Loop De Loop: New, People-Friendly Transit Systems to Move Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, set to open in January, and a second citywide transportation loop planned by Elon Musk’s Boring Company, could be the start of what architect Paul Steelman, who designed the stations (l.), calls the world’s “greatest transportation system.”

Mohegan Sun ‘Bubbleville’ Shows Sports Can Be Safe

A multi-college tournament held inside “Bubbleville” at the Mohegan Sun has demonstrated that it is possible to run a multi-school athletic competition and still keep students and staff safe from Covid. It just takes some really strict protocols.

GGB Magazine Announces Its 25 People to Watch for 2021

GGB’s annual list of the movers and shakers in the gaming industry’s highest honor. The January issue features an extensive interview with Bill Hornbuckle, the president and CEO of MGM Resort International and profiles of all 25 honorees.

Nevada Addiction Court Could Spread East

Rather than imprison gamblers who commit crimes, Nevada has established the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court under the direction of Judge Cheryl Moss (l.). The program relies on treatment, counseling and restitution. Now New Jersey and Pennsylvania want to follow suit.

Caesars New Orleans Will Replace Harrah’s Brand

Harrah's New Orleans will become Caesars New Orleans with $325 million in investment in the 20-year-old property by parent Caesars Entertainment. The top-to-bottom renovation, adding a second hotel tower, will be completed in 2024.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Connecticut Tribes Shelve Satellite Casino For Now

Connecticut’s Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, who operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos, have “temporarily” shelved plans for their Tribal Winds satellite casino project (l.) in East Windsor. Meanwhile, sports betting in Connecticut has moved a step closer.

Flutter Increases Stake in FanDuel

Flutter Entertainment is accelerating its purchase of 37.2 percent of FanDuel from Fastball. If approved, the company's stake will increase to 95 percent, with the remainder held by Boyd Gaming. The $4.2 billion purchase will expand FanDuel in the U.S. sports betting market.

Sizing Up Pandemic’s Massive Toll on Macau

The Macau government expects the year to end with total visitation of around 5 million. That’s down more than 85 percent from 2019. Not surprisingly, most of the visits predated the Covid-19 crisis.

Capacity Restrictions Eased at Aussie Casinos

With Covid-19 infections on the wane across Australia, the governments of New South Wales and Queensland are letting Star Entertainment’s three casinos return to near-normal volumes. The company’s flagship Sydney resort (l.) can now admit up to 10,000 people.

And Now for Details of Maryland Sports Betting

Now that Maryland voters have overwhelmingly approved legalized sports betting the time has come to build up the infrastructure so they can place wagers. As State’s Lottery Director Gordon Medenica (l.) puts it, “the devil’s in the details, and there will be many details to come.”

Pennsylvania Casinos Shuttered for Rest of Year

Citing increasing positive numbers in Covid 19 cases, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (l.) imposed sweeping restrictions on state businesses, closing all entertainment facilities, including the state’s 12 casinos and banning indoor dining. Video terminals in convenience stores will also be required to shut down.

Revived Tribe Claims Massachusetts Territory

A tribe that recently surfaced in Massachusetts, the Mattakeeset Massachuset Tribe, claims that it is the rightful possessor of land that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe wants to put into trust for a casino. The Mattakeeset claim they have deeds dating back nearly 400 years.

Nebraska State Senators Discuss Expanded Gaming

Following Nebraska voters' recent approval of expanded gaming, state legislators have begun to address the topic. State Senator Ray Aguilar (l.), whose district includes Fonner Park racetrack, said he "may have a great opportunity for a priority bill right off the bat."

Philippine Casinos Go Online

The megaresorts of Entertainment City in Manila have been approved for launch online and could be up and running before the year is out. More private operators are certain to join the fray as part of a sector the government believes could outstrip total land-based revenues in time.

For Fiscal 2019, Indian Gaming Posts Record Revenues

For fiscal year 2019, gross gaming revenue for Indian casinos hit a record $34.6 billion, up 2.5 percent over fiscal year 2018, according to National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer and Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause.

Sightline Receives Investment, Names Pappano CEO

Sightline Payments has announced that co-founder and CEO Kirk Sanford is retiring, elevating Americas President Joe Pappano (l.) to CEO. The company disclosed that it’s received a multimillion-dollar investment.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Oldies But Goodies

There are always flash-in-the-pan phenomena, but some things never change. Like companies built on strong foundations and fundamentals, which consistently provide returns to their investors.

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Singapore Casinos Welcome Locals Vouchers

To boost domestic tourism, the Singapore government is giving adult residents up to 100 dollars each to spend on local attractions, including the city-state's two casinos. Both Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa are moving quickly to make the most of them.

Osaka Pushes Casino RFP to the New Year

Japan’s first foray into the integrated resort industry has been tabled until 2021, with Osaka hoping to get its request-for-proposal (RFP) process in motion starting sometime in January. MGM Resorts and the Japanese company Orix are currently the only active bidder for an IR (l.).

