After 43 Years, Caesars Exec Callender Takes a Bow

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.

CASINO-OLOGY: Control Freaks

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 Expands Reach with VSiN Buy

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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Taking Sides Over Richmond Casino

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.

Georgia Online Sports Betting A No-Go

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 Creates Special Gaming Economic Zone

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, Everi Dominate EKG Slot Awards

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.

Connecticut Committee OKs Sports Betting Measure

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.

Labor, Community Groups Push for NYC Casinos

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.

Senators Hear Business Appeals on Maryland Sports Betting

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.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: A First-Quarter Quiz

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.

ASIAN GAMING More

SunCity Posts Profit for 2020

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.

Weidner, Razon Square Off in Solaire Contract Dispute

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.

Another Player In Japan’s IR Race?

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.

Genting Singapore CEO Saw Compensation Drop by Half

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.

Taxes Deferred for South Korea Casinos

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.

Suncity Philippines to Sell Nongaming Assets

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.

South Korea Construction Crew Fired

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.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

British Industry Report Touts Economic Benefits

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.

GLOBAL GAMING More

ONLINE GAMING More

Playtech to Open U.S. Live Casino Studio

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 Reports Profits, New Affordability Model

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.

LeoVegas Acquires Stake in Startup SharedPlay

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.

Online Gambling Sites Offer Exclusion Options

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.

Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Mobile Keno

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 iGaming Revenues Up 13.8 Percent

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.

Isle of Man Sees iGaming Surge

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.

SPORTS BETTING More

Flutter Considers Both Sides of a FanDuel IPO

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.

Arizona Sports Betting Proposal in Limbo

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, NYRA Announce Landmark Deal

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.).

Ohio Sports Betting Committee Holds Final Hearing

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, Golden Nugget Launch NJ Mobile Sportsbook

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.”

Tennessee Sportsbook Reinstated

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.

BIA Approves Catawba, North Carolina Compact

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.

BetMGM Partners with Detroit Tigers and Audacy

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.

SuperDraft Launches Free Sportsbook

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.

theScore Taps Illinois Online Market Via Caesars

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.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

Louisiana Casino Supporters, Opponents Face Off

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.

North Carolina Report Forecasts Billions in Gaming Revenues

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.

Competing Casinos Worries Illinois Leaders

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.

Mississippi Casino Announces Waterfront Hotel Tower

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.

Hard Rock Bristol Hires Local Vendors

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.

Massachusetts Casinos Want Poker to Return

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.

Reno’s Grand Sierra Continues Upgrades

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 Agrees to Settlement in Tip-Sharing Dispute

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.

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AGA Promotes Three to Vice President Titles

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.

Clarion Gaming Appoints Marketing Lead

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.

Kangwon Land Announces New CEO

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.

Russian Operator Appoints Genting Exec as CEO

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.

New CEO for Korea’s Paradise Co.

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.

Huber Named Exec Chef of Gun Lake Michigan

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.

Australia’s SkyCity Adds New Directors

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.

Horse Racing Ireland Seeks Successor to CEO

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.

Hospital Named for Steve Wynn

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.

GOODS & SERVICES More

Exacta, SG Sign HHR Agreement

Exacta Systems has signed an agreement with Scientific Games Corp. to bring SG game content onto Exacta’s historical horse race system.

IGT Completes Sale of Senior Notes

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.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

G2E Asia Plans Virtual Expo

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.

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