When It Comes to Betting Limits, Colorado Casino Towns Want Home Rule

Local Choice Colorado has qualified a measure for the November ballot that would, if passed, give the state’s three gaming towns, Cripple Creek, Central City and Black Hawk, unilateral rights to raise betting limits and add games. The measure, says David Farahi (l.), CEO of Monarch Casino and Resort in Black Hawk, could make them more competitive in what could be a dog-eat-dog post-Covid era.

Monkey Knife Fight: Leveling the Field for DFS Players

Bill Asher, founder of fantasy sports site Monkey Knife Fight, has set out to tap the millions of average sports fans shut out by traditional DFS. He talked to GGB News about the site's explosive growth and how he’ll reach the goal line in the Covid era.

Gambling Is Back—and Gaming May Never Be the Same

Capacity’s slashed, amenities are few, yet regional markets are doing all right. That’s because their core of high-value players don’t really care about mask requirements, non-gaming options and all the other stuff. And it just might stay this way, analyst Barry Jonas reflected. Boyd Gaming President Keith Smith (l.) says the spend of high-value players is up significantly.

New York Casino Owner Wants Facetime with Cuomo

Jeff Gural (l.), owner of Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs in New York State, says he needs just a few minutes with Governor Andrew Cuomo to convince him that racetracks and commercial casinos must reopen—now.

Las Vegas Faces Uphill Battle to Recovery

In a nation reeling from a pandemic that shows few signs of letting up, Las Vegas’ greatest strengths—as a tourism and convention destination—have suddenly become its greatest weaknesses. Air traffic through McCarran International (l.) through June is less than half the levels seen in 2019.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Judge Sides With Tribes In Oklahoma Dispute

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt lost a major legal battle as a U.S. District Court judge ruled tribal gaming compacts in the state did not expire January 1, but automatically renewed. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Stitt overstepped his authority negotiating two new compacts. Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman Matthew Morgan (l.) was pleased that the court affirmed the tribes’ position.

Macau: Casinos Will Close If Virus Resurfaces

The Macau Health Bureau has warned that casinos in the city could close again if new Covid-19 cases erupt. Macao Government Tourism Office Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (l.) said new cases could also lead to the suspension of visas.

New Casino to Open in Russia’s Primorsky Territory

Phase 1 of the second casino resort in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone will open sometime this summer. Shambala Casino (l.) will be the second gaming hall in the territory, joining Suncity’s Tigre de Cristal, which debuted in 2015.

U.S. Companies Re-Thinking Japan

Sheldon Adelson (l.), chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., says he may reconsider his withdrawal from Japan's integrated resort bidding if the government makes the market more investor-friendly. Meanwhile, MGM Resorts isn’t so sure that Osaka is as good as they thought, even though they are the last company left standing.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Over For This Year

The coronavirus pandemic has hit states like Massachusetts and sports franchises like the Boston Red Sox with an economic sledgehammer. With relief to be found in sports betting, lawmakers tucked a sports betting legislation into a major economic bill, but in the end, it was removed.

House Approves Bill Protecting Mashpee Reservation

The House of Representatives has approved Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s (l.) bill that would reverse the Trump administration’s removal of 300 acres of Massachusetts tribal land from federal trust. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Rush Street Interactive to Go Public

Online gaming operator Rush Street Interactive will merge with acquisition company dMY Technology Group, Inc. to become a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The combined company is anticipated to have initial enterprise value of approximately $1.78 billion.

MGM: Hornbuckle No Longer ‘Acting’

MGM Resorts International announced July 29 that Bill Hornbuckle (l.) has been elected as president and CEO, with immediate effect. Hornbuckle was tapped to serve as acting CEO and president in March, when former Chairman and CEO Jim Murren stepped down.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Tough Times, But Encouraging Signs

To no one’s surprise, there are winners and losers in the current economic and health crisis. Who is benefiting, and who’s taking it on the chin? And where does the new Caesars stock stand? Really tall, according to one analyst.

GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Gary Ellis, Owner, Ellis Island Casino, Hotel & Brewery; Charlie Skinner, COO, Marker Trax; Tom Jingoli, EVP & COO, Konami Gaming, Inc.

This week the GGB Podcast assembles the team behind Marker Trax, a groundbreaking credit app that allow customers to access a pre-approved credit line at a slot machine or table game in seconds. Joining the discussion are: Gary Ellis, the owner, Ellis Island Casino, Hotel & Brewery, Charlie Skinner, the COO of Marker Trax and Tom Jingoli, executive vice president and COO of Konami Gaming.


