October gaming revenues in Pennsylvania provide a window on how land-based casino revenue and online gaming revenue can complement one another. Gaming researcher and consultant Paul Girvan explains how the growth of online revenues blunted the closure of land-based facilities.
An early prediction by a nearly forgotten gaming regulator has come true in today’s world. But is it such a bad thing? Spectrum Gaming’s Michael Pollock (l.) reflects.
Sports Betting is exploding, but an even bigger winner will be online gaming—iGaming is multi-billion dollar opportunity of a lifetime for savvy game creators.
One of gaming’s most thoughtful designers, Paul Heretakis, encourages the removal of the plastic barriers that have gone up in responses to the pandemic in almost every casino resorts once the worst is over, and a return to “normalcy.”
After more than a decade trying to get Canada to support single game wagering, that goal may be close at hand. Attorney General David Lametti (l.) has introduced a bill in the House of Commons to amend the criminal code to remove the language against such bets.
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A comprehensive regulatory regime is now in place in the Southeast Asia nation. Its aim is two-fold: to boost economic growth through tourism and to attract investment by bringing the market’s historically lax oversight into line with international standards. NagaCorp Chairman Tim McNally (l.) says the low tax rate will enable the country to stay competitive with other jurisdictions.
As Covid-19 cases continue to soar in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker (l.) ordered the state's 10 casinos and 37,459 video gambling machines in 7,135 locations to close indefinitely. It was just one of several states that tightened restrictions on casinos due to the pandemic.
Las Vegas Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson (l.) donated $4.5 million to Republicans running for the Texas House in the recent election cycle and hired eight lobbyists to push for legalized casino gambling. His wish could come true if lawmakers pass state Rep. Joe Deshotel's bill authorizing casino gambling in coastal areas.
Regulators have approved a request from the Golden Nugget Atlantic City (l.) to break from its land-based casino owner and go public as an iGaming affiliate of the casino.
Sun Dreams casino is officially 100 percent Chilean owned. Nueva Inversiones Pacífico Sur Limitada, based in the South American nation, has completed purchase of all shares of the casino from Sun International.
The EU Commission has approved the joint control of Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft by the Czech gaming group Sazka and Österreichische Beteiligungs AG. The commission said the takeover would not raise competition concerns because of its limited impact on the market.
The Yokohama government is all for a casino, but an opposition group has collected more than enough signatures to place the issue before the electorate. What it means is that interested companies likely will be bidding for the project without knowing if the possibility for it exists.
The casino industry in Atlantic City saw profits decline more than 37 percent in the third quarter despite seeing the properties reopen, albeit with restrictions. Only Ocean Casino Resort saw an increase in profitability. But consultant Bob Ambrose says were it not for online gaming and sports betting the results could have been worse.
While most gaming stocks have yet to make a full recovery from the March Covid crash, there are four companies that have increased—all for the same reason, sports betting.
This week the GGB Podcast sits down with Jorge Perez, the president and chief operating officer of MGM National Harbor, who explains about his recent appointment and the difficult situation of reopening the property following the lockdown.
With new infections on the rise in and around the South Korean capital, municipal authorities have ordered the city’s four foreigners-only casinos to close, including the Walkerhill casino inside the Sheraton (l.). The order is expected to remain in effect for at least two weeks.
Limited tourist flights between the two cities have been postponed for at least a couple of weeks amid concerns in Hong Kong over a spike in Covid-19 infections. The plan, when it does come to fruition, will permit one flight a day from each city with a maximum of 200 passengers per flight.
Tak Chun Group CEO Levo Chan (l.) has bought into effective control of the Hong Kong-listed casino operator, whose holding include two casinos in Macau. He is assuming the title co-chairman and will be joined on the board of directors by one of his top executives.
Troubles continue to pile up for Imperial Pacific International, operators of the Grand Mariana Casino Hotel (l.) in Garapan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The company failed to pay employees for the fourth consecutive week, defying orders from the Commonwealth Casino Commission. Meanwhile, three Turkish workers filed a complaint against IPI for failure to be paid since October 1 and being forced to eat Chinese food.
