Ukraine’s Gaming Market Presents New Opportunities

Once a vibrant market, gaming was banned in Ukraine more than 10 years ago. Starting from scratch will give the industry time to do it right and creates opportunities for investors, according the experts in the region.

Black is Black

Richard Schuetz believes the black market is the gift that keeps on giving. Why? Because no matter how you slice it, there is little hope of dismantling illegal offshore betting no matter how hard you try.

Mobile Sports Betting Coming to New York

It’s short on details, but a deal has been finally reached between New York legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) to bid out two sports betting licenses and select the winners by the end of the year. But the deal has many hurdles to overcome and lots of criticism.

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WEEKLY FEATURE : MotorCity Comes to Atlantic City

The Ilitch family, owners of the MotorCity Casino Hotel, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings, has Atlantic City on their radar. The family agreed to buy as much as 50 percent of Ocean Casino Resort (l.).

Crown On the Road to NSW License

Australia’s Crown Resorts, battered by revelations that it tolerated money laundering and operated in a culture of noncompliance, could recover sufficiently to win a gaming license for its Barangaroo casino (l.) in Sydney, New South Wales this year.

Manhattan Casino Plan In N.Y. State Budget

New York’s 2021-22 spending plan calls for a community advisory board to consider locations for New York City casino. Most city leaders remain dead-set against the idea.

Brazilian President Supports Casino Legalization

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro (l.) supports a bill introduced by Senator Ciro Nogueira to allow casinos to reopen. It has been a misdemeanor to operate casinos for 80 years. Brazil’s hotels support the change.

Cannae Holdings Invests in Sightline Payments

Cannae Holdings, Inc. announced a $32 million investment in fintech company Sightline Payments, fulfilling a commitment totaling $100 million in funding. Cannae Chairman Bill Foley (l.) says the company’s Play+ system is a game-changer.

Osaka RFP Attracts No New Bidders

Osaka, Japan reopened its RFP process in hopes of luring new developers to build an integrated resort there. It didn’t work; the partnership of MGM Resorts and Orix Corp. stand alone as bidders in the region.

Alabama Lottery Bill Dead For Now

Alabama state Senator Jim McClendon (l.) has pulled his lottery legislation, knowing it wouldn’t get enough votes to pass. Senators could revisit the bill later on.

U.K. Gambling Commission Unveils Three Year Plan

The Gambling Commission in the U.K. has released its three-year strategy plan, along with a business plan for coming 12 months. The plan focuses on problem gambling, crime, regulations, among others.

Mohegan Sun Signs Three-Year Deal with Miss America Organization

The Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut last week agreed to a partnership to host the milestone Miss America 2021 Pageant for the next three years. The event, which will be held in December, will be the 100th anniversary of the pageant which started in Atlantic City.

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Korean Tourism Fell to a Trickle in February

Tourism to South Korea fell 90.4 percent year-on-year in February with few travelers coming through Incheon Airport (l.). There were massive declines in visitation from China and Japan, the nation’s largest tourism markets. Casinos in the country took a heavy hit.

Japan Casinos Won’t Offer Pachinko or Roulette

Japan casino regulators have announced the nine types of casino games that will be permitted inside the nation’s casinos. Traditional games like pachinko, pachislot and mahjong aren’t on the list, but Sic Bo (l.) is.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

Kindred Group Closes on Belgian Casino

The acquisition of Casino Blankenberge (l.) by Kindred Group has closed. Kindred bought the Belgium casino for £25 million from the Rank Group. The company will retain the management team.

U.K. Self-Exclusion Numbers Growing

As a result of an increase in online gambling, GamStop reported an increase in new additions to the self-exclusion list. The company credited the increase to an online betting increase in November and December.

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Netherlands Breaks Into iGaming

The Netherlands has for years been an untapped market for online gaming. That changed April 1 when the Netherlands Gambling Authority began accepted license applications. The market is expected to launch October 1.

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Illinois Ends Online Sports Betting Registration

Online sports-betting registration ended at midnight on April 10 in Illinois. In-person registration was part of the 2019 sports wagering legislation but Governor J.B. Pritzker suspended it when casinos closed for Covid-19.

