Ontario Casinos, Poised to Open, Appeal for Government Aid

Ontario casinos are just waiting for the green light to reopen and put people back to work. Paul Burns (l.), head of the Canadian Gaming Association, says they’re also hoping for a little help from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which pays out 75 percent of employee wages for 24 weeks.

It’s Time for G2E

The world’s most important gaming trade show and conference, Global Gaming Expo, is scheduled for early October. Should it be cancelled or delayed in the wake of Covid-19? GGB Publisher Roger Gros says G2E is needed now more than ever.

Caesars, MGM: Mask Almighty

Gaming giants Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, have made facial coverings mandatory for all visitors to their properties across the country. The state of Nevada has also ordered face masks to be worn in all public spaces, including casinos, following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Osaka Casino Timeline Unravels

Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui and Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura (l.)—who actually swapped jobs as part of their bid to bring an integrated resort to the prefecture—have put that plan on indefinite hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bias Alleged In Arkansas Casino License Vote

The Arkansas Racing Commission’s decision to award a casino license to Mississippi-based Gulfside Casino Partnership over Cherokee Nation Business of Oklahoma has sparked accusations of bias against Commissioner Butch Rice (l.). The matter has been referred to the state attorney general.

Beijing Outbreak Could Delay Loosening Border Restrictions

China’s Individual Visit Scheme, which is considered a linchpin of Macau gaming’s recovery from the Covid crisis, has been on hold since January. The industry was hoping the lucrative visa program would be restored by July. Now that’s up in the air.

In with the New: ANJ Takes Over as French Regulator

A new regulator has assumed oversight of the French gaming industry. L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), under Chairwoman Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin (l.) has replaced l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL).

California Sportsbook Legislation off Table Until 2022

California State Senator Bill Dodd has admitted defeat and pulled SCA 6, which sought to put a measure on the November ballot to approve of sports betting. The bill’s weakness: almost every gaming tribe opposed it. Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro (l.) called the bill a “sucker punch.”

Georgia Committee OKs Expanded Gambling

A Georgia House committee has voted 13-3 for a constitutional amendment allowing parimutuel betting, casino gambling and sports betting. Referendums will be held in each county. The bill’s sponsor is House Economic Development and Tourism Chairman Ron Stephens (l.). Meanwhile there was a twist in the state’s sports betting efforts.

Has Gambling on Esports Finally Arrived?

Could the ongoing sports void turn into a launchpad for betting on esports? These days, the idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Legal experts at Greenberg Traurig explain why the time is right.

Nevada OKs Cashless Transactions

The Nevada Gaming Commission last week approved several regulations that are the first steps toward a cashless wagering system. The first step was to remove a prohibition against the process. Chairman John Moran (l.) said it would “enhance the gaming experience.”

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Bloomberry Expects Delay in Philippines Resort

Enrique Razon Jr., head of Bloomberry Resorts Corp., expect delays in the construction of his second Philippines integrated resort, Solaire North. Razon says the IR likely will not be complete until late 2022 or early 2023—just in time for a “full economic recovery.”

Cambodian Casino Workers Ask for Help

Cambodian casino workers left out of a government program to help the unemployed are asking for a lifeline. A union representing employees of NagaWorld (l.) in Phnom Penh have been out of work since April 1.

Saipan Workers Protest, IPI Considers Bond Issue

Hundreds of Imperial Pacific International workers staged a walkout followed by protests on the streets of Saipan (l.), saying they have not been paid and are living in squalid d conditions in dormitories and at the construction site.

Emerald Bay Philippines to Be Complete in 2022

Dennis Uy’s PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. announced in a filing last week that it plans to complete construction of its Emerald Bay casino resort in Cebu in the first quarter of 2022. Hiring will begin in late 2021.

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U.K. Keeps Casinos Dark

As hotels and restaurants and other hospitality businesses re-open in the U.K., casinos, including London’s Hippodrome (l.), remain shuttered, much to the dismay of the industry. The trade group, Betting and Gaming Council calls the continued closure nonsensical as the industry has done its part in instituting protocols to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Caesars U.K. Will Close Casino in Southend

The Rendezvous Casino, one of three in the historic seaside resort, has been out of action as part of Covid restrictions in place across Britain. Caesars says it doesn’t believe the venue will be worth reopening once the restrictions are lifted.