Problem gambling has not increased in Sweden and the government should not extend online gambling restrictions issued July 2 in an effort to contain Covid-19, said Henrik Tjärnström (l.), CEO of online gambling provier Kindred Group. The restrictions place a maximum weekly deposit limit, among others. They were set to expire at the end of the year but the government has proposed an extension through June 30, 2021.
The 14 branches of Holland Casino in the Netherlands reopened November 19 after being closed for two weeks due to Covid-19. Health and safety protocols implemented prior to the shutdown are being followed, such as 30 persons per gaming room. Face masks are mandatory but patrons may remove them once they have settled at a gaming position.
Nick Rust (l.), CEO of the British Horseracing Authority, is calling for the UK government to reopen betting shops when current Covid-19 restrictions end even though some shops may be in Tier 3 areas under the country’s closure system. Rust said there is no evidence that betting shops have contributed to the spread of the virus. The move seems to have worked as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a winter plan for Covid-19 that could see betting shops gain permission to stay open through the country’s tier system.
Mikel Arana, Director-General of Spain’s Directorate General for Regulating Gambling, said the regulatory agency has advised the Spanish government to change its gaming laws to reclassify video game loot boxes as games of chance. He also said the government will launch a public consultation before the end of the year, aiming for new gaming regulations to come into force by the second half of 2021.
The UK lottery Camelot has recorded its second-highest interim performance, generating ticket sales of £3.85 billion for the first six months of the year. This comes despite a decline in sales of 18 percent in April at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moody’s recently downgraded the debt of Crown Resorts. The action, which Fitch Ratings is expected to follow, reflects the casino giant’s increasing regulatory woes and the uncertain future surrounding Crown Sydney (l.) and its license, Moody’s said. Analysts, in the meantime, have begun speculating about a merger between Crown and NSW rival Star Entertainment.
A six day lockdown of casinos in South Australia reversed to three days after infected worker lied about his illness. Therefore, SkyCity Adelaide (l.) has reopened.
A resurgence of Covid-19 infection rates have led to a minimum 28 day lockdown leading casinos, including Great Canadian’s Great Blue Heron casino (l.), to shut down or face higher levels of restrictions.
In his role as chair of the Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand, Peter Dengate Thrush (l.) has been critical of misleading gaming statistics being published. He says comparisons between the impact of lockdowns and the returns of gambling paint a skewed picture.
Norway's gambling monopoly Norsk Tipping issued a report stating risky behavior dropped due to the suspension of certain forms of gambling during the nation's Covid-19 lockdown from March through September. Lotteries were the preferred type of gambling during the lockdown, but sports betting disappeared as leagues and competitions were suspended.
France’s online gambling market saw a 17.1 percent growth over 2019 for online gaming. year-on-year and poker in particular performing well. Revenue for the quarter rose $482.2 million, representing a 25.4 percent improvement on the second quarter. During the second quarter, online sports betting revenue was down steeply as professional leagues were not in action due to Covid-19 restrictions.
BetMGM will become the first iGaming app to employ PlayPause, a multi-state responsible gaming tool developed by a nonprofit subsidiary of GeoComply. BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt (l.) called it a “timely initiative.”
Playtech has announced that it has integrated Affordability UK into its Information Management Systems platform. This tool for identity verification and fraud detection is provided by TruNarrative.
BetBlocker recognized Safer Gambling Week with a feature that makes it easier for players to block online gambling activities to promote responsible gaming.
Research company Ravelin conducted a survey that showed a rise in fraud cases involving online gaming.
Georgia is among the states that have not legalized sports betting. But DraftKings Co-Founder and North America President Matt Kalish (l.) said Georgia would be "a perfect market." When the legislature reconvenes in January, professional teams are expected to lobby for sports betting legislation similar to the mobile sports betting bill that state passed last year.
An Ohio sports betting bill received a hearing before the state Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee, but little was done to advance the bill. Representatives from six major operators and industry group iDEA Growth submitted written testimony supporting legalizing online sports betting, but there was little public comment and no vote on the measure, according to reports. Ohio’s legislature has been given until the end of the year to adopt a bill.
Once again the Massachusetts Legislature looks as though it will complete the year without a bill that would legalize sports betting. It’s not for lack of prodding from interests that would like such a bill, for instance sports teams like the Boston Red Sox and gaming operators.