Sale of Will Hill to Caesars On Hold

Completion of the sale of William Hill to Caesars will have to wait after two investors objected. Hill and other operators did better than expected in 2020 but face uncertainty from U.K. update of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Kansas Sports Betting Bill Stalls

Efforts to approve sports betting in Kansas stalled when the House said no deal. The two chambers had differing versions, but each version had its opponents. Whether it can be revived this year remains to be seen.

Maine Lawmakers Mull Sports Betting

A bill has been introduced in the Maine Senate to legalize and regulate sports betting. Senator Louis Luchini’s (l.) bill would allow racetracks, OTB venues, casino operators and Indian tribes to operate sportsbooks.

Wyoming Sports Betting to Launch September 2021

The state of Wyoming has legalized sports betting. It became the second state this year to do so when Governor Mark Gordon (l.) signed it into law on April 5. It was Rep. Tom Walters’s second attempt to pass such a bill.

House Bill Would End Excise Tax on Sports Betting

A bill filed in the U.S. House of Representatives by Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus (l.) seeks to end the 1950s era federal excise tax on sports wagers. The law was originally enacted in an effort to battle illegal gambling. Sponsors say it’s now outdated.

Delaware Sports Betting Revenue Up

Delaware’s sports betting operations, including the sports book at Dover Downs (l., earned $966,752 in revenue for March, a 40.9 percent increase over March 2020, although handle decreased for the month.

Spanish Gaming Regs Could Harm Sports Betting

Spain’s new regulations pertaining to gaming, especially sports betting, could harm both the gaming industry and some sports clubs themselves, say opponents. The government is specifically targeting advertising.

Endeavor Group Plans UFC Public Offering

Endeavor Group Holdings plans to take UFC public, according to an SEC filing. The company also hopes to buy the 49.9 percent share of the mixed martial arts firm it doesn’t own.

Betfred Sports Waits for Nevada License

Betfred has established operations in the U.S. in Colorado, Iowa and Pennsylvania. The U.K.-based company has applied for a Nevada license. While waiting, the company built its sportsbook as a calling card.

Fox Sues Flutter Over FanDuel

Fox Corp. has filed a lawsuit against Flutter over the former’s purchase of 18.6 percent of an 18.6 percent share of FanDuel. The issue revolves around the fair market value on FanDuel; Fox sees it as lower than Flutter does.

Dave & Buster’s to Add Sportsbooks

The Dave & Buster’s chain of sports and entertainment-themed restaurants plans to add sports betting where authorized as part of its bid to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Is MaximBet Coming to New Jersey?

The Carousel Group, a late-bloomer in the sports betting business, has partnered with the owners of Maxim, the magazine for MaximBet. The two companies think the combo will appeal to the target audience of bettors.

Las Vegas’ Circa Resort Partners with Padres

Circa Resort & Casino, which opened in October, has formed its first partnership. It will be an official sponsor of the ninth inning for the Padres Baseball club of Major League Baseball.

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Richmond’s Three Competitors Make Their Case

The three finalists for Richmond, Virginia’s gaming license—Bally’s project rendering at left—presented their proposals to residents in virtual meetings. A committee will select the operator and voters will have final approval in November.

Lightfoot Considering Some Chicago Casino Sites

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (l.) says she has some ideas about where to locate the city’s sole casino. Proposals will be accepted later this month for the casino resort that’s expected to open by 2025.

PA Mini-Casino Wins Key Approval

Officials of Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg Township unanimously approved the plan of Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment to develop a Parx-branded mini-casino (l.).

Maryland Casinos Log Record March

Maryland’s six casinos recorded the largest single-month revenue in the industry’s history in March, recording a combined $169.2 million and topping the previous record.

WSOP to Return In-Person Play for 2021

The World Series of Poker will return as a live, in-person event at the Rio (l.) in Las Vegas from September through November, with the No-Limit Main Event concluding November 23.

Appeals Court Sides with Wynn

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision to allow a defamation lawsuit filed by former casino mogul Steve Wynn against attorney Lisa Bloom to move forward.

Sparks, Nevada Casino Breaks Ground

A new casino development has broken ground in Nevada’s Reno-Sparks area. Legends Bay Casino (l.), expected to open in mid-2022, will be the first all-new casino in the vicinity since 1995 broke.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Massachusetts Tribe Rebuffed in Bingo Dispute

A federal court says Massachusetts’ Wampanoag Indian Tribe must obtain state and local building permits before going ahead with a planned bingo hall with machine games in the town of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard.

