The latest restrictions on restaurants and bars in New Jersey have industry people in Atlantic City pushing back on Governor Phil Murphy’s (l.) broad brush approach. The number of total cases and cases per capita pale in comparison to North Jersey, yet the restrictions apply equally across the state.
According to statistics from the UK National Gambling Treatment Service, only about 3 percent of problem gamblers in the UK are receiving full treatment for their addiction. Statistics show only about 9,000 problem gamblers received treatment from March 2019 to March 2020. The statistics have been released as the UK Gambling Commission begins a public comment phase on restructuring the country’s problem gambling protections.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the much needed convention business in Atlantic City. Major shows went virtual. Others have adopted a wait and see approach in hopes that the virus declines enough to modify or lift restrictions that prohibit meetings. But the boat show (l.) is coming back in March!
G2E panel offers varied supplier, operator perspectives on how the gaming industry has survived the pandemic crisis. Panelists included (l. to r.) Ellen Whittemore, executive vice president of Wynn Resorts; Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and Mike Rumbolz, CEO of Everi Holdings.
Though the top of the ticket is still an undecided mess, seven states approved gaming questions that proved once again that Americans love to gamble, and any predilections they have had about gambling have been dispelled.
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Casinos in several European countries are entering another set of lockdowns due to the coronavirus. They include most UK casinos, Italy, Germany (Spielbank Berlin at left), France and Belgium. As an example of the effect of the closures, GVC is expecting a £37 million impact to EBITDA based on the closures.
Shares of Twin River Casinos Worldwide were up following a positive Q3 revenue report and ahead of the company’s brand change to Bally Corporation. The company also took over Bally’s Atlantic City (l.) after passing regulatory approval in New Jersey.
The show of support from Shinzo Abe’s successor, Yoshihide Suga, could put some fresh energy into the IR process, which has slowed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Suga said he sees liberalization as “an important initiative” for developing Japan as a tourist destination.
Fresh doubt has been cast on Crown Resorts’ plans to open its Sydney megaresort (l.) next month after the lead attorney for a regulatory investigation into the gaming giant in New South Wales has recommended it be found unsuitable to operate in the state.
Sports betting went live in Tennessee shortly after midnight on Sunday, November 1 when BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel launched their mobile apps. Local company Tennessee Acton 24/7 joined the others at 8 a.m. Tennessee is the only state with no commercial sportsbooks or casinos. DraftKings’ Johnny Avello (l.) said it’s an historic development.
A hearing recently was held in Canada's House of Commons for the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, which would legalize single-event sports betting, sponsored by Kevin Waugh (l.). Currently, bettors must correctly pick at least two outcomes in order to win a wager. An estimated $14 billion a year is wagered at offshore websites and illegal bookmaking operations.
In unanimous votes, the Illinois Gaming Board gave final approval for sports betting and tentative approval for a casino at Fairmount Park racetrack in Collinsville. The venue had been seeking new revenue sources to increase purses for decades. The board earlier approved a casino at Hawthorne Race Course. Arlington International Racecourse did not apply for either a casino or sports wagering license.
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Paul Steelman, the founder and president of the leading architectural design company, Steelman Partners, on the recently opened Circa casino resort in Downtown Las Vegas and the challenges to its design process.
Regulators approved the expansion of online gaming to help the market recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Casinos in the Philippines, including Solaire (l.), were shut down for five months to contain the spread of the virus and are still operating under strict health and safety limitations.
A 50 percent increase in the entry fee charged to Singapore residents is keeping locals away from the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa (l.) casino properties.
October’s gaming revenue total surpassed MOP7 billion in a clear sign the market is bouncing back on the strength of renewed tourist travel from China. Daily visitation increased to more than 20,000. Hotel occupancy improved to 40 percent.
SJM, the only Macau operator without a resort on Cotai, won’t have one for at least a little while longer. Grand Lisboa Palace (l.) was expected to debut in December, but the company says that’s now been pushed to the first quarter.
Casino operators in Goa, including the owner of the Deltin Royale (l.), voiced concerns about reopening their properties given the diminished number of visitors and the restrictions required to ease the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. Congress also objected because of the traffic and pollution especially with offshore locations.
Hotel chain Waterfront Philippines has been seeking the license since 2008 and finally has won a Supreme Court ruling ordering PAGCOR to award it. The proposed resort, Grand Waterfront Hotel and Casino, part of Manila’s Entertainment City (l.),is now in search of partners.
Suncity Group Holdings Limited of Hong Kong will invest $200 million in Phase II of the casino resort Tigre de Cristal near Vladivostok, Russia, according to Stylianos Tsifetakis (l.). The group also recently completed acquiring a 69.7 percent stake in Summit Ascent, which operates the property.
Saipan’s CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation collection branch has filed another tax lien notice against Imperial Pacific International LLC in Superior Court and the District Court for the Northern Marianas Islands. The division maintains that IPI has an unpaid balance of $176,880.70.
