Vegas Strip ‘Battening Down the Hatches’

In Vegas, visitation and gaming revenues are inching upward, but with the market at a fraction of its non-gaming capacity, travel fears widespread, and the convention business non-existent, only time and a vaccine will tell. Steve Gallaway of Global Market Advisors says despite extraordinary challenges, tourism will rebound.

California Card Rooms Pitch Outdoor Tents

San Bruno card room Artichoke Joe’s is grappling with multiple natural disasters: the coronavirus pandemic and the out-of-control wildfires sweeping across California. It’s addressed the challenges by moving casino operations into a massive outdoor tent (l.).

In New York State, Two Giants Back in Business

After five months, the longest gaming industry shutdown in the country has ended—partially. September 9 marked the reopening of three of New York’s racinos, including its largest, Resorts World New York City (l.), and the largest of the state’s full-scale casinos, Resorts World Catskills. More are due to open this week.

As NFL Kicks Off Strangest Season

After years of playing stay-away, pro teams are embracing sports betting. But will the public embrace the NFL? The NFL opened up last weekend to an uncertain season due the Covid. The American Gaming Association released a study that said 33 million people would bet on football this year. But ratings fell on opening night when two top QBs collided.

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With the Return of the IVS, Visitation to Macau Perks Up

After a Covid-induced hiatus dating back to January, the popular tourist visa program is slated for restoration across all of China this month. With the “Golden Week” holiday approaching, Macau’s casinos are hoping it spells the start of a recovery.

Crown Executive Says Profit Behind China Scandal

A Crown Resorts executive jailed for promoting casinos in mainland China told New South Wales officials that profit may have “blinkered” some at Crown to the risk of breaking Chinese law. Nineteen staffers including Jason O’Connor (l.), were held for 10 months in a Shanghai jail.

Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook to Debut in Pennsylvania

When Penn National bought a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports, the goal was to tap into the members of the sports firm and trend its demographics younger. That strategy begins to pan out or not beginning September 18 when the Barstool Sportsbook app debuts in Pennsylvania.

Yokohama Mayor’s About-Face on IRs

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi (l.), who has repeatedly claimed to be neutral on integrated resorts in the region, now says she feels “a sense of crisis” about the city’s future, and the bid for a legal casino must proceed.

Connecticut Lawmakers, Tribes At Odds Over Sports Betting

For years, Connecticut tribes, other gaming interests and legislators have argued over legal sports betting, but are no closer to passing a bill. At issue is the tribes’ exclusive right to gaming. One thing is certain, says state Senator Paul Formica (l.): the state needs money, even from “sin taxes.”

IGT PlaySports Expands Offerings

International Game Technology has expanded its PlaySports platform by adding a trading team, based in Las Vegas, to offer operators single-source solutions, including 24/7 expert odds-making, according to SVP Enrico Drago (l.).

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Colorado Dreamin’

Voters in Colorado’s three casino markets—former mining towns Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek—will vote next month on a referendum that would give them the power to decide on gaming limits and table games in their casinos. Odds are they’ll say yes; in terms of business, casinos are the only game in town.

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IPI Chief Says Focus Is on the Future

Donald Browne, newly appointed CEO of Imperial Pacific International, says “word on the street” has it that the troubled Saipan casino operator could be replaced. “We can’t stand for that,” Browne said.

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Great Canadian Casinos Begin Reopening

Great Canadian Gaming Corp. will begin reopening its casinos in Ontario and New Brunswick (l.) starting on September 28, with health and safety restrictions in place, including reduced guest capacities.

ONLINE GAMING More

iGaming Licenses Up for Grabs in Buenos Aires

The government of Buenos Aires has announced a plan to change its online gaming regulations. The changes would take effect when the Argentine capital reactivates the bidding for iGaming licenses later this year.

SPORTS BETTING More

FSB, Sports IQ Announce Partnership

FSB omnichannel sports betting platform and sports trading services supplier Sports IQ have teamed up to provide current and future FSB clients the industry's widest selection of team and player props. Major American professional and college sports will be offered.

TI Las Vegas Builds New, Larger Sportsbook

Replacing a much smaller venue, the Treasure Island resort in Las Vegas has built a new sportsbook and bar with five times the capacity. The expanded Golden Circle Sportsbook is located on the casino floor.

Yabo Sports Signs Deal with AC Milan

Casino and sportsbook operator Yabo Sports has agreed to a long-term deal with the AC Milan football club to increase its presence in Asia. AC Milan has a massive fan base in China.

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Vegas Bucked From National Finals Rodeo

For more than 30 years it’s been a cherished Sin City tradition, and for the local economy, a very lucrative one. But Nevada’s Covid-19 restrictions have prompted the two-week National Finals Rodeo to saddle up and leave Las Vegas for Texas when Governor Steve Sisolak refused to lift his ban on large events.

Caesars, VICI to sell Louisiana Racino for $22 Million

As expected, Caesars Entertainment—recently acquired by Eldorado Resorts—has begun selling off assets in key markets. Among them, Caesars and VICI Properties will sell Harrah's Louisiana Downs racino (l.) in Bossier City, Louisiana to Rubico Acquisition Corp. for $22 million.

Nevada Supreme Court Rejects Wynn Defamation Suit

The Wall Street Journal exposé that drove Steve Wynn out of the gaming industry was based in large part on accusations from a former Wynn Las Vegas hair stylist. The dethroned tycoon claims those statements were known to be untrue when they were made. The high court disagrees.

In Virginia, Rush Street Gaming Seeks Minority Owners

Rush Street Gaming announced a minority ownership initiative for the proposed Rivers Casino Portsmouth (l.) in Virginia, providing voters approve the project on November 3. Rush Street officials say Portsmouth residents are preferred, to keep the casino's economic impact in the area.

Holy Toledo! Ohio Casinos, Racinos Set August Record

Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos posted record revenue in August at $172 million, 4.7 percent more than August 2019. It was the second consecutive month and the fourth full month a new revenue record was set. Hollywood Toledo (l.) was tops at $22.9 million.

N.J. Governor Bans Casino Smoking

Governor Phil Murphy (l.) approved the return of smoking on portions of the casino floor September 1, triggering a backlash from health experts who said smoking indoors could exacerbate the spread of Covid-19. Murphy rescinded his order.

New Jersey Pushes State as Esports Center

Banking on esports as the next big thing in gaming and wagering, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is seeking to make the state a destination for companies involved in tournaments featuring games like “Counterstrike: Global Offensive.”

Station Pulling Up Stakes in Reno

Las Vegas locals giant Station Casinos had several plans for investing big in a gaming resort in Reno, Nevada (rendering, l.). A lot of real estate was acquired in the process. It’s now all for sale.

Minnesotans Seek Changes To Off-Track Betting Limits

Off-track bets placed by Minnesotans outside the state increased 93 percent to $4.3 million in April. Yet it's illegal for Minnesotans to place in-state OTB wagers. A bill from state Rep. Brad Tabke (l.) may change the situation, though it faces strong opposition from tribes.

Montana Considers Historical Horseracing Machines

Montana legislators will consider legalizing historical horseracing machines in the next session. Last year, a measure passed to propose legislative language for the machines. If they’re are allowed, Fleetwood Gaming and Exacta Systems will be ready to provide them.

Massachusetts Casino to Offer Drive-Through Betting

Massachusetts’s Plainridge Park Casino is opening two drive-through lanes to make it easier for customers to bet on the races. Many like to drop by the casino, place a bet and leave. This will enable them to do.

Twin River Casino to Expand

Twin River Worldwide Holdings plans to expand its Lincoln, Rhode Island casino (l.) by adding more than 50,000 square feet. The new space will add to the gaming floor and spa

Las Vegas Monorail Files for Chapter 11

The elevated rail network has been hurting financially for some time and is slated to be taken over by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which intends to keep the trains running. The prepackaged bankruptcy is part of the deal.

Allegiant Stadium to Be Cashless

Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, will be cashless from day one—whenever that will be. Fans will not be permitted at Raiders’ games in 2020.

Big Fish Pays $155 Million in Class Action Suit

Big Fish Games, owned by Aristocrat Technologies, has agreed to pay $155 million in a class action lawsuit settlement to plaintiffs who lost money playing social games now judged to have violated Washington state’s gambling laws. The lawsuit was filed in 2015 while Big Fish was owned by Churchill Downs.

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Oklahoma Tribal Casino Abruptly Closes

The Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma opened its long-awaited Fancy Dance Casino in Perry, Oklahoma on September 4, only to close it on September 7 until further notice due to Covid-19 concerns. The pandemic already had delayed construction plus a grand opening and ribbon-cutting.

Seminole Hard Rock Extends Furloughs

More than 1,500 furloughed workers at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida face extended unemployment, according to a Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filed by the company with the state of Florida. Hard Rock officials said the layoffs will become permanent if the employees are not recalled by December 31.

Eastern Band To Purchase North Carolina Property

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' tribal council approved purchasing for $3.4 million a 4.3-acre tract adjacent to its Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort (l.). A tribal spokesman said the acreage "goes back to the original purchase of the casino property. It's an essential purchase that's been put off for a long time."

Horse Groups Oppose OK Compact

The Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Quarter Horseracing Association are concerned that the gaming compact with the Kialegee Tribal Town would allow the tribe to build a casino in Oklahoma County, threatening the economic viability of the Remington Park racino (l.).

California Sheriff Threatened to Block Access to Tribal Casinos

Last March, when states were beginning to lock down, the sheriff of San Diego County, California told tribal casinos that if they didn’t close, he would block traffic to their reservations. The letters Sheriff William Gore (l.) sent have just surfaced, thanks to a lawsuit by a gaming tribe.

Arizona Tribe Begins Work on Hotel

Work has begun on a second hotel tower by Gila River Hotels & Casinos- Wild Horse Pass in Arizona. The tower, the first expansion by Gila River Indian Community-owned property, is expected to open in about a year.

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Gunn Inducted Into Lottery Industry Hall of Fame

Scott Gunn, International Game Technology senior vice president of corporate affairs, has been named a member of the Class of 2020 of the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in a virtual ceremony on October 14. The Hall of Fame honors lottery professionals who have contributed to the lottery industry's success.

Donaco Appoints New CEO

Donaco International Ltd. has announced the appointment of Lee Bug Huy as its new chief executive officer. Lee is among the Thai vendors of the land where the company’s Star Vegas Resort in Cambodia sits.

Kintner New GM at Harrah’s Ak-Chin

Fifteen-year Harrah’s veteran Mike Kintner has been named general manager of the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. He was previously director of marketing and operations.

Stefanovic Named Gun Lake Executive Chef

Michigan’s Gun Lake Casino has named Nenad Stefanovic (l.) as the property’s executive chef. He will be in charge of the casino’s dining expansion, which begins next year.

GOODS & SERVICES More

Six New Companies Join AGEM

AGEM, the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, added six new members recently, bringing its total membership to 184.

Scientific Games Introduces German Lottery Vending Machines

Scientific Games launched a pilot program for its award-winning self-service instant ticket vending machines in Germany for Sachsenlotto in Saxony. Customized PlayCenter HD machines will dispense scratch card games at malls, retailers and the Sachsenlotto headquarters’ store. No other German state lottery offers self-service instant ticket vending machines.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

Ukrainian Gaming Week Postponed

Ukrainian Gaming Week 2020 has been postponed due to ongoing quarantine measures in the country. Foreigners may not travel into the country until the end of September; the inaugural trade show, originally set for October 6-7, will be held November 26-27.

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