For Vegas, Neon at the End of the Tunnel

In Las Vegas, the comeback is real. March visitation and gaming revenues were the best since the pandemic hit, and analyst Brent Pirosch told GGB News the city could be looking at “the strongest summer in a long time.”


Do we really need to worry about Covid-19 transmission through playing cards and chips and other gaming surfaces? Let’s hear what the scientists say.

Big Data for Customer Retention, Protection

Collecting, assessing and analyzing mobile gaming data can boost sportsbook profitability, convert more bettors, keep existing customers in the fold, and also pinpoint problem gambling behavior.

Losing Las Vegas?

There are many things in Las Vegas that are gone but not forgotten. Those things were often signature elements of the Las Vegas experience. Veteran observer Ira David Sternberg has thoughts about how to replace them.

European Casinos Lose 20,000 Jobs to Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has cost European casinos 20,000 jobs so far. About 70 percent of brick-and-mortar casinos remain closed. The shutdowns have caused revenues to plunge by a median 50 percent over the last 12 months. European Casino Association President Per Jalding (l.) calls it the “deepest trough” ever for the continent’s casinos.

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Tao Group Buys Hakkasan Group

The two major nightclub companies became one last week when the Tao Group bought rival Hakkasan Group (Hakkasan at MGM Grand at left). The combined company will operate more than 60 venues worldwide.

Saipan Casino License Yanked

Casino operator Imperial Pacific International, promoter of the sole casino on the island of Saipan, has confirmed that its gaming license in the jurisdiction has been suspended. And CNMI Governor Ralph Torres (l.) wants the casino to cut ties to Chinese junket operators.

Crown Melbourne Fined AU$1 Million

In the latest sanction aimed at Australian casino giant Crown Resorts, its Melbourne Casino in Victoria has been fined AU$1 million. The casino also has been temporarily barred from working with junkets.

Irish Lawmakers Seek Changes in Gambling Regulations

Members of the Irish Parliament, including Senator Mary Seery Kearney (l.), have called for a change in the way gambling is regulated. They seek ad restrictions, more emphasis on problem gambling, control over online gaming and a national regulator.

Vegas Hits the Airwaves With New Tourism Campaign

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is running a new series of 30-second TV spots. “Vegas You,” as they’re styled, will be airing on network, cable and digital and social media outlets.

MGM Will Pass on Chicago

In the quarterly earnings call last week, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle (l.) said the company would not be on bidding on the single Chicago casino because he finds the tax rate too high and the process too convoluted.


Philippines Warns Public of POGO Dangers

The Philippines Labor Department has warned job-seekers about illegal recruitment by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators. Some POGOs have been known to kidnap errant employees and hold them for ransom.


Scottish Bookies Reopen Shops After Four Months

Scotland sportsbooks reopened April 26 after four months of closure. Irish and Welsh bookies also reopened. The reopening come with restrictions on times and capacity as well as other steps taken to keep shops clean.


Russian Casino Delays Phase II

Summit Ascent Holdings, which operates the Tigre de Cristal integrated resort in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone, has announced it does not expect to open its Phase 2 expansion until 2023 due to Covid-19.

Dubai Denies Issuing Gaming Licenses

The government of Dubai media office has issued a denial of social media claims that the emirate has begun issuing gaming licenses. The United Arab Emirates largely ban gaming.


BetMGM Says Company Second in Market Share

At the company’s Investor Day presentation, BetMGM painted a rosy picture of its position in the iGaming and online sports betting sphere. The company could be number two in market share in some locations.

Racing Blocked from N.Y.’s New Mobile Market

What’s the reason for keeping New York horse tracks out of the state’s mobile betting market? Racing already has a remote platform of its own. State racing officials aren’t happy about the exclusion.

Pennsylvania Adds More Online Poker Apps

BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker joined PokerStars as online poker options in Pennsylvania. Both newcomers offer tournaments and a handful of games. But PokerStars has more options for the moment.

Stardust Casino Reborn Online

The name is a blast from the past. Its return is anything but. Stardust Casino is coming back to life not as a brick-and-mortar casino, but an online casino. Stardust takes bets under the auspices of Boyd Gaming.

In Michigan, iGaming, Helpline Calls Soar

Online gambling and sports betting have taken off in Michigan, generating $260 million in receipts from late January through March. But in February, the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline reported a fivefold spike in calls.

Michigan Casino, Parx Partner In Online Casino

Gun Lake Casino and Parx Casino are partnering to offer the online gaming platform Play Gun Lake, available throughout Michigan. It offers online slots and table games. Live dealer tables and sports betting is next.

EGBA: Norway iGaming Hampered by State Monopoly

Norway’s two state-owned iGaming operators are losing out on much of the action because offshore providers have “better choices and prices,” says Maarten Haijer (l.) of the European Gaming and Betting Association.

Belgium Cracks Down on Illegal Online Casinos

Belgium has begun a campaign against illegal gaming websites. Called “Always Play Legally,” it seeks to help players identify legal and illegal gaming sites. It will run until June 11, when soccer season begins.


Washington Tribe Concludes Sports Betting Compact

Washington’s Tulalip Tribes and the state have completed negotiations for the tribe to offer sports betting at its Tulalip Resort and Quil Ceda Creek casinos. The pact could be a template for other gaming tribes in the state.

