It was all about strength in the face of adversity when four of the most prominent women in gaming gathered at G2E 2020 to share their experiences. Moderator Jennifer Gaynor, a gaming attorney and author of “That Broad: Women Who Broker Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry” offered a vital message to their peers throughout the industry: Yes, you can.
When New Jersey’s online gaming taxes continued to roll in even though the Atlantic City casinos were closed, other states took notice. At a G2E session last week Chris Grove (l.), a partner with Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, says the number of states with only gaming will double by 2025.
VSiN launched the sports betting broadcasting revolution in Las Vegas in 2017, almost 18 months before the Supreme Court overturned the ban on wagering, and recently opened a third studio in Circa (l.). Since then, they have expanded across the U.S. Last month, ESPN added its own studio in Las Vegas, capitalizing on the growth in sports betting.
Along with everything else in the country save essential services, the United Kingdom betting establishments are closed once again. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (l.) made the decree over the weekend, with all to remain closed until at least December.
The casino giant Las Vegas Sands appears to be setting a course as a pure-play Asian operator. But the $6 billion asking price for its Las Vegas casinos, The Venetian and Palazzo (l.), together with the Sands Expo Center, is a steep one in the Covid era, leading analysts to suggest a REIT deal could be in the offing.
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The first major casino development in Las Vegas’s downtown in 40 years opened this week: Circa Resort & Casino. It boasts the world’s largest sportsbook, six pools and cool vibe.
Gambling issues are on the ballots in seven states on Tuesday. In South Dakota, Louisiana and Maryland, voters will determine if they want to allow sports betting. Colorado voters could approve increasing current sports betting maximum limits. Nebraska, voters will weigh in on three initiatives that would allow casino gambling. And local referendums in Virginia will consider casinos for those areas.
With no word to date from the government on its plans for renewing or re-bidding the gaming concessions that are set to expire in 2022, time is becoming a major issue for members of the Legislative Assembly. Ella Lei (l.) is concerned there won’t be enough of it to review and approve the plan.
As part of its requirement to shed properties in the Eldorado Resorts merger, Caesars Entertainment Inc. sold Tropicana Evansville in Indiana. The buyers included Gaming and Leisure Properties and Twin River Worldwide Holdings. The purchase price was $480 million. Meanwhile, Twin River will become the Bally’s Corporation on November 9.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) said he will not appeal U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti's ruling that tribal gaming compacts automatically renewed January 1. Stitt had sought to increase exclusivity fees tribes pay in exchange for operating Class III gaming. Under the compacts, the fees range from 4 percent to 10 percent of revenue.
The American Gaming Association is partnering with the National Hockey League to promote responsible gaming through a public service campaign called “Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly.”
The U.S. casino industry is looking for help to recover from Covid-19 lockdowns in the form of tax and regulatory relief, according to American Gaming Association President Bill Miller (l.). The industry estimates it has lost $2 billion in tax revenue during the pandemic as casinos around the country were shut down for about four months, according to the head of the gambling industry's national trade group.
Less than two years in her role, Sandra Douglass Morgan stepped down as chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. She says she’ll take another position with Fidelity National Financial, controlled by Bill Foley, who owns the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
The late Robert McMonigle (far l.), a longtime executive of IGT, and David Orrick, the veteran journalist and gaming communications professional, received AGEM’s 2020 Memorial Awards honoring Jens Halle and Peter Meade.
While casino operators have clearly been garnering lower revenues, they have also managed to cut costs. And it appears that the cost cutting has resulted in better results.
This week, in a special edition of the GGB Podcast, we sit down with Derek Stevens, the CEO of Circa Resort & Casino, which opened last week as the first new casino in Downtown Las Vegas in 40 years.
Government regulator PAGCOR is considering the reform to help casinos recover from a five-month Covid-related shutdown. The industry reopened in August but continues to labor under stringent limits on capacity and other health and safety restrictions.
Closed since March 14 due to Covid-19, casinos in the Indian states of Goa and Sikkim received government permission to reopen November 1 at half capacity. While the nation's largest gaming operator, Delta Corp, posted a second-quarter drop of $3.8 million, online gaming revenue rose 60 percent.
