In April, Oregon’s Coquille Indian Tribe named Margaret Simpson (l.) CEO of the Mill Casino-Hotel near Coos Bay. The first female tribal member to hold the position, Simpson learned from the ground up—starting at age 14.
This week, a special edition of the GGB Podcast features Nick Hogan, the co-founder and CEO of Reelmetrics, a company designed to determine what slot games are preferred by players and why.
As the debate grows about minimum wage hikes, this tribal casino voluntarily stepping up to increase rates. Greg Sarris (l.), chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, says it’s a matter of principle.
Sports betting in California is a hot potato with several interested parties attempting to legalize it. The 107 tribes of the state want to control it as they control all Class III gaming, but others have different ideas. Richard Schuetz offers some context to the battle.
A proposed merger of Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts would create a gaming Goliath in Australia. Star’s bid is one of several; the Blackstone Group and Oaktree Capital have made offers, and others may be in the offing.
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Wynn Resorts plans to spin off its WynnBET mobile sports betting app and merge it into a new public company with the NHL Vegas Golden Knights owner William Foley (l.). The public company will land on the Nasdaq exchange.
Add another chapter to the coronavirus comeback story on the Las Vegas Strip. Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts, the market’s largest operators, Boyd Gaming, Station Casinos and several other casinos and companies have been OK’d to return to 100 percent occupancy on their gaming floors.
Proponents of an integrated resort in Wakayama, Japan (l.) say the region will need an integrated resort more than ever in the post-Covid economy. SunCity, one of two bidders for an IR license there, has withdrawn.
Brazil’s Senate will once again take up the issue of stoking tourism by legalizing casinos. The hotel industry cites a “pent-up demand for leisure offers and casinos would have a big impact on that demand.”
New Jersey lawmakers are seeking approval to remove the prohibition against betting on in state college sports, including Rutgers, the state university. The change requires a constitutional amendment.
A special legislative session began May 17 for Florida lawmakers to ratify the new 30-year Seminole gaming compact negotiated by Governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. (l.).
Melco Cyprus has announced that its Cyprus casino properties will reopen at 30 percent capacity on May 17. On June 1, the four C2 satellite casinos can increase visitation to 50 percent.
Spin Games and Toronto-based B2B gaming supplier Bragg Gaming Group have entered into an agreement under which Bragg will acquire Reno-based Spin. Spin CEO Kent Young (l.) says the combination will allow the company to expand more quickly.
So they meet again. The bullish investor who sees opportunity all around. The bear who says duck and cover. And the referee, our old friend Quandary, who wants to know where to invest his stash.
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Sara Slane, who as a vice president with the American Gaming Association, led the campaign to legalize sports betting after PASPA was repealed.
PH Resorts, which is developing the Emerald Bay casino resort (l.) on Cebu Island in the Philippines, has signed a deal with a junket operator to draw high rollers from Japan.
Gaming turnover at South Korean casinos toppled by an average of 64.5 percent in 2020, and foot traffic was down about 70 percent for the year. That includes Kangwon Land (l.), the only casino in Korea that serves locals.
Success Universe Group Ltd bought $1.3 million in Bitcoin as a way to diversify its investment portfolio. The company, which owns 49 percent of Ponte 16 casino in Macau, sees cryptocurrency as a viable investment.
Casino di Campione (l.), one of the oldest casinos in Italy, hopes to reopen in September. The resumption of business at the bankrupt gaming hall hangs on payment of past-due debts and trim costs.
The developer of the proposed Cipriani Ocean Resort, Club Residences & Casino (l.) in Punta del Este, Uruguay is asking for more time to start the project. He claims Covid affected his mobilization of capital.
Spanish-based Codere, a leader in the private gaming industry, will emerge from a restructuring deal with a holding company controlling 95 percent of its assets. This will allow the company to reopen its 45 casinos, including Casino Carrasco in Uruguay.
Equity firm Apollo Global Management has upped its bid for the wagering and media business assets of Australia’s Tabcorp. Its current offer is AU$4 billion (US$3.09 billion).
The Italian iGaming market has proven it can take a punch and come back swinging. A ban on advertising and a tax hike on turnover didn’t inhibit growth in the market during the past year.
Evolution Gaming has launched its live-streamed table game content with Entain’s Ladbrokes and Coral brands in the U.K., with launches on Gala Casino and Gala Bingo to follow shortly.