Vietnam Resort Revenues Plummet in First Half

Royal International Corp., operator of the Royal Halong Hotel’s Royal Casino (l.) in Vietnam, has reported losses of VND54 billion (US$2.3 million) in the first half of 2020 due to the effects of Covid-19.

SJM’s First Half Loss Tops HK$1.4B

The pandemic’s toll on Macau casino giant SJM, which owns Macau’s original casino, Lisboa (l.), caused a plunge in EBITDA of 147 percent on revenues that fell more than 74 percent compared to last year. VIP win, down more than 81 percent, led the slide.


Monte Carlo Q1 Casino Revenue Sinks

Societe de Bains de Mer, operator of four casino properties in Monte Carlo, saw its gaming revenues drop 84 percent year-on-year for the first quarter of the 2020-21 fiscal year. All four properties were closed and travel severely restricted due to the coronavirus.

New Italian Laws Aim at Gaming Tax Scofflaws

Amendments under Italy’s 2020 Budget Law allow the country’s gaming regulatory agency to crack down on bookmakers who don’t pay their taxes. Arrears reportedly amount to €120 million (US$141.4 million) and date back to 2018.

Trade Group Baffled by Scot Turnaround

A U.K. gambling industry trade council has criticized the Scottish government for reneging on a promise to lift betting-shop restrictions. Betting and Gaming Council Chairwoman Brigid Simmonds (l.) urged ministers to “reconsider this baffling decision.”

Sweden Approves Smarkets Betting Exchange

Swedish regulatory agency Spelinspektionen has approved Smarkets as its second licensed betting exchange. Smarkets also has offices in the U.K., Malta and the United States.


Aussie Casino Ordered to Strengthen Covid Measures

The Star Sydney casino (l.) in New South Wales’s capital city has been ordered to ramp up safety measures related to Covid-19. A new wave of the virus has struck nearby Victoria and more cases have also been reported in NSW.

In Manitoba, Casinos Begin to Reopen

Casinos in Manitoba, Canada have begun reopening more than four months after they were closed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The first to reopen was South Beach Casino (l.).



NY Lawmakers Hopes Budget Crunch Spurs Mobile Sports Bets

New York State faces a budget shortfall of some $13 billion, and mobile sports betting is one way to plug part of the gap. Despite months of opposition from Governor Andrew Cuomo, proponents including Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (l.) say the time is right to legalize the bets.

Rhode Island Governor Signs Off on Remote Signups

The Rhode Island Lottery can now sign up sports bettors remotely, allowing them to place bets without ever stepping inside the state’s two casinos. The new law was signed July 23 by Governor Gina Raimondo (l.).

PointsBet Ups Its Share in N.J.

Australian-based sportsbook PointsBet saw its share of the New Jersey sports betting market increase 3 percent in the second quarter, thanks in part to non-traditional sports.

DraftKings, PGA Deepen Partnership

The PGA Tour has named DraftKings as the official sports betting operator. The designation allows the sportsbook to use PGA trademarks, advertise on its media platforms and create content.

Russia Revamps Sports Betting Laws

The Russian Assembly or Duma has approved a bill to revamp the country’s sports betting system. The new laws give the government the authority to limit the kinds of sporting contests players can wager on. The changes also include a tax on bets placed on overseas competition


Borgata Is Last AC Casino to Reopen

After postponing its reopening due to a state ban on indoor dining, Atlantic City’s Borgata came back on July 6 with an outdoor beer garden (l.), food trucks and takeout options.

Arkansas Board Rejects Cherokee Appeal

The Arkansas Racing Commission last week awarded the Pope County casino license continues to Gulfside Casino Partnership. It was the second time the board voted for Gulfside. The vote was taken after the Cherokee Nation Business challenged the first vote.Gulfside’s Terry Green (l.) says the project will be an “economic winner.”

Tropicana Las Vegas Sales Pitch Accelerates

CBRE, which is brokering the sale of the Tropicana in Las Vegas, says the Strip resort is worth “at least” the $360 million Penn National Gaming paid for it five years ago. The property has been for sale for several years.

Virginia Casino Voting Begins September 18

A casino ballot question will be answered by voters in Bristol, Virginia in the next election. The proposed Hard Rock Bristol (l.) is anticipated to create 2,000 jobs and generate $15 million to $20 million annually.

Maryland Workers Fear for Safety, Lawmakers Told

General managers of the six Maryland casinos testified before a video meeting of a state House committee that some employees will not return due to Covid-19 concerns. “There was fear and trepidation” among workers at Rocky Gap (l.) in Flintstone, said GM Skylar Dice.

