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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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’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, 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.
Caesars Entertainment will follow through with its promise to sell William Hill assets outside the U.S. The sale of 1,400 shops in the U.K. could fetch $2.1 billion from potential suitors.
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Pete Arceo, the general manager of San Manuel Hotel & Casino, to discuss the property’s expansion project, its impact and when it will open.
As part of an aggressive strategy to diversify beyond VIP gaming in Macau, Suncity is looking to capitalize on investments in resort casinos cross Asia with its own hotels.
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.
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.
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.
Japan’s pachinko industry appears to have dismissed a Covid-related state of emergency in four prefectures and ignored governors’ requests that the businesses shut down.
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.
Puerto Rico’s tourism commission has approved new slot regulations that alter the model by which casino revenues are divided in the commonwealth.
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.
Rod Baker (l.), former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming Corp. face fines and possible jail time for an alleged Covid-19 scam. Baker and his wife Ekaterina flew to Yukon territory for vaccines under false pretenses.
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 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.
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.
A survey conducted on behalf of German sportsbooks and iGaming firms indicates that the proposed 5.3 percent stake tax on German betting could drive almost half of players to the black market.
Three integrated resorts in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming district have launched online gaming: Resorts World Manila (l.), Okada Manila and Solaire.
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 is launching a proprietary game studio that will develop both exclusive games for its own iGaming operations and games for outside operators.
The agency that overseeing gaming in Lithuania says it will no longer tolerate offshore casinos that entice residents. The Gaming Control Authority promises to go after those without a license.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A handful of potential buyers could be in the running to purchase BT Sports from the BT Group. The broadcasting unit of BT has been a financial drain on the parent company.
Genius Sports has agreed to acquire FanHub Media Holdings, which provides a free-to-play gaming platform, in its first move since going public on the New York Stock Exchange.
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.
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.
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 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 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 added Lineups.com 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.
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.
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.
To help a post-pandemic Atlantic City, New Jersey lawmakers have called for a blueprint for recovery that includes Boardwalk improvements and a jobs council.
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.
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.
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’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.
Three major casino operators in Ohio have joined together to oppose legislation that would allow what they call “under-regulated” electronic bingo machines in veteran and fraternal organizations.
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.
The California agency that oversees gaming in the Golden State has ruled that a measure that the voters of San Jose passed by 73 percent last November is invalid. That means two casinos cannot add new card tables.
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.
California’s Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe has signed a new gaming compact with Governor Gavin Newsom. The tribe has operated the Tachi Palace Resort since 1993. It employs about 1,100 people.
Tribal-state gaming agreements in Arizona mean more casinos for some tribes. Ak-Chin Community Chairman Robert Miguel (l.) says, “We can dream a little bigger now.”
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 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
Pennsylvania’s Wind Creek Bethlehem casino has agreed to pay $6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by tipped employees whose wages were less than the federal minimum wage.
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.
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.).
A 20-year contract between Rhode Island and IGT and its partner Bally’s to run the lottery has been a long time coming. However lawmakers like House Speaker Joe Sherachri said the original deal wasn’t good enough.
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.”
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.
After less than a year as head of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Adriano Marques Ho has received a vote of confidence from the government in the form of a term extension through 2023.
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 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.
Scientific Games has signed a three-year contract for instant lottery game supply in Bosnia, and an expansion of its online lottery footprint in Hungary.
Ainsworth Game Technology has partnered with Slotegrator, an iGaming aggregator, to distribute its video slot content in the Eastern European online casino market.
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.
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.
Small Nuggets of News
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