Consultants Chart Post-Covid Las Vegas

A group of gaming consultants and researchers, led by UNLV Professor David Schwartz (l.), has released a study charting how Las Vegas is likely to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jamul Tribe’s Chairwoman Pinto A ‘Warrior’

Erica M. Pinto (l.), the chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village, received the Warrior Award from the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California in early November. The small tribe in Southern California operates the Jamul casino.

Caesars Boosts CSR Approach

Caesars Entertainment has reconfirmed its longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility following the 2020 merger with Eldorado Resorts. In its latest report on Corporate Social Responsibility, Caesars shared continued priorities as well as ongoing efforts amid the pandemic.

Betting on Golf Pays Big

The PGA Tour has embraced sports betting from the beginning of the pandemic, when it aggressively pursued marketing the game. Golf superstar Bryson DeChambeau (l.) has signed a promotional deal with DraftKings. The percentage increase in golf bets year over year has borne out the success of this approach. Look for golf to go big on in-play and prop bets.

The Green Felt Road Is Bumpy, But Macau Is Bouncing

The tourist visa system that controls entry to Macau is crucial to a gaming recovery has been slow to ramp up in China. But the market is already seeing the benefits. Visitation has improved to 40,000 a day on average (Macau-Zhuhai border gate at left), and casino win is expected to approach half of pre-pandemic levels by year’s end.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Ontario Seeks to End Online Gaming Monopoly

Ontario’s government is set to introduce legislation that would end the Ontario Lottery’s online gambling monopoly and open up the market to private operators. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is the only operator approved to offer online gambling in the province through its website.

More European Casinos Close Due to Covid-19

More land-based gaming venues have been ordered closed due to the coronavirus including casinos and betting shops in Latvia, Lithuania and Greece. Closures are already in place for November in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium France, Germany and Italy.

Referendum Could Stall Yokohama’s IR Bid

A petition to place Yokohama’s casino plans on the ballot has collected more than double the number of required signatures. If it gets to that stage, and it’s voted down, the city’s pro-casino mayor, Fumiko Hayashi (l.), says she will halt the pursuit of a license.

Twin River Now Bally Corp.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings is now officially rebranded as Bally’s Corp and is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under its new name. The company announced the change was coming after spending $20 million for the Bally name and brand. New Jersey gaming regulators have also approved the company’s $25 million acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City.

Regulators Set To Meet With Crown Sydney Opening on the Line

Legal counsel to New South Wales’ Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority say Crown Resorts is not suitable to hold the license for the multibillion-dollar casino hotel. It appears that Crown is determined to open it anyway. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (l.) says she will abide by the regulatory decision.

IRS Moves Closer to Declaring Fantasy Sports Betting

The IRS issued a memo that said the money paid by a player in daily fantasy sports participates in a game where the payment represents a wager. The memo shows the IRS thinking on daily fantasy sports compared to sports betting. Whether the agency acts on the memo remains to be seen.

Many Interested in Buying the LVS Las Vegas Properties

There are many potential buyers for the Venetian and other properties that Las Vegas Sands Corp. is reportedly interested in selling. According to a gaming analyst they include Australia’s Crown Resorts, Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta (l.), Galaxy Entertainment Group and Churchill Downs Inc.

GVC Sets Clear Strategy, Changes Name

GVC Holdings last week released its strategy for the future, which includes for sustainability, growth and innovation. Chief Executive Shay Segev (l.) said the company, partners in the U.S. with BetMGM, would also change its name to Entain plc.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Canadian Revolution

Executives with Great Canadian Gaming thought they had a winner with a sale of the company to investment firm Apollo Management. Shareholders didn’t think so and it might cause the ouster of the CEO.


Goa Offshore Casinos Licenses Renewed

The Corporation of the City Panaji, Goa, recently voted to renew the licenses of six offshore casinos operating in River Mandovi, including the Deltin Caravela (l.). A year ago the council rejected renewing the licenses after locals complained about noise and disruption when the casinos docked. But council members said they could be sued if the licenses were not renewed. Also, struggling small businesses asked for the casino license renewals to help their operations.

