Daily Fantasy Sports = Gambling, Says NY Court

In a surprise move, the New York Appellate Division has confirmed a 2018 Supreme Court decision that invalidated a prior ruling, which defined daily fantasy sports (DFS) as skill-based. The majority opinion said too many variables are at play to classify DFS games as chance games. A spokesman for the DFS company FanDuel called the decision “flawed.”

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WEEKLY FEATURE: For Macau’s Battered Casinos, A Slow Recovery

Most of the Chinese territory’s casinos have resumed operations on a reduced scale in line with the dearth of players from virus-ravaged China. Gaming revenue in Macau is expected to fall 80 percent to 90 percent through March without much improvement until regular travel from the mainland is allowed.

China Cracks Down on Philippine POGO Workers

The Philippines declined last year to clamp down on online gaming operations that reach consumers in mainland China. Now Beijing has taken matters into its own hands, canceling the passports of thousands of Chinese workers who work for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs).

As Crown Probe Begins, Sydney Resort Prepares to Top Off

This week, Australia’s Crown Resorts will mark a significant milestone in the development of its AU$2.2 billion (US$1.45 billion) Sydney resort. Crown Barangaroo will top off, with a grand opening set for early 2021. At the same time, questions of Crown’s suitability to run the project are on the agenda of New South Wales investigators.

Best of the Best: 2020 E&K Gaming Slot Awards

Aristocrat again dominated the field in the second Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Slot Awards, held last week at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Aristocrat won the top award of the program, Best Overall Supplier of Slot Content, one of eight awards logged by the supplier. Video poker visionary Ernie Moody (at left with first inductee Joe Kaminkow) was ushered into the EKG Slot Hall of Fame.

Oregon’s First Year of Sports Betting a Big Loser

The $6.3 million profit that the Oregon Lottery forecast for the first fiscal year of sportsbook in the state has instead turned into a $5.3 million loss. The Lottery Commission was due to hear about the unsatisfactory first year from Lottery Director Barry Pack this week.

Maine Study Recommends Expanding Tribal Rights

For four decades, a federal land settlement act has prevented Maine tribes from exercising the same sovereign rights as tribes in other states. The state’s recent review of the act could open the door to tribal Indian gaming, though Governor Janet Mills (l.) is concerned about sweeping changes.

New York Won’t Win Until It Goes Mobile, Downstate

New Yorkers bet an estimated $837 million in New Jersey last year because New York City lacks retail casino sportsbooks and mobile betting options. Good for New Jersey. Not so good for New York. But a new study says it’s a matter of when, not if, New York lawmakers rectify the situation. State Senator Joseph Addabbo (l.) says he’s fielding many complaints.

Give Us A Night & Give Us A Day

Responsible gaming is a priority for every major gaming company these days. Every company has a corporate-level executive responsible for ensuring their organization has a progressive and positive approach to responsible gaming. But that’s not enough, according to gaming observer Richard Schuetz (l.). Let’s see the CEOs get involved for a change, even if just for a day.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Making Sense of the Sell-Down

The Covid-19 coronavirus is giving some investors a reason to sell, not just in gaming, but across multiple industries. Is it a fire sale fueled by virus fears, a natural correction, or the precursor to a bear market?


Suncity Reveals Philippines Casino Plan

A subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd. has signed an extended lease on a casino site in Manila’s Entertainment City (l.). The deal was first announced in October, as part of Suncity’s plan to enter the Philippines gaming market.

Wanted: International Operator for Vietnam Casino Project

A Vietnamese real estate investor and developer wants to build a casino resort in the country’s Khanh Hoa Province, and is actively seeking an international casino operator to partner on the project. The development would be located in Cam Ranh (l.), on the south central coast.

Philippine Police Given One Week to Stop Illegal Gambling

Philippine National Police Chief General Archie Gamboa (l.) has reportedly given law enforcement agencies in the country one week to stop illegal gambling or lose their jobs. The order, which came down February 22, applies to jurisdictions nationwide.


Fourth Melco Satellite Casino Opens in Cyprus

Cyprus Casinos, a unit of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, has opened its “fourth and last” licensed satellite casino in the Greek-controlled Republic of Cyprus. Melco is now building a larger integrated resort, City of Dreams Mediterranean (l.) in Limassol.

U.K. Racecourse Operator Buys Greyhound Stadium

U.K. racecourse operator Arena Racing Company (ARC) has acquired the Nottingham Greyhound Stadium, part of the British Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) and home of the English Greyhound Derby.


