For the last two months, Nevada has been battling a surge in new Covid-19 infections. Now, its residents are facing self-quarantines and other precautions when they travel outside the state, and face restrictions from 17 states nationwide, as well as the District of Columbia.
Second-quarter results for eight of Atlantic City’s nine casinos showed a steep decline in gross operating profits. Buoyed by its strong iGaming program, the Golden Nugget (l.) was the sole organization to turn a profit for the quarter. And analysts say the city will fully recover, perhaps by 2022.
Casino workers across New York State last week rallied in front of their properties, which remain closed after more than five months. They demanded that Governor Andrew Cuomo hear their pleas and let them go to work.
IGT is breaking through the pandemic’s travel barriers to bring its games and systems directly to casinos across the country, hauling them on a 40-foot trailer. Along the way, it’s reaching a lot more decision-makers, says Ken Bossingham, senior vice president of sales for North America.
As-yet unknown casino destinations will soon be off-limits to gamblers from China. The markets are expected to be primarily located in East and who will be affected, including many junket operators, the prospect isn’t good, although Macau would be helped.
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U.S. tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has set a target of late 2022 to open its multibillion-dollar integrated resort, Inspire (l.), near Incheon International Airport. But the timeline may be hampered by Covid-19, and plans for a cluster of casinos there also could be affected.
While many U.S. sports books have arrangements with sports teams, leagues and media outlets, PointsBet last week brought home the motherlode: a deal with NBC that includes investment and financial commitments to the growth of PointsBet.
Now that China is issuing visas again for individual tourist travel hopes are mounting in Macau for a rebound in gaming revenues. It’s a safe bet they will, observers say, maybe just not right away.
The most powerful hurricane ever to hit Louisiana came ashore last week with Lake Charles in its sights. While the 150-mph winds inflicted some pain—the Isle of Capri casino (l.) broke its moorings and became wedged under the I-10 bridge—in general, the casinos escaped with little damage.
A report from sports analyst Lloyd Danzig tackles the future of sports betting in the United States. The future trades off the social aspect of all things sports. Different bet options, socialization wrapped around placing a bet; personification of betting opportunities based on past habits.
Governor Ralph Torres (l.) of the Northern Mariana Islands has put Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International on notice that its gaming license could be suspended or revoked unless IPI pays its past-due license fee.
The St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin and the National Indian Gaming Commission have agreed to a settlement regarding the misuse of $1.5 million in casino revenue by former tribal officials. The tribe was fined $5.5 million but NIGC Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer said that could be reduced if the tribe follows the terms of the agreement.
Revenue for the first full month of casino operations post-lockdown was down 26 percent versus July 2019. That’s a big step up from June’s 45 percent drop, although Las Vegas continues to struggle with softness in tourist travel and the lack of conventions.
The recovery of gaming stocks has been subdued, except for companies with sports betting/iGaming plays. But July wasn’t a bad month for many casino markets, and that’s a heartening sign.
This week the GGB Podcast has a conversation with Steve Callender, the eastern regional president for Caesars Entertainment, on how the merger of Caesars and Eldorado impacted the Atlantic City properties during the lockdown.
Casino investors looking at parts of Vietnam like the Van Don Economic Zone (l.) may soon get a cost break in terms of their capital investment. A proposed plan would include non-gaming infrastructure as part of the mandatory $2 billion minimum commitment.
In the year since a whistle-to-whistle ban on TV gambling ads, the number of those ads seen by children has fallen 97 percent, drawing praise from the Betting and Gaming Council. The trade group also has asked Chancellor Rishi Sunak to add acceptable payment methods for some casino players.
Lawmakers in Greece have passed laws limiting online game time and the advertising of gambling services. The regulations are aimed at reducing the amount of time and money gamblers invest in online play.
Local Dutch health officials have been granted additional authority to close casinos and other entertainment venues should they see a spike in coronavirus infections. The decree was handed down by Prime Minister Mark Rutte (l) and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge.
A trio of horseracing authorities in the United Kingdom have come together to lay out plans to return to profitability post-Covid.
Austria’s Novomatic AG may have to shrink operations in its home country as the manufacturer and operator seeks to consolidate businesses to recover from Covid-19 losses.
Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings will begin the US$200 million Phase 2 of its Tigre de Cristal resort in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone by the end of the year, but will invest less than originally projected and table future expansions.
Brazilian gaming advocate Antonio Carlos Garias Nunes, author of the popular blog In Zebrão’s, has come out strongly for Brazil to reopening the gambling sector. Las Vegas Sands honcho Sheldon Adelson has said he would be willing to invest $10 billion in an integrated resort in Rio de Janeiro.