Singapore, Hong Kong Ready To Float Travel ‘Bubble’

Hong Kong (l.) and Singapore have reached an accord to reopen to each other’s tourists. The first planes are scheduled to start flying on a limited basis later this month. For Singapore’s hard-pressed casinos, it can’t happen soon enough.

Issues Confound Imperial Pacific International

Imperial Pacific International faces numerous issues besides being closed since mid-March due to Covid-19. A third-party investment of $5.59 million has raised concerns at the Commonwealth Casino Commission in the Marianas Islands. Construction was halted on IPI's Garapan development. And the company further delayed its payroll.

Genting HK Sells 50 Percent of Planned Macau Hotel

Genting Hong Kong sold half of its interest in Resorts World @ Macau (l.), which will bring in badly needed cash, and more sales of non-core assets could be in the offing as the company struggles to keep its Covid-battered cruise ship business afloat.

India Grapples with Rise of Gambling

As India deals with potential harms from gambling, especially the online variety, factions on each side dig in their heels. Gaming operators say a crackdown would send people to offshore sites, depriving the state of much needed revenue. Opponents say the human toll demands action. The Madras High Court (l.) wants to ban all online gambling.

Macau Gaming Employees Worry About Jobs

A new poll indicated 60 percent of Macau gaming employees have been forced to take unpaid leave due to Covid-19. And about 80 percent said they're concerned they could be dismissed or that unpaid leave might be extended. Workers with more than 10 years in the industry were found to feel the most insecure.

Bailout for Silver Heritage Moves Ahead

Financial regulators in Australia have cleared a Philippines group to acquire 92 percent of Silver Heritage’s ASX-listed shares and fold them into a new company. The Asia-facing casino operator went into receivership earlier this year after the pandemic forced its Nepal resorts, including Tiger Palace Resort (l.), to close.

Genting Resumes Cruises to Nowhere

Genting Cruise Lines has launched its first “cruise to nowhere” since the Covid-19 crisis, in a move that analysts say could help lift the stock of Genting HK.


UK Gambling Commission Releases Strategic Assessment

The UK Gambling Commission has published a National Strategic Assessment to assess the “issues and the risks gambling presents to consumers and the public,” says head of the commission, Neil McArthur (l.). The assessment outlines actions needed to reduce risks for problem gamblers as well as pointing out progress in making gambling safer in the country.

Sweden Looks to Maintain Covid-19 Online Casino Controls

The Swedish government has launched a consultation on extending the temporary controls for online casinos until June. The government wants the extension to better protect players during the Covid-19 pandemic. Temporary controls, including a controversial deposit limit, went into effect in July and were scheduled to be in effect until the end of the year.

Spain to Regulate Gaming Ads

Spain has adopted a law severely restricting gaming advertising. Jdigital, which represents online gaming providers, predicts players will turn to the black market.


Baha Mar Announces Phased Reopening December 17

The mega-resort Baha Mar in Nassau, the Bahamas, will reopen in phases starting December 17 with new safety and health measures to combat Covid-19. The 100,000-square-foot Baha Mar Casino, the Caribbean's largest, will implement its own health and safety protocols. It offers slots, table games, race and sports betting, mobile gaming, VIP rooms and private gaming areas.

Paraguay Mulls Raising Gaming Tax

Paraguay’s Ministry of Finance has included in its 2021 tax reforms an additional tax on gaming. Deputy Minister Oscar Orué (l.) commented, “Our taxes aren’t that high and that also helps people to comply with their tax obligations.”


Wynn Interactive Expands its Reach in iGaming, Sports Betting

Wynn Resorts added the acquisition of U.K.-based BetBull to its arsenal in its quest to expand its presence in the iGaming and online sports betting sphere. Under the umbrella of Wynn Interactive, the new subsidiary would accumulate a presence in markets in both the U.S. and abroad, according to Wynn CEO Matt Maddox (l.).

New York Fund Backs Out of Bid for William Hill

Apollo Global Management, a New York investment firm last week decided it would not seek to best the offer made by Caesars Entertainment to buy William Hill, but that it may be interested in William Hill's European subsidiaries.