The People’s Republic of China announced that it will delist so-called “high-frequency” lottery products and virtual sports betting, placing new challenges on lottery operators.
Kindred Group will acquire all shares in the Rank Group subsidiary that operates Belgium’s Casino Blankenberge (l.), the Unibet operator’s licensing partner for the country’s online market. The company will acquire 100% of shares in Blankenberge Casino-Kursaal at a valuation of £25 million on a cash and debt-free basis.
A casino resort planned for Belgium’s North Sea coast will resemble a sand dune topped by a boulder. The Casino Middelkerke (l.) will recall the area’s original landscape.
According to statistics from the UK National Gambling Treatment Service, only about 3% of problem gamblers in the UK are receiving full treatment for their addiction. Statistics show only about 9,000 problem gamblers received treatment from March 2019 to March 2020. The statistics have been released as the UK Gambling Commission begins a public comment phase on restructuring the country’s problem gambling protections.
GVC, parent company to Ladbrokes and Coral, announced it will cease operations of its 106 racecourse betting sites. GVC will sell the racecourse pitches—85 in the UK and 21 in Ireland—to John Hooper, who trades under the name Sid Hooper.
The European Gaming and Betting Association is warning Spain’s Consumer Affairs Ministry that the country’s Royal Decree advertising restrictions conflict with European Union competition policies. Spain’s autonomous regional governments have been ordered to adapt the Royal Decree on Advertising mandate, which is a nearly complete ban of gambling ads.
Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has unveiled a non-smoking policy for its properties, to be fully implemented by the end of 2022. It will be in in force from the start when Star’s integrated resort (l.), the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, opens.
Argentina has approved an increase in taxes on online gaming effective next year. The taxes will rise from 2 percent to 5 percent, as recommended by Finance Minister Martín Guzmán (l.). Certain companies from certain low or no taxation countries would pay 10 percent. The Argentinean State Lottery Association voiced concerns would benefit illegal gambling operations.
Financial pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic will cause the closure of the remaining three of Subic Bay’s four Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators.
The new draft of the Ohio sports betting bill introduced by Senator John Eklund (l.) included several changes. The changes reduced the number of licenses per casino and racino from three to two; did not require operators from using both licenses; required management service providers to pay $10,000 every three years to renew.
A District Court judge has overturned a Montana rule that sports betting will only be allowed in establishments with liquor licenses. Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Kathy Seeley found the rule was not what lawmakers intended when they authorized sports wagering last year.
Laura Varela (l.), the owner of an offshore sportsbook founded by her murdered husband, hope to convince New Jersey regulators that 5Dimes is a sure bet. The company had to pay steep fines for money laundering, and will now seek a hearing before state gaming regulators which could lead to a license.
Bryson DeChambeau (l.), ranked six in the world, signed a deal to represent DraftKings. He became the first pro golfer to sign such a marketing agreement. The Memphis Grizzlies signed a marketing deal of its own with FanDuel, the first NBA partnership for the sportsbook.
WynnBET, the digital gaming division of Wynn Resorts, and NASCAR have formed a multi-year nationwide sports betting partnership. WynnBET will be an Authorized Gaming Operator of NASCAR, creating and promoting sports betting experiences for U.S. racing fans.
A possible second pandemic surge and new executive orders from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, are forcing the Bay States three casinos to curtain their hours. The Encore Boston Harbor (l.), MGM Springfield casinos and the Plainridge Park slots parlor will all be closed between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Faced with lower than hoped for occupancy, MGM Resorts International followed Wynn Resorts and closed Park MGM (l.) midweek through the holiday season. Midweek occupancy throughout the city fell to 39 percent in September, a sharp decline from the prior year.
A new Michigan law allows those who place themselves on the self-exclusion list to come off after five years. The change could result in more problem gamblers signing up for the list if they have an escape clause, according the Richard Kalm (l.), the executive director of state gaming board. The self-exclusion list only applies to the three commercial casinos in Detroit.
VICI Properties pulled out of a deal to purchase 23 undeveloped acres (l.) from Caesars Entertainment because of issues relating to parking obligations. The real estate investment trust expects to revisit the deal when the issues resolve.
The Kentucky Derby (l.) will return to its traditional May date this year, but in deference to the coronavirus pandemic, seating will be limited. The track owners, Churchill Downs, will delay construction of projects due to a state Supreme Court decision to prohibit horse racing gambling machines at tracks.
Eight of Illinois’s 10 casinos are reducing their hours and cutting how many people can be inside them as a result of a second surge of Covid test results. This follows an executive order by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Boyd’s Par-A-Dice casino (l.) in East Peoria isn’t affected.
