The winners of 19th Annual GGB Gaming & Technology Awards were announced at this week’s virtual Global Gaming Expo (G2E). If you weren’t able to join us, here’s how it went.
GGB News Reporter David Ross won first place in the Magazine: Profiles category of the annual awards program from the San Diego Press Club. Congratulations to David! Here’s his piece on Maverick CEO Eric Persson (l.), which was first published October 13, 2019.
Bay Mills Tribal Chairman Bryan Newland (l.) tells GGB News that his tribe’s two businesses are totally disconnected. One has nothing to do with the other, but is an example of the diversification that is ongoing in Indian Country.
The announcement of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 was held last week in a virtual networking session. Hear from the judges of the program as well as the five “Judges Choice” selections on how they succeeded in the gaming industry.
An increase in the number of Covid-19 infections has prompted the government to shut down betting shops and casinos in Wales, Lancashire, Merseyside and elsewhere throughout the UK. The CEO of the trade group, the Betting and Gaming Council, Michael Dugher (l.) opposed the closures, arguing that the surge did not come from the gambling sector. Irish and Scottish bookmakers have also been hard hit.
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Three directors, included James Packer’s second in command, Guy Jalland (l.), were re-elected, but just barely, at a contentious annual meeting that also saw shareholders reject the board’s executive remuneration plan. New South Wales regulators, meanwhile, are continuing their probe into suspect junket dealings and AML failures, and there is now talk that the December opening of Crown’s multibillion-dollar Sydney casino could be delayed.
Elon Musk’s Vegas Loop proposal will transport visitors throughout the Strip area in underground tunnels (l.). The project will also ferry passengers to Downtown and Allegiant Stadium. But would a similar tunnel transport work is other multiple casino areas like South Florida or Atlantic City?
Sports betting in Tennessee could begin November 1 or sooner. Lottery Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Hargrove (l.) said BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel may even launch operations a few days earlier since November 1 is an NFL Sunday, typically the busiest betting day of the week. Officials also revised rules language and clarified collegiate sports wagering issues.
Gaming Tribes in New Mexico are not jumping up and down with delight at a proposal by the state’s racetracks that would expand gaming in the state to Nevada levels. It would end tribal exclusivity and Sandia Pueblo Governor Stuart Paisano (l.) calls it a “reckless attempt to expand private wealth.”
Brazilian Senator Angelo Coronel (l.) is one of several senators pushing legalization of gaming. He wants the first casino to be located in the state of Matto Grosso.
The days when the California Gambling Commission was simply a tool of the state cardrooms is over. Five years under Chairman Jim Evans has returned professionalism and integrity to the organization, said Evans upon his exit.
Country Artist Lee Greenwood (l.) and AEG Promoter John Meglen will join nine other casino artists and venues to be honored at the Eighth Annual Casino Entertainment Awards, in a Livestream Virtual Awards Show.
Men are poor listeners, alleges gaming observer Richard Schuetz. He urges them to take the time, sit back and actually listen to the things that mean most to women. It will change their lives, he says.
An increase in daily gaming revenues since the Golden Week holiday (l.), through far below last year’s levels, appears nonetheless to be holding firm. With individual tourist travel restored in mainland China, analysts see a gradual recovery beginning to take shape.
In 2020, Covid 19 has impacted every portion of our lives and that goes for the gaming industry as well. The Covid effect will add a nuance to every issues gaming faces in 2021.
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Dave Peña, the president of Peña Productions, to discuss how the pandemic has impacted his groundbreaking nightclub chain Boogie Nights and his plans for the future.
The details are still being worked through, but unfettered visitation between the two jurisdictions should in effect by the end of the year. Singapore (l.) is looking for similar agreements elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, and that’s good news for the city-state’s casinos.
It’s reported that a funding crunch related to the pandemic has slowed progress on the big-ticket resorts Caesars and Mohegan Gaming are developing in the Incheon special economic zone. Mohegan still plans to open its Inspire resort (l.) next year. Caesars’ new ownership isn’t saying.
Lawmakers are considering a government-backed plan that would allow developers to count infrastructure spending against the US$2 billion they’re required to invest to secure a gaming license. The Van Don Special Economic Zone at Ha Long Bay (l.) would be a beneficiary of such a plan.