Sportech Rebuffs Buy-out Bid

Betting technology company Sportech has declined two offers from New York hedge fund, Standard General. Sportech CEO Richard McGuire (l.) said the bids undervalue the worth of the company. In response, Standard General disclosed the bids in hopes that investors will exert pressure to accept the latest bid.


Maryland Sportsbooks Could Start by Summer

Sports betting could be up and running in Maryland by summer, pending the legislature passing enabling legislation setting the rules and tax rates. The legislation’s sponsor, Senator Craig Zucker (l.), says he “can’t imagine” a scenario where online sports betting is not approved.

Virginia Lottery Moving Forward on Sports Betting

The Virginia Lottery is vetting sports betting applicants and still on track to launch online sports betting by early next year., says director Kevin Hall (l.). Meanwhile, voters in the state approved casinos in four cities meaning the lottery will have to develop a Vetting Sports Betting Applicants have to develop a regulatory framework for retail casino gaming.

New Jersey Considers College Sports Betting Expansion

A bill in the new legislature would ask voters to approve expanding sports betting on college sports to include New Jersey teams like the Big Ten’s Rutgers, and college games played in the state. New Jersey’s sports betting market has been gaining revenue at a record pace and current restrictions are seen as a hinderance to future growth. The state also hopes to attract more collegiate playoff and championship sports to its arenas.

Louisiana Sports Betting Revenue Unknown

Voters in 55 of Louisiana's 64 parishes approved sports betting but it's not likely to debut before 2022, according to Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Mike Noel (l.). He said the legislature has to create a framework, followed by the rule-making process. Another unknown is whether sports betting will be allowed online as well as in person.

Indiana Sports Betting Returns To Normal

Despite Covid-19 limitations and few fans in the stands, Indiana sportsbooks hit a new high in October with handle of $230.9 million with $21.1 million in revenue. That's 150 percent higher than $92 million in October 2019. Mobile wagering accounted for 84 percent of bets placed during the month. Casino revenue fell 1.9 percent in October to $150 million compared to September.


Rio to Reopen in December

The Rio Casino Resort will likely reopen in December said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg. It is the last Caesars property in Las Vegas to remain closed due to the pandemic.

Missouri Town Casino Smoking Ban Fails On Tie Vote

A 4-4 vote of the St. Joseph, Missouri city council meant an ordinance to ban smoking at the St. Jo Frontier Casino (l.) did not pass. Councilmember PJ Kovac said he sponsored the ordinance after seeing people at the card tables "pulling their masks down and blowing smoke right into the dealer's face." Kovac said he'll continue to push for the smoking ban.

Ohio Casino Set Another Monthly Record

Once again, Ohio's 11 casinos and racinos reported record revenue in October. The venues produced revenue of $169.1 million after paying out winnings, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to $158.4 million in October 2019. For the first time, Hollywood Casino Columbus (l.) topped MGM Northfield Park, the perennial state leader.

Trump Plaza Set to Implode January 29

Trump Plaza the first casino in Atlantic City to be opened by President Donald Trump, is set to implode nine days after the end of Trump’s presidency.

Illinois Gaming Board Extends Application Process

The Illinois Gaming Board announced it may take another six months to process casino license applications from the six communities approved for casino gambling under the expanded gambling bill. The board already has been working on the applications for a year. State Senator Dave Syverson (l.) expressed frustration over the situation, noting communities are awaiting the economic benefits and jobs that come with gaming.

Wrestling, Basketball Face Uncertain March in Atlantic City

Organizers of the annual New Jersey state wrestling championships still plan on returning to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall (l.) in March. So do the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments. What the contests look like depends on the state of the Covid-19 pandemic by then.

Las Vegas CVA Extends Partnership with Speedway

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority extended a sponsorship contract with the Las Vegas Motor Speedway through 2031. The extension, while for fewer dollars, keeps two NASCAR races a year at the track. The current contract expires in 2024. Spring races will be held March 5 to 7.