Playtech has expanded its partnership with Holland Casino, the state-owned operator in the Netherlands, as the country prepares to introduce regulated iGaming.
SciPlay, the social gaming arm of Scientific Games Corp., reported rises in revenue and net income, as the social gaming market has surged since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
In 2020, the online gaming market in Spain it grew 13.7 percent over the year before, for more than $1 billion in revenues. According to BtoBet, sports betting accounted for 42.92 percent of the gross.
Dutch gaming authority Kansspelautoriteit has begun cracking down on illegal online gaming websites. It wants to discourage illegal sites as the country prepares to open a regulated legal online market in October.
The Louisiana House (l.) has approved a bill establishing regulations and tax rates for sports betting. The Senate legislation would authorize 20 licenses to sportsbooks at the state’s 16 casinos, and four horseracing tracks.
The Ohio Senate’s new sports betting bill would award dozens of licenses for retail and mobile services. According to state Senator Niraj Antani (l.), “At the end of the day the people of Ohio wanted it.”
Since launching November 1, Tennessee sports betting handle topped $1 billion and generated $18.5 million in taxes for the state, says Rebecca Hargrove (l.), CEO of the lottery. Oversight will transfer from the state lottery to a new Sports Wagering Advisory Council.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has recommended Entain PLC for a temporary sports betting license in a unanimous recommendation to the Nevada Gaming Commission.
The U.K. is testing how venues handle growing crowds as the coronavirus pandemic abates. But racetracks have been left out of the loop until now. Easing of restrictions May 17 should pave the way for a track program.
The coronavirus pandemic could trigger experiments with self-service betting shops in Ireland. Such operations would lower the costs of doing business. But workplace regulations may preclude that.
FanDuel and DraftKings together have ponied up more than $100 million for local TV ads in the first quarter of this year. Far less spend went for national ads and even less on radio ads.
To create a fund to help sports teams, Italy lawmakers tacked an additional tax against Betfair and other sportsbooks. Betfair filed a suit too challenge inclusion and calculation process. They won the latter.
Faced with a still undecided deal for a new stadium, Major League Baseball has given the Oakland A’s permission to explore moving to another city. Las Vegas is on the short list with Portland, Vancouver and Montreal.
In the latest acquisition move, Sportradar bought InteractSport, an Australian-based company that deals with cricket sports data. Sportradar has added several other deals since the start of the New Year.
Genius Sports has added Second Spectrum to its portfolio. The company paid $200 million for the acquisition of the firm which turns video into data. Clients include the NBA and Major League Soccer.
The NBA is spending almost nothing lobbying members of Congress. It has shifted its lobbying spending attention to the state capitals where lawmakers are writing or have written sports betting bills.
The LPGA last week announced a multi-year agreement with BetMGM, making the U.S. sportsbook an official betting operator and partner of the LPGA Tour.
The Kalispel Tribe of Washington State and the state gaming authorities have reached an agreement on sports betting. The tribe hopes to begin talking sports wagers by the time the NFL season starts.
Efforts to bring legal casinos and sports betting in Texas have run aground. Advocates are in it for the long haul, including Rep. John Kuempel (l.), who said there’s not enough time to pass legislation “this season.”
The Alabama Senate passed an expanded gaming bill last month but it’s as good as dead. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (l.) pulled the bill, claiming it didn’t have the votes.
City council in Portsmouth, Virginia has delayed a vote on zoning changes for the Rivers Casino and Hotel (l.). A Richmond attorney may sue that city on behalf of Golden Nugget, which was eliminated from bidding.
Atlantic City casino resorts (l.) will be permitted to return to 100 percent capacity on May 19, while Pennsylvania casinos return to full capacity on the May 31 Memorial Day holiday. Masks, however, will still be required.
The Las Vegas Monorail (l.), the elevated people-mover, will be shuttling passengers behind the Las Vegas Strip in time for Memorial Day weekend. Riders will still have to wear their face masks.
Responding to a lawsuit from the parent company of Hard Rock Casino Gary (l.), the Indiana Gaming Commission said its new integrity rules will meet public demands for “transparency concerning casino ownership.”
Nebraska legislators removed from Legislative Bill 561 a provision allowing people to play keno on their cellphones. Governor Pete Ricketts said he wouldn’t sign the measure if the keno language wasn’t removed.
Resorts World Las Vegas (l.), Sin City’s newest casino complex, will be the first cryptocurrency-enabled property on the Vegas Strip. Just not on the gaming floor.
