This week, Chicago officially opened the door to bidders for the city’s sole casino license. Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it an “incredible opportunity,” complete with a temporary casino and airport slots.
California Tribes Talk Back on Fee-to-Trust Foot-Dragging
For nearly 30 years, San Diego County has opposed virtually all land-to-trust applications by local tribes. The policy has created simmering resentment in a county with more tribal casinos than any in the U.S, and Rincon Tribe Chairman Bo Mazzetti (l.) believes it’s a “racist” policy.
GGB PODCAST SPECIAL EDITION: Jacob Lanning, Payments Consultant, IGT
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Jacob Lanning, a payments consultant for IGT on how the company’s Resort Wallet has changed the way payments are processed on the casino floor and beyond.
Is Formula 1 Racing A Fit for AC Entertainment?
Atlantic City officials are fielding a $2.7 billion proposal to develop historic Bader Field airport (l.), with a Formula 1 racecourse as its centerpiece. Is this the kind of diversification the casino city is looking for?
Bally’s Buys Tropicana Las Vegas
Bally’s Corp. has been hankering for a presence on the Las Vegas Strip. With the acquisition of the 65-year-old Tropicana, the acquisitive company has secured one without having to break the bank.
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WEEKLY FEATURE: Arizona Gets Comprehensive Gaming Expansion
Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (l.) signed a sports betting bill and expansion of tribal gaming that will be one of the most comprehensive in any state in decades.
Seminoles Reject Proposed Gaming Compact
Florida’s Seminole Tribe has rejected a gaming compact that would have allowed the tribe to control sports betting and build three new casinos in exchange for concessions, including allowing a Miami Beach casino. Governor Ron DeSantis (l.) says negotiations will continue.
Nevada Could Open Fully by June
Stepped-up plans outlined by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak call for the state’s counties to take back control over capacity limits and other pandemic-related restrictions this spring. Mask mandates, however, will remain in place.
Macau in Line to Test Digital Yuan
Development of an electronic version of China’s currency is proceeding with increasing speed and Macau will be one of the test locations. For Macau’s gaming industry the changes will be dramatic.
In Crown Bid, Blackstone Lays Out Conditions
In its bid for Australia’s Crown Resorts, U.S.-based Blackstone has laid out some new conditions. For one thing, Blackstone says it will withdraw its offer if any of Crown’s licenses are put at risk.
Maryland Passes Sports Betting Law
Maryland’s Senate and House of Delegates passed a compromise version of enacting legislation for sports betting on the last day of the legislative session, with wagering possible by the fall. License are reserved for retail, online, sports bars/restaurants and professional sports teams like baseball’s Baltimore Orioles (l.).
Alabama Senate Approves Lottery, Casinos Bill
The Alabama Senate has voted 23-9 for a constitutional amendment sponsored by Senator Jim McClendon (l.) that would allow voters to approve a statewide lottery and six casinos. The measure also includes sports betting.
U.K. Betting Shops Primed for Reopening
April 12 marked the day betting shops can open their doors this year. The bookies have been sidelined since December as part of a national lockdown due to the pandemic. The reopening affects 6,000 shops.
Evolution to Acquire Big Time Gaming
Evolution Gaming reports that it will acquire Australian online gaming content supplier Big Time Gaming, and its titles including Bonanza and Extra Chilli.
UNLV Medical School to Bear Kerkorian’s Name
The new UNLV School of Medicine building will bear the name of late gaming industry icon and MGM Resorts International founder Kirk Kerkorian (l.).
FANTINI’S FINANCE: A Whole New (Post-Covid) World
The real test of pent-up demand is right around the corner, as Nevada and other markets look to loosen Covid-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, what will cryptocurrency mean for the market in Macau?
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Jim Allen, Chairman, Hard Rock International
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down the Jim Allen, the chairman of Hard Rock International and the CEO of Seminole Gaming, on the rapid recovery of his company since the pandemic.
ASIAN GAMING More
Manila Casinos Still On Lockdown
Last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lifted some of Manila’s Covid-19 countermeasures, putting the city in “modified enhanced quarantine” until April 30. But the city’s casinos remain closed for now.
Macau, China Look to Ease Travel Obstacles
Talks are under way between authorities on both sides of the Macau-China border that could lead to eliminating the requirement for mainland visitors to present negative Covid test results.
SkyCity to Sever Junket Relationships
SkyCity Entertainment of New Zealand will no longer work with junket operators, opting to deal with patrons on a one-to-one basis. The move may have been inspired by Crown Resorts’ woes with Asian VIPs.
GLOBAL GAMING More
Chilean Casino Enjoy Chairman, Directors Resign
CEO Javier Martinez Seguí (l.) of Chilean casino firm Enjoy has resigned, along with four members of the board. Their exits are linked to conflict-of-interest investigations involving President Sebastián Piñera.
ONLINE GAMING More
Bally’s, Gamesys Finalize Merger Details
Bally’s Corp. and Gamesys Group PLC have agreed on the terms under which Bally’s will combine with Gamesys, adding a digital arm to the growing operator.
Sweden Could Continue Cap on iGaming Deposits
The Swedish government may extend restrictions on iGaming deposits until mid-November. The move is meant to curb problem gambling in the country, where people continue to be isolated as a result of Covid-19.
J.P. Morgan Australia: Aristocrat Social Games Strong
Analysts from J.P. Morgan Australia say social games from Aristocrat Digital have been turning in strong metrics for the first half of the 2021 fiscal year.
SPORTS BETTING More
Connecticut Lottery Seeks Sportsbook Provider
The Connecticut Lottery has issued a request for qualifications for sports betting partners. Lottery Chairman Rob Simmelkjaer (l.) says the state could be in the sports betting business by fall.
Texas Mulls Sports Betting
Texas Rep. Dan Huberty (l.) is working to persuade legislators on both side of the aisle to approve a vote on legal sports betting. Huberty says the state could tap into $5.6 billion in betting revenues.
Nebraska Committee Nixes Sports Betting
A Nebraska Senate Committee and its chairman Tom Briese (l.) voted to not advance sports betting legislation, calling it an expansion of gambling. But another measure would allow sports wagering at racinos.
Ohio Lawmakers Debate Sports Betting Details
Ohio lawmakers hash out whether to limit sports betting to casinos or open it up to bowling alleys, bars and more. They must also decide who regulates the operations, the lottery or the gaming commission.
Tennessee Sportsbook Can Still Take Bets
A Tennessee judge ruled that Action 24/7 can continue to take bets as its legal case against it for fraud winds through the courts. The decision reversed a suspension of the sportsbook license.
Bally’s, Sinclair Develop Sports Betting Content
With the debut of its new sports betting app, Bally’s Corp. is partnering with Sinclair Broadcast Group to develop sports wager content. The productions will be broadcast on regional networks.
Pittsburgh Penguins Arena to House Sportsbook
The PPG Paints Arena of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins will soon open the BetRivers Lounge, a sports lounge where fans will be able to place bets on mobile devices while watching the game.
Philly Locals Rally Against Chickie’s and Pete’s Sportsbook
A crowd of local South Philadelphia residents gathered to protest a proposal for the popular Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant and sports bar to host a Parx Casino sportsbook.
SG Reports Record Betting on U.K.’s Grand National
Scientific Games and the Smarkets betting exchange reported a record-breaking 50 million bets during the U.K.’s Grand National Horse Racing Festival.
WynnBET Partners with Minute Media
WynnBET has entered into a multi-year content marketing an affiliate partnership with Minute Media, a technology and digital publishing platform and owner of six sports and culture brands.
Dybala Is Skrill Ambassador
Juventus superstar Paulo Dybala (l.) has agreed to a two-year deal with Skrill to represent the digital payments brand among football fans worldwide.
UNITED STATES GAMING More
AC Casinos Showed Profit in Pandemic Year
The coronavirus pandemic meant lower revenues and fewer profits in Atlantic City in 2020. Still, seven of the nine casinos managed to turn a profit, and one, Ocean Casino Resort (l.), actually saw an increase in profits.
37-Foot Guitar Lit at Hard Rock Indiana
A 37-foot tall, 15-foot wide guitar has been lit at the $300 million Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary. The resort’s grand opening has been set for May 14.
Elite Resorts Announces $100 Million Fonner Park Casino
Elite Casino Resorts will develop a $100 million casino resort at Fonner Park (l.) in Grand Island, Nebraska, including a 650-slot casino, sportsbook, restaurants, pools and spa and 116-room boutique hotel.
N.H. Mulls Historic Horse Racing
The New Hampshire legislature is move forward on bills that would make it legal for the state’s 16 licensed gaming operators to deploy historic horse racing machines. A portion of the money raised would go to charity.
Court Rules Against Oregon Poker Club
Oregon poker clubs may be losers in an appeals court ruling that their business model violates the state’s gaming laws. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruling was against the games at Oregon Racing Inc.’s Portland Raceway.
Resorts World Vegas Retailers Announced
Resorts World Las Vegas, the mammoth casino resort opening this summer on the northern end of the famous Strip, will span 70,000 square feet and include multiple high-end retail brands.
TRIBAL GAMING More
Groundbreaking Held For Oklahoma Tribal Casino
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Comanche Nation new casino in Cache, Oklahoma. The 17,000-square-foot facility will offer 250 gaming machines, a restaurant and convenience store, and create 50 jobs.