The decline in gaming revenues for October is expected to fall in the 70 percent range compared to the same month last year. That’s a vast improvement over September’s 90 percent decline and a good sign that the market is slowly but steadily digging out from the wreckage of Covid-19.
The NagaCorp casino (l.) in Russian’s Primorye territory is nearly completed. Its progress was halted for a time by delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The People’s Bank of China has drafted a law to legalize the digital yuan which will also make competing digital currencies illegal. The action comes as the central bank has been cracking down on gambling sites that use the stablecoin tether.
Imperial Pacific International has received a stop work order on its hotel casino project. Seems the company has not turned in the drawing and other info to obtain a permit to build according to safety codes. In addition, the company has an investor on its tail seeking to sell off gaming machines and equipment.
The Ministry of Public Security said more than 8,000 investigations have resulted in 60,000 arrests and the dismantling of thousands of illegal gambling and payment platforms. The ministry said the crackdown has interrupted the cross-border flow of more than 1 trillion yuan.
Advertising regulators in the UK proposed stricter rules on ads targeting people under age 18 and potential problem gamblers. In particular, gambling advertisers could not feature celebrities with a "strong appeal" to that age group, such as "the England football captain.” The new rules also would ban ads using humor to downplay the risks of gambling.
The casinos in Catalonia, including the casino in Barcelona’s Hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza (l.), have been granted rent relief due to forced closings due to Covid-19, but have been denied permission from the Spanish government to reopen.
The Netherlands submitted its self-exclusion regulations to the European Commission for approval in advance of the start date for its Remote Gambling Act, designed to reduce problem gambling online.
Swedish online casinos have seen a rapid decline in sales since government restrictions were imposed in July for the Covid-19 pandemic. Online gaming companies have seen an about 30 percent decline in monthly turnover.
The UK Gambling Commission has taken actions against BGO Entertainment, GAN Plc and NetBet Enterprises Ltd after a review of their licenses for failing to meet standards for consumer protection and preventing money laundering. The companies must improve their policies and procedures as well as making payments to progress the work of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Finance's Gambling Supervision Service issued new guidelines for gambling and lottery companies to combat risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. A 2019 risk assessment determined the Gambling Supervision Service was unprepared to deal with the threat of money laundering in casinos.
Hearings have begun into alleged money laundering activities within British Columbia, Canada, focusing on River Rock Casino in Richmond, where a former surveillance manager said it wasn't uncommon to see patrons carrying cash stuffed in bags, bags, suitcases and backpacks. The inquiry was ordered by BC Attorney General David Eby (l.).
The fallout from the Crown money laundering scandal continues to weigh on the industry. The latest is a bill introduced in Parliament by longtime anti-gamer Andrew Wilkie (l.) that would make gaming operators responsible for compensating the victims of any illicit funds they accept.
The Australian city of Sydney is proposing to adopt a program called Libraries After Dark. It hopes the program will help provide an alternative to gambling for addicts. New Darling Harbour library at left.
Following a month-long investigation, Google Ireland has been fined $118,250 by Italy's communications regulator Agcom for violating its ban on gambling advertising by allowing paid ads for sublime-casino.com to appear in Italian search results. The action violated Italy's 2018 Dignity Decree, implemented to combat problem gambling.
Unibet has launched the first-ever online casino games in the U.S. to be themed around professional sports teams in collaboration with the team organizations.
The Virginia Lottery has completed the application process for sportsbooks. While mobile-only to start, the Lottery has 90 days to review the submissions before making naming what could be as many as a dozen licenses. The awarding of licenses could be done by mid-January.
Without fans to cheer them on, soccer and other sports impact odds setting. As a result, bookmakers such as William Hill see a decline in profits from more unpredictable results. The sportsbook operator also faces imminent acquisition by Caesars Entertainment.
The International Betting Integrity Association released protocols for the collection of sports data. The standards focus on three areas: personnel vetting and training, data collation and data integrity and reporting. The group spelled out details for each avenue.