Imperial Pacific Saipan has been hit with a second complaint by regulators for failing to make good on financial commitments and could have its license suspended. An unpaid contractor, meanwhile, is seeking permission from a U.S. court to confiscate the property’s slot machines.
Expansion of the Widus Hotel and Casino complex (l.) in Clark Freeport Zone has been delayed until the end of next year.
Gambling rates have fallen in the UK during the Covid-19 lockdowns according to a study by YouGov and commissioned by charity GambleAware. Only 4 percent of respondents to the survey said they gambled more during lockdown than before, while 41 percent said they gambled less and 52 percent said their gambling levels were roughly unchanged.
French casinos, hard hit by yet another lockdown that could endure until the end of the year, are hoping that the government will bail them out to an extent. Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (l.) recently announced tax exemptions that he will propose to the State Council.
German has initiated a transition period for online gaming in which operators must adhere to strict guidelines. Online slots are subject to the cap per spin and increased intervals between spins. For all forms of gambling, monthly spending limits apply with enhanced due diligence to raise limits.
Macau operates the responsible gaming initiatives at its casinos differently than other countries operate theirs. That’s the observation of former Australian gaming regulator Peter Cohen (l.).
Occupancy limits of 50 patrons have made the reopening of Casino Rama Resort (l.) in Orillia, Ontario unlikely in the near future, officials said. Owned by the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, the venue employed 1,660 people before it closed in mid-March due to concerns over Covid-19.
Talking with investors, SkyCity Entertainment Chief Executive Graeme Stephens said he expects more lockdowns from the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, he doesn’t see the company returning to pre-Covid days before 2022. Meantime, remaining open is a goal for the immediate future.
Researchers at Penn State University will perform a comprehensive survey on the effects of Pennsylvania’s burgeoning online gaming business on problem gambling.
Rush Street Interactive is partnering with Ainsworth Game Technology to bring several of Ainsworth’s strongest casino games to the New Jersey iGaming market.
Evolution Gaming Group is partnering with Wynn Sports Interactive to supply live casino content and services for the U.S. online gaming market, beginning in New Jersey.
Optimove has extended its partnership with GVC Holdings under which it provides customer relationship management services designed to optimize customer data.
NetEnt, which is partnered with DraftKings, has entered the online market in West Virginia, making it the first online content provider approved by the state. The company was approved by the West Virginia Lottery Commission.
EA Games is facing another class action lawsuit over its use of loot boxes in video games. This action was filed in Canada, which has no laws or regulations on the use of loot boxes. The boxes offer randomized game items for players to purchase. Critics charge that since some game items have more value than others, the purchases are essentially gambling.
Playtika has filed with the U.S SEC for an IPO. The world’s largest social casino operator’s goal is to raise $1 billion from stock sales.
Betsson AB of Sweden said it has downsized its UK presence and transferred active brands and licenses to its Rizk.com domain due to regulatory changes in the UK. The company said the move will increase efficiency and allow resources to be reallocated for growth in other markets.
Andy Green, a 53 year-old from Lincolnshire, though he hit the dream jackpot playing blackjack on Betfred’s mobile site. But the company refused payment claiming the jackpot resulted from a software malfunction. Green sued before the High Court. His lawyer said malfunction has not been proven.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (l.) has endorsed a referendum for the state to legalize sports betting. The betting referendum would allow sports gambling for the primary purpose of funding education.
IGT has become the first B2B sports betting platform provider in U.S. to bring NBA official data, marks and logos to regional casinos and sportsbooks. Enrico Drago (l.), IGT PlayDigital senior vice president, says the company is serious about great sports betting technology.
Trevor Croker (l.), the chief executive of slot supplier Aristocrat Leisure Limited says the company is well-positioned to enter the international sports betting market.
Turner Sports has partnered with two sports betting giants, FanDuel and DraftKings. The sportsbooks will provide betting analysis and content to the “Inside the NBA” show as well as to Bleacher Report. In exchange, the sportsbooks gain access to programming and content.
Shane August (l.) is working hard to open the first sports bar and sportsbook in Washington D.C. near the capitol. But first he has to convince his neighbors, many of who consider it a bad idea.
The IRS has issued memos in recent months that daily fantasy sports are, from a tax standpoint, no different than gambling. So far it hasn’t started to enforce that view. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins (.) says the ruling has “no force of law.”