Under-Construction Cebu Casino Marks Milestone

Emerald Bay, a casino resort now under construction in Cebu, the Philippines, celebrated its topping-off ceremony last week, a major milestone in the development by PH Resorts Group Holdings Ltd.

South Korean Casinos Brace for Big Losses

Grand Korea Leisure, which operates casinos in South Korea including Seoul’s Seven Luck (l.), is projecting higher-than-expected losses due to an extended shutdown of its foreigners-only gaming halls. Other casinos in the country are also bracing for losses.

Macau’s South Shore Survives Dissolution Vote

A major investor requested a shareholder meeting on its motion to unwind the debt-laden Hong Kong-listed company. The motion was defeated, and South Shore continues to search for a buyer for its foundering Macau luxury resort, the 13 (l.).

GLOBAL GAMING More

Canadian Province Tightens Covid-19 Restrictions

Faced with a growing surge of Covid-19 cases, Alberta Province Premier Jason Kenney (l.) has issued a string of closures and restrictions for the next four weeks. Casinos and dine-in restaurants will be shut down.

U.K. Gambling Review Under Way

The long-promised overhaul of U.K. gaming laws is under way. The government has called for tighter restrictions, while industry executives like William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson (l.) warn against overreaching.

Danish Casinos Close for Month Due to Covid-19

The Danish Gaming Authority has ordered casinos in 18 municipalities to close down due to Covid-19. The order continues until January 3. At the same time, the authority is seeking applications for new casino licenses. Danes also have the lowest gambling spend of any Nordic country.

Swedish Consumer Affairs Warns Casinos

The Swedish agency that oversees consumer affairs, Konsumentverket, is warning the country’s licensed casinos that they are not acting in the best interests of consumers. It chose 13 operators at random and found “numerous shortcomings.”

ONLINE GAMING More

MGM Launches iGaming in Pennsylvania

BetMGM has officially launched its BetMGM Casino online gaming site in Pennsylvania, available via desktop or via an app available for download on iOS and Android devices.

China Moves to Clean Up Cyberspace

The Beijing government has shut down 105 apps for content it considers undesirable. U.S. travel giant TripAdvisor was among them, maybe because some of the resorts featured on its site happen to have casinos.

SPORTS BETTING More

Sports Betting Coming to Harrah's North Carolina

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (l.) and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have agreed on gaming compact amendments that will allow sports betting at the tribe's two Harrah's casinos, possibly in time for the Super Bowl.

Tennessee’s Sportsbook’s Fast Start

The first month of Tennessee’s new sports betting market left the gate at a rapid clip. It has four sportsbooks including BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and the homegrown Action 24/7.

Analyst: Barstool to Lead Michigan Sports Betting

When Michigan says go to sportsbooks prior to the end of the NFL season, Barstool and its owner Penn National could lead the market, said Matias Dorta, of Roundhill Investments. But DraftKings and FanDuel should be in the mix along with BetMGM and Golden Nugget.

888Sport Expands in Three New States

888 announced that its sports betting arm, 888Sport.com, has signed new long-term market-access deals in Colorado, Iowa and Indiana, making the brand available next year.

Mississippi Lawmakers Debate Expanded Sports Betting

Currently, online sports betting in Mississippi is allowed only at casinos, but that could expand if some lobbyists and lawmakers get their way. Last year, three state House bills to expanded online sports betting died, but in October, Mississippi sports betting set a record for handle at $61.2 million.

Missouri Senators Pre-file Sports Betting Bills

With sports betting allowed in neighboring states Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee, lawmakers are under pressure to legalize it in Missouri. Three state senators, including Denny Hoskins (l.), pre-filed legislation identical to bills that didn't pass last year, but would allow sports wagering online and at casinos.

Tennis Judge Banned for Betting

Tennis line judge David Rocher has been banned for 18 months by the Tennis Integrity Unit for betting on the sport and then failing to own up to his offenses. Rocher may return to the field in February 2022.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

Ohio Casinos, Racinos Post Dramatic Declines

A surge in Covid-19 cases combined with new curfews from Governor Mike DeWine (l.) caused gaming revenue to plummet at Ohio's 11 casinos and racinos, down 17.2 percent to $133.4 million in November compared to $161.1 million in November 2019.

Despite Coronavirus, Indiana Gaming Surprisingly Strong

Despite lower volumes, Indiana casinos in September posted $170 million in win, down just $8 million from September 2019. Sports betting handle surpassed $200 million for the first time as major leagues began or resumed their seasons. Governor Eric Holcomb (l.) thanked Hoosier resiliency.

Danville, Virginia Competitive Bidding Process Pays Off

Voters in the Virginia cities of Danville, Bristol, Norfolk and Portsmouth approved casino gaming in November. Only Danville used a competitive bidding process and chose Caesars Entertainment to develop a $400 million casino resort, expected to open in 2023.

New Yorkers Say iGaming, More Casinos Needed

New York Yankees Prez Randy Levine (l.) is just one Empire Stater urging lawmakers to OK mobile sports betting and more casinos in to stem budget shortfalls related to Covid-19. Two legislators hold out hope that at least mobile casinos can get approved in the waning days of the year.

Michigan Extends Casino, Dining Ban Another 12 Days

In an effort to mitigate the potential spread of Covid-19 as a result of the Thanksgiving holiday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.) will extend the closure of casinos, theaters, dining in restaurants and more.

LVS Halts Bookings at Palazzo

The Palazzo (l.) on the Las Vegas Strip stopped accepting weekday reservations back in the summer. It’s now closed for weekends, too, as midweek demand in the resort corridor continues to suffer from the pandemic’s impacts on the conventions business.

Downtown Vegas New Year’s Eve Party Scratched

Health officials in Las Vegas have cancelled the annual Fremont Street Experience (l.) extravaganza due to Covid-19 cases. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Fremont spokeswoman Cassandra Down both said participants followed all guidelines.

Covid-19 Takes Toll in Atlantic City

Atlantic City has suffered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue all but disappeared during a four-month closure. Online gambling helped offset some of the loss, but added restrictions are playing havoc with a typical day and night.

Vegas Unemployment Rate Is Tops in U.S.

It’s a dubious distinction, but hardly a surprise in a city so reliant on tourism. With the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, Las Vegas now leads all other U.S. metropolitan area in unemployment rate. A chart (l.) by RCG Economics tracks the Vegas unemployment rate.

DraftKings Could Rebrand Belle of Baton Rouge

Casino Queen’s purchase of the Belle of Baton Rouge (l.) could set the stage for the Louisiana riverboat rebranding as a DraftKings casino. East Baton Rouge Parishioners approved sportsbooks at the ballot box last month.

MGM Sells Portion of Real Estate Arm

MGM Resorts has sold more than 3.5 percent of its stake in MGM Growth Properties, its real estate investment trust. The sale added $700 million to its balance sheet which could be used to reduce debt or expand its operation of BetMGM, its sports betting partnership with GVC Holdings.

Cirque du Soleil May Reopen With ‘O’

Cirque du Soleil, which has gotten a new lease on life with a restructuring of its debts will emerge from bankruptcy able to reopen its first show next year. That show will probably be the world-renowned, “O” says CEO Daniel Lamarre.

Gaming Operators: Lone Star State Is ‘Biggest Plum’

Gaming companies see Texas as the ultimate “plum” that has so far resisted plucking among the United States. It is as big a potential market as Japan, Singapore or Brazil, says Andy Abboud (l.), senior vice president of government relations for the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Eastern Band Votes to Oust Owle

The Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has approved a resolution to remove Jim Owle (l.) as chairman of the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise due to several violations of the Cherokee Code.

Casino Developer Buys ‘Ghost Mall’

Elk Grove LLC, owned by Boyd Gaming, has purchased the 64-acre "Ghost Mall" in Elk Grove, California, located next to the Wilton Rancheria's 36-acre tract owned in federal trust for a casino-resort (l.). The mall was partially built for 11 years before it was demolished in 2019.

Casino del Sol Closed Until January

Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Casino del Sol in Arizona shut down on December 7 and will remain closed until January 2. Employees will be paid for the duration. The Sewailo Golf Club will remain open, as well as the Del Sol Marketplace and the RV park. To date, the Tohono O’odham Desert Diamond Casinos, also located in Tucson, has not announced plans to close.

PEOPLE More

Sanders Is Named COO of MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International has elevated Chief Financial Officer Corey Sanders to chief operating officer, a role he previously held for nine years. Sanders assumed the post as MGM made other executive appointments.

Full House Appoints Investment Banker to Board

Full House Resorts appointed investment banker Michael Hartmeier to its board of directors, effective immediately. Hartmeier has more than 25 years under his belt, most often in the lodging and gaming sector.

AGA’s Miller, Cylke Named Top Lobbyists

On December 10, The Hill named AGA President and CEO Bill Miller (l.) and Senior Vice President, Government Relations Chris Cylke to their annual list of the nation’s Top Lobbyists.

Palansky Joins Conscious Gaming

Seth Palansky (l.) has joined Conscious Gaming as its new vice president of corporate social responsibility and communications. He was previously spokesman for the World Series of Poker.

Kindred Group’s Stefan Lundborg Resigns

Stefan Lundborg (l.), a non-executive director of Sweden’s Kindred Group, has announced his immediate resignation. Lundborg is under investigation for “insider crime” by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority.

GOODS & SERVICES More

IGT to Sell Italian B2C Gaming Business

International Game Technology has agreed to sell its Italian subsidiary Lottomatica Videolot to Gamenet Group, shedding a B2C business to focus on its core B2B mission.

Aristocrat Stages Virtual Showroom

Aristocrat Technologies is offering a virtual trade exhibition of its new slot games, in several virtual “rooms” containing games from across the company’s product library.

Golden Knights Owner to Buy Paysafe Group

Bill Foley (l.), the owner of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, has a blank-check company that will merge with Paysafe Group Holdings Ltd. in a transaction that will take the payment firm public.

Everi Launches CashClub at WinStar

Everi Holdings has launched its CashClub Wallet cashless gaming system at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma, under the brand name WinStar Wallet.

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