States Appeal Iowa Casino Ruling
Appeals are being heard in a suit filed by the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa and the states of Iowa and Nebraska against the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s casino in Iowa. A federal judge ruled against the plaintiffs in 2019.
Catawba Tribe to Open Temporary NC Casino
Despite an ongoing legal battle with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Catawba Indian Nation will open a temporary facility on the site of its $273 million Two Kings Casino Resort (l.) in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
Ho-Chunk Await Interior Department Go-Ahead
The Ho-Chunk Nation hopes the Interior Department will approve its $400 million casino resort and water park (l.) in Beloit, Wisconsin in the next few months so construction can start early next year.
Alberta First Nations Sue Over Competition
Two Alberta, Canada First Nations have sued the government of the province. They claim that it was a conflict of interest for the province to begin an online casino to compete against their tribal casinos.
DOI’s Haaland Begins First Tribal Listening Tour
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (l.) has begun the first of many “listening” tours since being sworn in. She went to New Mexico and Utah to hear concerns from tribes about the environment and sacred sites.
California Tribe Moves On New Casino
California’s Tule River Tribe has broken ground for its new relocated Eagle Mountain Casino, on 40 acres in Porterville, Tulare County. Now it’s named HBG Design to its development team.
Seminole Hard Rock Named Best Managed Company
Seminole Hard Rock has become the first privately-owned gaming company to be recognized as a U.S. Best Managed Company, on a list compiled by Deloitte Private and the Wall Street Journal.
Glebocki Tapped to Lead NJ Casino Association
Terry Glebocki, who’s helped drive profitability at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, has been appointed president of the Casino Association of New Jersey. She is the first woman to lead the group.
Tribal Member Named CEO of Oregon Casino
For the first time, a member of the Coquille Indian Tribe of Oregon has been named CEO of the Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park near Coos Bay. Margaret Simpson (l.) will succeed outgoing chief executive Terri Porcaro.
GLI Announces Global Promotions
GLI has promoted multiple team members in its global offices, appointing several new senior vice presidents and adding other top posts. Among those promoted: Christine Gallo (l.), now senior VP of compliance and QA.
Slane Named UNLV Gaming Center Fellow
Industry veteran and former AGA executive Sara Slane (l.), founder of Slane Advisory, has been named a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Center for Gaming Regulation.
DraftKings Adds Chief Media Officer
DraftKings Inc. has hired Brian Angiolet (l.) as the company’s first ever chief media officer. Most recently, Angiolet served as senior VP and chief business officer at Verizon.
HBG Design Opens Dallas Office With All-New Team
HBG’s new Dallas-based office is staffed by former Wilson Associates architects and designers, all with rich backgrounds in hospitality commercial interior design. They are led by Lela Richardson (l.), NCIDQ.
SkyCity Director Carter Moves to Crown
In the next step of its rehabilitation, Australia’s Crown Resorts has named former SkyCity Entertainment Group Deputy Chairman Bruce Carter to its revamped board of directors.
Cache Creek Makes Two Leadership Hires
Cache Creek Casino Resort in Northern California has promoted Mark Pirruccello (l.) from within to be chief financial officer, while bringing on Stephen Bailey as vice president of information technology.
GameCo Adds Industry Veterans
GameCo has named three gaming industry veterans to its team. Michael Low and Gabriel Moraga (l.) join the company in executive roles, along with as Barry Iremonger.
Parimatch Appoints Supervisory Board
Parimatch has created an advisory team to take it to the next level in sports betting and iGaming, and navigate the firm though a possible IPO. Maksym Liashko (l.) will serve as co-CEO with Roman Syrotian.
Kaku Named Executive Chef of Sahara Las Vegas
Last week, the Sahara Las Vegas announced the promotion of Lyle Kaku (l.) from executive sous chef to executive chef. Kaku will oversee all culinary operations for the resort.
GOODS & SERVICES More
Sportradar, TwinSpires Make Five-Year Deal
Sportradar, provider of sports betting and entertainment products and services, has signed a multi-year sports betting partnership with TwinSpires, the online sports betting arm of Churchill Downs Inc.
Report: Supplier Market to Reach $13.3 Billion by 2027
A report from Allied Market Research predicts that the global gaming equipment market will reach $13.3 billion by 2027, compared with $11 billion in 2019.
RG24seven Partners with Gamban
RG24seven has with Gamban to produce a video training course on dealing with self-excluded gamblers in an effort to create awareness and understanding of self-exclusion programs.
AI Robot to Debut at Korea Hotel
Paradise Hotel Busan has revealed that it will trial an AI serving robot as part of an ongoing plan to reduce face-to-face contact between people due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NEWS & NOTES
Small Nuggets of News
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Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.