The Montana Lottery has announced it will not appeal a ruling from a court ruling that says it cannot prevent businesses that don’t have licenses to sell alcohol from operating retail sportsbook. The judge said there was nothing in the law passed last year that allowed such a rule.
Bally’s Corporation has signed a multi-year market access partnership with Elite Casino Resorts to provide a sports betting platform in Iowa. The partnership will allow sports fans access to mobile sports betting, licensed by Elite’s Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort (l.), located in Larchwood
When Tennessee sports betting went live November 1, wagerers bet $5.1 million with revenue of $800,000 after adjustments, generating $160,000 for the state. In the first seven days of sports wagering, handle was $27.4 million with revenue of $2.5 million and $509,000 for the state, which directs most of that money to the Tennessee Education Lottery.
Maverick Gaming has partnered with International Game Technology to launch sports betting at its three Colorado properties, Grand Z Casino, Johnny Z’s Casino, both in Central City and Z Casino (l.) in Black Hawk.
BetMGM has been named the first sports betting partner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, sponsoring the pregame show, broadcast programming and in-stadium signage.
Wind Creek Bethlehem has opened is sportsbook powered by Betfred USA Sports, Pennsylvania’s newest retail sportsbook, in a renovated space, led by Michael Pearsall (l.), sportsbook manager.
The new casino to be developed in Danville, Illinois will be branded Golden Nugget and feature an iconic Landry's seafood restaurant (l.). Also, Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. and Danville Development LLC will offer market access to online sports betting in Illinois, and online casino gambling if it's legalized later, through the Danville casino.
The Indiana Gaming Commission has been investigating Spectacle Entertainment for several months regarding actions that could lead to the loss of its license and placing new casinos in Gary and Terre Haute in the hands of trustees. State officials suspended the license of Spectacle owner John Keeler (l.) in September and forced him to give up his ownership stake following a federal indictment charging him with campaign finance irregularities.
Caesars Entertainment received a 1-year extension from the Indiana Gaming Commission to sell the Horseshoe Hammond Casino (l.). Commissioners agreed Covid-19 and possible gambling expansion in Illinois created "unique challenges." Horseshoe Hammond is one of three properties the IGC requires Caesars to sell as part of Eldorado Resorts' $17.3 billion acquisition of Caesars. The company sold Tropicana to Bally's and is negotiating the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
After a truck damaged a welcome sign in downtown Las Vegas, the city embarked on creating 80-foot-high steel arches known as the Gateway Arches. The new $6.5 million landmark includes a seven-ton pink City of Las Vegas emblem lit by 13,000 LED lights.
Atlantic City casinos have taken the first small steps to bring back live entertainment. Though headliners in the showrooms and arenas still remain elusive under Covid-19 restrictions, lounge style acts have returned, sometimes in large venues where social distancing can be practiced, according to Hard Rock President Joe Lupo (l.).
The sale for $24.2 million of the Las Vegas Monorail to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, has been approved by a bankruptcy judge. The sale will make possible a Downtown route people mover by Elon Musk’s Boring Company.
A $500,000, 1-year-long study by the Illinois Department of Human Services recently launched with the goals of helping the agency plan future problem gambling prevention programs and increase access to treatment and services. IDHS Secretary Grace Hou said the study "will give us a clearer understanding of the prevalence of gambling disorder in the state.”
Various tribes filed a lawsuit in federal court against Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt over the status of gaming compacts. Stitt said the compacts expired at the end of the term, thus making gambling illegal. The tribes argued they automatically renew. The tribes prevailed and the legal costs and other fees have exceeded $2 million.
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has created a business empire consisting of a multi-million dollar consumer loan corporation and a successful casino resort. Marshall Pierite (l.), chairman of Mobiloans, is now pushing to bring broadband internet access to rural locales to improve business opportunities.-
A spokesman for the Pamunkey Indian Tribe said its new casino (l.) in Norfolk, Virginia will create 2,500 jobs through the Casino Minority Outreach and Hiring Plan, focusing on developing a local yet diverse workforce. Also, the tribe will work with nonprofits and local educational facilities to develop a workforce training program to staff various departments.
The Kalispel Tribe will break ground in March for a hotel addition to its Northern Quest Resort and Casino (l.) that will add almost 200 rooms and suites by 2023.
Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City has opened to the public. It is the third casino of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
Turning Stone Resorts Casino (l.), in upstate New York, is offering relocation costs and other perks to accept a job at the upstate property.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians broke ground on phase one of its mixed-use "experiential destination" near Sevierville, Tennessee. It will not include a casino, despite speculation, since casino gambling is illegal in Tennessee. The 200-acre development will be a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains for millions of visitors, said Principal Chief Richard Sneed (l.).
The 10-year court battle between the Bay Mills Indian Community and the state of Michigan has been resolved with each party agreeing to dismiss lawsuits against one another regarding gaming on land in Vanderbilt. The tribe agreed it won't offer gaming there (l.) for five years and said continuing to sue the state would not be an effective use of its resources.
California’s Redding Rancheria has been told by Tara Sweeney (l.), Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior, that it must follow the “two-part” determination of the Indian Regulatory Act in pursuing putting land into trust for a relocated casino near Redding. That reverses an earlier understanding between the rancheria and the department.
The town of Ledyard, Connecticut is again in court as part of its decade-long battle to collect property tax from a gaming company that rents slot machines to Foxwoods Casino (l.). WMS Gaming contends that the machines can’t be taxed because they operate on tribal land.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has been ordered to put land into trust for California’s Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians. The tribe lost its trust status in the 1960s and has been decades working in the courts to restore it.
Carl Sottosanti, Penn National Gaming’s top legal executive, will retire December 31, to be replaced by Everi Holdings legal executive Harper Ko (l.).
GVC Holdings bookmaker brought gambling psychologist Dr. Mark Griffiths on board as an advisor to help devise safer gambling technologies. He will work on policies and protocols to help detect problem gambling and reduce instances of harm from such problems.
Afsi Bird, who has been in the hospitality industry for three decades, has been named vice president of hotel operations by San Manuel Casino. He will be in charge of resort expansion for the Southern California casino.
Canada’s Cirque du Soliel Entertainment Group has emerged restructured from a bankruptcy procedure that protected it from creditors, and put it in a position to relaunch its iconic shows. Former MGM CEO Jim Murren will serve as co-chairman of the board. CEO and President David Lamarre (l.) will continue in those roles.
Las Vegas Sands is making a $400,000 investment in community organizations that promote minority and ethnically diverse groups through the Sands Cares program.
Harrah’s Resort Southern California and Scientific Games have launched the “Impressive Progressive,” a progressive jackpot across all 50 of the property’s table games. Mayor Rob Riggle (l.), of Funner, California, launched the side bet.
IGT has signed a contract extension with Norsk Tipping to provide interactive lottery content through its PlayRGS digital gaming platform.
The Western Canada Lottery Corporation will purchase 600 TwinStar Video Lottery Terminals from Scientific Games to be installed in VLT locations throughout Saskatchewan.
Westgate Resort & Casinos upgraded its audiovisual system in its famed sportsbook. The work was designed by NMR Events and installed during the downtime when the casino resort shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The result displays an endless combination of images simultaneously.
Resorts Casino Hotel will close one iconic restaurant, Gallagher’s Steak House and open a new one designed by two iconic fixtures, Dock’s Oyster House and the legendary Knife & Fork Inn (l.). The restaurant will open in the spring. Meanwhile, Governor Murphy signed a revised bill that lets charitable organizations to sell certain raffles online during the pandemic.
Saratoga Casino Hotel (l.) started its “30 Days of Giving” campaign by donating $100,000 to 38 local and regional non-profit organizations. The program runs through December 22 with casino team members helping to fill local food pantries, purchase essentials for families in need, and deliver checks to provide funding for non-profit programs and initiatives.
The Sahara Las Vegas is now building its new restaurant row, part of its $150 million expansion. Four restaurants will be added to the resort, including Philadelphia’s famous Chickie’s and Pete’s.
William Hill Plc. has achieved the highest ranking for a gambling company in Financial Times magazine’s annual “Diversity Leaders Index.”
The two-day Betting on Sports America-Digital conference is set to begin tomorrow, December 1, with a series of interviews with CEOs of leading sports betting vendors.
Small Nuggets of News
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