In a year of firsts, add the following: a former general manager at Harrah’s Southern California (l.), owned by the Rincon Band, is suing the company, claiming he was forced out for refusing to agree that the property was Covid-free.
Some Manila casinos, including those in the Entertainment City economic zone, may resume operations at 30 percent capacity. Permission to do so was granted in late August by the state-run gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). Okada Manila (l.) confirmed it had reopened as of September 9.
When the Atlantic City casinos were forced to close in March, it wasn’t the first time they shut down temporarily. Previous shutdowns involved approaching hurricanes or budget battles. Marie Jones, a gaming attorney with Fox Rothschild, explains how the casinos navigated the difficult Covid 19 situation.
In the three months since sports betting debuted in Colorado, it’s grown into the fifth largest market in the country. What is it about the Centennial State that set sportsbooks on fire—even in the depths of the coronavirus pandemic?
The unexpected resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l.) may call into question the long-planned development of a legal casino industry in the country. Abe was advocate-in-chief for integrated resorts with gaming as a way to boost tourism to Japan.What happens now is anybody’s guess.
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William Hill US has received approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission to complete its purchase of troubled CG Technologies. In addition to inheriting access to lots of properties in Nevada and elsewhere, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher (l.) confirmed the company is discussing a merger with Caesars Entertainment.
Former NBA superstar Michael Jordan (l.) has joined DraftKings as a special board advisor. DraftKings said His Airness will provide “strategic and creative input to on company strategy, product development, inclusion, equity and belonging, marketing activities and other key initiatives.”
After nearly six months, the longest gaming industry shutdown in the U.S. is finally over. The first of New York’s 12 casinos and racinos, including Rivers in Schenectady (l.), are set to reopen September 9. But there will be strict safety requirements in place, including enhanced air filtration systems and physical barriers.
It was the fifth straight month of year-on-year declines of more than 90 percent. But with travel restrictions easing and tourist visas set to resume across China later this month, the market is looking for good things from the coming Golden Week holiday.
A California Supreme Court decision confirming the governor’s right to approve of an off-reservation casino opens the way for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians to move forward with building a casino near Fresno. It’s taken 17 years for the tribe to reach this point.
As part of hearings on the Eldorado-Caesars merger, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission ignored a recommendation from the Division of Gaming Enforcement to lift deed restrictions on three properties once owned by Caesars. Owners of two of the properties, including the Claridge (l.), have filed appeals.
The fine art of developing a casino brand is explained in a new book from marketing maven and industry veteran Julia Carcamo. “Reel Marketing” shares decades of top-level experience from some of the world’s premier gaming operators.
The world’s largest gaming trade show is planning an online kick-off October 14 in which three of the industry’s big names will talk about pandemic recovery. The regular show will follow later in the month with an array of features promising a unique virtual experience.
Mansplaining the benefits of Wynn Resorts’ new program offering virtual-learning centers for kids who can’t go to school. This doesn’t just benefit the kids—it’s a boon to parents, especially working moms, says gaming observer Richard Schuetz (l.).
This week, the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Nehme Abouzied, the president of LaunchVegas, on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted his hometown and what a recovery will look like.
Some Manila casinos, including those in the Entertainment City economic zone, may resume operations at 30 percent capacity. Permission to do so was reportedly granted on August 24 by the state-run gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Philippines-based HatchAsia has proposed taking control of Silver Heritage and buoying the company with an AU$530 million (US$387 million) cash infusion.
Hong Kong-listed casino investor NagaCorp, which runs the massive integrated resort NagaWorld (l.) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is scouting further growth opportunities in the country, specifically Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. But this time, gaming may not be part of the plan.
Landing International Development Ltd. says it has been granted an extension by Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR to the deadline for finding new land on which to develop a planned integrated resort in Manila’s Entertainment City.
The owners of The 13 Hotel (l.) in Macau thought they had a deal to unload at least 50 percent of the partially opened luxury resort, which lacks a casino and has never gotten off the ground. They say they’ll keep trying, provided their bank lender doesn’t foreclose on it first.
Thai hospitality brand Centara Hotels & Resorts has signed three hotel management agreements for Myanmar. One will include a casino, the company says.
Following the release of its FY20 financial results, Ainsworth Game Technology announced the elimination 107 jobs. Despite deep losses in its land-based business, Ainsworth has seen growth in the online side.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings has signed a deal with theScore Bet to provide an online casino in New Jersey through Bally’s Atlantic City.
In France, online sports betting revenue toppled by more than half during the second quarter, in no small part due to the effect on live sports of Covid-19. But online poker GGR soared 126 percent, and the player base grew by 68 percent.
Skillz, a mobile games platform that hosts esports tournaments, will take steps to go public.
The Illinois Gaming Board named FanDuel Paradise Sportsbook as the third online sports betting operator in the state after BetRivers and DraftKings. The timing is important as Governor JB Pritzker gave patrons until September 19 to register for an account online.
Iowa sports betting could have produced better results one year out from its 2019 debut, but given the impact of the coronavirus, “most operators were happy” with tempered revenues, said Brian Ohorilko (l.), of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The sportsbook is built. Caesars is ready to open for business. But the Cherokee Tribe awaits the signature of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (l.) on the completed compacts before sports betting can be activated in the state. The Cherokees operate casinos under the Harrah’s brand.
Rhode Island saw a steep increase in sports gaming revenues—with profits up 236.9 percent from June to July—boosted by the Covid pandemic that shut down other forms of gaming. Governor Gina Raimondo (l.) is expected to sign a bill eliminating the in-person registration requirement.
Delaware North re-opened its retail sportsbooks at Mardi Gras Casino & Resort and Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. The company also unveiled its Betly website and mobile app, powered by International Game Technology. Patrons can bet through the app, at a Betly kiosk or at a teller window.
Gaming regulators in Michigan will hold a hearing September 23 to determine the rules that govern sports betting and iGaming. A number of sportsbook operators are ready to go, including BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel.
Circa Sports will build a new sportsbook in the Tuscany Suites & Casino (l.), opening in March 2021. The company also has locations in the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, D Las Vegas, Circa Sports Colorado and Circa Resorts & Casino. The Colorado location is the first outside Nevada
Rivers Casino (l.) in Des Plaines, Illinois, will be the setting for a new weeknight sports betting program, “Rush Hour.” Chicagoan Danny Burke will be the host. Burke will welcome guest experts. Numerous outlets across the cable and satellite networks will carry the one hour program.
Five new members will be inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame this month at the virtual SBC Summit Barcelona. Inductees include Ralph Topping (l.), former CEO of William Hill.
The city of Chicago sent out a nine-question Request for Information to gaming industry insiders, asking for recommendations "to develop and operate a world-class casino in Chicago." A downtown casino is closer to reality state legislators lowered the effective gaming tax rate.
Ira Lubert (l.), a principal in the Rush Street Gaming subsidiary that holds the license for Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino, submitted a winning bid of $10 million for the state’s fifth Category 4 satellite casino.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will spend up to $24 million to buy the financially troubled network whose main stop is the Las Vegas Convention Center. Plans are to keep the elevated line running, but it won’t be expanding.
Strong play at slot machines, despite casinos operating at 50 percent capacity, is helping Pennsylvania casinos survive the slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. At Mount Airy Casino (l.), for example, daily win per machine rose from about $350 to almost $490.
MGM is sending out layoff notices at a time when New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy gave the green light to permit in-restaurant dining in Atlantic City. Eateries such as Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille at the Borgata (l.) were given the OK to open at limited capacity.
Job cuts at MGM Resorts properties had been expected since May. What wasn’t known was that they’d total 25 percent of MGM’s workforce nationwide𑁋another stark indicator of the uphill battle confronting operators with significant exposure to Las Vegas. At left, employees at MGM’s Vdara hotel at CityCenter Las Vegas.
The agreements secure health coverage and other protections for around 36,000 active and furloughed members of the Culinary and Bartenders locals in Las Vegas. The unions are trying to get similar pacts for another 24,000 Strip and Downtown employees.
Kansas' four casinos, including Kansas Star (l.), lost more than $90 million in June and July compared to 2019, and the state missed out on $20 million in gaming taxes. Kansas Lottery Director of Gaming Facilities Keith Kocher said, "Our long-term goal is certainly to get back to normal, but right now that’s not in the very near future.”
The Illinois Gaming Board is vetting three applicants for the casino gaming license in Waukegan. They are Full House Resorts and North Point Casino. The third applicant is Midwest Gaming (rendering of project at left), which owns Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and includes Rush Street Gaming and 35 percent-owner Churchill Downs, owner of Arlington Park Racetrack.
City officials in La Grange, Missouri have put several municipal projects on hold due to decreased tax revenue following the temporary closure of the Mark Twain Casino (l.) and safety restrictions put in place since it reopened June 1. The casino is operating at reduced capacity and the restaurant remains closed.
Hollywood Casino Joliet (l.) and Harrah's Casino Joliet were directed by the Illinois Gaming Board to temporarily limit hours, decrease occupancy, make masks mandatory and suspend food service as a result of an uptick in Covid-19 cases. The IGB also ordered video gaming operators to limit availability since the state’s Central Communications System cut back its hours.
San Jose, California’s two card clubs, Bay 1010 and Casino M8trix (l.), have been given permission by the city council to move outside into their parking lots and operate under big tents. The move allows them to operate under new state guidelines.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (l.) gave commercial casinos the all-clear to reopen for the second time last Monday. Officials also permitted restaurants to bring back indoor dining. Both gaming and dining halls will operate at limited capacity.
Sources have confirmed to a Pennsylvania gaming news site that Harrah’s Philadelphia’s (l.) closure of its poker room due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be permanent.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission announced July results for its online casino, sports betting, lottery, video lottery, casinos and racinos. The lottery reported gross revenue of $93.9 million in July, surpassing July 2019 by $877,000.
Massachusetts’ gaming regulator has noted with approval the new rules adopted by the Encore Boston Harbor Casino (l.) after it had to deal with a hotel guest who sneaked dozens of people into a suite for a large and illegal party that violated the state’s health regulations.
Despite heavy rains and material delays, the $350 million Saracen Casino Resort (l.) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas is moving toward a soft opening October 1 and a grand opening October 20. Area officials recently met with recently elected Quapaw Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd to get acquainted and review the project status.
The Pamunkey Indians are drumming up support among Virginia voters who will approve—or deny—a proposed $500 million casino in Norfolk. To sweeten the deal, they pledged $150,000 toward a new grocery store in the area. Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray (l.) said the resort “will be part of a long recovery from one of the greatest hits to the economy of our lifetime.”
Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort is the new name of the tribe's casino now under construction in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The tribe received permission in March to build the venue. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians sued the agency to stop construction. As the case winds through the courts, the casino is expected to open next year.
Sponsors of three ballot initiatives blocked by Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen have asked the state Supreme Court to overturn his decision. The proposals would allow casino gaming at several Nebraska racetracks. Evnen (l.) ruled that the petitions passed the voter signature threshold, but did not follow rules for a single-subject and had unclear language.
Recent Wyoming law that allows for commercial slot machines to operate in small retail locations across the state poses a threat to tribal gaming. A former CEO of Wind River Hotel and Casino (l.) predicts the tribe could lose $20 million a year and hundreds of jobs.
Southern California’s San Manuel Casino has started up its card-based roulette game that it didn’t bring back when the casino reopened in June. The rebooted game includes Plexiglas barriers between players and the dealer.
The Connecticut Lottery recorded the second best results in its 49-year history at the end of the fiscal year. It paid $348 million to the state.
The Multi-State Lottery Association will soon unveil a new Powerball Draw Show. It will include new graphics, music and new Smart Play draw machines.
The U.K. Gambling Commission has begun the process of seeking applicants for a 10-year license to run the National Lottery. Camelot’s license will expire in 2023.
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has made changes to its executive leadership team, with Managing Director George Tanasijevich freer to focus on local and international expansion, while Andrew MacDonald (l.) and Paul Town will oversee operations.
Lim Keong Hui, son of Genting Group Chairman Lim Kok Thay, has vacated his role as an executive director and deputy CEO of cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong.
Bragg Gaming Group CEO Dominic Mansour is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. During the first half of the year, his company’s revenues have skyrocketed 74.2 percent.
Scott Szybilski has been named the new director of finance for Gun Lake Casino, operated by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians in Michigan. His appointment is effective immediately.
Epic Risk Management has brought on board Brianne Doura-Schawohl, who has championed the fight against problem gambling for several years. She will be vice president of U.S. policy and strategic development.
Kevin Lowry has been appointed assistant general manager of the Mohegan Sun Connecticut. He will be responsible for finance, gaming, cashiering and tenant and retail operations at the casino resort.
Paysafe, a leading specialized payments platform, last week announced the appointment of Jeffry A. Beene to the position of senior vice president, merchant risk. Beene has more than 25 years of experience in risk and payments, primarily in the U.S.
Konami Gaming, Inc. announced last week that its award-winning Synkros casino management system has successfully launched slot machine cleaning and customer care solutions at seven different casino locations.
TCSJohnHuxley has launched an innovative Diamond Rotor as part of its latest generation of the Saturn automatic roulette wheel, meant to give the roulette ball a wider bounce.
Novomatic AG and Ainsworth Game Technology have agreed to consolidate sales efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, with Ainsworth acting as Novomatic’s sales and service unit. Robert Dijkstra (l.) has been appointed Ainsworth’s vice president of business development and sales to lead the effort.
GAN has signed a multi-year deal to provide software for Churchill Downs’ online sports betting and casino platform, BetAmerica.
The MGS Entertainment Show is the latest gaming trade show to be canceled in 2020. Organizers revealed on August 28 that this year’s event, originally scheduled for November 17-19 in Macau, has been tabled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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