In Macau, the gaming capital of the world, 2020 ended on a high note, boding well for 2021. But this market has a lot of moving parts, which can move in many directions. Right now, they’re far from in sync.
Bally’s Corp. has inked a deal to design and develop a mini-casino in the heart of Nittany Lion country. With as many as 750 slots and 30 table games, the casino than four miles from the Penn State campus “will have tremendous appeal,” says Bally’s CEO George Papanier (l.).
GGB NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: An Exclusive Interview With the Late Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and CEO, Las Vegas Sands
Legendary casino mogul and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson passed away on Monday at the age of 87. GGB brings you some excerpts from an interview conducted in 2013, where the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands first revealed his opposition to online gaming, and discussed his maverick approach to the industry he loved.
It’s no secret that regulatory appointments are usually political paybacks for loyalty and favors made. Knowledge and experience with the regulated industry definitely is not important. What could go wrong, asks gaming expert Richard Schuetz.
A recurrence of cancer has forced Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson to take medical leave from his position. LVS President Rob Goldstein will become acting chairman in his absence. No timeline has been suggested for his return and little is expected to change at the company.
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MGM Resorts International's got turned down in its bid to acquire Entain PLC. The U.K.-based company said the offer of more than $11 billion was undervalued. Entain asked MGM to rethink the proposal. Will MGM come up with a better offer?
The Indian gaming industry set a new record of $34.6 billion in gross gaming revenue for fiscal 2019. Oklahoma City (The Chickasaw Nation’s Riverwind casino at left) led the pack with an increase of 7.7 percent. Reporting ended prior to Covid-19 casino closures.
In Macau, new mandatory quarantines for visitors from some Chinese cities, including Shenyang (l.), have taken effect due to a surge in Covid-19 infections. The government’s blanket ban on arrivals from outside China will remain in effect, even for those who have been vaccinated.
After raising its offer from $39 to $45 per share, 79 percent of holders of Apollo Global Management Inc. stock approved purchasing Great Canadian Gaming Corp. for $1.96 billion.
On January 7, Nagasaki, Japan (l.) became the third of four integrated resort candidates to launch a request for proposals. The Japanese government finally completed its basic policy for development of IRs in December.
In 2021, more U.S. states will join with the 24 that have a form of legalized sports betting. Some states won’t. Arizona, Georgia and Kansas seem the most likely to succeed.
Former Las Vegas Mayor Ron Lurie, who is best known for his long term as executive vice president and general manager of Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, has died at age 79.
A recent poll showed nearly 71 percent of Alabama voters support a state lottery, and 67 percent favor legal gambling. The poll was conducted for Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Gambling Policy and will be used to help lawmakers move forward on gambling legislation.
In Atlantic City, a planned water park (l.), renovations at Bally's, a new restaurant, the return of concerts and even fancy restrooms are among the signs that the city might get back to normal in 2021.
In his January 11 State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) will finally announce his support for mobile sports betting. Cuomo has long opposed online wagers, even as nearby New Jersey cleaned up.
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Hector Fernandez, the president of Americas for Aristocrat Technologies, on how the company has survived the pandemic and is set up to thrive as is eases.
Kangwon Land Inc., which runs the only South Korean casino serving local gamblers, has won a new three-year gaming license. The new license term began January 1 and will remain in effect through December 31, 2023.
Air Macau will fly to 12 more mainland Chinese cities during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday. Macau’s leading carrier will be running regular routes to 19 cities in all, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Macau junket investor Suncity Group has announced that its Vietnamese casino resort Hoiana, which opened last year, will begin Phase 2 of its development this year in hopes of bringing tourism from Southeast Asia.
The first installment of the “living subsidy,” as Macau casino operator SJM calls it, was distributed this month. A second installment is scheduled for this summer. The payments are designed to offset impacts of the pandemic.
South Korean police are investigating the disappearance of KRW14.56 billion (US$13.4 million) in funds held by Landing International Development, which runs a foreigners-only casino in Jeju.
Gaming commissioners in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands claim that Saipan casino (l.) operator Imperial Pacific International has been amassing “receivables” but declining to share them with its beleaguered casino.
A casino in central France has been forced into liquidation due to the ravages of Covid-19. Casino de Saint-Nectaire (l.) is the first gaming hall to close for good as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
After a 10-year hiatus, gaming will be returning to Ukraine this year. One member of parliament expects to the country to make hundreds of millions of dollars in gaming revenue in 2021.
Polish casinos closed for three weeks at the beginning January to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Colorado-based Century Casinos, which is heavily invested in the market, expects ongoing depletion from the crisis.
Casinos in Mexicali, the capital city of Baja California, closed on December 23 and will remain closed until further notice as the region returned to Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions. The Mexican state is now on red alert, the highest infection level.
Aspire Global BtoBet has teamed with William Hill to offer sports betting in Columbia. This is considered a first step in expanding into all of South America.
Mobile sports betting could be available in Virginia in time for the Super Bowl. A law passed in 2020 allows pre-game and in-game wagers on pro sports and pre-game wagers on collegiate sports outside the state.
Detroit’s three casinos and 20 of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos all opened sportsbooks after sports betting became legal in December. Now 15 casinos and their vendors are set to launch online gambling in mid-January.
As of January 1, Iowans who want to make sports wagers can do so online instead of at one of the state’s 18 casinos. Removing on-site rule is expected to boost sportsbook participation and revenue, said Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko (l.).
Golden Nugget has teamed with the Greenbrier in West Virginia to offer online sports betting and casino gambling. DraftKings and BetMGM also offer online casino gambling in the state, and DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, William Hill and Betly offer online sports betting.
World Series of Poker will begin an online circuit series on January 14. The series, largely modeled on previous tournaments, will be held virtually with WSOP.com as the official home.
Credit card giant Visa has assigned a code to transactions involving reloadable cards and digital wallets, the same code used for direct deposits for gambling. In the long run, the move should improve transactions.
The province of Buenos Aires, Argentina has awarded seven online gambling license, with services taxed at 5 percent of turnover.
Italian gaming operators generated €258.9 million (US$317.5 million) in revenues in November, fueled by €123.6 million from the online casino side.
Spain’s online gaming market grew by 2.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020. Growth from online casinos compensated for the loss of sports betting revenues.
Pragmatic Play has partnered with Novomatic’s Admiral Casino in Croatia, which will offer the full suite of Pragmatic online game content to Admiral’s iGaming offering.
Evolution Gaming has signed an agreement to supply live casino content to JVH Gaming & Entertainment Group in the Netherlands, including live casino and first-person RNG games.
Triple Cherry has signed a partnership deal with aggregator PariPlay, under which Triple Cherry content will be distributed across European iGaming markets.
MoneyMatrix has released an identity monitoring application that allows casino operators to make informed decisions concerning know-your-customer and risk management processes.
Massachusetts hasn’t had much luck approving sports betting, despite support from the legislature and the governor. This year may not prove more successful despite budget deficits brought on by Covid-19, but Senator Eric Lesser (l.) is willing to try.
Lawmakers in Missouri including state Rep. Wes Rogers (l.) have pre-filed five sports betting measures to be considered in the session starting January 13, including one that also would legalize video lottery terminals.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (l.) notes that five of seven neighboring states offer sports betting. But his priority is legalizing historic racing machines following the state Supreme Court’s ruling against them in 2020.
Several gaming bills have been pre-filed for the Georgia legislature’s 2021 session. Rep. Ron Stephens (l.) said his online sports betting bill would be the easiest to pass, as it wouldn’t require a constitutional amendment.
In the first month, mobile sports betting in Tennessee generated $131.4 million in bets and $1.9 million for the Tennessee Education Lottery. Analysts predict sports betting could generate $50 million in annual tax revenue for the state.
South Carolina lawmakers will have three gambling measures to consider when the legislative session convenes January 12. Two would propose a constitutional amendment to allow casino-style gaming and sports betting.
Florida state Senator Jeff Brandes (l.) has filed bills to legalize sports betting. He hopes the bills, similar to those that failed last year, will open talks between Florida and the Seminole Tribe, which claims to have exclusivity regarding sports betting.
Political junkies in Connecticut are predicting that Governor Ned Lamont (l.), the two gaming tribes and the legislature will be able to get together and agree on legalizing sports betting.
Score Board, the sports betting app operated by the Oregon Lottery, is setting records. In November it brought in $4.1 million, a huge increase over the month before.
A federal judge has ended a suit by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to force pro leagues and the NCAA to pay more than $100 million for opposition to a sportsbook. The defendants received a restraining order against Monmouth Park (l.).
Caesars Entertainment has passed partial antitrust muster and will be allowed to proceed with acquiring William Hill. It hopes to complete the $3.7 billion purchase of the British company by March.
Sports betting network, VSiN, has increased its relationship with iHeartMedia in hopes of expanding its audience. The network will relocate its streaming service to iHeartRadio, which customers can access at no cost. The deal is part of continued expansions of content and platforms.
In one of her final actions before leaving office, former Puerto Rican Governor Rico Wanda Vázquez Garced (l.) signed a new law that will allow sports betting and esports as ways to create new businesses and jobs.
Kambi Group has signed a partnership with JVH Gaming & Entertainment Group, the largest casino in The Netherlands, to provide sports betting upon passage of enabling legislation.
BetMGM has launched its sports betting app in Iowa, featuring benefits earned through sports wagers that can be redeemed at MGM Resorts International casinos nationwide.
GAN Limited has completed the €149.1 million acquisition of internet software-as-a-service provider Coolbet, integrating Coolbet’s proprietary sports betting technology. Dermot Smurfit (l.), CEO of GAN, says the purchase “completes” GAN.
