Cordish Companies: Betting Big on PA

Cordish Companies’ Stadium Casino subsidiary is forging ahead with projects in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with both on target despite Covid-19 shutdowns. Joseph Billhimer (l.), senior vice president of Pennsylvania operations for Live! Casino Hotel, said he hopes the larger Philadelphia project, set to debut in early 2021, opens “in a post-Covid world.”

Casino Losses Pegged at $40 Billion Worldwide

With the worst pandemic in a century in its seventh month, the scale of its devastation on the casino industry is only now becoming clear. Gaming revenue this year will drop US$40 billion, according to Global Betting and Gaming Consultants. Principal Warwick Bartlett (l.) says casinos have proven “extremely adaptable” so far, but calls the future uncertain.

Stanley Ho and Community

The death of Stanley Ho marked the end of an era for sure. His “monopoly” of gaming in Macau was more than just business. Richard Schuetz explains how Ho was a community leader providing jobs and a social contract with his workers and their families. His funeral service (l.) brought out serious emotions.

AGA’s Miller To Congress: Repeal Sports Betting Tax

Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller (l.) reassured lawmakers that legal betting on college sports protects the integrity of young athletes, and also applauded a measure to end the federal excise tax on legal sports bets.

Featured Stories More

WEEKLY FEATURE: Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Against Governor

Rulings by the U.S. and Oklahoma Supreme Courts are expected to have a major impact on gaming tribes in the state. The U.S. court, in a 5-4 decision, essentially gave half the state to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation based on the tribe's historical claim. And the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) exceeded his authority negotiating new gaming compacts.

More Big Losses in Store for Macau’s Casinos

A Bloomberg poll of industry analysts points to an EBITDA loss for the second quarter of about US$1 billion. Things aren’t expected to meaningfully improve until China starts issuing visas for individual travel.

Canadian Casino Sale Collapses

The planned merger between Leisure Acquisition Corp. and Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. has collapsed. Leisure has pulled out of the $1.1 billion deal, which would have taken Gateway public.

Casino Measure Aims to ‘Keep the Money in Nebraska’

A group called Keep the Money in Nebraska has qualified three measures for the November ballot that collectively would authorize casinos in the Cornhusker State. Lance Morgan (l.), CEO of Ho Chunk Inc., said the goal is to keep Nebraska gamblers from crossing state lines.

Baseball Returns to Sportsbooks

Soccer’s back. So are the PGA Tour and the UFC. But nothing spells anticipation for sportsbooks than the return of the Big 4 sports. Baseball was the first out of the gate with a shortened season that began July 23, just ahead of the NBA and NHL.

Free Rounds for Jersey

The online sites of New Jersey’s Golden Nugget, Resorts and other operators are offering Free Rounds, a mainstay of traditional casino slot clubs, brought online as part of an overall package of player rewards called the OpenGaming Suite.

Vegas Is Back—and So Is Covid-19

The city is pacing a statewide surge in new cases of the potentially deadly contagion at rates that far exceed the national average and is seriously pressuring hospital capacity. Even the White House is concerned.

GVC Investigated by U.K. Taxing Authority

The U.K. taxing authority has launched an investigation of GVC Holdings for possible offenses related to its former ownership of a Turkish language online gaming site.

Tribe Breaks Ground on North Carolina Casino

The Catawba Nation has broken ground on a $300 million casino resort (l.) in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Interior Department approved the South Carolina-based tribe's land-trust application in March. Soon after, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, owners of two North Carolina casinos, filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Catawba's plans.

ASIAN GAMING More

Philippines Group Targets 2021 Opening in Cebu

PH Resorts Group Holdings, the gaming and hospitality arm of Philippines conglomerate Udenna Corp., is planning to open Phase 1 of its Cebu integrated resort, called Emerald Bay (l.) by the end of next year.

Singapore Casino Settles with High Roller

Marina Bay Sands (l.) in Singapore has reached a settlement with a high roller who claimed it transferred millions of dollars of his money to the accounts of other patrons without his authorization.

NagaCorp Resumes Mass Business

NagaCorp, operator of NagaWorld (l.) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was cleared July 19 to reopen full gaming operations, including mass market services, under Covid-19 health rules,. VIP gaming and slots started first, on July 8.

Visitation Rebounds at RW Malaysia

Malaysia’s Resorts World Genting (l.) has regained more than half its pre-Covid visitation levels, though it’s only been a few weeks since it reopened.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

U.K. Commission Probes Genesis Global

Genesis Global Ltd. has come under fire by the U.K. Gambling Commission for violations surrounding its license conditions. Few details are currently available, but the commission said Genesis may be “unsuitable.”

GLOBAL GAMING More

Russian Casino Reopens

On July 14, Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd., operator of the Tigre de Cristal casino (l.) near Vladivostok, Russia, was informed that it could reopen the property, the only casino yet to open in the Primorye gaming district

NZ Casino Group Gets $9.4M in New Payroll Subsidies

New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment Group has received an additional $9.4 million (US$6.2 million) in wage subsidies, for a total of $31 million. SkyCity has seen a decline in revenue of more than 40 percent, which made it eligible to receive the subsidies.

NSW Slams Betting Club in Player Suicide

New South Wales’ gaming regulatory body has ordered a veteran’s gambling club to pay AU$200,000 in fines for practices deemed to have contributed to a patron’s suicide. The man gambled more than $3.7 million dollars before taking his life.

ONLINE GAMING More

Report: iGaming Has Propelled Industry Growth

The global casino industry has nearly tripled over the last 20 years, according to research that shows the land-based and online industries were worth $130 billion in 2019, up from $50 billion in 2001. WinStar (l.) in Oklahoma is the biggest casino, at 600,000 square feet.

R.I. to Allow Mobile Sports Betting Registration

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (l.) has received a bill that would allow the state’s mobile sportsbooks to accept online player registrations. The bill is seen as necessary to propel online sports betting participation.

New York Finally Eyes Mobile Sports Betting

The New York Assembly is polling its members to gauge support for mobile betting legislation. The push comes amid the budget crunch resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (l.) says he has more than enough votes to approve the bill.

Ainsworth, ROAR Digital Launch Exclusive NJ Games

Ainsworth Game Technology and ROAR Digital LLC have partnered to launch a total of 20 exclusive online slot games on Party Casino in New Jersey. Players can now select titles like Rumble Rumble, The Enforcer, Roaring Reels, Twice the Money, Eagle Bucks and Thunder Cash.

Partypoker US Prepares for PA Launch

Partypoker US has released a software update for sites on its U.S.-facing network, with cosmetic changes to PartyPoker, Borgata Poker and BetMGM Poker.

iGaming on the Ropes in Philippines

The Philippines’ iGaming sector could have been beneficiary of shutdowns in Macau and elsewhere. But the $8 billion industry could become another pandemic casualty. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque (l.) warns that Covid-19 continues to spread in Metro Manila.

Indian iGaming Revenues Up

Indian gaming operator Delta Corp. posted a major uptick in online participation for the recent quarter. The company reported a 27.2 percent increase in its online skill games business.

iGaming Exec Detained in Taiwan

Hayato Kinoshita, founder of online gaming firm Ganapati, was recently detained by Taiwan police on gambling-related charges; meanwhile, Ganapati’s CEO says he’s no longer associated with the firm.

SPORTS BETTING More

Competitors Eye California’s Sportsbook Market

Although sports betting won’t be legal in California for at least two years, the market is attracting a flurry of interest from sportsbook operators. Brian Musburger (l.), founder of sports betting network VSiN, said the market “is going to be huge.”

NJ Track Close to Fixed-Odds Betting

Monmouth Park could become the first race track in the nation to offer bettors fixed-odds on races rather than the typical pari-mutuel. Under fixed-odds, the odds on a horse won’t change leading up to post time. The result is more revenue coming in.

Final Push To Legalize Massachusetts Sports Betting

Bay State lawmakers, urged on by sports clubs such as the Boston Red Sox, are trying to pass a sports betting bill before the legislature shuts down at the end of July. Such a bill is seen an economic recovery measure.

Betfred Arrives in Las Vegas

Betfred USA Sports has opened the first of what the company hope will be multiple sportsbooks in Las Vegas. Betfred will manage the sportsbook at Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels, the former Hard Rock Las Vegas. The venue should be ready to roll by the end of the year.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

Colorado Casinos Have Strong Reopening

Cripple Creek, Colorado, one of the state’s three casino towns, saw a strong first month after reopening in June. More customers showed up than anticipated to the town’s 12 casinos, more than in June of 2019.

Virginia Cities Move Closer to Casino Referendums

The Virginia Lottery Board has pre-certified casinos in Bristol (proposed Hard Rock at left), Portsmouth and Danville, paving the way for voter referendums November 3. The state previously OK’d casinos in five cities, including Richmond and Norfolk. Developers must invest a minimum of $300 million.

Louisiana Gaming Revenue Off 19.5 Percent

Louisiana’s 14 riverboat casinos, four racinos and Harrah’s New Orleans (l.) generated $164.4 million in June--down 19.5 percent from 2019. But according to Louisiana Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty, “We are bumping up against capacity limits, which is a good sign.”

Twin River Finalizes Buy of Kansas City Isle Of Capri

Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Missouri will become Casino KC next year. Twin River Worldwide Holdings recently closed on its $61 million acquisition of the market's lowest-performing property from Eldorado Resorts.

Deadwood Casinos Post Record June

Deadwood casinos were the earliest to reopen in South Dakota, on May 6. Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Rodman said the early reopening tapped into "some pent-up demand for gaming play," leading to an increase of 13.75 percent in June handle over June 2019.

