China is committed to promulgating an e-version of the renminbi that will hasten the day it becomes legal currency in Macau. The benefits for the gaming industry promise to be sizable.
In a career that spanned more than 40 years, Steve Callender (l.) rose from day-one dealer at Resorts Atlantic City to head of casinos in AC, Baltimore and Philadelphia. On March 31, he retired after a career that saw the industry change from the inside out.
Major League Baseball kicked off the season April 1, bringing back the 162-game season and fans too—up to a point. Post-Covid, baseball could shatter sports-betting records with in-game and moneyline bets.
There are some proponents in the casino world of a “controlled throw” of the dice at a craps game. But what is considered a controlled throw? Casino ops expert Bill Zender explains how you could be vulnerable.
DraftKings has gone beyond partnerships with sports leagues and teams to step into the broadcasting business with its purchase of VSiN. The big buy gives DraftKings a growing network devoted to sports betting.
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In Las Vegas, Atlantic City and elsewhere, casino operators are bringing Covid-19 vaccination centers to jobsites, making it easier for employees to be inoculated and get back to work.
Competitors for a casino in Richmond, Virginia have come down to Urban One, the Cordish Companies (Live! casino at left) and Bally’s Corp. Local officials, residents and community groups are expressing support and opposition.
Daily visitation to Macau is hitting visitor volumes not seen since the Covid crisis struck, and tourism officials are responding with plans for major promotional campaigns across China.
Once again, Georgia lawmakers failed to pass a bill sponsored by Senator Jeff Mullis (l.) that would have put a sports wagering amendment on the 2022 ballot. The Senate had passed the measure but it died in the House without a floor vote.
Sri Lanka is moving towards opening a Chinese-run special economic zone that would allow casinos, similar to Macau. The zone would be confined to the part of Colombo Port City (l.) called “New Dubai.”
Aristocrat collected nine awards in the 2020 EKG Slot Awards, including Best Overall Supplier, while game design legend Scott Olive and legendary slot executive Charlie Lombardo were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Two coalitions have formed to advocate for full-scale casinos at Resorts World in Queens and Empire City (l.) in Yonkers. They’re diverse, they’re organized, and they’re making their voices heard in Albany.
The Connecticut House last week approved sports betting and iGaming legislation. Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler (l.) said mobile sportsbooks will “drive foot traffic” to the state’s two tribal casinos.
Owners of several Maryland business owners, including Bingo World (l.) in Brooklyn Park, testified via video before a state Senate committee, asking to be qualified for sports betting license as senators consider the House-passed bill.
As we approach first-quarter earnings results, it’s time to ask important questions about the recovery and how short-term crises and adjustments will effect long-term value.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Michael Facenda, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Agua Caliente Cathedral City
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Michael Facenda, the senior vice president and general manager of the Agua Caliente casino in Cathedral City, California, on the opening of the new property in the middle of the pandemic and how it has been performing since.
Labor groups say the one-meter social distancing rule has become unenforceable now that Macau’s gaming regulatory agency has rescinded last year’s Covid-induced ban on standing bets.
It was mostly gains from SunCity’s investments that allowed the Hong Kong-based junket giant to overcome a 67 percent decline in revenues and record net income for the year equivalent to US$119 million.
William Weidner’s Global Gaming Asset Management is suing Philippine tycoon Enrique Razon’s (l.) Bloomberry Resorts, owner of Manila’s Solaire casino hotel. GGAM says its deal to run the casino was terminated illegally.
Las Vegas Sands, owner of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (l.), has launched an investigation into millions of dollars in allegedly unauthorized wire transfers at the resort.
Officials in Aichi Prefecture, Japan say they have not ruled out bidding on an integrated resort in the region. Covid-19, which interrupted the slow-going process for a full year, may have made the bid impractical.
Lim Kok Thay (l.), executive chairman of Genting Singapore Ltd., received less than SGD5 million (US$3.7 million) in compensation for full-year 2020, halved from the prior year, due to the impact of Covid-19.
At a March 29 hearing, former Japanese House of Representatives member Tsukasa Akimoto (l.) pleaded not guilty to charges of taking a bribe and paying off a witness.
Hong Kong-listed New Silkroad Culturaltainment, operator of the MegaLuck Casino at the KAL Hotel (l.) in Jeju, South Korea, says if business doesn’t pick up this year, its outlook will be “arduous.”
The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has offered a reprieve to casino operators battered by Covid-19. It will allow them to delay payment of sales taxes for up to a year.
The Philippines subsidiary of Suncity Group, now planning an integrated resort project (l.) in Manila’s Entertainment City precinct, has announced the sale of its non-gaming assets to help fund the development.
Guangzhou R&F Properties, the Chinese firm behind the development of a casino resort in Incheon, South Korea, has reportedly fired the entire construction force at the Midan City Resort Complex (l.), formerly Caesars Incheon.