Last week, SkyCity Entertainment Group said it expects its resort in Auckland, New Zealand to reopen on August 31. That reopening was subject to change if the country saw a new rise in Covid cases.
Louisiana’s Coushatta Casino Resort has partnered with Rush Street Interactive to launch social gaming. And RSI announced it has extended a deal to license the Slingo Originals portfolio in Pennsylvania.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming reported record gross gaming revenues from New Jersey iGaming operations for the three months ending June 30. “We are pleased with the continued strong revenue growth in New Jersey and our ongoing profitability,” said GNOC owner Tilman Fertitta (l.).
If Indiana state Senator Jon Ford (l.) has his way, online gambling will become a reality next year. He cautioned Covid-19 could delay the passage of his iGaming bill, but he believes the success of sports betting in the state will help get his legislation passed.
iGaming revenues in Portugal rose 44 percent in the first half of 2020, reaping €139 million (US$164 million), compared to just €96 million ($113.4 million) for the same period in 2019.
According to a Swedish government commission, iGaming hours should be limited to help reduce the risk of compulsive gambling, and other measures should also be put in place to alleviate the problem.
Boyd Gaming inked a deal with International Game Technology to supply equipment to its sportsbooks and mobile app.
On August 27, BetMGM, owned jointly by MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings, announced the launch of a BetMGM Casino in West Virginia, delivering a wide range of online casino games to the Mountain State.
Bettors can wager on sports at six Illinois sportsbooks, including recently opened venues at Penn National Gaming's Hollywood Casinos in Joliet (l.) and Aurora. Altogether the state has issued eight sports betting licenses.
With the return of major league sports, Indiana saw a giant leap in sports bets in July. Max Bichsel (l.) of Gambling.com Group said the "staggering increase” in handle suggests the state is “returning to pre-pandemic levels.”
Sportradar has won the rights to distribute National Hockey League data to sportsbooks in a competitive auction. The deal could be worth more than $250 million over ten years and gives Sportradar exclusive rights to provide such data on behalf of the league.
ESPN has planted its flag in Las Vegas in partnership with Caesars Entertainment. Their joint effort is a 6,000-square-foot multimedia studio (L.) at the Linq, which ESPN describes as the “epicenter” of its increasing investment in betting-themed programing.
A campaign to convince Governor J.B. Pritzker to rescind the requirement to register in person for sports betting accounts succeeded, at least for a month. But it intensified a strain on the relationship between DraftKings and Rush Street Gaming who are on opposite sides of the issue.
Thanks to the success of online casinos and timely acquisitions, Flutter Entertainment has proven able to overcome the ravages of the economic downturn from Covid-19.
Fueled by the return of major league sports, Colorado sportsbooks ranked among the Top 5 markets for the month of July. Sportsbooks generated almost $60 million, and could also see a boost for August.
Off-track betting operators in Connecticut argue that they should be part of any sports betting laws adopted by the legislature. One operator, Ted Taylor (l.) of Sportech Venues, says the state’s two Indian tribes “are the roadblock.”
Scientific Games Corp. has opened a retail sportsbook for FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan.
A procedure called proroguing, called for by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (l.) has reset most bills before the Canadian parliament, which means a sports betting bill many hoped would be voted on this session has also been sent back to square one.
After Covid-19 test positivity scores increased over three consecutive days, new stricter health and safety regulations were implemented at casinos, bars and restaurants in Will and Kankakee counties, to last two weeks or longer. The new rules affect Harrah's Joliet (l.) and Hollywood Casino Joliet.
The Maryland Lottery and the state’s six casinos, including MGM National Harbor (l.), combined to contribute $1.1 billion to the state in fiscal year 2020, close to record contributions despite the pandemic.
The harness track at Saratoga Casino Hotel (l.) in New York has requested additional race dates to make up for lost purse money during the coronavirus pandemic. The track horsepersons association also wants Capital Region Gaming to pay the association what it owes to elevated purses.
In July, the first full month gaming venues operated since closing in March, revenue from Louisiana's 14 riverboat casinos, Harrah's New Orleans (l.) and four racinos dropped 12 percent from $202.3 million in July 2019 to $177.6 million. One bright spot was video poker revenue.
Poker players are lighting up social media asking when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (l.) will allow casinos to reopen poker rooms, which remained closed when the state permitted casinos to reopen following the Covid-19 shutdown.
A new Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge (existing facility, l.) will open in early 2022, Gaming and Leisure Properties has announced. Officials said the new $21 million to $25 million venue will create 166 construction jobs and have a regional economic impact of $500 million in the first six years.