Banner Year for Monaco’s SBM

Resort operator Société des Bains de Mer recorded an 18 percent jump in revenues in the latest financial year, despite losing a full month to the coronavirus pandemic. Robust growth in gaming win helped drive the increase.

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Bahamas Casinos to Reopen in July

Two casino resorts in the Bahamas will reopen next month. The Royal and Harbourside Resort on Paradise Island will be first, opening its doors July 7. The Cove Casino will follow on 14 July. Both are managed by Atlantis at Paradise Island Resort and Casino (l.).

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Michigan Senator Offers Early Online Gaming Bill

Michigan state Senator Adam Hollier (l.) has introduced Senate Bill 969, which would permit tribal and commercial casinos to offer online gaming before statewide regulations could be finalized. The Michigan Gaming Control Board said rules could be written by the end of the year.

Spin Games Granted PA iGaming License

Spin Games has been granted an interactive gaming manufacturer license in Pennsylvania, and has gone live with its first remote game server installation at the Parx Casino. CEO Kent Young (l.) says the approval expands the company’s North American footprint.

POGOs Back Online in Philippines

Eleven Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have been given the OK to resume operations. About 50 others still don’t have clearance to reopen, chiefly because of past-due taxes.

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New Jersey Sportsbooks Open with Casinos

Casinos will open in Atlantic City July 2, and with them, retail sportsbooks. But it’ll be weeks before Major League Baseball brings the first real competition since major sports ground to a halt in March. Will the books draw any business?

Sports Betting in Washington Requires New Compacts

It may take a while before sports bets come to Washington state. The state has legalized tribal-only sports wagering, but tribes must renegotiate their compacts before wagers begin. “We want the process to move as quickly as possible,” said Gambling Commission Director David Trujillo (l.)

In Illinois, Rivers First with Mobile Sports Betting

Rivers Casino (l.) in Des Plaines will be the first casino property in Illinois to go live with mobile sports betting, same as they were the first to take a bet in a retail sportsbook. Others will follow as the gaming board hands out more licenses. The launch comes as the NBA and MLB prepare to return to play.

First Michigan Tribal Casino Sportsbook Opens

Dacy’s Sportsbook became the first sportsbook to open in a Michigan tribal casino with its June 22 launch at Firekeepers Casino Hotel (l.) in Battle Creek. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi also topped off an expansion of their hotel, a second tower (l.) . The casino reopened June 1.

Oregon Casino Signs Deal for Sportsbook

Roar Digital, in conjunction with BetMGM, has agreed to operate the first sportsbook in an Oregon tribal casino. Spirit Mountain Casino (l.) in Grande Ronde is the state’s largest gaming property.

South Dakota Moves Towards Sports Betting

South Dakota’s Deadwood Gaming Association resumes campaign to educate residents to vote for the referendum to permit sports betting. The measure would largely benefit the casinos in Deadwood (l.), as well as tribal casinos in the state.

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Caesars-Eldorado One Step Closer

The approval by the Federal Trade Commission of the Eldorado Resorts buy of Caesars Entertainment means that only three more regulatory bodies need to heard from. The sale of Eldorado Shreveport (l.) and Lake Tahoe’s Montbleu was a condition of the OK.

Atlantic City Casinos to Open July 2

After being dark for more than three months, Atlantic City’s nine casinos can reopen starting July 2. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy limited capacity to 25 percent and required that all guests and employees wear face masks.

In New York, Commercial Gaming Still in Limbo

New York State is in the final phase of its return to business. Commercial casinos and racinos (Resorts World New York City at left), which have been closed since mid-March, are supposed to be part of the broad reopenings—or will be, eventually.

Rhode Island Town Leaves Casino Money out of Budget

The town of Tiverton, Rhode Island is having to do major surgery on its new budget in order to accommodate the fact that the Tiverton Casino (l.) has been unable to pay the town a share of its gaming profits. The casino has been closed since March.

Louisiana House Approves $83 Million Casino Tax Break

The Louisiana House has approved a proposed bill allowing the state's 15 riverboat casinos, Harrah’s New Orleans (l.) and four racinos to exempt $5 million in promotional credits from the state's 21.5 percent tax on gross gaming revenue.