New Jersey’s Freehold Raceway, the state’s third track to offer sports betting, is trying to catch up two the state’s two other tracks with its new sports betting facility. Those tracks – Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands race Track – began sports betting in 2018. Freehold officials say their sportsbook is beginning to pick up steam.
Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli (l.) issued a report which spelled out why sports betting in the U.S. may not meet expectations
Sports betting in Arizona has stalled as lawmakers (sponsor Stephen Pierce l.) and tribal operators have failed to agree on the terms. It could be 2022 before something gets approved. The Northern Arapaho tribe in Wyoming has followed New Mexico's lead in bypassing the state altogether, while a North Dakota tribe has sports betting in its compact.
The Spring League, a feeder league to the NFL, has struck a deal with Genius Sports Group to receive data and other content for live betting during games.
If Quentin Martin proves right, esports wagering will be bigger and more lucrative than traditional sports betting sometime in the future. He points to a couple of trends: esports retained 75 percent of its players even after the coronavirus lockdown ended and the competition is more popular with those 18 to 25.
Caesars Entertainment and William Hill US have announced a sponsorship deal with the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts. The agreement includes introduction of a fan engagement game. The deal is the first joint venture by the companies since Caesars acquired William Hill’s parent company.
Although participation in Colorado’s sportsbook industry has risen dramatically since it debuted in May, the state’s taxes have not risen at the same rate. That’s due to promotional free betting that is designed to bring in new bettors.
The Nevada Gaming Commission licensed Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment to operate Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Mohegan becomes the first tribal company to run a casino in Las Vegas when it opens January 15.
The Cromwell just reopened as an adults-only casino. Cromwell is the last Strip casino owned by Caesars Entertainment to reopen following the Covid shutdowns.
During a third quarter call with investors, Boyd Gaming Corporation CEO Keith Smith revealed the company will not reopen three Downtown Las Vegas casinos, including Main Street Station (l.), until 2021. The earnings report showed the company weathered the pandemic by cutting staff and promotional expenses.
Atlantic City’s casino workforce was down significantly for a third straight month after a nearly four-month shutdown for Covid-19. Atlantic City’s nine casinos reported 22,503 jobs in September 4,782 fewer jobs than reported in September 2019, a decrease of 17.5% year over year.
In Maryland, the Worcester County Commission approved an overlay zone for an entertainment district that eventually could allow Ocean Downs Casino to build a hotel. Local hotel officials said the market is saturated and expressed concerns the casino hotel would steal business. Ocean Downs Casino General Manager Bobbi Sample said the potential hotel would not compete with Ocean City hotels but would attract gamblers who would stay longer and spend more.
Governor Steve Sisolak (l.) plans to unveil a plan soon that he hopes will help revive Nevada’s convention industry. The governor is asking that organizations that had planned to hold conventions in the state, but are reluctant because of Covid, to give it a second look.
The addition of table games, including roulette and craps, doesn’t appear to have significantly boosted attendance at Massachusetts’s Encore Boston Harbor (l.) and MGM Springfield casinos. Attendance is still below the capacity limits set by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
MotorCity Casino Hotel, located in Detroit, Michigan, has gotten approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board to refinance its debt. This will give it more liquidity in case there is another Covid shutdown this winter.
Billionaire Alex Meruelo (l.), owner of the Grand Sierra Resort and Sahara Las Vegas casinos, is the main backer of a Washoe County judicial candidate that is challenging a sitting judge who has ruled against his properties in the past, reports the Nevada Independent. Businesses associated with Meruelo have contributed $110,000 to the campaign of Kathleen Sigurdson, a private practice attorney attempting to unseat incumbent Judge Elliott Sattler.
A group of churches in Bristol, Virginia is running a billboard campaign urging voters to oppose the proposed $400 million Hard Rock Hotel and Casino that would be developed at a vacant mall. The can't-miss black-on-yellow billboards state, "All that glitters is not gold,” “When casinos go up, communities go down” and “What would Jesus do? He would definitely vote no on the casino referendum.”
