In this special edition of the GGB Podcast, we sit down with Mike Larson, a project director for JCJ Architecture, on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the shape of the casino floor and the future of resort design.
For Singapore, viral outbreaks are nothing new, and safety measures to contain them are ingrained in the culture. For those reasons and others, the gaming market there may return to profitability sooner than many in the West, says gaming consultant Andrew Klebanow. And Marina Bay Sands (l.) and Resorts World Sentosa are already adding billions of dollars in attractions.
The women of gaming can have no better role model than the famous Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement. The slow pace of change in the gaming industry as pertains to women can be influenced by more vocal opposition to the status quo.
Can casinos use existing loyalty and surveillance systems to identify infected customers and trace the chain of contact? Casino surveillance expert Willy Allison (l.) explains best practices, and possible limitations.
Looking at Florida and Texas as guideposts, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has postponed the resumption of indoor dining in New Jersey, throwing a wet blanket on casinos, which started reopening on July 2. No indoor dining was permitted in the hotel and no drinking at all on the casino floors were just the start. All casinos (Ocean casino at left) offered visitors ways to stay healthy.
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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (l.) has signed legislation to lower taxes on revenue from a proposed downtown Chicago casino. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had lobbied to reduce the “onerous” tax, which a consultant said would scare off investors.
Tilman Fertitta (l.), owner of Golden Nugget Casinos, has announced he will take the online gaming portion of his company public. The new company, will be called Golden Nugget Online Gaming (CNOG) and worth $745 million.
A Japanese government minister says the country’s integrated-resort licensing process may be stalled due to the coronavirus. Kazuyoshi Akaba (l.) said the central government is “endeavoring to confirm whether there will be any problems” for local governments to apply by July 2021.
The U.K. government left casinos out of the mix when it developed its strategy to get back to business. Other leisure and hospitality businesses have opened. So have bingo halls. But casinos are still closed, and operators like Rank Chief Executive John O’Reilly (l.) are frustrated.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) agreed to authorize sports betting as part of the renegotiation of compacts for two tribes. The move rubbed the legislature the wrong way. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments to decide who’s right.
Rhode Island’s Twin Rivers has closed on its purchase of two casinos previously owned by Eldorardo Resorts, Isle of Capri Kansas City (l.) and Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The acquisition is latest step in ongoing portfolio diversification strategy.
Online gaming giant DraftKings has found a way to legally circumvent an law that gives retail casinos a leg up on sports betting in Illinois. DK has partnered with Casino Queen (l.) to provide both mobile and retail betting, for a cut of the revenues.
International Game Technology has streamlined its business and leadership under a new organizational structure to “create a stronger, more focused IGT,” according to CEO Marco Sala (l.).
Call it the house that gaming built: On June 30, Chehalis Tribal Enterprises in the Pacific Northwest opened a $20 million brewery, distillery and restaurant funded by the tribe’s successful casino enterprise, Lucky Eagle (l.).
Will you win or lose money in this current, crazy environment? It may depend less on what you buy than when you buy it. Unfortunately, it also depends on the virus.
This week, the GGB Podcast brings Rick Arpin, the managing partner of the Las Vegas office for KPMG, on how the industry in Las Vegas and beyond is going to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Metro Manila area of the Philippines will remain under quarantine until mid-July, on orders from President Rodrigo Duterte (l.). The capital is home to the Entertainment City casino zone.
Genting Cruise Lines will relaunch its Dream Cruises brand with two- and three-night “Taiwan Island-Hopping” itineraries starting at the end of July. Explorer Dream (l.) has received the world’s first certification in infection prevention for the marine industry, Genting says.
In an all-out survival bid, South Korean gaming operator Paradise Co. has begun a series of cost-cutting measures, including placing more executives on furlough and closing down operations at key facilities including Wonder Box (l.).
Kangwon Land (l.) in South Korean is expected to resume operations July 6. The resort, closed since February 23, has pushed back the reopening date several times due to fluctuations in Covid-19 cases.
The government of Greece last month gave the all-clear for a number of leisure and hospitality venues to resume business, including clubs, casinos, cinemas and other facilities. (Casino Loutraki at left
Scottish bookmakers have complained about reopening rules that prohibit customers from doing much more than placing a bet and leaving. Chairs have been allowed, to prevent punters from having a seat.
SkyCity Adelaide reopened for business on June 29, with hours reduced and visitation limited to members. Its multimillion-dollar expansion, EOS (l.), is ongoing. Star Entertainment casinos in Queensland and New South Wales also have reopened, with restrictions.
Loto Quebec will begin reopening the province’s casinos July 16, but at the same time institute layoffs, as the properties will operate with greatly reduced capacities.
As Michigan lawmakers accelerate efforts to legalize online gaming, interstate player pools for poker have become an important element of the legislation. “I can’t imagine anyone’s opposed to this,” says state Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (l.), one of the bill’s sponsors.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (l.) has signed legislation to remove the 20 percent excise tax on sportsbook stakes. That tax prompted operators Sportpesa and Betin to exit the market.
Despite financial struggles, Betsson has inked a deal to enter the online sports betting market in the U.S. next year.
A California parent has sued Apple in a class action complaint targeting the “loot box” mechanisms Apple sells through its App Store. The parent claims loot boxes constitute a form of illegal gambling.
Now that sports wagering has been approved by Washington legislators, several gaming tribes are renegotiating their compacts to add the amenity. Meanwhile, commercial casinos are contemplating a legal challenge. Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson (l.) says he’ll file suit to challenge the tribal monopoly.