State Senator Paul Sarlo (l.) pushes for a Constitutional amendment to allow wagering on college playoff and championship games played in New Jersey or involving teams from the state.
The PGA Tour and gambling, once as antipathetic to one another as oil and water, are now closely allied. The just completed CJ Cup of the PGA Tour, for the first time, listed live betting odds.
Well-known sports betting podcasters Bill Krackomberger (l.) and Rufus Peabody said William Hill US intentionally delays accepting in-game bets in Nevada to boost its winning percentage against gamblers. William Hill US called the cheating allegations "outrageous" and said it's consulting legal counsel.
The 80,000-square-foot Saracen Casino Resort in Jefferson County, Arkansas opened to the public on October 20. It features 2,300 slots, 35 table games, seven restaurants, VIP lounge and sports lounge and bar. Meanwhile, in Pope County, Cherokee Nation Businesses sued Gulfside Resorts, its rival for the county casino license, and the Arkansas Gaming Commission.
Despite the damage caused by Hurricane Laura in August, Baton Rouge, Louisiana's three riverboat casinos, including L’Auberge Baton Rouge (l., led the state in September winnings compared to September 2019, up 4.6 percent from $17.9 million in to $18.8 million, according to Louisiana Gaming Control Board data. Statewide, gambling revenue fell 31.3 percent from $183.4 million in September 2019 to $126 million.
The "pro-transparency" group, Informed Norfolk, is running a Vote No campaign against the Pamunkey Tribe's planned $500 million casino resort (l.). Voters will have the opportunity to approve the project in a local referendum. The venue will include a 300-room hotel with restaurants, a spa and 2,500-seat entertainment venue and create 2,500 full-time jobs.
Fitch Ratings is predicting that the Las Vegas Strip will face a slower economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic that could stretch into 2024. Meanwhile Northern Nevada is recovering more quickly than the Las Vegas area.
A federal judge has ruled that the personal phones of two casino executives who left the Borgata casino in Atlantic City for the Ocean Casino resort, a Boardwalk competitor, must have their phones examined to see if they copied Borgata customer data. U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro had already ordered a phone provided to William Callahan by the Borgata examined. The new ruling covers a personal phone.
Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino Pittsburgh mini-casino, created in the former space of an anchor store at the Westmoreland Mall, will open to the public on November 24.
Borgata Atlantic City has reopened its poker room—one of the largest in the U.S. and the site of several televised poker tournaments—after being closed for seven months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The casino opened the room with 30 of its 77 tables active and with plexiglass dividers between players.
Hyatt Hotels will develop a new project as part of the Resorts World Casino, serving both casino guests and JFK International Airport.
With New Orleans stepping away from hosting the 2024 Super Bowl because of a Mardi Gras conflict, the Raiders and Las Vegas seem poised to make a pitch to host the game at Allegiant Stadium (l.). If that fails, the city will pitch for a game in 2024. Meantime, the city will have to wait until 2022 to host the Pro Bowl.
The MSG Sphere moved a step closer to reality when two 240-ton steel girders lifted 140 feet off the ground.
MGM Resorts casinos are the latest to bring back entertainment in Las Vegas, when some of its longest running acts return November 6. David Copperfield (l.), Brad Garrett and Carrot Top and several revues reopen albeit in a venue adhering to Covid-19 pandemic protocols.
The MGM Springfield opened two years ago. A study commissioned by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has determined that its increase in gambling has not led to a similar rise in problem gambling.
An ordinance banning smoking at the St. Jo Frontier Casino (l.) passed the first reading. It was proposed by Councilman PJ Kovac who previously voted against the mayor's mask mandate. He said the casino, which had banned smoking, now allows it in some indoor areas. The ordinance is necessary to make sure casino patrons keep their masks on, Kovac said.
Vinyl (l.), a small showroom which operated for many years as the Hard Rock Hotel’s entertainment venue, will be rebranded as 24 Oxford when it reopens as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. That is the address in London of where Richard Branson sold his first vinyl album.
The poker rooms at Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County and Mohegan Sun Pocono in Luzerne County in Pennsylvania were allowed by the state Gaming Control Board to reopen Friday, October 16. Meadows Racetrack & Casino's poker room will reopen Friday, October 23. The state's other six casinos have not announced when players will be allowed in their poker rooms again.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has approved a pari-mutuel license for Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque for 2021. The commission also approved year-round simulcasting at the park and a tentative schedule that includes 112 racing days.