Mount Airy Casino Resort and Rivers Casino Philadelphia (l.) have been fined by regulators for issuing fee play awards in excess of amounts authorized by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The owner of the land on which the Tropicana hotel casino sits, Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc., is getting lots of inquiries about purchasing the 35 acre site. The company recently listed the property for sale. The casino which Penn National Gaming operates on the land is not for sale.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission did not mandate coastal casinos to shut down as Hurricane Zeta approached on October 28. The commission left the decision up to the individual casinos but urged them to discourage patrons and staff from arriving or leaving until condition were safe.
A feasibility study for a $600 million monorail linking Miami and Miami Beach, built by Genting Group, was approved by Miami-Dade county commissioners. A station would be located on a 30-acre tract Genting bought in Miami in 2011, where it hoped to develop a casino complex (l.) but meanwhile has been approved to build a 300-room hotel.
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation of Arizona have opened a new casino, the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort. It replaces the Fort McDowell Casino that operated since 1984.
The final draft of the environmental impact statement for the Tejon Indian Tribe’s proposed Hard Rock casino resort (l.) near Bakersfield, California, has been published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA will decide within 30 days whether to move forward with the application.
Tribes have the same authority as states to develop water and air quality standards. So ruled a regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week.
A long-standing plan for a casino in Muskegon County Michigan has taken a significant step forward according to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The federal government is expected to release an environmental study of the proposed sight which could then move the proposed project before state regulators.
President Donald Trump announced he supports a recognition bill for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina which if passed, could lead to the tribe’s development of a casino in the state. Former Vice President Joe Biden has previously announced support for the bill.
Washington’s Cowlitz Indian Tribe and their management firm Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment plan an upgrade and expansion of the ilani Casino Resort. Kara Fox-LaRose (l.), general manager and president of ilani, says it will provide an “unmatched experience for the guests.”
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi and FireKeepers Casino Hotel (l.) were honored by the National Indian Gaming Association, which presented its Chairman's Leadership Award. Forbes Magazine also selected the casino as one of the best employers in Michigan
The Pennsylvania Lottery's iLottery platform, developed and managed primarily by Scientific Games, achieved Internet Compliance Assessment Program certification, confirming it complies with the National Council on Problem Gambling's Internet Responsible Gambling Standards. Drew Svitko (l.), executive directors, says his agency is committed to responsible gaming.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have promoted Chief Marketing Officer Rikki Tanenbaum to chief operating officer where she will lead organizational strategic, cultural and economic development initiatives.
Scientific games has name Cathryn Lai senior vice president and general manager of U.S. market for SG Digital, the company’s online gaming subsidiary.
A second of the three members representing billionaire Carl Icahn (l.) on the board of Caesars Entertainment has resigned. James Nelson announced the resignation, effective immediately.
ESPN veteran Ryan Spoon has been named chief operating officer at sports-betting platform BetMGM. At ESPN, Spoon served as senior vice president of social & digital content and senior vice president of digital product and design. He commented, “The opportunity at BetMGM during these early phases was an immediate draw for me."
Scientific Games has agreed a new two-year deal to continue providing instant lottery scratch games to Croatian National Lottery operator Hrvatska Lutrija.
RG24seven has partnered with ROMBET, the association representing the gaming industry in Romania, to implement its video-based responsible gaming training program.
In an interview with Fantini Research, Interblock CEO John Connelly (l.) said the global pandemic has heightened operator interest in electronic table games.
Bobby Flay will close his flagship Mesa Grill (l.) November 14 in Caesars Palace. He will convert the restaurant into an Italian seafood bistro known as Amalfi. The eatery will focus on fish coming from the Amalfi coast of Italy, complete with a fishmonger to customize your order.
Ainsworth Chairman Danny Gladstone (l.) has noted that the company will not reinstate dividends until markets become more predictable in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
The International Gaming Standards Association and the International Association of gaming Regulators have partnered on an initiative to disseminate information on effective gaming regulation.
DraftKings has signed an agreement with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for naming rights and ongoing sponsorship of the university’s Center for Gaming Innovation.
Ted Leonsis (l.), CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment will be one of the keynote speakers at the Sports Betting USA Digital conference.
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