Scientific Games and Caesars Entertainment have extended their digital sports betting partnership as Major League Baseball and other sports prepare to return.
Kambi Group Plc. has entered a partnership agreement with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians to provide its sports betting platform to the tribe’s Four Winds Casinos.
FeedConstruct has landed an exclusive deal to provide sports data to sportsbooks and video streaming rights for the Ukrainian Association of Football.
Oregon’s Spirit Mountain Casino has partnered with Roar Digital LLC to operate a BetMGM sportsbook at the property, which is owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.
The Massachusetts legislature last week approved a bill reauthorizing horse racing and simulcast wagering for another year, to July 2021. It awaits Governor Charlie Baker’s (l.) signature to make it law.
Lawmakers tried to approve sports betting in Georgia, but in the end the legislature didn’t act in time to trigger a referendum. Rep. Ron Stephens (l.) said the bets would have generated up to $60 million a year for the state.
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are pushing to legalize so-called “skill games” and VLTs in bars and restaurants before the legislature adjourns for the summer. State Senator Robert Tomlinson (l.) says legalizing the games is akin to “rewarding bad behavior.”
Illinois’s 10 casinos reopened July 1 after a three-month shutdown due to Covid-19. Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter (l.) said the governor’s office and the state Department of Public Health collaborated on “a gaming resumption process that protects the public health.”
Detroit casinos are preparing to reopen soon, though no official date has been handed down by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.). MGM Grand Detroit Casino, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino closed on March 23; meanwhile, most tribal casinos in the state have opened.
As of July 1, casino gambling became legal in Richmond, Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia. But before any casinos can be built, voters in those locales must approve casino gambling in the November 3 election. Sports betting also became legal on July 1.
Awaiting the go-ahead to reopen from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Encore Boston Harbor, the largest casino in the state, announced furloughs for 3,000 workers.
Rhode Island’s two casinos, which reopened in June with slots-only gaming floors, added table games—and expanded their hours of operation—on June 30.
Torch Electronics, which places gambling machines in gas stations and bars in Missouri, recently gave $90,000 to a political action committee connected to lobbyist Steve Tilley, an ally of Governor Mike Parson (l.). Torch has also contributed $20,000 to Parson's PAC since 2018.
Luxor Hotel Las Vegas re-opened its HyperX Esports Arena (l.) for game competition. The hotel took considerable steps to make the game area is safe and clean, with players and others practicing social distancing, using hand sanitizer and requiring gloves.
The small casino town of Central City, Colorado, has big plans to recreate itself as an arts and culture destination. Those plans have smashed full on into the effects of the pandemic.
Navajo Nation casino facilities will remain closed until July 27 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, extending the executive order issued by President Jonathan Nez (l.) and Vice President Myron Lizer.
When Mohegan Sun reopened after more than three months following the Covid-19 shutdown, the customer profile had changed a bit. Casino officials discovered patrons were willing to drive farther to get there than before.
Two Washington tribes are suing their insurance providers, claiming they didn’t cover financial losses suffered when their casinos were closed due to the coronavirus.
Kentucky Lottery Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Gibbs said people played the lottery while "opportunities for discretionary spend were limited," leading to strong May sales. In fact, May sales of $132.1 million were $33.7 million and 31.9 percent higher than budgeted.
Due to Covid-19, West Virginia Lottery revenue in May fell 67 percent to $28.5 million, compared to projections of $86.5 million, according to Lottery Director John Myers. But limited video lottery, which reopened May 30, has averaging $1.5 million daily ever since, three times the pre-virus level.
Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming have tapped veteran entertainment executive Keith Sheldon as president of entertainment. His job is to bring the company back from the chaos caused by the coronavirus, which forced the closures of all casinos and their showrooms.
Scientific Games has named Eileen Moore Johnson, a longtime executive of Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas, as the company’s new chief human resources officer.
Full House Resorts announced last week that it has appointed Eric J. Green and Michael P. Shaunnessy to the company’s board of directors. Full House owns and operates gaming facilities throughout the United States.
Loren Gill, chief executive officer for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Southern California, has left his position; no reason was given for his departure, which leaves CFO Laurens Vosloo as interim CEO.
Sharon Anne Harrington, who served as vice-chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission for 11 years, has retired, leaving a vacancy on the three-member body.
San Diego County’s Jamul Casino has announced the promotion of Benjamin Petell to be vice president of non-gaming operations. He previously ran the casinos’ food and beverage operation.
Mesquite Gaming, owner of CasaBlanca and Virgin Rivers Casinos in Nevada, has promoted Christian Adderson to the position of assistant general manager. He has worked for the company for 15 years.
Hired to get sports betting off the ground in Tennessee, Jennifer Roberts has resigned before the first bet was placed, taking a position with video-game gambling firm GameCo.
Barstool Sports will unveil its new sports betting app in time for the NFL season in September. In an interview with Fox Business, CEO Erika Nardini said the former blogging company will develop brick and mortar sportsbooks at Penn National casinos in the U.S.
Gaming Arts has launched the Dice Seeker family of slot games and the Casino Wizard family of electronic table games at casinos in four states.
TCSJohnHuxley is helping casinos across the African content reopen safely with products including Play Safe Shields for table games and chip sanitization products.
Comtrade Gaming will integrate its game-to-system (G2S) protocol stack for gaming machines into slots produced by Euro Games Technology.
U.K. Sportsbook William Hill will merge its online and retail; divisions in hopes it will help recovery post-Covid.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom