Get Them to the Greek: Mohegans Win Athens Casino License

U.S.-based gaming operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has won the right to develop a billion-dollar integrated resort (l.) at the former Hellinikon International Airport in Athens. It will work with a local partner, Greek construction company Gek Terna. The project will carry the same name as the company’s Korean project, Inspire. MGE bested rival Hard Rock International, which claims the process was flawed. alleged conflicts of interest and has promised to fight back.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Coronavirus Hits Macau; Casinos Could Close

Macau has confirmed its second case of the potentially deadly Wuhan virus, all but dashing hopes that Chinese New Year visitation will get the market moving again. Even more disturbing, if the situation worsens, Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (l., in mask) said he’ll consider closing the casinos.

In Asia, Competition Heats Up for China’s VIPs

Last year’s 18 percent decline in Macau VIP revenue may be the symptom of a larger phenomenon—an exodus of Chinese high rollers to other destinations in the region’s burgeoning resort gaming markets. For Macau, this may not be a bad thing.

In Washington, Competing Sports Bills and a Tight Deadline

Competing sportsbook bills are off and running in the Washington State legislature. But with a 60-day session, many don’t hold out much hope for a final bill this year. HB 2478, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick (l.), provides for online mobile sportsbooks, and sports wager at card rooms, racetracks and tribal casinos.

Corruption Charges Back to Haunt Canadian Province

A 2009 report recently uncovered through freedom-of-information requests by Canadian media alleges that a businessman “connected to Asian organized crime” was able to buy part of a B.C. Lottery Corp. casino. The provincial government reportedly also saw fit to dismantle a corruption watchdog unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (l.).

Pennsylvania Gaming Revenues Hit New High

Pennsylvania’s 12 commercial casinos logged a new revenue record for 2019: $3.4 billion in revenue, thanks partly to a 2017 gaming expansion. At the same time, municipalities continue to squabble over so-called slot-like “skill games.” There may be 20,000 in private clubs and bars in the state, and Parx Casino (l.), for one, wants to ban them.

Prop Bets Rule for Super Bowl

For bettors, the Super Bowl is the king of the hill. Along with win-loss wagers, gamblers can also take their pick of special wagers known as proposition bets, such as who will win the coin toss, if there will be a flea flicker, and what will be the color of the Gatorade shower.

UNLV Tech Park Opens With Caesars Funding

Gardner Company, UNLV, and Caesars Entertainment last week celebrated the completion of the first research building at the UNLV Tech Park, launching new era for research and innovation in Southern Nevada. The opening of the research building at UNLV Harry Reid Research & Technology Park was attended by dozens of public officials and casino executives.

Hawaiian Gardens, California: The Money Laundering Capital of the World

In the ongoing saga of card-room corruption in California, one facility stands head and shoulders above the rest: Hawaiian Gardens Casino (l.), located in the town with the same name. The casino produces 80 percent of the revenue the town takes in. Gaming commentator Richard Schuetz says that’s why there have been no arrests in conjunction with the money laundering activities that occurs there.

U.K. Health Chief Now Targets VIP Programs

Along with major changes in U.K. based gaming, including the banning of credit cards to fund gameplay, Claire Murdoch (l.), head of the National Health Service, is calling for an end to VIP programs.

Arizona Legislators Use Compacts as Stick in Water Disputes

Some Arizona lawmakers want to tie new tribal gaming compacts to certain tribes’ water rights disputes. If officials have their way, the tribes wouldn’t be able to secure new compacts until they settle the water disputes. A bill making the link was co-sponsored by Senate President Karen Fann (l.) and House Speaker Rusty Bowers.

Former Aristocrat Execs Take Over at Scientific Games

Scientific Games Corp. has confirmed the imminent arrival of a trio of executives formerly with rival Aristocrat Technologies, including Matt Wilson (l.), Siobhan Lane and Connie James. The hires were announced last year but were delayed until the non-compete clauses expired.


Opposition Mounts to Japan Casinos

Opponents of integrated resorts in Japan are demanding a rollback of the 2016 legislation that legalized the casino complexes. Though Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insists he will move ahead with the industry, some Japanese media outlets say the process could be delayed. Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura (l.) says the scandal has nothing to do with the city’s bidding process.


Conflict? Betfred Owns Addiction Treatment Company

Fred and Peter Done occupy a unique position in British gambling circles. They make tons of money owning one of the largest bookmakers. But the brothers, including company namesake Fred (l.) also make money with a business that treats gambling addiction. Health officials are aghast.

Will Spain Follow U.K. to Ban Credit Card Bets?

A Spanish consumer watchdog group known as FACUA (“Consumers in Action”) is urging Alberto Garzon (l.) to follow the example of the U.K. and ban all wagering funded by credit cards. Garzon will serve as minister of consumer affairs in the new PSOE-Podemos left-wing government.


Venezuela OKs Crypto-Only Casino

The Venezuelan government has authorized a casino in Caracas where all bets will be processed in digital currency. President Nicolás Maduro (l.) said all government revenues will go to education, health and other public interest programs.

Operator: Mexican Tourism Tax A Losing Proposition

Jorge Hank Rhon (l.), president of gaming operator the Caliente Group, says new taxes on gaming in the Mexican state of Baja California will result in losses, not gains in the sector and also put pressure on tourism in general.


White Hat, Penn National Sign Multi-State iGaming Deal

White Hat Gaming Ltd, a leading iGaming platform provider, has entered into a long-term player account management (PAM) agreement with Penn National Gaming, Inc., which operates more than 41 gaming facilities across 19 U.S. states.


Michigan Drafts Online, Sports Betting Regulations

As the Michigan Gaming Control Board drafts regulations for online gambling and sports betting, commercial and tribal casinos are preparing for the transition. FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek (l.), has announced it will partner with SG Digital. Sports betting could launch this spring, but online gambling more likely will debut in 2021.

Kansas Considers Sports Betting Bill

SB 283, which would legalize sports betting in casinos, has been introduced in the Kansas legislature. It would allow each of the state's four casinos to receive licenses for a retail sportsbook and online betting. The Kansas Speedway NASCAR track (l.) and Major League Soccer‘s Sporting KC venue could contract with casinos to operate on-site mobile sports betting.

Kentucky: Sports Betting Will Stop Cash Flow to Indiana

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (l.) lends his support to a bill to legalize sports betting in the commonwealth. If signed into law, it could help stop the flow of gamblers—and their money—to border states such as Indiana. The question: Can lawmakers get enough votes?

WV Sportsbooks on a Roll in the New Year

After a lull coinciding with the end of the college football regular season, sports betting is having a growth spurt in West Virginia, according to figures for the weeks ending December 28 and January 4. Hollywood Casino (l.) ranked first in handle and revenue, Greenbrier second and Mountaineer third.

Nebraska Bill Would Introduce Sports Betting, Online Poker

The Games of Skill Act recently introduced by Nebraska Senator Justin Wayne (l.) would legalize sports betting, daily fantasy sports and online poker. If signed into law, the act will bring additional gambling to a state with few options when it comes to land-based casinos.

Maine Could Vote to Override Sports Betting Veto

In December, Maine Governor Janet Mills (l.) vetoed a bill authorizing sports betting—a bill the legislature passed last summer. That didn’t sit well with bettors. Although there’s a move afoot to try to overturn her veto, most don’t give it much chance of success.

Line Forms for Colorado Sportsbook Licenses

More than 50 applicants have lined up for 33 sports betting licenses in Colorado. Although license approvals will begin next month, residents won’t be able to make wagers until May 1.

New Jersey OKs XFL Sports Betting

New Jersey regulators have approved XFL pro football for sports betting. The organization, which played a single season in 2001, faces an uphill battle to create a viable league, especially with the demise of the Alliance of American Football League and the Arena Football League.

CA Sports Betting Initiative Moves Forward

A consortium of 18 gaming tribes in California will begin gathering signatures to put an initiative on the 2020 ballot that would authorize sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks. It would also allow tribal casinos to offer roulette and craps.

Colorado Tribe Mulls Sportsbook

Colorado’s Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is considering which provider of sports betting it wants to work with. The tribe announced last week that it plans to off sportsbook at Ute Mountain Casino (l.).

Redskins Owner, MD Lawmakers Talk Sports Betting

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder (l.) is asking Maryland lawmakers to allow sports betting at a future Redskins stadium to be built in the state. Snyder is also considering the new stadium in Washington D.C., which has already approved sports betting, and Virginia, which is just getting around to considering it.


Poll Shows Most Georgia Voters Support New Gambling

In a poll conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 64 percent of voters said they'd support casino gambling and 57 percent would support sports betting. Voters in nearly every demographic group and across income levels approved of expanded gambling. Currently the Georgia Lottery is the only legalized gambling in the state. Major gaming companies have proposed casinos for Atlanta (l.) and other cities.