Churchill Downs will rebrand its BetAmerica sportsbook and iGaming platform to TwinSpires, the brand associated with CDI’s online parimutuel wagering platform.
Hawaii Governor David Ige (l.) has vowed to fight a proposal to build a casino on Oahu on land earmarked for Native Hawaiians. The proposal originated with the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
The city of San Jose has announced its intention to join the California Cities Gaming Authority. The organization is fighting to protect state card rooms, like San Jose’s Bay 101 (l.), which they perceive as being under attack.
New Mexico’s racetrack industry seems to be dying under the strict lockdown of the industry ordered by Governor Michelle Lujan (l.). No racetrack has been allowed to open for nine months.
Levar Stoney (l.), mayor of Richmond, Virginia has issued a request for proposals to develop a casino resort, the first step in preparing a referendum on the industry.
Pennsylvania’s 13 casinos were given the go-ahead to reopen January 4 by Governor Tom Wolf (l.). A state-imposed shutdown began December 12 as Covid-19 cases surged.
No surprise here—Las Vegas Strip casinos posted lackluster results for the month of November, down 17.75 percent year-on-year. Statewide, the news was a little better, as casinos saw their lowest decline since June.
Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will launch reservation-only Preview Days on January 19, then open to the general public on February 11.
In Indiana, hundreds of owners or bars and other businesses have signed a petition asking for the right to offer video gaming terminals. They say the games will create 32,000 jobs and generate $100 million in the first year.
Louisiana casinos saw revenues drop a discouraging 23.6 percent in November. DiamondJacks in Bossier City has closed for good, and Isle of Capri Lake Charles has not reopened following hurricane damage.
Pennsylvania casino revenues were down in November due to the pandemic, but soaring numbers from iGaming and sports betting made up some of the difference.
Six casinos have agreed to a contract extension with Unite Here Local 54. The deal covers 7,200 industry workers at properties in Atlantic City and Philadelphia.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ application for a casino in Muskegon County, Michigan. The casino will create 1,500 temporary jobs and1,500 new full-time jobs.
Running out of money after being closed for 10 months, the Navajo Gaming Enterprise has begun layoffs of 1,110 employees. Reopening the enterprise’s casinos in the face of a resurgent Covid-19 surge was vetoed by Nation President Jonathan Nez.
Although others businesses in Washington may be losing money due to the pandemic, the Spokane Tribe Casino is not one of them. It is doing so well that it has broken ground on a project to double the size of its casino.
Caesars Entertainment Inc. is divesting itself of its Indiana interests. It is selling its operation of Caesars Southern Indiana to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Southern California’s Jamul Indian Village has donated $75,000 to health care providers providing front-line health care during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Penn National Gaming CFO David Williams (l.) has stepped down, and will be replaced by Felicia Hendrix, a longtime gaming analyst most recently with Barclays.
Nora Jordan (l.), longtime head of Davis Polk’s Investment Management Group, has been named to the board of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. Jordan is the second woman to join the board.
Deb Haaland (l.), nominee for secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, last month pledged to consult regularly with tribal leaders on all decisions that affect them and their tribal lands.
Sands China Chief Financial Officer Bob McBain has retired, and parent company SJM Holdings has named Chief Operating Officer Ben Toh Hup Hock (l.) as the new CFO.
Huckleberry “Huck” Seed (l.), the 1996 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, has been announced as the 2020 inductee into the Poker of Fame.
The Indiana Gaming Commission ordered Spectacle Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Rod Ratcliff (l.) to cede his ownership share, saying though he resigned from Spectacle, he continued to exert control. Spectacle VP John Keeler also was ordered to give up his share.
Tak Chun group CEO Levo Chan (l.) has parlayed his acquisition of a controlling stake in Macau Legend Development into the chief executive’s office. His predecessor, Melinda Chan, remains an executive director.
U.K.-based iGaming and betting provider FSB has appointed Larry Pelzer and Mike Van Ermen as vice president of sales for North America and vice president of pre-Sales, respectively. FSB says the pair will play a “central role” in the company’s expansion across the Atlantic.
Nevada regulators have approved IGT’s Resort Wallet cashless gaming solution, and the company has revealed it has secured a patent for cryptocurrency use in slot play.
Aristocrat Technologies will launch its Timber Wolf Diamond slot, on the new Neptune Double cabinet, in a premiere event at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut January 28.
An air filtration system that kills the Covid-19 virus is being installed at nine Muscogee (Creek) Nation casinos, the tribe has announced. The AtmosAir system is said to neutralize the airborne virus and also kill it on surfaces.
Aruze Gaming has the Asian market launch of two new pachinko-style slot machines, part of the Pachincoin series of games featuring pachinko-inspired game play.
Industry suppliers that are members of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers showed a big gain in stock prices for December.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.