A report from the U.K. Betting and Gaming Council demonstrates the industry’s contribution to the economy. BGC Chair Brigid Simmonds (l.) said casinos in London alone contribute £120 million to the tourism sector.
The state government of Victoria, Australia has announced it will underwrite research into the effects of Covid-19 on gambling patterns among Victorians.
The Australian Communications and Media Agency has begun efforts to block 10 illegal offshore betting websites. Since 2019, the agency has blocked 238 sites and taken down an additional 130.
Chilean investigators are looking into the blind holdings of President Sebastian Pinera (l.). The president owns an interest in the Enjoy Casino, and recently issued a decree that benefits the casino.
Playtech will open its first live casino studio in the U.S. in Southfield, Michigan. It will augment the company’s flagship studio in Latvia, which streams live-dealer table games online.
Entain revealed a small increase in operating profit of 2 percent. But the sportsbook company also developed a new model to gauge affordability in an effort to know when to stop gamblers from betting.
Sweden-based iGaming operator LeoVegas has acquired a 25 percent stake in startup company SharedPlay, which features technology that transforms single-player games into multi-player sessions.
The board of directors of Australia’ Tabcorp has rejected recent offers to acquire its Wagering & Media business, and is launching a strategic review of that business.
Pragmatic Play has integrated its dedicated Live Casino offering, including baccarat and roulette, to the sites of Asian online gaming giant M88.
When the Philippines raised taxes, a good many companies sought licenses in the Isle of Man. The number of applications submitted rose 30 percent year over year for an increase of 21 in the past 12 months.
Online gambling companies such as Unibet and FanDuel began offering customers the option to block access to websites as a way to deal with problem gambling. The systems resemble self-exclusion lists in casinos.
Paper-based keno has been played in Nebraska for decades. Now cities and industry officials are stumping for mobile-based keno to help bars and keno parlors compete with casinos.
Spain’s online gaming revenues rose 13.8 percent in 2020, one reason Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzon (l.) has announced his department will review the tax regime for casinos.
Opposition is forming in the Nova Scotia, Canada legislature to the Atlantic Lottery Corp’s promotion of iGaming—especially practices such as offering a $20 voucher to new online accounts.
The Isle of Man recently became the current champion in number of online gaming licenses based on the island. It now has 55, and is heading toward 60, according to the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
Flutter could declare an IPO for FanDuel amid analyst speculation that the decision could hurt as well as help. Some say FanDuel is undervalued and an IPO would fix that. Others say it’s overvalued.
A bill that would legalize sports betting in Arizona has been sidelined because of a misprint in the legislation. The difference between 150 and 150,000 attendees at a pro venue could make all the difference.
FOX Sports and the New York Racing Association have signed a deal extending their television rights package that also establishes Fox Sports as the official wagering partner of NYRA at all New York tracks, including Long Island’s Belmont Park (l.).
After nine hearings that included 60 witnesses, the Ohio Select Committee on Gaming will begin drafting legislation to legalize sports betting. Governor Mike DeWine (l.) calls its passage “inevitable.”
Scientific Games has partnered with Golden Nugget Online Gaming to launch a mobile sportsbook in New Jersey using SG’s OpenSports platform. Sci Games’ Cathryn Lai (l.) says OpenSports will raise Golden Nugget betting to “new heights.”
A Tennessee judge recently ruled the sports betting company Tennessee Action 24/7 must have its license reinstated. It was suspended by the Tennessee Education Lottery for suspected debit card fraud.
BetMGM has become an official gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers under a multi-year sponsorship agreement. The company also signed a multi-year deal with Audacy makes it a preferred sports betting partner across Audacy’s sports broadcast stations, the Audacy and Bet QL apps and digital platforms and more.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the gaming compact between North Carolina and the Catawba Indian Nation. Now the South Carolina-based tribe can proceed on its $273 million Two Kings Casino Resort.
The Tote, a mainstay of U.K. horseracing, will work together with TruNarrative to enhance player protection through affordability assessments.
SuperDraft is launching a free-to-play sportsbook for states in which sports betting is not yet legal, in the fantasy sports company’s first new product since Caesars invested in the company.
Sportradar has signed a multi-year partnership with China’s CBA league, and has agreed to a new partnership with the Swedish Football Association.
Sports betting operator theScore inked a deal with Caesars Entertainment giving it access to the Illinois online sports wagering market. Following regulatory approval, theScore will take bets later in 2021.
February’s visitation to Las Vegas was up a healthy 19 percent over January’s. What the market would like to see now is more spending on the casino floor.
Opponents of a proposed $250 million casino in Slidell, Louisiana spoke out against the project at a recent city council meeting. But lawmakers say they've heard positive feedback about the Peninsula Pacific proposal.
A Spectrum Gaming report commissioned by the North Carolina Lottery indicates within five years up to nine state-run casinos could generate $2.2 billion in revenue and sports betting could produce $367 million. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates two Harrah’s Cherokee (l.) and will not be supportive.
All it takes is the signature of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon (l.) and it will be legal to bets on sports in the Cowboy State. The Senate approved the bill 24-5-1 after approval by the House.
Wisconsin and Illinois may become very close casino rivals. A $405 million Indian casino (l.) will soon begin building in Beloit, Wisconsin. The city of Rockford, Illinois, is waiting for approval for another, 20 miles away.
New reports presented to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission challenge commonly-held beliefs that new casinos like Encore Boston Harbor (l.) accelerate problem gambling or that crime always follows when a casino opens.
All of the 176 rooms in the new $75 million hotel tower at the Silver Slipper Casino in Hancock County, Mississippi will face the waterfront. The project also will include a spa and entertainment and meeting venue.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (l.) in Bristol, Virginia held a vendor fair last October and already hired local businesses—even though the venue won’t open for two more years.
Patrons at Massachusetts’s two casino resorts are clamoring to be allowed to play poker. However, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission still limits table games to four seats. That’s not enough to be profitable, say casinos.
Guests at JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Ohio can enjoy year-round outdoor gaming at the new Revel Oak gaming patio, featuring more than 250 video lottery terminals and custom accoutrements.
Renovations and transformations, including a new front entrance (r.), are ongoing at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, where owner Alex Meruelo has invested more than $200 million since purchasing the property in 2011.
Wynn Resorts has agreed to pay $5.6 million to resolve a federal lawsuit brought by around 1,000 current and former Wynn Las Vegas dealers who have been fighting the property’s tip-sharing policy.
Scientific Games has launched Kentucky Lottery instant game sales in grocery checkout lines in partnership with the lottery, Kroger and Blackhawk.
The American Gaming Association last week enhanced its leadership team with three vice president promotions. Jessica Feil (l.), Cait DeBaun and Meredith Pallante will lead core industry and association priorities.
Lottery.com has appointed Katie Lever as its chief legal officer. Lever will be supported by strong board of advisors with ample expertise in gaming compliance.
Amanda Vance, chairwoman of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians who was interim CEO of supplier Synergy Blue, has been named to the permanent top post.
GLI has named Joe Bunevith (l.), a well-known iGaming innovator with extensive experience in developing fantasy sports online programs, as the company’s new director of client solutions.
MGM Resorts International has named Jeff Mochal as senior vice president of corporate communications, and has promoted Ayesha Molino to senior vice president of public affairs.
Jeannette Gilbert (l.) has joined Clarion Gaming as head of marketing. Gilbert has 20 years of experience in the field and previously worked for Reed Travel Exhibitions.
South Korean casino operator Kangwon Land Inc. has announced the appointment of Lee Sam-geol as its new CEO, replacing Moon Tae-Gon (l.), who was named interim chairman in 2020.
Hong Kong’s Summit Ascent Holdings, which operates the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in Russia’s Primorye gaming district, has appointed Genting executive David Chua as its new executive director and CEO.
South Korean casino operator Paradise Co. named Choi Sung-wook as the company’s new CEO. Choi takes the reins as the country’s casinos struggle to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
SkyCity Entertainment Group of Australia will appoint three new non-executive directors to the company’s board, namely Silvana Schenone (l.), Julian Cook and Chad Barton.
Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan has announced the appointment of Josef Huber as its new executive chef. Huber has more than 40 years of culinary experience at restaurants across the world.
Brian Kavanagh (l.), CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, will leave his post in September, and the search is on for his successor. Kavanagh presided over the sport’s expansion and also shepherded it through Covid-19.
Former Wynn Resorts founder and CEO Steve Wynn donated $50 million to see his name appear on a new hospital in Utica, New York. In 2018, a sex scandal forced Wynn out of the gaming industry.
FSB has expanded its geographic reach with a deal with major German iGaming group OGaming. FSB will migrate international operator OGaming’s roster of brands in rapid time.
Scientific Games has unveiled the dramatic Mural cabinet, featuring dual 55-inch monitors and 4K resolution, with new Willy Wonka and 88 Fortunes games.
Exacta Systems has signed an agreement with Scientific Games Corp. to bring SG game content onto Exacta’s historical horse race system.
IGT has completed the redemption of its 6.25 percent Senior Secured Notes due 2022, completing the sale of $750 million in notes due in 2026.
Ainsworth Game Technology has completed a debt restructuring plan with U.S.-based Western Alliance Bank to further its recovery and future growth plan.
UltraViolet Devices, Inc. has announced that its V-MAX UV-C air disinfection technology is 99.99 percent effective in eliminating airborne Covid-19 viral strains in moving airstreams.
PokerStars has canceled its 2021 No-Limit Hold‘em Championship due to uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and slow vaccine rollouts.
Reed Exhibitions has announced that the G2E Asia trade show brand will hold an online expo and conference on May 25, 2021. The land-based version of the show is still planned for August 17-19 at the Venetian Macao.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.