South Korea, Russia, Japan Feel Coronavirus Effects

Kangwon Land (l.), the only locals casino in Korea, closed its doors briefly on February 23 due to the coronavirus, and expected to lose KRW11 billion (US$9 million) due to the 24-hour closure. In Russia’s Primorye casino zone, meanwhile, Tigre de Cristal also is feeling the pinch.

Mexican City Considers Casinos to Bring Back Tourists

Tampico on the Gulf of Mexico is weighing the value of casinos as a way to boost regional tourism. Located on the southern border of Texas, Tampico once was a popular spring-break destination, but gang violence has driven visitors and business interests away.

Australian High-Roller Casino Would Bar Locals

Australian news media last week reported that professional gambler David Walsh (l.), founder of the museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Berriedale, could be awarded a casino license in Tasmania. The casino would only be open to non-residents.

Indian Tourism Minister Does About-Face on Casinos

Karnataka Tourism Minister C. T. Ravi (l.), who recently proposed legal casinos in the Indian state as a way to boost the local economy, just as quickly backed off the plan after criticism from officials.

Genting HK Cancels Cruises

Genting Hong Kong Ltd., which operates casino cruise ships and is part of the larger Malaysian conglomerate, has cancelled a number of scheduled trips aboard its Dream Cruises line and also cut senior staff salaries due to fears about the novel coronavirus Covid-19.


Scientific Games, Golden Nugget Expand iGaming Alliance

Scientific Games Corp. and U.S. casino operator Golden Nugget LLC have expanded their iGaming partnership in a multi-state, multi-product, multi-channel agreement. The deployment of SG’s OpenSports will start with mobile sports betting in New Jersey. The agreement includes an option to roll out OpenSports in retail locations New Jersey, Mississippi and Nevada.

Galaxy Gaming to Buy iGaming Firm PGP

Galaxy Gaming, Inc. announced last week that it will buy complete equity interests in Progressive Games Partners LLC (PGP), owner of worldwide online rights to a comprehensive suite of proprietary casino table games.


Washington Advances Tribal-Only Sports Betting Bill

Washington lawmakers are close to approving sports betting for the state’s gaming tribes. But opposition is growing to a bill that doesn’t provide for mobile sportsbooks and leaves out 44 non-tribal card clubs. Senator Karen Keiser (l.) says limiting the wagers to tribal casinos will slow the expansion of gambling.

NFL Stadiums to Open ‘Betting Lounges’

The National Football League, which railed against legal sports betting in the U.S. for years, has now clearly embraced the phenomenon, which has spread to more than a dozen states in less than two years, with more in the queue. Now the NFL is opening its stadiums to sports betting lounges.

DraftKings in Iowa: Join the Crowd

DraftKings has begun to offer mobile and online betting options in Iowa. The company comes to the party a little late, as almost a dozen competitors are already in business, but the co-founder Matt Kalish (l.) said not to worry, as DK’s betting props and marketing will give it an edge.

William Hill Inks Sports Betting Deal with Michigan Tribe

William Hill has signed a long-term deal with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Michigan, becoming the exclusive provider of online sports betting and online casinos throughout the state. The company will also develop a retail sportsbook. Hill CEO Joe Asher (l.) said “Michigan will be a key state in our U.S. expansion.”

Mississippi Sports Betting: Every Little Bit Helps

Sports betting in Mississippi won’t be a huge moneymaker, but will provide a shot in the arm to casinos with declining patronage. According to Allen Godfrey (l.), head of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, sports betting increases casino foot traffic, thus boosting revenue.

Connecticut Bill Would Permit Sports Betting Statewide

Another piece of sports betting legislation has been introduced in Connecticut, with a lot of changes from last year’s proposal, like higher tax rates for online wagers, higher licensing fees and no integrity fee. But the proposal still faces a lawsuit from tribes who demand exclusivity.

Canada Seeks Single-Game Bets to Compete with U.S.

The only sports betting permitted in Canada is multi-event parlays. With more and more U.S. border states approving sports betting, Canadians cross the border to place bets. A new bill from Saskatoon MP Kevin Waugh (l.) looks to permit single-game betting, a move welcomed by provinces.

Six—Count ‘Em, Six—Sports Betting Bills in Missouri

Rep. Phil Christofanelli (l.) has introduced a sports betting bill in Missouri, despite five others in the works. The legislator said his bill addresses concerns of casinos and others, such as an integrity fee for pro sports leagues, mandating official league data and including video lottery terminals.