DraftKings Accused of Marketing to Excluded Gamblers

New Jersey fined DraftKings $10,000 for sending marketing materials to self-excluded gamblers. It wasn’t the first time either. The sportsbook giant promises to do better in the future. Or face more judgments.

Louisiana Lawmakers Address Sports Betting Details

A framework for sports betting passed by Louisiana voters in most parishes in November, is the subject of a bill sponsored by state Rep. Todd Stefanski (l.). It would OK 20 land-based licenses, each with two skins.

Entain Ups Offer for Tabcorp Division

In its bid to purchase the Wagering & Media arm of Australian gaming giant Tabcorp, Entain has increased its offer from $2.3 billion to $2.7 billion. Tabcorp will evaluate the bid before responding.

Flutter Gives Up Bond in Kentucky-PokerStars Spat

Flutter Entertainment lost the latest round in its battle with Kentucky over alleged illegal activity by PokerStars. The gaming company had to surrender a $100 million in bonds posted by a previous owner.

DraftKings, LeBatard Make a Deal

Onetime ESPN talker Dan LeBatard (l.) is moving to Meadowlark Media, where he will broadcast his program, “The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz,” across multiple media platforms.

Report: Europe Tops in Suspicious Betting Alerts

In its first-quarter report, the Global Lottery Monitoring System said Europe had the most suspicious betting alerts, with 160 of 323. Asia came in a distant second. Of the European concerns, 94 related to football.


Progress Continues On Virginia Casinos

Virginia casinos are moving forward. In Norfolk, new details have been released about a $500 million Pamunkey tribal venue (l.). In Bristol, the debate continues about a temporary casino. Richmond is still debating operators.

Louisiana Casino Referendum Resolution Fails

Tammany Parish council members voted against a referendum on a proposed casino in Slidell. Council Member-at-Large Glynn Pichon (l.) said, “I refuse to gamble with Slidell's future and our security.” But hope still remains for Peninsula Pacific.

Nebraska Legislature Poised to Pass Gaming Bill

Nebraska is very close to adopting a gaming bill that will include casinos, sports betting and keno. The bill was inspired by the approval of a statewide initiative by the voters to expand gaming in the state.

Illinois Restaurant to Be Temporary Hard Rock

The group bringing a Hard Rock Casino to Rockford, Illinois, will convert a local restaurant into a temporary gaming hall. The owner of the restaurant, called Giovanni’s (l.), applied for a casino supplier’s license but was declined.

Esports Poised to Return to Live Action

Casinos in California and Las Vegas are preparing to welcome back live esports tournaments. The competitions went online in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. But casinos will bring them back slowly.

Indiana Racino to Build New Barn, Dorm

One month after Caesars Entertainment broke ground on a $32 million expansion at the casino at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, it announced a $7 million investment in a new barn and dorm.


N.Y.’s Seneca Tribe Takes Rev-Share Battle to DOI

The Seneca Indian Nation has gone to the U.S. Interior Department in what is likely its last shot at overturning an arbitration ruling requiring the tribe to resume millions of dollars in casino payments to the state of New York.

Arizona Tribe Plans Major Gaming Development

Following successful gaming compact negotiations with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, the San Carlos Apache Reservation hopes to expand gaming, possibly with a new casino. The compact is good for 20 years.

California Tribe Breaks Ground on New Casino

California’s Tule River Reservation recently broke ground on the new Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville. The project will have 1,759 slots, gaming tables and a 2,000-seat event center. A 2022 opening is planned.

Washington’s ilani Casino to Build Hotel

The Cowlitz tribe of Washington April 23 broke ground for a hotel adjacent to the $510 million ilani casino. The hotel will be part of the Cowlitz tribe’s development master plan.

Arizona Casinos Continue Reopening

Arizona’s Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort have begun their second phase of post-Covid reopening. The casinos are operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Connecticut Lawmakers Mull Casino Smoking Ban

Connecticut legislators are considering requiring that the two Indian casinos permanently ban smoking. The problem, say tribal leaders, is that reservations are not bound by state law—they are sovereign.


GLI Elevates Three to Director Positions

GLI has promoted three technology officers. Joe Carlon (l.) is now senior director of engineering for North America; John Owen is director of IT, EMEA, and Jesse Peterson is director of IT Security, North America.

Galgiani Appointed to California Gaming Commission

California Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed former state Senator Cathleen Galgiani to the Gambling Control Commission. Galgiani, and Newsom’s first commission appointment, Eric C. Heins, are both gay.

Ryan Pace Named Chair of Malta Gaming Authority

The government of Malta tapped an inexperienced lawyer to chair the Malta Gaming Authority. Ryan Pace, who was deputy chairman, succeeds scandal-plagued Heathcliff Farrugia. Critics say Pace has no experience.

Bassey to Depart IGT Board

International Game Technology has announced the imminent departure of board member Beatrice Bassey (l.). Her exit will reduce IGT’s board of directors to 10 members.


Colorado Casinos Successfully Block Lottery Expansion

Black Hawk (l.), Central City and Cripple Creek, Colorado’s gaming cities, have successfully lobbied to keep the state’s bars and restaurants from offering instant win drawings, like Keno. But the battle may not be over.

R.I. Speaker Seeks More Lottery Revenues

Rhode Island House Speaker Joe Shekarchi (l.) wants a more lucrative arrangement with IGT and Bally, providers that run the state’s lottery. “I’d like a better deal,” says the speaker.




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