Pennsylvania Casinos Look at Smoking, Drinking Amid Pandemic

Pennsylvania casinos and lawmakers are re-examining how to treat smoking and drinking on gaming floors amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. State Rep. Dan Frankel (l.) has introduced legislation to repeal the casino industry’s exemption to Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

Rivers Philadelphia Reopens

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, formerly SugarHouse (l.), in the city’s Fishtown section, reopened Friday, July 24, with self-imposed restrictions that go beyond state requirements.

Massachusetts Union Asks for Health Benefit Extension

Unions representing employees of the MGM Springfield Casino (l.) in Massachusetts are asking MGM to extend health benefits for furloughed employees until the end of the year. They are set to expire on August 31 and a large percentage of the casino’s workforce still haven’t returned to their jobs.

Culinary Backs Off Suing MGM

The union representing Las Vegas casino workers had taken gaming giant MGM to court over an alleged lack of safety procedures at MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Local 226 Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline (l.) said two sides have since agreed to submit the issue to arbitration.

Judge Dismisses Sexual Harassment Suit Against Wynn Resorts

A judge has ruled that nine plaintiffs, manicurists and makeup artists at Wynn Las Vegas failed to support their claims that the company failed to protect them from harassment by former chairman Steve Wynn (l.). But in voiding the suit, the judge left it open for the women to revise their case.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Feds Approve New Osage Nation Casinos

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the Osage Nation’s applications for land to be taken into trust for new casinos in Bartlesville and Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Oregon Tribes Clash Over Salem Casino

Two Oregon tribes are at odds over plans by one of them, the Siletz Indians, to build a casino in Salem. The Grand Ronde tribe, which operates the nearby Spirit Mountain casino (l.), claims the plan would violate the purpose of Indian gaming.

Covid-19 Cluster Detected At Harrah's Cherokee

A Covid-19 cluster—defined as a minimum of five cases in a shared environment during the same time period—was identified at Harrah's Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina. The employees worked in the table games area. The casino reopened on May 28 at 30 percent capacity with new health and safety protocols.

Wyoming Casinos Delay Reopening

Two casinos in Wyoming—the Wind River (l.) in Riverton and the Little Wind in Ethete—have postponing their planned reopenings due to safety concerns associated with Covid-19.

California Tribe Moves Ahead on Casino

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is moving forward with plans to open the Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City (l.) before the end of the year. It scheduled a job fair aimed at hiring 500 employees.

Two California Casinos Go Smokeless

Soboba Casino Resort and Casino Morongo Resort & Spa, both tribal casinos in California have banned smoking anywhere indoors. The action was taken as a safety measure, and may be temporary.

LOTTERY More

Georgia, Tennessee Lotteries Post Record Profits

Despite the impact of Covid-19, the Georgia and Tennessee lotteries both posted record profits for fiscal 2020, ending June 30. The state of Georgia received $1.24 billion for the Hope Scholarship program, and Tennessee received $1.84 billion, the highest since the lottery began in 2004.

Critics Blast U.K. Lottery Over Teen Play

Camelot Group, the company that runs the U.K. National Lottery, has come under fire for the amount of money teenagers spend on tickets. I 2017-18, teens bought £47 million worth of instant-win and scratch-off tickets.

PEOPLE More

Lipparelli Approved to Manage Las Vegas Casino

Pending the Nevada Gaming Commission’s OK, a company headed by Mark Lipparelli, former chairman of the state Gaming Control Board will take over casino operations at the off-Strip Westgate. Lipparelli plans to bolster the management team with well-known industry veterans.

Browne Replaces Brown as IPI Head

Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International has appointed Donald Browne, its senior vice president since 2015, as the new CEO, succeeding Mark Brown (l.).

Gaming Execs Form Covid Consulting Compliance Group

Gaming veterans Perry Stasi and David Schugar (l.) have founded Assure-Bet LLC. The new firm will help casinos comply with Covid requirements and form best practices to keep employees and customers virus free.

GOODS & SERVICES More

APE Installs Spintec ETGs in Vietnam

Asia Pioneer Entertainment has installed 50 Spintec electronic table games featuring roulette and baccarat at the Club99 Furama Resort Danang in Vietnam.

Novomatic Among Most Valued Brands in Austria

On July 1, the Austrian Brand Value Study’s 2020 edition was released. For first time, Novomatic ranked second place among most valued brands, behind winner Red Bull and ahead of Swarovski. The rankings are compiled by the European Brand Institute.

Texas Lottery Prints Numbers on Receipt Paper

The Texas Lottery is offering first-in-the-nation lottery numbers that can be printed on the receipt generated by a tax register. Customers can buy Powerball and Mega Millions “in-lane.”

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

SBC Digital Summit Now Free to Attend

SBC has announced that its SBC Summit Barcelona Digital 2020, to be held September 8-11, will now be free to help the gaming industry adapt to the challenges presented by the coronavirus.

NUTSHELL More

THEY SAID IT More

Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.