Caesars, Soccer Club Announce Strategic Partnership

Caesars Entertainment and the professional soccer club based in Washington D.C. announced a strategic partnership last week. The result will be branding of Caesars Sports logos on team jerseys and sponsorships at Audi Field, where the team plays.

European Leagues Expand Data Partnerships

The Association of European Professional Football Leagues and data partners Genius Sports, Sportradar and Stats Perform, have announced a second multi-league agreement that now includes 16 pro leagues.

Irish Sports Association Supports Ad Ban

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has asked the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) to support a ban on gambling advertisements during live broadcasts of Gaelic football and hurling.


In Aftermath of Merger, Expect a ‘Leaner’ Caesars

In addition to casino sales, Eldorado’s plans for the post-merger Caesars could see its sizable online and sports betting business floated to investors. Outsourcing theaters and showrooms is also being discussed, possibly including the Colosseum (l.) at Caesar Palace and the new Caesars Forum Conference Center that debuts on the Las Vegas Strip next month.

Massachusetts Seeks Public Input on Third Casino

Residents of southeastern Massachusetts are again being asked whether the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) should award a casino license in the area. Commissioner Enrique Zuniga (l.) said the body will also consult with market researchers to “understand more about the viability of the market.” Another court loss for the Mashpee tribe makes it even more unlikely it will be able to build its casino.

Boyd Gaming Strategy Led to Strong 2019

Boyd Gaming’s regional strategy of growth through acquisitions is paying big dividends. Revenues for 2019 soared 26 percent to more than $3 billion, in large part due to results from five recent additions to the portfolio. The company “exceeded expectations,” says CEO Keith Smith (l.).

Wynn Scandal Leads to New Regulations in Nevada

Two years after Steve Wynn (l.) resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts, a new regulation will go into effect March 1 in Nevada that was directly inspired by the sexual-harassment scandal. The regulation was imposed by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Virginia Casino Debate Is Now All About Taxes

The Virginia Senate and House both passed bills allowing casinos in cities including Portsmouth, Richmond, Norfolk and Bristol. But the Senate recently voted 40-0 to reject a House substitute bill proposing a 15 percent to 28 percent tax rate, versus the Senate’s rate of 27 percent to 40 percent. The session ends March 7.

Wyoming May Establish Gaming Commission

For years, electronic gaming has been operating in Wyoming without an overarching authority to keep operators on the straight and narrow. Lawmakers want to change that by adopting a bill that would create a Wyoming gaming commission. Speaker of the House Steve Harshman (l.) says it’s just “recognizing reality.”

Missouri Legislator Proposes Osage River Casino

Missouri law only allows 13 casino licenses—all taken—along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. But state Rep. Rocky Miller (l.) has proposed a constitutional amendment allowing a 14th casino on the Osage River near the Lake of the Ozarks. His House Joint Resolution 87 has passed two committees so far.

Initiative Would End Betting Limits in Colorado

Two former Colorado political leaders are pushing an initiative that would allow the state’s three casino towns the option of removing wager limits. The limits in Central City, Cripple Creek and Black Hawk (l.) are currently $100 per game.

Murren Sells $22 Million of MGM Stock

MGM Resorts’ outgoing chairman and CEO Jim Murren (l.) has sold more than $22 million in company stock. He is staying on while the board of directors conducts a search for his successor.

West Virginia Maintains Greyhound Breeding Fund

The West Virginia Senate voted 11-23 to maintain the state's Greyhound Breeding Development Fund. Senate Bill 285 would have ended transferring table games and video lottery machine revenue to the fund, instead directing them another fund for the legislature to disperse. Mardi Gras Casino in Kanawha County and Wheeling Island Casino in Ohio County would have been impacted most.

10 Million MGM Guests’ Data Posted on Hacking Forum

Personal information of more than 10 million hotel guests who stayed at MGM resorts last year was hacked and showed up on a hacking forum last week. Some of the guests are suing MGM, which claims that no financial data was included.


Cherokees Commission Arkansas Casino Study

A study commissioned by Cherokee Nation Businesses showed in its first decade the tribe's proposed Pope County, Arkansas casino could produce $3.15 billion in economic impact—and that’s a “conservative” estimate, according to Chuck Garrett (l.), head of the CNB.