Covid Reignites Pennsylvania VGT Debate

The need for restaurants and bars to recover after the Covid-19 shutdown has renewed the debate over legalizing VGTs in Pennsylvania. Senate President Pro Tem Joseph Scarnati (l.) has received major campaign contributions from VLT route operator Golden Entertainment, which would benefit from a change in the law.

NJ’s Monmouth Park Plans to Race—with Fans

Monmouth Park (l.) in New Jersey will allow 15,000 spectators for its racing meet, or a quarter of the total attendance at the track’s busiest day, at the GI Haskell Invitational in 2015.

Nebraska Casino Group Gathers Ballot Signatures

A group called Keep the Money in Nebraska needs 130,000 signatures by July 2 to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow slot machines and casinos in the state. Group spokesman Mike Newlin (l.) said Nebraskans have spent $8.8 billion gambling in Iowa over 25 years.

Illinois Senator Calls License Process ‘Ridiculous’

The Illinois Gaming Board's process for approving casino license applications is "ridiculous," says state Senator Dave Syverson (l.) of Rockford. While gaming board employees were "sitting around doing nothing," he said, they could have approved Rockford's application for a Hard Rock Casino.

Circa Las Vegas Vows Adults-Only Resort

The first ground-up casino to come to Downtown Las Vegas in decades will open in October with a ban on anyone under 21. Adults “need some mystique back in their lives,” the property said in announcing the policy.

Some Fans Allowed at New Mexico Track

Racing fans are being allowed at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino (l.) in New Mexico for the first time since the racino closed its doors on March 15. The facility opened for racing without spectators on Memorial Day weekend.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Connecticut’s Tribal Casinos Reopen With a Bang

Connecticut’s two tribal casinos including Mohegan Sun in Uncasville (l.) had a profitable first two weeks after reopening June 1. The two weeks were more profitable in terms of gaming than the same period in 2019.

Oklahoma Casinos Temporarily Close

In Oklahoma, a gaming employee infected with Covid-19 led to the temporary closures of the Sac and Fox Nation's Black Hawk Casino in Shawnee and Sac and Fox Casino (l.) in Stroud.

California Tribal Arena Delayed

The $250 million arena the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Band of Indians and its partner the Oak View Group want to build in downtown Palm Springs has been delayed launching by at least four months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The original date for groundbreaking was February 18.

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Virginia Lottery Online Games Start July 1

Virginians will be able to purchase online lottery tickets starting July 1. Mega Millions, Powerball and Cash4Life games will be offered plus a new instant game, Northern Wilds. Virginia Lottery sales declined 28 percent in March due to Covid-19. Virginia will become the ninth state with online lottery ticket sales.

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Wong Gets Another Year as Sands China President

The board of directors of Macau casino giant Sands China has voted unanimously to extend Wilfred Wong’s contract to 2024. The aim is to further the company’s “long-term growth and development,” the board said.

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Global Payments Tests VIP Mobility at OK Casino

Global Payments Gaming Solutions last week announced that the Downstream Casino Resort (l.) in Quapaw, Oklahoma has launched a successful pilot of VIP Mobility, a mobile solution that enables true cashless casino gaming.

SG OpenSports Sees Record Response at Ascot

Scientific Games has reported a record response to the Royal Ascot (l.) across its OpenSports platform, with bets up 44 percent over last year on the first day of the storied event, which included 36 races.

GameCo Signs Distribution Deal in Oklahoma

GameCo LLC has signed a distribution deal with Oklahoma-based distributor Dynamic Gaming Solutions that places its video-game gambling machines in the tribal casino market.

Rush Street Signs Little River Casino Resort

Rush Street Interactive, a sportsbook and online gaming supplier and operator, will provide the onsite retail sportsbook at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. Rush Street Interactive President Richard Schwartz (l.) says it gives the tribe access to online sports betting in the state and an online casino on approval.

Sega Sammy’s Virtua Fighter Installed in Hanoi

The first game by Sega Sammy Creations Inc. to be installed in Vietnam is a video slot entitled Virtua Fighter Battle Genesis. It was just installed in a gaming club inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hanoi.

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Reno Loses Last Link to Bill Harrah

Hundreds of workers laid off from Harrah’s Reno were promised jobs at other Caesars casinos after the venerable property was sold earlier this year. While it had deteriorated for years, the casino was the place the Harrah’s empire (now Caesars) started when the legendary Bill Harrah (l.) opened his first gaming hall.

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