Bally’s to Develop Casino Near Penn State

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.).

Wanted: U.S. Gaming Regulators—No Experience Necessary

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.

Adelson Steps Down For Health Reasons

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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WEEKLY FEATURE: MGM Rebuffed in Bid for Entain

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?

Tribal Gaming Revenue Sets Record At $34.6 Billion

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.

Macau Adds Chinese Cities to Quarantine

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.

Apollo Secures Great Canadian Gaming Deal

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.

Nagasaki Launches Casino RFP

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.

Sports Betting: State of the States

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.

Industry Veteran Ron Lurie Dead at 79

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.

Poll Shows Strong Support for Alabama Lottery

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.

Atlantic City Developments Signs of Optimism

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.

Cuomo Comes Around on Mobile Sports Bets

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.


South Korea Locals Casino Granted New License

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 Opens More Routes in China

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.

Vietnam Casino to Undergo Expansion

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.

SJM Launches New Round of Employee Bonuses

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.

Millions Go Missing from South Korea Casino

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.

CNMI Commissioners Accuse IPI of Hoarding Cash

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.


Covid A Fatal Blow to French 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.

Ukraine Anticipates $265 Million from Gaming

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 Close for 3 Weeks

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.


Baja California Casinos Closed ‘til Further Notice

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.


Online Super Bowl Bets Possible In Virginia

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.

Mid-January Launch for Michigan Mobile Bets

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.

Iowa Sports Bettors Can Establish Accounts Online

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 Offers West Virginia iGaming

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.

WSOP Announces Online Tournament Series

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 as the official home.

Visa Helps Designate Payments for Gambling

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.

iGaming Soars in Italy

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.

Spanish iGaming Grows

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 Partners with Novomatic

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 to Enter Netherlands with JVH

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.


Massachusetts Sports Betting Not A Sure Thing

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.

Five Missouri Sports Betting Bills Proposed

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.

Sports Betting A Topic for Georgia Lawmakers

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.

Tennessee Sports Bettors Wager $131 Million

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 Weigh Sports Betting

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 Senator Files Sports Betting Bills

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.

NJ Horsemen's Suit Nears End

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 Gets Nod to Acquire William Hill

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.

VSiN Expands Partnership with iHeartMedia

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.

Puerto Rico Law Opens Door to Sports Betting

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 Partners with JVH

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.

GAN Completes Coolbet Acquisition

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.


Hawaii Governor Opposes Casino Proposal

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.

San Jose Joins CA Card-Room Fight

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.

Richmond, Virginia Seeks Casino Proposals

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 Casinos Reopen

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.

Strip Casinos Down for November

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.

Indiana Bar Owners Want VGTs

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 Slump Continues

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.


Feds OK Michigan Tribal Casino

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.

Navajo Gaming Begins Layoffs

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.

Spokane Tribe Flourishes During Covid

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.


Second Woman Joins LVS Board

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.

Interior Designate Vows to Work with Tribes

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.

SJM CFO Retires, Toh Named New CFO

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.

Seed Named to Poker Hall of Fame

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.

Indiana Gaming Board Orders Ratcliff Out

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.

Junket Boss Takes Helm at Macau Legend

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.

FSB Names Two U.S. Execs to Lead North American Push

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.


IGT Cashless System Approved in Nevada

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.

Creek Nation Installs Air Filtration System in Casinos

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.




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