Bally’s Corp. has made quite the splash during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. In the first quarter alone, the company closed or purchased or leased a number of businesses aimed at upping their financial picture.
U.S.-based global operator Century Casinos is positioning itself for growth, though the pandemic kept its Canadian casinos closed for the first quarter, and it still hasn’t reopened its gaming halls in Poland.
New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (l.) has introduced legislation to extend the state takeover of Atlantic City for another four years, with restoration of civil service protections.
The MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts are awaiting word from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that they can reopen poker rooms. But they need to have enough players.
MGM National Harbor recently opened an outdoor gaming terrace featuring 41 slot machines and several table games. Social distancing and other Covid-19 related rules still are in effect.
MGM Growth Properties has purchased the MGM Springfield (l.) property in Massachusetts for $400 million. MGM will rent the property from the REIT and operate the resort.
Here’s one sign that life is returning to near-normal on the Las Vegas Strip. The famous Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace will reopen starting May 20. The buffet underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation during the closure.
Minnesota tribes want stricter regulation of electronic pull-tab machines in bars. They support legislation that would change the definition of the games, but also could lead to revenue losses for bars and charities.
An attempt to unionize workers at Sycuan Resort & Casino (l.) in San Diego County has, at the least, attracted the attention of other Indian casinos. Sycuan is resisting the effort and hired a company famous for fighting unionization.
North Fork Rancheria expects to break ground in June on a $350 million casino near Madera, in Central California. The tribe is partnering with Las Vegas-based Red Rock Resorts to build the off-reservation project.
Once, Las Vegas did all it could to ignore Indian gaming. Now gaming tribes are buying properties on the Las Vegas Strip—like Mohegan Sun at Virgin Hotels (l.), and the San Manuel’s newly acquired Palms.
Foxwoods Resorts Casino in Connecticut, after more than a year under Covid-19 protocols, has announced it will relax most of them, except indoor masking. All the machines are open to play.
The Board of Supervisors (l.) of San Diego County May 5 voted to end a more than two decade blanket opposition to any of its 18 tribes trying to put land into trust. The tribes say it was about time to end what they call “racism.”
A second Dry Creek Band of Pomo Indians casino in California won’t happen before 2031. Those are the terms of an updated agreement between the county and the tribe, which now runs the Red Rock Casino.
The National Native American Hall of Fame named eight new members for 2021. They include a wide range of Native Americans, from poets to entrepreneurs to politicians. They will be formally inducted in November.
Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. Indians with ancestral lands in Canada have rights to visit without regards to the international border. The case was brought by a man who crossed the border to hunt elk.
Gamenet Group in Italy has completed the acquisition of Lottomatica’s Scommesse, a sports betting operation, and Videolot Rete gaming machine. It bought them from IGT for €1.1 billion.
Crown Resorts last week named Steve McCann (l.) as the company’s new CEO and managing director. McCann comes to the Australian casino operator from real estate investment group Lendlease.
For Flutter Entertainment, the timing could have been better. As the U.K. company prepared for an IPO, the CEO of its FanDuel subsidiary, Matt King (l.), announced his decision to retire.
Suncity Group executive Andrew Lo (l.) and Summit Ascent CEO David Chua have joined the board of Suntrust Home Developers, which is developing a US$1 billion casino hotel in Manila.
Marketing firm Engaged Nation last week announced that it has added gaming industry professional Heather Lee Lommori (l.) as sales director. Lommori was previously with Everi Holdings in Las Vegas.
The former leader of the Netherlands parliament, Alexander Pechtold (l.), has been named chairman of the Dutch Lottery, or the Nationale Postcode Loterij, Staatsloterij.
A Rhode Island House panel has approved a reworked bill granting IGT a 20-year no-bid contract as the exclusive supplier of hardware and software to the state’s lottery and casinos.
Everi Holdings reported net income of $20.5 million on record first-quarter revenue of $139 million, reversing the loss recorded last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
International Game Technology’s first-quarter earnings smashed Wall Street estimates with 25 percent revenue growth and EBITDA of $450 million, among the highest levels in company history.
FeedConstruct has announced a partnership with the ITT Cup Czech Republic table tennis championship, which began in the Czech Republic on May 12.
Scientific Games Corp. is considering pursuit of a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange as a way to help raise funds and reduce the company’s debt.
Europe's premier land-based skills showcase, the European Dealer Championship, has announced new dates for 2022. The show was postponed twice due to the pandemic.
Small Nuggets of News
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