Expanding Loyalty

Are the large casino companies missing an opportunity to extend their influence into tribal, regional and independent gaming halls by allowing them to share their loyalty programs? And wouldn’t that enhance the value of these programs? Stay tuned.

Sign Of The Signs

Legendary Las Vegas publicist Ira David Sternberg debuts a monthly column in GGB News today. Sternberg imagines a Las Vegas with updated signs to reflect the seriousness—and the humor—of a Strip recovery.

Japan Releases Basic Policy for IRs

The Japanese government has finally published its long-awaited basic policy on integrated resorts, offering detailed criteria for operators and jurisdictions such as Osaka hoping to launch the nation’s casino industry. Although Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (l.) supports IRs, he may not have the political muscle or time to accomplish it.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Hawaii Considers First Casino

The Hawaiian Homes Commission has voted to support a proposal by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for the islands’ first casino in Kapolei (l.). The proposal faces stiff opposition in the legislature.

Casino Execs Look to 2021 with Optimism

This coronavirus has proven a killer of jobs and businesses as well as people. As a vaccine holds out the promise that the pandemic can be vanquished, several casino executives say 2021 will be a better year. Resorts Atlantic City CEO Mark Giannantonio (l.) is anxious to bid adieu to 2020.

In Australia, Packer’s Crown Slips

In addition to a suitability hearing in New South Wales that has its Sydney casino (l.) on ice for now, Crown Resorts is facing a review of its operations by the Victorian government in Melbourne.

AGA: Covid Relief Package Not Enough for Gaming

Bill Miller (l.), the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said the Covid relief measure passed last week by Congress ignores the fact that gaming has been “disproportionally” impacted by the pandemic and more needs to be done.

Three Sports Betting Bills in Missouri Senate

In an effort to keep tax dollars in the state, three state senators from Missouri have introduced separate bills to legalize sports betting. The details differ, but all would let wagers in casinos or online. Senator Denny Hoskins (l.) expects the final bill to be an amalgam of the three.

Suddenly, A New York City Casino Looks Possible

It’s a different world in the Empire State following the devastation of Covid-19, a world of massive budget deficits. In this world, the hope for expanded sports betting and a destination-scale casino in the Big Apple sound a lot more promising than they once did.

Churchill Downs Names Anderson President

Churchill Downs Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky has named Mike Anderson (l.) president at Churchill Downs Racetrack and Mike Ziegler as senior vice president and general manager at the venue. Ryan Jordan was tapped as VP of corporate operations.

Adelson’s Texas Casino Campaign Could Help Tribe

Sheldon Adelson (l.), head of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., is launching a well-funded campaign to lobby the Texas legislature to legalize casino gaming in the Lone Star State. An unintended beneficiary could be a tribal casino trying to survive state efforts to shut it down.

Entain, Verizon Partner On New Gaming Tech

U.K.-based sports betting and iGaming company, Entain, has established a partnership with Verizon Media to look at the crossroads of sports, entertainment and gambling and the advances in technology. Entain CEO Shay Segev (l.) says the future is now.


Macau Forecasts $16 Billion in Gaming Revenue in 2021

The projection, if it holds up, would amount to less than half 2019’s total. Visitation expectations are relatively modest as well. And both are based in no small part on a resumption of normal travel from Hong Kong.

Macau Raises Quarantines to 21 Days

The government is imposing the stricter regime on all arrivals except those from Taiwan and select regions of mainland China. The measure is reported to be a response to the worsening pandemic situation in Europe and the UK.

VIP Stays at Studio City For Now

Two times, the Cotai resort has said it’s leaving the business and twice it’s changed the plan. In both instances, the reasons have not been entirely clear.

Luxury South Korean Resort Opens

On December 18, Lotte Tour Development Co. opened its US$1.4 billion integrated resort on Jeju Island in South Korea. The 1,600-suite Jeju Dream Tower will eventually include a foreigners-only casino property.

Moody’s Cautious on Naga Expansions

Moody’s Investors Service is taking a dim view of NagaCorp’s announced plan to build a multimillion-dollar resort property near the historic temple complex of Angkor Wat, calling it “credit negative.”

Resorts World Malaysia Proves Resilient

Thanks to the patronage of local VIP players, Resorts World Genting in Malaysia has bounced back somewhat from the Covid-19 crisis, returning to almost three-quarters of pre-virus revenues.


European Alliance to Tackle Illegal Gambling

A trio of gaming associations across Europe have united to create a new entity, the Alliance Against Illegal Gambling. Per Jaldung (l.), chairman of the European Casino Association, said shared resources are “crucial to tackle common issues such as illegal gambling.”

U.K. Report: Minorities Harmed More by Problem Gaming

An analysis by YouGov found that the incidence of problem gaming among black, Asian and other minority adults eclipsed the incidence among whites. The figures confirmed earlier research by GambleAware. The analysis also found minorities sought treatment at a higher rate.


Saskatchewan Orders Casino Closures

First Nation casinos in Saskatchewan, Canada, including the Gold Eagle (l., have been ordered closed by the provincial government. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations has objected, saying it was not consulted.


Accel Faces $5M Fine In Illinois

The Illinois Gaming Board alleges that Accel Entertainment made a deal with DraftKings to pay businesses to use Accel gambling machines. Regulators plan to issue $5 million in fines.


Sportsbook Pre-Licensing Coming to Washington

Pre-licensing regulations for sports betting could be ready to be released by the Washington State Gambling Commission as early as next spring. That’s a year since the legislature voted to allow sports betting at the state’s tribal casinos.

BetMGM Launches PA Online Sportsbook

BetMGM has launched its online sports betting app in Pennsylvania as the state’s 11th online sportsbook option, as the state Gaming Control Board approved its sports wagering certificate.

Bally's AC Opens Temporary Sportsbook in Casino

Bally’s Atlantic City has opened a temporary FanDuel sportsbook on the casino floor with self-service kiosks and live attendant windows. Construction has begun on a larger, permanent sportsbook, with an 80-seat lounge and other attractions.

Highlight Games, SG In Distribution Deal

Highlight Games has signed a distribution agreement with Scientific Games, under which Highlight’s games will be offered through SG’s OpenArena sports content offering.

FSB Certified by GLI

Gaming Laboratories International has granted its GLI 33 Event Wagering System certification to technology provider FSB for its sports betting platform. Dave McDowell (l.), CEO of FSB, calls it a “milestone” for his company.

76ers Partner with BetMGM

The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team have become a sports betting partner with sportsbook BetMGM in Pennsylvania. The deal includes advertising placement, Sixers-branded casino games and more.

Sinclair Broadcasting Lays Groundwork for Minnesota Sports Betting

Sinclair Broadcasting hopes to marry sports betting and games through its ownership of Fox Sports North in the greater Minnesota area. Fox, now rebranded as Bally’s Sports, could bring the connection to life by opening day if the legislature legalizes sports betting in the state.

Online Sports Betting Near Debut in Virginia

The Virginia Lottery could approve activation of more than a dozen betting sites in January. The state has received more than 25 applications. In all, the state could produce a handle of $400 million in 2021, says Lottery Director Kevin Hall (l.).


Rio Reopens in Vegas After Nine-Month Lockdown

The off-Strip Rio Casino Hotel became the last property operated by Caesars Entertainment to reopen follow the March pandemic closings. In early January, the Rio will only be open on the weekends.

Judge Rejects Regulators’ Jurisdiction in Wynn Case

A state court ruling has affirmed what lawyers for Steve Wynn (l.) have been arguing for more than a year, that by quitting Wynn Resorts and selling his financial interest the dethroned casino tycoon cannot be declared “unsuitable” in Nevada.

Investors Can Do A Twofer with Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget brand could offer two opportunities for investors. The first involves going public with the successful Golden Nugget Online Gaming. The second is a possible IPO for the less successful Golden Nugget’s Atlantic City casino (l.). Both moves will help reduce debt.

Gullbrants: Encore Boston Harbor Not for Sale

Massachusetts’ largest casino is not up for sale, despite a local news report. That’s the word from Encore Boston Harbor President Brian Gullbrants (l.), who sent out a memo to reassure jumpy employees.

M Resort Founder Marnell Eyes Competing Casino

Anthony Marnell III (l.) is reported to be buying 9 acres across the street from M Resort, a casino his family built, in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson with plans to develop a $250 million rival. He says he’ll know more when the pandemic subsides.

Bally’s Completes Buy of Eldorado Shreveport

The newly formed Bally’s Corp. (formerly Twin River) has completed the purchase of Eldorado Shreveport from Caesars Entertainment. The two companies agreed to the $140 million deal last year.

Mirage Closes Everything Mid-Week

Another indication of how slow business is in Las Vegas: The Mirage, one of the last of the MGM Resorts casinos to reopen in late August, will close midweek like many other Las Vegas casinos.

Philadelphia Extends Covid Restrictions

The city of Philadelphia has extended restrictions requiring casinos such as Rivers (l.) to remain closed until January 15. Officials took the precaution in anticipation of a spike of Covid-9 cases over the holidays.

Illinois Group To Purchase Second Baton Rouge Casino

Casino Queen of East St. Louis, Illinois will own two of Baton Rouge’s three casinos if its recently announced purchase of Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge (l,) goes through. The group offered $28.2 million to Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. to operate the property.

Virginia Residents Compile Casino Wish List

More than 3,000 people participated in a survey regarding a potential casino project in Richmond, Virginia. Survey results will help craft a request for proposals. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe, the Colonial Downs Group and Urban One all have expressed interest.

Alabama Gambling Study Group Completes Report

A gaming study group appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (l.) has presented its 900-page report, which the legislature will consult to determine if it should pursue a state lottery and full-fledged tribal casinos.

Ohio Horse Group Sues Belterra For Withholding Revenue

Between 2014 and 2018, Belterra Park (l.) failed to pay the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association more than $2.7 million in video gaming revenue, according to the racehorse owners and trainers group. They want their money.

Rhode Island Casinos Reopen

Rhode Island’s two Twin River Casinos have reopened yet again (Twin River Lincoln at left), after being closed for three weeks by government order. The properties’ hotels and event centers remain closed.

Montana City Discourages Casino Proliferation

Billings, Montana is moving to adopt regulations that would discourage the small casinos that dot the city from further spreading to residential neighborhoods. The code was approved by a vote of 9-1 by the city council.

Indiana Court Rules On Disputed Parking Lot

A company associated with Spectacle Entertainment’s Hard Rock Casino now under construction in Gary, Indiana did not legally acquire a sliver of the 30-acre casino site. That means a brother of the original owner may pay past-due taxes and fees and possibly sell it back to the casino for big bucks.


San Diego Casinos Sit Out Lockdown This Time

San Diego County’s nine Indian casinos are treating the lockdown imposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom (l.) differently than it did his first lockdown in March. Instead of shutting down, they are remaining open, but adding new safety measures.

Federal Recognition Continues To Elude Lumbees

Despite the backing of President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina will not be granted federal recognition this year. Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. (l.) said, “This is not the final word on Lumbee recognition.”

Ho-Chunk Plans Three WarHorse Casinos

With voter approval of casino gaming in Nebraska, Ho-Chunk Inc. in partnership with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced it will develop three WarHorse brand casinos.

Eastern Band Approves Indiana Casino Purchase

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ tribal council recently approved a resolution to purchase Caesars Southern Indiana Casino (l.) in Elizabeth for $280 million. The casino became available for sale as a result of the July merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.

Catawba Nation Clearing Casino Land

Land is being cleared for the South Carolina-based Catawba Nation’s $273 million Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. At the same time, the tribe is in compact negotiations with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s office.



Horseshoe Indiana Names Vasic to HR Post

Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana named Julie Vasic as vice president of human resources, overseeing hiring, training, benefits and employee relations. Vasic held similar positions for more than 25 year in hospitality in Chicago.

Beson Named to NJ Casino Board

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has nominated Michael D. Beson, the former mayor of Neptune to serve as a member of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Charles Barkley Now Spokesman for FanDuel

FanDuel has anointed TNT sports analyst and NBA star Charles Barkley (l.) as the sportsbook’s new ambassador and spokesman. The “Round Mound of Rebound” started his career with the Philadelphia 76ers and then moved to the Phoenix Suns before retiring his jersey.



Trump Plaza Implosion Gets $60,000+ in Bids

Atlantic City is taking bids from people who want to push the button that implodes the derelict Trump Plaza next year. Thus far, the auction has attracted more than $60,000 in bids.