask the Coquille Indian Tribe to pay tourism funds for the upcoming quarter. The tribe hasn’t been able to operate its Mill Casino-Hotel for nearly three months due to Covid-19.
According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke are key risk factors for susceptibility to more severe Covid-19 symptoms. ANRF is lobbying for smoke-free casinos across the board in the U.S.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (l.) has named Lt. Col. Mike Noel the new chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. He replaces Ronnie Jones, who was not reconfirmed by state senators in a surprise move. Noel has worked for the state police for three decades.
Ronald Bauman has been granted an initial key employee license by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission as regional president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment’s three Atlantic City properties.
Bluberi has named industry veteran Casey Whalen chief commercial officer in an expansion of the company’s executive leadership team as it grows market share in North America.
After more than 50 years of working with architectural firms and serving clients in the gaming industry, Linda J. Roe has retired from her role as vice president of client development at TBE Architects.
Hong Kong-listed Oshidori International Holdings has appointed former Tropicana Las Vegas CEO Alejandro Yemenidjian as a non-executive chairman and director, and CEO of the unit looking to land an IR license in Japan.
A Game Above, a North America customer experience marketing agency, has named Bill Pascrell III as president where he will be responsible for expanding the company’s efforts in the region.
Ray Lok has been appointed chief operating officer of VIP junket investor Meg-Star Group. Lok most recently held the title of chief advisor to Meg-Star.
The Sky Ute Casino Resort (l.) in Colorado has partnered with US Bookmaking, led by Hall-of-Fame sports book executive Vice Salerno, to debut a new mobile sports app, which allows betting statewide in Colorado.
IGT announced a deal to provide 1,250 historical racing machines to Churchill Downs, Inc., using a proprietary Ainsworth platform and player-favorite IGT game themes.
Global Payments Gaming Solutions introduces its VIP Financial Center, a full-service solution that provides convenient self-service TITO, bill breaking, e-check, ATM and cash advance capabilities to casino guests.
Gulfstream Park Casino in South Florida is the latest property to go live with Gaming Analytics.AI and its advanced artificial intelligence tools to improve decision-making, marketing and profitability.
The AGEM Index rose for a second straight month, with supplier stocks rebounding 63.52 points in April as global casino markets begin to reopen.
Win Systems has launched PlaySafe by Wigos, a set of modules within the Wigos casino management system designed to help casinos maintain social distancing and hygiene measures.
The U.K.-based Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and GamCare have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by accelerating the digital transformation of their education resources and using virtual classrooms to raise awareness of gambling related harms.
Pacific Sportswear has launched a line of soft custom branded masks called SofMask. The three-ply masks, developed for hotels, casinos, airlines and other leisure services, is washable and reusable.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.