Wyoming’s Northern Arapaho Tribe has announced that it is creating a tribal framework to offer sports betting. Wind River Hotel and Casino CEO Brian Van Enkenvoort, said “Well-regulated sports betting is an excellent way to make the gaming experience even better for our customers at the Wind River Hotel & Casino (l.) and each of our gaming establishments.
The Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma's land-trust applications, submitted in 2016, recently were approved by the U.S. Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney (l.). The tribe plans to build a casino at Ardmore, creating 213 jobs, and at Kingston, creating 175 jobs. Combined economic impact is estimated at $160 million in the first year $783 million over five years.
Around 300 Covid-19 cases are known in San Diego County and the patients visited one of the nine Indian casinos within a two-week period before testing positive. The county health department is not saying which casinos—and neither are the tribes. Sycuan safety manager Eddie Ilko (l.) says his tribe takes extraordinary precautions.
Kings Mountain, North Carolina Mayor Scott Neisler (l.) has been a strong proponent of the $273 million Catawba Two Kings Resort Casino, to be built in his community by the South Carolina-based Catawba Nation. His family owns 865 acres of land worth millions of dollars, all located within one mile of the planned casino. If the casino is successful, those holdings could become even more valuable.
Sales of the Virginia Lottery skyrocketed by 36 percent in the first three months of the fiscal year. The credit goes to the launch of online lottery tickets, according to Director Kevin Hall (l.).
Wynn Resorts has announced the appointment of Darnell Strom as a new independent member of the Board of Directors. Strom previously worked in politics as Deputy Director for former President Bill Clinton, with Senator John Kerry’s Presidential Campaign and as President Barack Obama’s White House Entertainment Council.
The Seneca Gaming Corporation Board of Directors announced that Kevin Nephew has been named the corporation’s President & CEO. As President & CEO, Nephew will oversee the operation and performance of Seneca Gaming Corporation’s three casino properties.
GVC Holdings, a partner with MGM Resorts and BetMGM in Roar Digital, has named former Caesars executive David Satz (l.) and longtime GVC executive Robert Hoskin to its board.
Kathryn M. Hall will join JACK Entertainment as its vice president of diversity and inclusion. The Cleveland native will use her extensive experience to develop a strategy to improve inclusion and diversity at the gaming company.
Novomatic Americas has named casino industry veteran Jeffrey Goodman as the company’s new vice president of sales for North America.
IGT has launched the PeakSlant32 cabinet, the first slot cabinet in the North American market to feature three 32-inch high-resolution monitors, at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun.
Scientific Games has launched its new Kascada slot cabinet, the next generation of the company’s groundbreaking TwinStar J43 premium cabinet. Matt Wilson (l.), gaming group CEO, says it meets and exceeds consumer expectations.
Ainsworth Game Technologies is partnering with route operator Golden Entertainment to supply its Montana Gold MultiGame units to the Montana video lottery terminal market. Blake Sartini Jr. (l.) says the arrangement is a “great match.”
To help launch a pilot program to reduce human trafficking in Atlantic City, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a grant of $233,945 for the Volunteers of America. The organization will use the funds to develop a far-reaching outreach effort to support victims.
JCM Global has upgraded its Intelligent Cash Box (ICB) System installed on 1,200 slot machines at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort in Washington.
Merkur Gaming will conduct a live-stream product demonstration from its showroom in Luebbeke, Germany, to showcase the supplier’s new products for the year.
Brookfield Properties has partnered with Waitwhile to introduce Spot Holder, a program which eliminated the need to wait in lines to get into retail stores. Spot Holder works by providing phone contacts to alert shoppers when their place comes up. It will be tried in several Las Vegas retail shops.
SBC Americas announced a distinguished lineup of speakers, including William Hill’s Joe Asher (l.) slated for Betting on Sports America-Digital, the virtual trade even scheduled for early December.
A judge has thrown out a defamation suit brought by the Sahara casino against a blogger who reported the casino was about to close. District Judge Trevor Atkin dismissed a defamation by trade libel allegation in the suit. The suit initially charges that the blogger had received the information from an employee of an unnamed liquidation company and that he had called the casino to confirm the rumor.
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