The gaming giant has distributed around 176,000 shares previously granted to board members and corporate executives like CEO Matt Maddox (l.) to more than 200 employees at the management level and higher at its resorts in Las Vegas and Boston. The aim is to ensure its “top leaders,” as Wynn calls them, will be there to see the company through the pandemic.
The last of the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casino properties to reopen will be the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, on Monday, August 31. About 540 workers will return to their jobs. The casino will operate under Seminole Gaming's Safe + Sound program, including new health and safety protocols in response to Covid-19.
Although Ho-Chunk Inc., the economic arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, had enough signatures to place three initiatives on the November 2 ballot, Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen said they did not comply with a single-subject provision. Ho-Chunk President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Morgan said he'll take the issue to court.
The Interior Department will allow gaming compacts Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt negotiated with the Kialegee Tribal Town and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee to take effect. The tribes don't have casinos but they'll be allowed to build new ones near major metro areas and highways, in exchange for paying higher exclusivity fees than other tribes.
Players now may reserve a spot in one of four 3-hour gaming sessions at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee. Reservations will be taken online. The venue also has implemented new safety and health protocols in response to Covid-19.
The Gila River Indian Community of Arizona has begun a $143 million expansion of its Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. The expansion will include a 11-story hotel tower with 215 rooms and is projected to be completed the fall of 2021.
The Navajo Nation Council has approved $25 million in relief for 1,100 workers of the nation’s four casinos that were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The money comes from CARES Act funding approved by Congress.
The Camelot Group has revealed a new schedule of games for the U.K. National Lottery aimed at boosting post-Covid sales.
It was expected that media tycoon Barry Diller would get a directorship after his flagship company, IAC, spent $1 billion this summer buying up shares of the Las Vegas-based casino giant. Joining him on the MGM board is IAC’s Chief Executive Joey Levin.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has announced the appointment of three new senior executives to support the group’s “strategic growth.” David Martinelli (l.) will serve as chief marketing office, and Judy Newman-Locke as vice president of HR management. Separately, Kevin Lowry has been promoted to assistant general manager of Mohegan Sun Connecticut.
The future home of Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati has named Eric Wolfman as its chief financial officer. Wolfman previously served as vice president and CFO for MGM Resorts at the Gold Strike Tunica and three resorts in Las Vegas: Circus Circus, New York-New York and Luxor.
VSiN has grown enough to add four new on-air personalities and expand its program content, devoted entirely to the sports betting universe. The new roster included Tim Murray (l), Mike Pritchard, James Salinas, and Danielle Alvari. The four debut on September 7.
Chad Brown has been appointed vice president of marketing for Virgin Las Vegas, slated to open later this year at the off-Strip site of the former Hard Rock. Brown, a long-time executive with MGM Resorts, brings 20 years of experience to the position.
Paul Newsom has joined the Australian law firm Senet. He will head the firms gambling practices division.
Ainsworth Game Technology revealed that unaudited results show a net loss of AUD34 million (US$24.4 million) for the fiscal year ended June 30, due to shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Novomatic’s myACP casino management system has added new functionality designed to support social distancing measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Technology conglomerate Cisco and Riot Games have agreed to a deal that will establish Cisco as a partner for League of Legends Esports.
GameCo LLC has partnered with three companies to create a turnkey esports response to U.S. market. GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes (l.) says gaming and esports will both benefit from the partnership.
Trilogy Group and TFA Capital Partners have expanded their relationship to include sports betting. TFA Chairwoman Kristi Jackson (l.) said the alliance “brings together two of the pre-eminent names in gaming: the Confederated Tribes and BetMGM.”
Sega Sammy Creation Inc., has introduced its new linked slot series Volcano Link to the Venetian Macau Resort. This is Sega’s first entry in the Macau market.
Nevada-based Galaxy Gaming has completed its acquisition of Progressive Games Partners. It will use its new acquisition to expand into online gaming. Galaxy CEO Todd Cravens (l.) said it will help mitigate losses when casinos are closed.
Eilers & Krejcik Gaming has partnered with the European firm Olympic Entertainment Group. The two companies will expand iGaming and sports betting in the European market. Olympic CEO Corey Plummer (l.) said it will help his company expand in the iGaming market.
PokerStars has introduced plans to expand its offerings beyond online poker and sports betting. Tapping into its growing community, the company will work on live tournaments and hasn’t ruled out adding entertainment such as music festivals to its lineup.
On August 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (l.) signed a bill to regulate gaming in the country. The law that took effect August 13 will be the focus at Ukraine’s first gaming trade show, to be held in October.
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