Oklahoma Tribes Claim Intervention Is ‘Invalid’

The Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma claim the two other tribes have "no cause” to intervene in their lawsuit against Governor Kevin Stitt (l.). Gaming tribes claim their compacts automatically renewed January 1; Stitt argues that the compacts expired.


Alabama Lawmaker May Introduce Paper Lottery Bill

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently asked for "time to get the facts" on gambling in the state and appointed a commission to study the issue. Meanwhile, House Budget Chairman Steve Clouse (l.) said he has more than 60 co-sponsors for his bill allowing a paper lottery. "Public opinion is driving this train," he said.

Arkansas Lottery Director Opposes 'Amusement Machines’

Bishop Woosley (l.), director of the Arkansas Lottery, says Arcade Arkansas' petition to allow thousands of "amusement machines" to raise lottery money would increase competition and lose millions in scholarship funds. The group has until July 3 to collect 90,000 signatures and get on the November ballot.

Italy Lottery Uses Scientific Games Ticket System Technology

Scientific Games Corp. has added an advanced core instant ticket system technology with the gaming system provided by its joint venture partner to support Lotterie Nazionali, S.r.l., the operator of Gratta e Vinci in Italy, the world's largest instant game lottery.


Novomatic Chairman Resigns

Harald Neumann resigned last week as chairman of Novomatic, the dominant slot manufacturing company in Europe. Neumann stepped down for “family reasons” and may not be replaced, with the current COO and CFO taking up his duties.

RSCVA CEO, Who Faced Misconduct Charges, Resigns

Phil DeLone (l.), CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority and a former Bally’s sales executive, has resigned, citing medical reasons. DeLone is also under investigation on charges of misconduct.

Pennsylvania Casino Shakes Up Leadership

Wind Creek Bethlehem has announced the appointment of a new executive vice president and general manager as part of a change in leadership after the casino’s purchase from Las Vegas Sands Corp. Kathy McCracken (l.), former executive VP of marketing and operations, took the top post.

Wong Reappointed Sands China President

Hong Kong businessman Wilfred Wong (l.) has exercised overall leadership of Las Vegas Sands’ Macau casino subsidiary since 2015. His reappointment is one of three recent changes in the company’s executive ranks that include the promotion of Grant Chum to COO and Dylan James Williams to general counsel.

Michigan Casino Promotes Tribal Executive

Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan has named Virginia Vanderband the property’s executive director of operational development and training. A member of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi, Vanderband previously served as director of training.

Yee Named CFO of Blockchain Firm Quanta

Quanta, a blockchain firm based on the Isle of Man, has named a new chief financial officer. Jason Yee (l.) has worked for JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, among other major financial institutions


Kentucky Racinos Adding Scientific Games HHR Machines

Churchill Downs will add Scientific Games historical horseracing machines at two Kentucky properties. Derby City Gaming (l.) in Louisville currently offers 1,000 machines, and Oak Grove Racing and Gaming will offer 1,200 when it opens later this year. Kentucky racetracks offer more historical horseracing games than any other state.

Australia Bank Introduces Gaming Payment Blocker

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is the first bank Down Under to offer its customers a tool to block gambling transactions through its mobile application. The tool is now available on both iOS and Android devices

Scientific Games One of Georgia’s Top 10 Tech Firms

Scientific Games Corp. has been named one of the Top 10 Innovative Companies in Georgia for 2020 by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). The global company’s lottery division has a location in Georgia’s Alpharetta tech hub in suburban Atlanta.

Aristocrat’s flame55 Cabinet Makes Caribbean Debut

Aristocrat’s award-winning flame55 cabinet is now available at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. The player-favorite game Buffalo Diamond, created specifically for the flame55, also made its Caribbean debut on the cabinet at Stellaris Casino.


ICE North America Coming to New Orleans May 13-14

ICE North America, organized by Clarion Gaming, will take place May 13-14 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (l.) in New Orleans. In its second year, ICE will focus on all aspects of commercial and tribal gaming and related innovations.

Betting on Sports America Announces CEO Lineup

Betting on Sports America 2020, scheduled to take place April 28-30 at the Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Jersey, has announced a list of CEOs who will take part in a panel called “Vision of the Future.”

Gaming Law Bootcamp at Seton Hall

To promote integrity and legal compliance in the gaming industry, Seton Hall Law School will host a Gaming Law, Compliance and Integrity Bootcamp, March 9-11. Among the speakers will be Dennis Drazin (l.), of Seton Hall Law’s Sports, Gaming & Hospitality Law Advisory Board.




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