Cherokees Approve Gaming Revenue Allocations

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina have approved a plan for allocating revenue it expects from Caesars Southern Indiana (l.), which the tribe purchased for $280 million last December.

Navajos Ban Smoking At Two Casinos

Smoking is now prohibited at the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise’s two New Mexico casinos, including Fire Rock (l.), that reopened March 19 after Covid-19 closures. Public health officials hope the ban remains permanent.

Kiowa Tribe Gets Final Go-Ahead For Casino

Following approval of its land-trust application last December, the Kiowa Tribe in Hobart, Oklahoma may now act on its agreement with the city to develop the site of its future Kiowa Casino. Tribal Chairman Matthew Komalty (l.) says it will help a distressed area.

Tribe Breaks Ground on California Casino

A groundbreaking was held April 6 in Porterville, California for the relocated Eagle Mountain Casino (l.). The project, delayed for 20 years, includes a 250-room hotel and a casino on 40 acres.

LOTTERY More

North Carolina Lottery Awards $18 Billion

The North Carolina Education Lottery kicked off in 2006 and since then, players have won more than $18 billion in prizes, and statewide education has benefited from $8 billion.

SG Grows iLottery in Western Canada

Scientific Games has launched a new online iLottery subscription program it says will open the path to digital modernization for the Western Canada Lottery Corp.

Washington Lottery Warns Against Smartphone App

The Washington Lottery is warning customers that an app that just launched in the state by Lottery Now is not affiliated with the state lottery. The app, Mido Lotto, enables purchases of Mega Millions and Powerball.

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Jamul Casino Names Grady CFO

Jamul Casino has promoted Theresa Grady (l.) to the role of chief financial officer. Grady has been with the California casino for four years and most recently served as director of finance.

Bailey Named VP, GM at Valley Forge

Valley Forge Casino announced last week that Ron Bailey has been named vice president and general manager of the Pennsylvania resort. Bailey comes to Valley Forge from Boyd Gaming, where he spent almost 10 years.

Boyd Leaves Tennessee Lottery

Danielle Boyd has resigned as VP of sports gaming at the Tennessee Education Lottery. No explanation was provided. Jennifer Roberts resigned from the same position in June 2020 after slightly more than six months.

Potawatomi Casino Names Schnering Interim Leader

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino veteran Sheryl Schnering has been named interim CEO/general manager at the property, replacing Rodney Ferguson who resigned. Schnering was CFO at the property for six years.

Does Bet365 CEO Make Too Much Money?

Denise Coates, one of the U.K.’s richest women, last year was paid a salary of £421 million and £48 million in dividends by the company she founded, Bet365. It’s calculated that Coates makes £1.2 million every day.

Whitbread Retires from NRM

Paul Whitbread (l.), founder of U.K.-based gaming software provider NRM, has announced his decision to retire. Whitbread passed his stake in the company to longtime partner Andrew Ludlow.

GLI Expands Customer Service Teams

GLI has promoted Candi Lopez to manager of client services, Cindy Nguyen to senior account executive, and Kelvin Ortega to account executive, along with other promotions and hires.

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TransUnion to Enter U.S. Gaming Market

A company known to U.S. customers for its credit services will bring its gaming subsidiary to the stateside market. TransUnion Gaming Services LLC already has 12 years of experience in the U.K. and Europe.

JCM to Supply Mohegan Sun Las Vegas

Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will deploy technology from JCM Global including the iVIZION bill validator, GEN5 thermal printer and ICB Intelligent Cash Box system.

US Thrillrides Present Unicoaster Roulette

Florida-based US Thrillrides is now taking orders for its unique amusement park ride, Unicoaster Roulette, “the game you can ride.” The one-of-a-kind attraction resembles a giant roulette wheel.

AGEM Index Up in March

The AGEM Index rose by 1.6 percent in March to 64.13 points, led by a significant jump in the share price of Australian slot manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Limited.

Allied Esports Reaches Agreement for WPT Sale

Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. has reached an amended agreement to sell the World Poker Tour to Element Partners, LLC for $105 million. Element beat out Bally Corp.’s $100 million offer.

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