Arlington Officials: Illinois Track Not for Sale

Officials of Arlington International Race Course (l.) have informed the Illinois Racing Board the track is not for sale. Last month, Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association President Mike Campbell said two groups asked for his support in buying the track and turning it into a racino. But track owners Churchill Downs angered the horsemen's group by rejecting casino games to boost purses.

MGM, Raiders Announce Partnership

The newly anointed “Las Vegas Raiders” last week announced a partnership deal with MGM Resorts that gives the gaming operator official recognition, signage in Allegiant Stadium and makes Mandalay Bay the site for pre- and post-gaming celebrations. The Raiders executives joined their colleagues last week for the announcement.


Virginia Tribe Ups the Ante, Pursues Two Casinos

The Pamunkey Tribe has proposed a commercial casino in Norfolk, Virginia and a tribal facility in Richmond. The tribe will purchase 13.4 acres for $10 million in Norfolk, partnering with Tennessee billionaire Jon Yarbrough (l.) on a $200 million casino resort. The tribe also will buy 36 acres in Richmond for a $350 million casino resort.

Louisiana Tribal Resort Celebrates 25th Year

A 25th anniversary celebration recently was held at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana. The venue is the largest employer in Allen Parish, with more than 2,200 employees, including 68 who have worked there since it opened. The gaming floor has grown from 70,000 square feet to 100,000, and dining options have increased from three to 11.

Michigan Tribal Resort Plans $30 Million Expansion

A $30 million expansion project will start in June at the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan, owned by the Hannahville Indian Community. The project, to be completed in 2021, will include a new 11-story, 140-room addition, bringing total rooms to 440. The tower's top floor will offer upscale dining and convention space.


Is Pot to Blame for Illinois Lottery Slide?

Illinois Lottery revenues dropped $64 million in 2019, down 18 percent from 2018. More gambling choices and legal marijuana are competing for residents’ discretionary income, some say. “Do people want to get high, or do they want to gamble?” asked David Greising (l.) of the Better Government Association. “They probably can’t do both.”

Nigeria Bans Unauthorized Foreign Lotteries

The Nigerian National Lottery Regulatory Commission has banned the all unlicensed, unregulated foreign lottery games after a number of players were unable to claim their winnings.


Penn National Taps Former Apple Exec as CFO

Penn National Gaming has named David Williams, a 20-year finance executive and former CFO of Apple, Inc.’s Claris Division, as Penn’s new executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Agua Caliente Casinos Announce Promotions

Michael J. Facenda (l.) has been named senior vice president and general manager of the Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City by Aqua Caliente Casinos in Riverside County, California. Cathedral City will open this fall.

Salerno to Join Sports Betting Hall of Fame

The career achievements of USBookmaking President Victor Salerno will be celebrated when he’s inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame this year. Salerno will be recognized at the Betting on Sports America trade show, which takes place in New Jersey April 28-30.

Hoscher Resigns European Casino Association

Dietmar Hoscher (l.), current vice chairman of the board of the European Casino Association, has announced his decision to withdraw from the ECA board due to serious health reasons.

BMM Promotes Chayevsky to President & CFO

BMM Testlabs has promoted Gene Chayevsky to president and chief financial officer, after Chayevsky’s regional leadership accelerated the test lab’s growth in Europe.

Spintec Appoints Australia Sales Manager

Spintec has named Peter Mihelj as regional sales manager for Asia and Australia, where the sales veteran will focus on business development, sales and project management.


Desert Diamond Arizona Chooses JCM

The new Desert Diamond Casino West Valley in Arizona (l.) will open with JCM Global products and solutions in place across the 75,000-square-foot casino floor.

Spintec Increases Macau Footprint

Spintec has announced several placements of its electronic table games in Macau, including the Karma electronic Sic Bo/Craps, the first ETG of its kind approved in the Chinese territory.

Enthusiast Gaming to Trade on TSX

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. announced last week that its common shares will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on January 27, under the ticker symbol “EGLX.”

Galaxy Gaming OK’d by California Commission

Galaxy Gaming, Inc., a developer and distributor of casino table games and enhanced systems, has been approved by the California Gambling Control Commission as a gaming resource supplier. CEO Todd Cravens (l.) says California is an important market for his company.

Tom Horn Gaming Partners with MrQ

Tom Horn Gaming is partnering with online casino operator MrQ in an agreement under which Tom Horn game content will be featured on MrQ’s gaming sites.


SAGSE 2020 Announces New Venue: Hilton Buenos Aires

The South American Gaming Suppliers Expo (SAGSE) will present the Argentine trade show in a new location, the exhibit space of the Hilton Hotel (l.) in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires. The show will run November 25-26.




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