2,000 Detroit Casino Workers Losing Health Insurance

Detroit's three casinos remain closed under order from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.); the shutdowns cost the city about $600,000 a day and meant the loss of health insurance for thousands of furloughed employees at the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

Wynn Resorts Cutting Strip Staff

Casino giant Wynn Resorts blames sluggish demand for furloughs that will affect an undisclosed number of employees at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore (l.). The company also is curtailing midweek operations and closing some restaurants and amenities.

In Rhode Island, A Painful Lesson: Don’t Rely on Casino Money

The Rhode Island town of Tiverton has learned the hard way that projected casino revenues may not always materialize as planned. Officials have cut the town budget drastically to make up for lost funds, a situation Town Council President Patricia Hilton (l.) called “devastating.”

UNLV Offers $1 Million for Pandemic Solutions

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas will award $1 million in investment funding to innovators who find ways to help speed the recovery of the hospitality, travel and entertainment industries. More than 250 contestants have signed up for the challenge.


Arizona Casinos Stay Open, Despite Criticism

Tribal casinos in Arizona like Harrah’s Ak-Chin (l.) have come under fire for remaining open when many businesses, like gyms and cinemas, remain closed. The casinos are run by sovereign tribes, which are not required to follow state and local health directives.

Navajo Casino Employees Face Permanent Layoffs

More than 1,000 employees at the Navajo Nation's four casinos face permanent layoffs as the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise awaits additional federal funds. The tribe's casinos closed March 17 and were tentatively scheduled to reopen July 27.

OSHA Cites Washington Casino’s Safety Policies

OSHA has informed Washington State’s Emerald Queen Casino of allegations that it is operating an unsafe workplace amid lax enforcement of Covid-19 safety standards. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians has begun an investigation.


West Virginia Lottery Ends 17-Year Streak

Due to Covid-19, the West Virginia Lottery's 17-year streak of $1 billion-plus in gross revenue ended with the fiscal year on June 30. Gross revenue for 2020 was $955.7 million, a drop of $187.4 million from 2019.

MGE Promotes Ray Pineault to COO

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has named Ray Pineault (l.) as its chief operating officer. For the past seven months, Pineault has been regional president in charge of Mohegan Sun, Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania, and Paragon Casino Resort in Louisiana.

Moran Named NGC Chairman

Veteran Nevada Gaming Commissioner John Moran Jr. (l.) has been appointed chairman of the commission. Moran first joined the commission in 2004, and has served as acting chairman since Tony Alamo resigned in April.

Tabcorp CEO Attenborough to Step Down

Australian gaming firm Tabcorp Holdings has announced that group Chief Executive David Attenborough (l.) will step down in the first half of 2021. Attenborough has held the position since June 2011.

Snyder To Leave Gaming and Leisure Properties

Gaming and Leisure Properties has announced that Steven Snyder, chief financial officer, will step down August 31. Snyder served as senior vice president, corporate development, when the real estate trust was spun off from Penn National Gaming in 2013.

Ben Fawkes Joins VSiN as VP

Veteran journalist Ben Fawkes (l.) has moved from ESPN to VSiN to serve as vice president of digital content. He will oversee both written and digital content, including Point Spread Weekly, the network’s subscription publication.

Cordish Names Billheimer PA Chief

Cordish Companies has named Joseph Billhimer (l.) as executive vice president in charge of Pennsylvania and Bill Mikus as vice president of human resources.

Cozza Resigns from Caesars Board

Following the merger of Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts, Keith Cozza (l.), a representative of stockholder Carl Icahn, has resigned from the company’s board.

DeRemer Named VP, GM of Sparks Casino

Rail City Casino named Todd DeRemer (l.) as vice president and general manager. A veteran gaming and hospitality executive, DeRemer worked in Las Vegas and California.

Haddrill Steps Down from SG Board

Richard Haddrill (l.), former CEO of Scientific Games legacy company Bally Technologies, has resigned from the Scientific Games board of directors.

LVS Bestows Adelson Citizenship Awards

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. last week announced the recipients of the Mr. Sheldon G. And Dr. Miriam Adelson Citizenship Awards, presented by Sands Cares. The award, named for the LVS founder and his wife (l.), recognizes employees who have contributed to worthy causes.


NCPG Award Winners

The National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG) announced the winners of its annual awards at its first-ever digital symposium, held last month.

Paysafe to Acquire Openbucks

Paysafe of London will acquire Houston-based Openbucks in an expansion of the company’s footprint in the prepaid voucher and e-cash business.

GameCo Wins New Jersey License

GameCo, which pioneered Video Game Gambling machines (VGMs), has been approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License.

Wazdan Releases ‘Infinity Hero’ Slot

Malta-based Wazdan has released a new online slot title, “Infinity Hero,” a comic book-themed game that joins a portfolio currently totaling more than 120 titles.




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