A circuit court judge in Platte County, Missouri ruled Integrity Vending's slot-like games are illegal—a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for the 14,000-plus games operating in gas stations and bars throughout the state. Because the games are unregulated, consumers are not protected from low payouts and no revenue goes to public education or problem gambling services.
After the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically reduced traffic between Las Vegas and California things are starting the bounce back. For the first time traffic levels exceeded last year’s levels.
The REIT MGM Growth Properties is interested in purchasing a casino much like the Venetian (l.) in Las Vegas. But it’s also looking for a suitable partner to run it.
A bond offering that aimed to raise $2.4 billion to help fund a high speed rail line to serve Los Angeles and Las Vegas has been delayed. The delay was caused by “economic uncertainty.”
The Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana (l.), located in Gary Indiana, has moved its scheduled opening date until the spring, but also scheduled hiring events as it looks to fill about 800 full- and part-time dealer positions for the resort. The casino will train applicants and is not requiring previous experience.
On November 2 the Navajo Nation Council approved reopening the tribe’s four casinos spread across New Mexico and Arizona. The bill requires the signature of President Jonathan Nez (l.).
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McGirt vs. Oklahoma, Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) has hired Tulsa attorney Ryan Leonard as a consultant on Indian affairs. The ruling stated a Native American individual was improperly tried in state court among other questions, such as the status of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's reservation. Stitt said the case "creates uncertainty and raises issues for the state of Oklahoma."
The Alabama Coushatta Tribe's Naskila Gaming electronic bingo venue in Livingston, Texas will be closed from November 2 to November 16 due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. The facility's 700 employees will continue to be paid, as they were when the venue was closed for several weeks earlier this year. It reopened September 10 with new health and safety protocols.
Connecticut’s Foxwoods Casino has after eight months of being closed, reopened it Grand Theater (l.). Operating at 25 percent capacity, the first performer to appear was comic Bob Marley.
Soboba Casino Resort has reopened its event center. The Southern California resort will operate the center with no more than 50 guests at a time.
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation opened its We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, including 850 slots, 22 blackjack tables a large poker room and a 400-seat bingo parlor.
The Catawba Nation and the administration of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (l.) are negotiating a draft gaming compact regarding the tribe's $273 million casino under construction in Kings Mountain. The South Carolina-based tribe claims its ancestral home extends into North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, operators of two North Carolina casinos, filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Catawba casino.
After tabling a request from the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise for $80 million beyond the $250 million budgeted for an expansion at Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina, the tribal council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians later voted 11-1 to approve it. The request originally was rejected for lack of backup documents.
Scientific Games has won a new 10-year contract to supply central gaming system services and management of instant-tickets for the Oklahoma Lottery. Oklahoma Lottery Deputy Director Jay Finks (l. to r.) celebrates the $1 billion milestone for education in the state with Scientific Games Oklahoma General Manager Jamie Evans, retiring Lottery Director Rollo Redburn and Scientific Games Senior Director Business Development Allen Blankinship.
Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment has named Byron Yip, the property’s COO, to head the destination casino. Ownership said Yip was selected for the job based on his expertise on the gaming side.
Kelly McKinnon has been named chief financial officer of the Mohegan Sun. She will be in charge of all phases of finance for the Connecticut-based casino.
Mayor Marty Small is the apparent winner of a one year unexpired term for mayor of Atlantic City, beating back a challenge from Republican Thomas Forkin. Small, tapped to become interim mayor after the resignation of Frank Gilliam last year, will seek a four year term in 2021.
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady has named Mayra Zequeida (far l.) director of marketing and Linda Waters director of human resources. Both formerly worked for Station Casinos.
Craig Clark, formerly general manager of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, has been hired by Cordish Companies to serve as director of finance for the new Live! Casino Pittsburgh.
The University of Massachusetts will be one of a number of collegiate men's basketball teams to play inside a bubble at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. Dubbed Bubbleville, the location will be home to various holiday tournaments. UMass will play with Sienna, Delaware and Iona.
JCM Global has increased its footprint of software solutions with Churchill Downs Inc., installing the iVISION, GEN5 and ICB solutions at the new Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel (l.) property.
Both GLI Europe and BMM Testlabs have been approved for a license to test equipment and systems in all categories of gaming in Greece by the Hellenic Gaming Commission.
Galaxy Gaming has received a $4 million loan from Nevada State Bank to boost a casino business suffering from revenue losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. CEO Todd Cravens says it will give his company the ability to ride out any short-term downturn.
Clarion Events has acquired California-based Quartz Events, a producer of invitation-only summits featuring top executives in guaranteed meeting programs.
Sports Betting USA will hold its annual conference digitally November 12-13, in an invitation-only event featuring 100 sports betting professionals.
A certain buzz circulated around Circa and the Cromwell, two adults-only casinos in Las Vegas. Cromwell is home to the legendary Drai’s Nightclub (l.) But the question is whether it's a short lived fad or develops legs and launches a trend.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom