AC Casinos Reinvesting for Recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic took a deep bite out of Atlantic City casino revenues. As the recovery picks up steam, properties including the Hard Rock are spending millions on upgrades to bring back the crowds.

What Brought Detroit Casino Family to AC?

The Ilitch family has its fingerprints all over Detroit—in sports franchises, an entertainment arena and a casino. The latter interest brought the company to Atlantic City to acquire half of the Ocean Casino Resort.

Colorado Ends Betting Limits, Adds Games

On May 1 Colorado’s casino cities, Black Hawk (l.), Central City and Cripple Creek no longer have betting limits. Casinos in the cities will be able to determine betting limits. They will also be able to add new table games.

California Tribe Strikes Deal for the Palms in Vegas

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which operates the dominant tribal casino in the Los Angeles area, is focused on diversification, and with its purchase of the Palms from Red Rock Resorts becoming the first Native American tribe to own a Las Vegas resort.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Canadian Senate Begins Work on Sports Betting Bill

Canada’s “Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act” which would end the longstanding prohibition against betting on single sporting events, is now under review by the Senate. The vast majority of Canadian sport betting is now being handled by illegal outlets, according to the Canadian Gaming Association.

Nevada Regulators To Consider Online Casinos

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has scheduled an informational hearing to weigh the pros and cons of scrapping a longstanding rule that permits remote poker and sports betting but prohibits casino-style games.

Macau’s Grand Lisboa Preps for Limited June Debut

SJM’s long-awaited arrival on Cotai is at hand. But the doors of Grand Lisboa Palace (l.) will open on just a handful of the $5 billion resort’s full complement of amenities and only one of its three hotels.

Two Times a Charm for Federal Sports Betting Tax?

Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus (l.) has introduced a bill to scrap a tax on sports betting handle that dates back to the early 1950s. It’s her second attempt. This go-around she’s hoping for a better result.

New Jersey, New York Lift Most Covid-19 Restrictions

On May 19, New Jersey, along with neighboring New York, will remove most of the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic. Still, some restrictions remain, especially for showrooms and conventions. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (l.) believes those will ease shortly as well, but masks remain essential.

Missouri Senate Defeats Expanded Gambling Bill

Missouri lawmakers have rejected a measure that would have legalized casino sportsbooks, allowed up to 10,000 VGTs in bars, truck stops and veteran halls, and clarified ambiguities about unregulated “gray market” slots. Senate President Dave Schatz (l.) still considers it a priority.

Florida Lawmakers Start Special Session May 17

Florida legislators will return to Tallahassee on May 17 for a special session to ratify the new 30-year Seminole gaming compact. Governor Ron DeSantis (with Seminole Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr.) said the compact will bring $2.5 billion to the state over five years.

Ukraine Denies Hotel Casino License

Ukraine’s Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries has denied a casino license to the Dnipro Hotel (l.) in Kyiv. According to news reports, the application was denied due to errors in documentation.

Art Manteris Steps Down

Art Manteris, one of the legends of the sports betting industry, has retired from Station Casinos after a career that has spanned 40 years and several gaming companies.


NagaCorp Staff Cuts Draw Ire

News of major staff cuts at Cambodia’s largest casino operator has sparked protests from the rank and file and their union. NagaCorp, which operates NagaWorld (l.) in Phnom Penh, plans to eliminate more than 1,300 jobs.

PH Resorts to Open Philippines Casino This Year

Emerald Bay (l.), a casino resort in the Philippine province of Cebu, expects to open before the end of 2021, despite the challenging economy. The resort hopes to attract gamblers and patrons throughout Asia.

Century Delays Cambodian Casino Opening

Hong Kong-listed Century Entertainment says it will push back the opening of a new casino in Dara Sakor, Cambodia. No new opening date has been announced.

South Shore Continues Rolls-Royce Sell-Off

South Shore Holdings continues to move them off the lot—the fleet of 20 Rolls-Royce Phantoms intended to transport VIP guests to and from the luxury 13 hotel resort in Macau. The 13 never opened.


CNMI Regulator On Life Support?

The shutdown and license suspension of Saipan’s Imperial Pacific Palace casino means there’s no need for a casino regulator, at least for now. With no end in sight to the casino’s struggles, casino commissioners are in limbo.


Illinois iGaming Pits Casinos Against Bars, Taverns

Illinois casinos and racinos are pushing a measure sponsored by state Rep. Daniel Didech (l.) that would allow them to offer iGaming. But tavern and restaurant owners that offer video game terminals are pushing back.

Penn National to Develop In-House iGaming Content

Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden (l.) announced the debut of Penn Game Studios, an in-house developer of exclusive content for its internet casino offerings in conjunction with the Barstool Sports brand.

Half of Philippine POGOs Gone

Approximately half of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, or POGOs, have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, and are expected to remain closed. The mass shutdown has idled tens of thousands of foreign workers.

Philippine IRs Launch iGaming

Three integrated resorts in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming district have launched online gaming: Resorts World Manila (l.), Okada Manila and Solaire.

Barstool Online Casino Debuts in PA

Barstool Sports has conducted a soft launch of its Barstool online casino which will be the state’s 16th online casino site, also available through the Barstool Sportsbook app.

LeoVegas Launches Game Studio

LeoVegas is launching a proprietary game studio that will develop both exclusive games for its own iGaming operations and games for outside operators.


Maine Again Mulling Sports Betting

Two years after Governor Janet Mills (l.) vetoed a bill to legalize sports betting, Maine legislators have once again taken up the issue. Proponents think the governor may approve their revised proposals.

Washington Tribe Agrees to Sports Betting Compact

Two tribes in Washington have now reached sports betting agreements with the state gambling commission. The Suquamish Tribe and the Tulalip Tribe hope to be able to offer sportsbooks in time for the NFL season.

Churchill Downs Reports Second-Highest Derby Wagering

Handle for the 14-race card including the 147th Kentucky Derby, won by Medina Spirit giving trainer Bob Baffert (l.) his record seventh win, was $233 million, following the record of $250.9 million in 2019. Handle for the race itself was $155.4 million, down $5.1 million from the 2019 record.

Maryland Live! Launches Sports & Social

Cordish Companies has brought its popular Sports & Social concept to its Maryland Live! casino (l.) at Arundel Mills Mall, where the combination sports bar and entertainment center will soon offer a sportsbook.

Ohio Introduces Sports Betting Bill in Senate

Lawmakers in Ohio began considering state Senator Kirk Schuring’s (l.) sports betting bill, triggering new hearings. The legislation will have to resolve a major issue as to who will oversee the system: the lottery or the Casino Control Commission.

NBA’s Full-Court Press for NC Sports Betting

The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets are lending their hands-on support to convince lawmakers to expand legal sports betting in the state. The issue has divided residents into pro- and anti-camps.

In Illinois, In-Person Registration Remains In Force

Illinois legislators are the last hope to remove the in-person registration requirement for new sports bettors. But lawmakers including Rep. Robert Rita (l.) are reluctant to ax the rule, which helped expand gambling in 2019.

Illinois Lawmakers Consider Sports Betting Changes

Lawmakers in Illinois are mulling changes to the new sports betting law, including allowing in-state collegiate sports wagers. Rep. Mike Zalewski (l.) says the current prohibition limits the marketplace.

Fox Bet, Flutter Wrangle Over Valuation

Flutter Entertainment and Fox Bet face arbitration over an acquisition option price. The disagreement has spilled over into a potential FanDuel IPO and the role played by Fox Bet and PokerStars in Flutter’s business.

PointsBet Sportsbook Launches in Michigan

Australian-based sportsbook, PointsBet, has opened up shop offering iGaming options in Michigan. The company expects to enter New Jersey, followed by Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Las Vegas Room Rates to Skyrocket for NFL Draft ‘22

Hotel room rates for Las Vegas strip properties expect to triple for the 2022 NFL draft. Demand expects to be high with capacity predicted at close to 100 percent. The rates follow a steep decline in rates in the Covid-19 wake.

Sinclair Loses Big On Sports Networks

When Sinclair Broadcasting bought 21 regional sports networks from Disney in 2019, it couldn’t anticipate a global pandemic that would stop most sports and cause revenues to plummet. Many of the networks have been rebranded as Bally’s Sports.

Aspire Integrates Pariplay and BtoBet

Aspire Global has completed the integration of Pariplay’s Fusion platform into its BtoBet Sportsbook subsidiary in the latest move in its M&A strategy.

WynnBET Now Live in Tennessee

WynnBET has added Tennessee to its list of states where it offers sports betting. The app has a presence in six states with more expected. A division of Wynn Resorts, WynnBET also has partnerships with two NBA teams.

Catena Media Buys

Catena Media added to its portfolio for more than $39 million. Lineups, an analytic company that provides data for leagues, reported $7.5 million in sales in the 12 months that ended April 30.

U.K. Bookies Take Election Bets

The May 6 U.K. election attracted all sorts of wagering action in the U.K. The action on the London mayoral race (candidates at left) attracted the most wagers outside of the 2020 U.S. presidential race.


Mississippi Casinos Free to Set Own Covid Rules

In March, the Mississippi Gaming Commission ended all Covid-19-related restrictions, leaving it to casinos, like the Gold Strike (l.) in Tunica, to determine which safety protocols to implement, including masks, social distancing and occupancy.

St. Tammany Parish Casino Bill Advances

A Louisiana House committee approved a referendum on a casino on Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish. Proposed by Peninsula Entertainment, the $250 million resort would create 1,900 permanent jobs.

Wynn, Cosmo Return to 100 Percent Capacity

Nevada regulators gave the three Las Vegas Strip casinos the OK after Wynn Resorts reported that 88 percent of the staff at its two properties have received Covid vaccinations. The Cosmopolitan (l.) reported 80 percent.

Norfolk, Danville Casinos Make Progress

In Virginia, the Pamunkey Tribe announced its new Norfolk resort will be named HeadWaters Resort & Casino. And the Danville city council approved a new casino zone for Caesars’ Virginia resort.

Maryland Casinos Log Third-Best Month Ever

Maryland’s casinos, led by MGM’s National Harbor (l.), generated the third-highest revenue in the state’s history for April, following a $169 million all-time record in March with revenues of $162 million.

Virgin LV to Add Pool, Restaurants, More

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, which opened in March, is planning to add a host of new amenities in the weeks to come, including a pool (l.), a beach club, restaurants and other attractions.

Indiana Casino Shareholders Oppose New Standards

Seven shareholders in Spectacle Entertainment Group, owners of the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana (l.), are suing the Indiana Gaming Commission over new rules requiring more detailed financial and business disclosures.


Holcomb, Pokagon Band Sign Compact

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed the new 20-year gaming compact with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, owners of the Four Winds Casino South Bend. The compact allow Class III gaming.

San Manuel Casino to Open Expansion in July

San Manuel Casino is Highland, California will open the first phase of a $550 million expansion in July. The addition includes a two-floor gaming floor, a high limit room, shops and a new eatery, Serrano Vista Café

Restrictions Eased at Navajo Casinos

Two casinos operated by Navajo Gaming Enterprise will be able to ease some restrictions and operate at 50 percent capacity at Fire Rock (l.) and Northern Edge casinos. The easing is the result of more vaccinations occurring for Navajo nation members.

Catawba Chief Anticipates Economic Stability

The Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, could generate revenue of $72 million its first year, bringing much-needed economic stability to the South Carolina-based tribe, says Chief Bill Harris (l.).



IGT’s Bugno Stepping Down

Walter Bugno is stepping down from his position as executive vice president of new business and strategic initiatives at International Game Technology to pursue a “new professional opportunity.”

Sahara Names New Head of Convention Sales

Candice Zabelny, a 20-year hospitality industry veteran, has been appointed senior national sales manager for Sahara Las Vegas as the resort prepares to welcome back its group business.

Top Chef to Partner with Morongo

Fabio Viviani (l.), the famed Bravo TV “Top Chef” will bring his culinary skills to a restaurant at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. The goal, said Viviani, and Morongo COO Richard St. Jean is to “heighten the dining experience.”


Konami Launches Ocean Spin Series

Konami Gaming has launched the Ocean Spin video slot series in North America, following high performance results elsewhere for the game on its Dimension 49J cabinet.

AGEM Index Posts 12.3 Percent Gain

The AGEM Index, which follows the price of gaming supplier stocks, showed a 12.3 percent month-to-month increase for April, increasing 94.3 points to 858.43.


SBC Launches BETFEST, Virtual Event for Sports Fans

On Saturday, May 15, SBC will host BETFEST, the first-ever consumer event for U.S. sports bettors. The event will give fans the inside track on betting strategies and hear from sports experts from across the country.




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