Ho-Chunk to Invest $300 Million In Nebraska Racinos

Ho-Chunk Inc. will invest $300 million in new casinos in Nebraska following voters' approval of Las Vegas-style gambling. The company's new WarHorse Gaming LLC will manage the gaming venues at Atokad Park (l.) in South Sioux City, and facilities in Omaha and Lincoln. Proponents said Nebraskans spend more than $500 million annually at Iowa and other outstate casinos.

San Manuel Brakes Expansion Due to Covid

Just as the tribe celebrated the topping off ceremony (l.) for San Manuel Casino’s $500 million expansion it hit the brakes. It announced a year delay to reopening due to continued coronavirus concerns.

Wind River Casinos Close Due To Covid-19 Surge

The Northern Arapaho Business Council closed its Wind River Hotel & Casino (l.) and other gaming venues from November 9 through November 30 due to a surge in Covid-19 cases in Fremont County, Wyoming. Council Chairman Alee Spoonhunter said tribal health authorities suggested the casinos be closed. No layoffs, furloughs or pay reductions have been implemented.

Norfolk Faces Cordish Lawsuit Over Tribal Casino

When Norfolk voters approved a casino resort backed by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Cordish Companies threatened legal action charging the city with breaching an agreement to give first casino dibs to the developer of Waterside (l.). As the threat plays out, the casino project spokesman promises to move forward seeking city permits.

NY Tribe Demands Covid Insurance Coverage

A New York tribe claims its insurer owns it millions of dollars in claims for damages caused earlier this year by closing of its Akwesasne Mohawk Casino (l.) because of the coronavirus. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has filed its claim in federal court.

Connecticut Casinos Comply with Rollback Guidelines

Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun (l.) have announced they will both comply with Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s rollbacks in the face of a spike in Covid-19 positive tests. In June the tribes reopened their casinos against Lamont’s wishes.

FireKeepers Casino To Close To General Public On New Year's Eve

Officials at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan announced the venue will close to the public between 3:00 p.m. December 31 and 7:00 a.m. January 1. An invitation-only New Year's Eve event will be held that evening. Vice President of Marketing Jim Wise (l.) said, "With our occupancy constraints due to social distancing, we can’t be the place where the public goes to party this year."

Foxwoods Opens 55-Plus Casino

Patrons 55 and over will have their own casino at Foxwoods Resort Casino. The casino has set aside an entire floor for the Rainmaker Casino between 10 a.m. and midnight every weekend.


Brin Gibson to Head Nevada Gaming Board

Las Vegas lawyer and former chief of the gaming division J. Brin Gibson, has been named chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Governor Steve Sisolak made the appointment.

Wynn Resorts Consultant Set to Advise Biden’s COVID task force

A health security adviser who assisted Wynn Resorts Ltd. in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic has been tapped to advise President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 task force. Rebecca Katz, a Georgetown University global health security professor, will not sit on the task force, but will advise the Incoming administration on preparing to tackle the virus.


IGT Installs Advantage System in Hanoi

IGT has installed its Advantage casino management system at the Bao Son International Hotel Versaces Club (l.) in Hanoi City, Vietnam, replacing a competitor’s system.

Scientific Games Reports Improving Results

Scientific Games has reported lower losses for the quarter ending September 30, as the makeover of the supplier’s board of directors sparks new optimism. Australian executive Hamish McLennan (l.) has been named to the company board.

CPI Lands Circa Contract

Crane Payment Innovations has secured a preferred partnership to supply its CPI SC Advance banknote validators and Easitrax Web Management System at the new Circa Resort & Casino (l.).

UNLV Law School Offers Gaming Classes

The William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas will offer online gaming and regulatory courses for operators, regulators, lawyers and others involved in the gaming industry. The program is made possible by a $256,000 gift from the GVC Foundation U.S. and will be offered in the first and second quarters of 2021.


Australasian Show Set for 2021

The Australasian Gaming Expo has been approved to return to the International Convention Centre (l.) on August 10-12, 2021 in Sydney, Australia, with a daily limit on attendance of 4,000.




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